Friday afternoon, the Missouri Tigers announced they're officially looking around for a new conference home, in a manner of speaking. Any Mizzou fans that had been hoping for the school's Board of Curators meeting to end with black and yellow balloons, the marching band playing alongside cheerleaders and Gary Pinkel taking the podium to guarantee a Sugar Bowl bid were ... well, they were disappointed.
There's a process for these things, as our own Bill Connelly, he of the great Missouri Tigers blog Rock M Nation, makes clear:
The press conference following the executive session of today's Missouri Board of Curators meeting did not have most of us were hoping for, i.e. an official "stay or go" announcement. But it doesn't take much between-the-lines literacy to see where the thought process currently resides. Missouri has decided to leave the Big 12, and as soon as they figure out some lingering "issues," i.e. how not to alienate (and financially harm) the Kansas City area, they will likely do so. And of course, the SEC is almost certainly the destination at hand.
(If nothing else, we have all learned by now that leaks happen when the University of Missouri is involved, so if there were some sort of odd dealings regarding the Big Ten, Big East, Patriot League, or any other conference in the country, we would likely have heard about it.)
Is it a 100-percent guarantee that Mizzou is gone? Not necessarily. With both conference realignment and anything regarding Mizzou (one of the most frequent Charlie Browns to the Sports God's Lucy), nothing is certain until the ink is dry. There could always be last-second developments, but they are at least somewhat unlikely by now. Missouri's statements, in only addressing issues related to Kansas City, revealed their current intentions, as did the revelation if Missouri leaves, they intend to be gone by next year.
Many wanted an outright decision, but with a fan base, general culture and set of interests so diverse, nothing is quick when it comes to this university. As a whole, Missouri has followed the general timeline taken by Texas A&M, and it is likely that this issue will be put to bed by the end of October, especially if Missouri truly wants to get moved into their new digs by next August.