The Southeastern Conference announced Missouri would join its ranks via a news release on its website Sunday morning. The announcement, the latest development in the conference realignment saga, came after a complicated back-and-forth on what would happen to the Big 12 Conference and weeks of speculation that Missouri would leave the Big 12 for the SEC.
Regardless of whose fault it is — and news outlets like ESPN have theories on the subject that often include Texas and Oklahoma — Missouri is metaphorically packing its bags for the Deep South.
The Tigers will face some tougher opponents — such as Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Louisiana State — farther from home. The move also potentially ends Missouri's long-standing rivalry with Kansas, as lamented by the university's chancellor.
Grantland writer and former Missourian sports reporter Robert Mays offers insight into whether Missouri will mesh with the SEC. The football culture in Columbia does not quite compare to the level of fanaticism found in the SEC. However, the school does fit in with SEC universities off the field, ranking sixth-highest in academic standing.
Recruiting is one of the more uncertain issues surrounding the move. Being in a conference with Texas schools has given Missouri a direct connection to one of the most important states for football recruiting, and moving to the SEC could disrupt that. However, AOL Sporting News points out that changing conferences also gives Missouri access to a new frontier of recruits in the Deep South.
For the SEC, the addition of Missouri generates some exciting prospects, including potentially creating a separate TV network, as reported by CBS Sports. The SEC's website also points to great games Missouri has played against SEC schools, although the Tigers haven't played many of them in decades.
Ultimately, the move means increased stability and more money in Missouri's future. According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, a move to the SEC could mean $2 million more in revenue each year for Missouri or up to $12 million if the SEC renegotiates its TV rights.
And although the future of the Big 12 remains uncertain, the Kansas City Star said the SEC has been very stable because of its equal partnership approach. It remains to be seen how Missouri will fit in with its new competitive home.