Monday, November 7, 2011

Mizzou makes move to the SEC official

Missouri has left the Big 12.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 7:46 AM

Mizzou to the SEC is official.
  • Mizzou to the SEC is official.
Sunday was a bad day for sports fans in Kansas City. The Chiefs lost to a bad, bad Miami Dolphins team. Sporting Kansas City was eliminated from Major League Soccer's playoffs. And the University of Missouri finally announced its move to the SEC from the Big 12.

That last one is debatable, but Mizzou's move certainly jeopardizes the Big 12 tournament's future in Kansas City. (Luckily for KC, the tourney is contractually set for the Sprint Center through 2014.) The Border War has also gone cold. The University of Kansas' official Twitter account said as much last night with this jab:

"Missouri forfeits a century-old rivalry. We win. #kubball #kufball #mizzou"

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was less bombastic but definitely direct:

"We're sorry to see a century-old conference rivalry end. Missouri's decision may have implications for fans and for the Kansas City area, but it won't affect the long-term strength of the Big 12."

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self was a little more candid, telling the Lawrence Journal-World:

“Like I said before, we have absolutely no obligation whatsoever to play Missouri in basketball. None,” Self said. “If we do so, it will only be done because it’s best for Kansas, not done because anybody else wants us to. We couldn’t care less what Missouri wants. If in fact they want to play us, it will be strictly determined if we want to. It will not be determined by other people, because I’ll be honest, the majority of Kansas fans don’t give a flip about playing Missouri.”

So the rivalry ends (for now), and Kansas City loses. No more KU-MU football games at Arrowhead. No more Big 12 tourney collisions between the Jayhawks and the Tigers.

Missouri officials have said they'd like to hold a basketball tournament in KC with local rivals, but it doesn't sound like the Tigers can have SEC membership and hold onto their rivalries.

We're already starting to see stories with local business owners expressing concern that the move will hurt their bank accounts. But look, we knew this was coming. This was the worst-kept secret in college sports (thanks, SEC website!). Missouri sees dollar signs and stability in the SEC. Even if Mizzou created the instability a couple of years ago by lobbying to get into the Big Ten.

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton believes that this is the best move for Mizzou's future. For the university's sake, I hope he's right. But from a fan's perspective, I just don't see it. Yeah, it'll be sweet seeing Florida, Alabama and LSU in Columbia. But traveling to see your team play won't be as easy as going to Lawrence, Manhattan or Ames.

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