Posted by Tom Fornelli
I'd like to start this post by congratulating the Big 12 for lasting nearly an entire week without talk of another one of its schools leaving and reports of the conference's possible expansion. Kudos to you, Big 12.
Now that I've got that out of the way, let's get to the latest.
There are still persistent rumors that Missouri could be headed to the SEC to become the conference's 14th team and join Texas A&M. Rumors that aren't easy to put the rest when you find out that, according to the Kansas City Star, the Missouri Board of Curators is meeting on Tuesday and the school's conference affiliation will be one of the topics under discussion.
If that's not enough, for you stalkers out there, this FlightAware link of a certain twin turboprop plane making a flight from Birmingham, Alabama to Columbia, Missouri on Tuesday should stoke the flames a bit.
Does all of this mean that Missouri is bound for the SEC? Well, if we've learned anything from the last few months, when it comes to conference realignment, we really don't know anything until it's officially announced. The whole world was ending a few weeks ago, and in the end, only three schools actually moved anywhere.
So until Missouri makes an announcement that it's joining the SEC, we can't be sure of anything.
However, if leaving is in Missouri's plans, the Big 12 is reportedly putting together a contingency plan this time around. According to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, the Big 12 may not just be looking for a replacement for Texas A&M and possibly Missouri, but it may attempt to go back to 12 schools once again.
Wilner reports that the Big 12 is eyeing BYU, Boise State, West Virginia and Louisville as possible replacements because the conference feels that if it's going to be considered a peer of the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12, it needs 12 schools and a title game. The Big 12 is also considering staying at 10 schools and replacing Texas A&M and Missouri if it has to. Which schools it would prefer in that case is unknown.
As for the likelihood of adding the four schools mentioned in the report, it's hard to know how interested each would be in the Big 12.
BYU may only be interested in bringing its football to the Big 12, and who knows how the Big 12 would feel about that?
West Virginia and Louisville is conceivable because the future of the Big East looks shaky at the moment with Pitt and Syracuse already leaving for the ACC and UConn telling everybody who will listen, and even those who aren't, that it would like to leave the conference as well.
Then there's Boise State. The Broncos just joined the Mountain West this year, and while it's hard to predict exactly what the school would want to do, you have to think that the lure of playing in a BCS conference and the possibility of finally getting a shot at that crystal football would be quite appealing.
Whatever happens, Dan Beebe or Chuck Neinas, it's clear that there are still plenty of question marks surrounding the Big 12 these days.