(CBS) -- If the version of events provided by a booster who has spoken to the Kansas City Star is accurate, Missouri is likely on its way towards becoming the SEC's 14th school.
According to the Star, that booster has spoken directly to a Mizzou official who has told him (or her) that the SEC "has an offer on the table for Missouri to join its league." That offer would be accepted as soon as the breakup of the Big 12 is finally made official--a fate that as Big 12 Board of Directors chairman, Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton has been working to avoid.
After yesterday's vote by the Oklahoma and Texas Boards of regents to allow their presidents to make their schools' final decisions on conference affiliation -- a move widely seen as a precursor to one or both schools jumping ship for the Pac-12, and effectively dissolving the Big 12 -- it seems highly likely that despite Deaton's efforts, that breakup is at hand.
According to the Star report, the SEC approached Missouri in 2010 but was rebuffed as the Tigers pledged their allegiance to the Big 12 and the Big Ten passed on issuing Mizzou an invitation.
However, SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom stated Tuesday that no invitation -- official or otherwise -- has been issued to Missouri or any other school, this year or last. "The SEC has not extended an invitation to any school beyond Texas A&M since it extended invitations to Arkansas and South Carolina," Bloom said.
Of course, we're not sure if we'd take that at face value; the legal snafus already surrounding A&M's attempted departure show how carefully the SEC will tread whenever legal interference in the Big 12's contracts might be an issue.
If admitted to the SEC, Missouri would potentially force a realignment of the SEC's two divisions, with eight "West" teams and only six "East" teams. The most popular realignment scenario involves shifting Auburn to the East, a move Auburn president Jay Gogue has already said he would not oppose.
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