The Missouri Tigers are reportedly on the verge of making a move to the most notable college conference in the nation, the South Eastern conference(SEC). The SEC is full of winning. I will focus on the most profitable sport: football.
Missouri has a reputable sports program. They compete, they are profitable for the University, and have loyal fans.
Football head coach Gary Pinkel is 80-53 in his 11 seasons. He is 43-41 in conference play. He has defeated Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma only once (1-6) in those 11 seasons. The Tigers are 3-4 in bowl games since 2001 and haven’t won one since 2008.
The SEC has football in its blood. Members have won the national championship for 5 consecutive years.
That list includes the Florida Gators, LSU Tigers, Auburn Tigers, and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Missouri has struggled to compete against the Sooners, Texas Longhorns, and Oklahoma State Cowboys. They play Texas A&M (5-2) this Saturday. Texas A&M has already announced their move to the SEC in 2012. Saturday will be a glimpse of the competition they will face in the SEC.
Here is what I do not know. How much money will Mizzou athletics spend to stay competitive in the SEC? Teams spend anywhere from $60-$120 million on their athletics. Mizzou reportedly spends around $65 million.
Will Mizzou be vulnerable to a setback if they move to the SEC? Pinkel has built a sturdy program since arriving in 2001. They have been atop the NCAA rankings for short periods. Seven bowl games in 11 seasons is respectable. However, flirting with a conference that shows no mercy is risky. The atmosphere is rowdier, and teams are more competitive. Put simply, win
s are harder against a Mississippi State than an Iowa State.
The move will strictly be about money. How much money will they make in the SEC compared to the Big 12. I will guess that SEC teams make more revenue based on TV deals and attendance.
Despite producing 5 first round draft picks since 2009, they have 0 national championships to show. That is underachieving.
My concern is that a respectable sports program that has had a taste of success will get into the ring with Muhammad Ali, and be knocked out before they know what hit them. A setback is the last thing this football team needs.
The decision will be solely business, which is an educated term for money. Money will decide what Missouri does and not the potential of being a bottom feeder.