The Freshman Vol. 4: Mizzou reaches a Pivotal Point in Conference Realignment Saga

Posted on October 21, 2011

0


By Steve Goldberg

At today’s University of Missouri Board of Curators meeting, the board authorized Chancellor Brady Deaton to take action in somehow solving the school’s conference situation. We have been waiting for this for weeks, and the day has finally arrived.  Although it’s not “Facebook official” yet, Deaton said, “We will be making a decision about pursuing an application to another conference, if we deem that in the best interests of the university.”

The actual application may take some time to complete, but anticipate a verdict about Missouri’s intentions soon.  According to the Kansas City Star, sources anticipate that it should be sorted out by the middle of next week. Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas stated last week that he believed Mizzou would maintain its affiliation with the Conference next season, but Mizzou announced today that if they move to the SEC, they will begin play in their new conference in 2012.

Another topic discussed at today’s Board of Curators meeting was the rivalry with Kansas. Missouri athletic director Mike Alden said the school would try to preserve the rivalry with KU, which has been rich with tradition for over a century. The schools will attempt to negotiate non-conference games for all sports, not just football and basketball.

The Kansas City Sports Commission has to be thrilled to hear the plans of continuing this rivalry. The Border Showdown Series is a huge revenue-generator for the city, and it was one of their major concerns about Mizzou leaving the Big 12. If Kansas agrees, the schools will continue to play their non-conference football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mizzou is also exploring the option of hosting an annual basketball tournament in KC as well.

“Should [Deaton’s] decision lead to our departure from the Big 12, the board is committed to doing what we can to preserve the rich tradition and heritage that is very important to us here,” Board of Curators chairman Warren Erdman said. “Including the possibility of anchoring some kind of invitational basketball tournament here, maybe during the holidays.”

Although at face value it may seem that nothing has been solved, today’s actions will go a long way towards deciphering the whole conference realignment mess. And all may not be lost for Kansas City after all, with the loyalty that the University of Missouri seems to embrace with its own traditions.

Follow Steve on Twitter @SG_Mizzou15