Members of the Big 12 who have nowhere else to go are telling you the conference's schools are locked arm-in-arm for the next half-decade. Meanwhile, at least one school with conference realignment options says things aren't quite so rosy just yet. Not all that hard to figure out what that means.
During a conversation with the KC Star, University of Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton essentially said thrice that his school isn't yet 100 percent on staying in the Big 12. As for specifics, here's the closest you're going to get:
When asked about the SEC, Deaton said that was another hypothetical and he wouldn't elaborate further.
Asked if the SEC was still in play, the administrator, who contacted The Star, said: "You will not look stupid by insinuating that."
Compare that to the noises made by the average school official whose programs are caught up in realignment. It's still not yet clear whether the SEC had invited the Missouri Tigers before the Big 12 announced ... whatever it announced Thursday night.
Best guess: Mizzou knows the rest of the conference knows the Tigers have an escape route. If Oklahoma can claim its non-invitation to the Pac-12 helped to fix the Big 12, why shouldn't Missouri use its likely actual invitation to the SEC as a way to make the Big 12 work for Missouri? Only one of those two programs has a bargaining chip right now, after all.
For more, swing by Mizzou blog Rock M Nation.