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Author Topic: Realignment remorse: Biggest losers from the conference-shifting revolution  (Read 94 times)

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A&M. Those Aggies wanted to get out from under the extreme Texas shade, and theyíve certainly gotten that done. But even with Johnny Manziel in his final season at QB in 2013, A&M was only a .500 SEC team. Which is exactly what itís been for three seasons in a row.

Playing in the Liberty Bowl and Music City Bowl couldnít have been what Texas A&Mís board had in mind when it fought so hard to get out of the Big 12.

 Missouri. There were those two glorious Saturdays in 2013 and 2014 when the Tigers played for the SEC Championship, the fruition of years of phenomenal work done by coach Gary Pinkel. But the SEC didnít create that success; those teams were built while Mizzou was a member of the Big 12. And if the Tigers had remained there, they might have wound up winning the league and playing in major bowls.

As it was, a couple of 7-1 SEC finishes got Mizzou to the Cotton and Citrus Bowls, while the teams at the top of the Big 12 got shots at the Fiesta and Sugar. And with Pinkel retired after last yearís decline to 5-7 ó with the first class recruited to be SEC players ó who knows where Tigers football lands? Wendell Barnhouse, who wrote about college sports for the Big 12 and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, points out Mizzou football had 35 products of talent-rich Texas on its 2011 team, only eight this season.

One hopes Mizzou football doesnít fall as far and hard as the basketball program. At the time their move was being discussed, a Mizzou insider told me he worried about where the program would find players if unmoored from the Texas recruiting base that fed so many in the Big 12. SEC programs outside of Kentucky and Florida already were having enough trouble finding enough big-time basketball talent, with the regionís young athletes having tilted so heavily toward football.

For that reason and many more, a once-proud basketball program has become a disaster ó 15 total conference wins over the past three seasons, no NCAA Tournament appearances in that stretch.
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