Following the announcement coming from College Station on Wednesday that the Aggies were no longer planning to be part of the Big 12, statements galore were being released around the league.
Let me rephrase that. It should say statements galore were being released from anyone not named Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech (I visited all their university, athletic, and major newspaper sites that would have picked something up and saw nothing. If I'm wrong on this, give me a shout). Coincidence? I have no idea but those four seem like the most likely to have options if the conference does indeed go up in a ball of flames in the near term.
We know that the Big 12 is an exciting and attractive conference for many reasons, including the quality of our academic programs, the strength of our athletic teams, the support of our loyal fans and the depth of our vibrant traditions. The Big 12 Conference remains strong and united." - Baylor President, Ken Star.
Notice, strong and united.
"The Commissioner, Presidents and Directors of Athletics are poised to move quickly and aggressively in studying alternatives for the conference.” - Iowa State athletic director, Jamie Pollard.
Not as strongly worded as some, but sufficient.
"We'll aggressively pursue the best interests of the University of Kansas, our student-athletes and fans, and that continues to be for the Big 12 to remain strong and competitive." - Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
Continues to be until someone else calls with an offer?
"K-State remains fully committed to the Big 12 Conference and continues to be excited about its future." - Kansas State athletic director, John Currie.
Of course Kansas State is excited. The Big 12 beats the hell out of the Mountain West
All four statements above are short, to the point, and generally supportive of the Big 12.
And then there was Missouri's statement released as a letter to the fans which was slightly longer than the rest. First, their show of support for the league.
I know that Dr. Deaton, myself and all of us at Mizzou are committed to working hard to keep the Big 12 a strong and successful conference. We look to Commissioner Beebe and the Big 12 staff to develop and implement the plans necessary for the future. - Athletic director, Mike Alden.
That was followed by this doozy of a paragraph:
Rest assured that the Mizzou "brand" is extremely strong nationally. We are the flagship institution of the State of Missouri with nearly 6 million residents who passionately follow our University and the Tigers. As a proud member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, we are equally proud of the national recognition Mizzou Athletics has received for our academic, social and competitive accomplishments. Our success wouldn't be possible without the great support of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans.
Excuse me, Mr. Alden. You're already in a conference that is entirely aware of your school's accomplishments. Very impressive credentials, by the way. I'm looking closely, but no where do I see a cc: at the bottom of the letter followed by Jim Delaney's name. Looking....looking, nope it's not there. Hmm, thought I might see one. Anyway.
None of this is to insinuate the league is going anywhere, however. The Big 12's commissioner was the one to kick-off the statement releasing fiesta following A&M's announcement.
The presidents and chancellors of the nine remaining member institutions are steadfast in their commitment to the Big 12
Good to know. Very good to know. And I've never been more thankful there's some actual football to watch this weekend, by the way.