Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SEC [Print without images]

Monday, November 7, 2011
Welcome to the SEC Missouri

By Edward Aschoff

Well, the worst kept secret is finally out and the SEC has a new brother to play with.

Sunday, the SEC officially welcomed in Missouri, who will leave the Big 12. For those counting at home, that makes 14 members in the SEC.

The Tigers will compete in the SEC beginning in 2012, and according to SEC commissioner Mike Slive, will also be placed in the SEC East, which is a good move, because it will help preserve some traditional SEC.

However, traveling from Columbia, S.C., to Columbia, Mo., could cost you a pretty penny.

Regardless, the addition of Missouri should be a welcomed addition to the conference. It's a strong academic school and will be the fourth Association of American Universities school in the SEC. It also brings in two pretty big TV markets in St. Louis and Kansas City. That means more people in front of TV sets when SEC games are on.

There are still some challenges ahead for Missouri, with the Big 12 still trying to add West Virginia. Dueling suits between West Virginia and the Big East concerning the league's 27-month notice required in Big East bylaws are slowing down the Mountaineers' move to the Big 12. In turn, that could impact the Tigers' move to the SEC because the Big 12 needs to have at least 10 members in order to fulfill its television contract.

Still, Mizzou and the SEC held a public celebration Sunday to officially announce the school's move to the SEC.

“The Southeastern Conference is a highly successful, stable, premier athletic conference that offers exciting opportunities for the University of Missouri,” Missouri chancellor Brady J. Deaton said in a statement. “In joining the SEC, MU partners with universities distinguished for their academic programs and their emphasis on student success. The SEC will provide our student-athletes with top flight competition and unparalleled visibility. We came to this decision after careful consideration of the long term best interests of our university. We believe the Southeastern Conference is an outstanding home for the Mizzou Tigers, and we take great pride in our association with this distinguished league.”

Here are some fun facts the SEC gave us about the new Tigers coming into the league: