After reports surfaced late Sunday night that West Virginia had sent paperwork to the SEC seeking membership, it was subsequently reported that the conference had rejected the current Big East school’s overtures.
While the SEC may not have an interest in WVU — at least at the moment — the conference apparently is eyeing another school much further west.
Both the Kansas City Star and PowerMizzou.com are reporting that Missouri is, as the Rivals.com website puts it, squarely in the SEC’s crosshairs as its 14th member. While the latter would only go so far as to write that the SEC wants Mizzou, the former is reporting that the current Big 12 school has on offer on the table from the conference.
The SEC is reportedly willing to wait on the Big 12 to implode before officially making a move on Mizzou.
The Star‘s source for this latest development is an unnamed MU booster who spoke directly to a school official. “Apparently they’ve come to us,” the MU booster told the paper in regard to the SEC’s interest. “I’ve been told there is an offer on the table.”
Given Baylor’s threats of legal action in regard to Texas A&M’s move to the SEC, and the SEC going to great lengths to publicly state that it was the Aggies that came to them first and not vice versa, it’s interesting to say the least that, at least according to the MU booster, it was the SEC that approached the school.
We’ve been told multiple times, dating back to last year, that Mizzou’s preference, if the Big 12 indeed implodes as many expect, is to join the Big Ten. However, with that conference seemingly willing to wait out this latest round of expansion unrest and stand pat, Mizzou may feel they have no other choice but to seriously consider any non-Big 12 affiliation in order to avoid getting left behind in this latest round of conference musical chairs. Or, perhaps, this information is being leaked in an effort to nudge the Big Ten off the sidelines and into the expansion fray.
That, however, is not how Jim Delany operates.
It should also be noted that Mizzou’s chancellor, Brady Deaton, is the chairman of the Big 12’s Board of Directors. That group is charged with trying to save that conference from extinction.
UPDATED 3:48 p.m. ET: The following is a statement from SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom.
“The SEC has not extended an invitation to any school beyond Texas A&M since it extended invitations to Arkansas and South Carolina.”
Thus ends the SEC’s attempt to shove the toothpaste Mizzou squeezed out back into the tube.