Mizzou-to-SEC chatter continues to grow

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In addition to future changes to the BcS, SEC commissioner Mike Slive reiterated a stance Tuesday that his conference has taken over the past several weeks: the SEC will be just fine adding Texas A&M and staying with an unbalanced 13 members for the time being.  Being the sage commissioner that he is, however, Slive didn’t slam the door shut on future movement.

“We anticipate being a 13-team league in 2012-13,” Slive said during a teleconference yesterday. “First, there are no institution currently under consideration by the SEC presidents and chancellors. And secondly, we have not received any application of any institution other than Texas A&M.”

Based on the rumors and speculation regarding a potential 14th member being added sooner rather than later, it was wise for Slive to add the “anticipate” qualifier.

The Kansas City Star and PowerMizzou.com are both reporting that the University of Missouri Board of Curators could meet as early as next Tuesday, and that the meeting Will Likely involve discussion of the school’s future conference affiliation.  Both before and after the Big 12 had been “saved from extinction”, Mizzou has been connected to other conferences, most notably the SEC this time around.  At a press conference the day after the Pac-12 announced it would not expand beyond its 12 current members, UM chancellor Brady Deaton refused to publicly affirm their loyalty to the Big 12.

A source with knowledge of Mizzou’s thinking told CFT five days ago that “the SEC hasn’t been taken out of play“; another source told the Star around the same time that joining another conference “is something that we’re very open to.”  Per our source, nothing’s changed on that front, with Mizzou-to-SEC talk possibly coming to a head — and a resolution — by the end of next week.

And, as if to add another layer of intrigue to the situation, Twitter has been all abuzz over a private plane that took off from Columbia, Mo. — home of the University of Missouri — Tuesday evening and landed in Birmingham, Ala. — home of the SEC offices.  After a stay of just over four hours, the plane headed back to Columbia.

Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, one of the most connected writers in the country when it comes to the expansion front, wrote Wednesday that, according to his sources, the Big 12 is already making contingency plans to get back to 12 members with or without Missouri.  BYU, Boise State, Louisville and West Virginia, all rumored to be a part of an expanded Big 12, are mentioned by Wilner as potential candidates for expansion.

Wilner also tosses in a financial nugget to explain why the SEC would look to consider adding Mizzou as well as A&M: “The schools [would] add 11 million TV homes to the league’s footprint. At $1 per in-market subscriber per month … and this is all back-of-the-napkin conjecture … that would be more than $100 million per year — just from Mizzou and A&M.”  Such numbers are derived from the SEC possibly creating a network similar to that of the Pac-12’s regional setup.