Monday, November 7, 2011

Mizzou Joins SEC as One of Biggest, Smartest Schools in Conference

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Mizzou joins Dixie. Though to be fair, three SEC states border Missouri.
  • Mizzou joins Dixie. Though to be fair, three SEC states border Missouri.
Well, that's that. After weeks of speculation and rumor, the University of Missouri finally announced yesterday that it's leaving the Big 12 for the Southeast Conference.

I admit. I wasn't too keen on this move at first; however, I've since warmed up to the deal. First there's the financial aspect. Mizzou could earn millions more dollars each year in the SEC -- money that would directly go to improving its athletic teams.

Moreover, joining the SEC will force the Missouri to step up its game -- particularly in football where the conference dominates. SEC'ers can probably teach Mizzou fans a lesson on tailgating as well. Look for the parking lot scene outside Faurot Field to pick up big time next year.

And then there's this: Mizzou enters the conference as one of the biggest and brightest institutions in the SEC. With enrollment of 33,000 this year, Missouri would be the fourth biggest school in the SEC behind Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M.

Also, the SEC isn't as academically inferior as stereotyped. Indeed, it could be argued that it's perhaps even better than the Big 12. When Mizzou joins the SEC -- perhaps as early as this summer -- it will be the fourth school in the conference to hold membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, joining University of Florida, Texas A&M University and Vanderbilt University. Right now the Big 12 has four members in the AAU, including Missouri.

More troubling, perhaps, is that Mizzou would be the third team named the "Tigers" in the SEC, after LSU and Auburn. Perhaps, Missouri needs to think up a new mascot?

Once again, I humbly suggest changing the team to the Hellbenders -- in honor of Missouri being the only state in the nation that's home to both varieties of the giant salamander with the kick-ass name. Can you imagine the SEC's South Carolina Gamecocks taking on the Missouri Hellbenders?! The mind reels.

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