I live in Missouri (suburban St. Louis), and must say that reaction is mixed but generally positive toward SEC.
Personally, I feel Missouri would fit best in the Big Ten, and they were hoping to take the #12 spot that went to Nebraska.
But when Texas, TT, OU, OSU had not one, but a second daliance with the PAC that threatened to leave ISU, Missouri, KU, KSU, and Baylor in the lurch,
Missouri's administration no longer felt like partners with those schools, and completely lost trust.
When the SEC came calling, offering stability and an improved financial situation, the decision was a "no brainer".
Many will miss the rivalry with KU, which is a casualty in all of this.
I think the sentiment among lots of older alumni is that Missouri loved the Big 8, but was never thrilled with the merger with the 4 Texas teams.
They increasingly tended to dominate the conference (neutral sites for conference tourneys moved to Dallas in many cases),
and when the Big XII North schools were in danger of being cast adrift, it was "every man for himself".
How Missouri fares against SEC competition remains to be seen. Initially, Missouri may be mediocre.
However, some home-grown football prospects are giving Missouri more consideration, as they will playing in what is perceived to be the top conference.
While in the Big XII, local football recruits tended to bolt for the Big Ten, Nebraska, or Oklahoma.
Now that Gary Pinkel has established a decent FB program (by keeping more local prospects in-state, and successfully recruiting in Texas),
Missouri's program is much more attractive, and I think the move to teh SEC should only help that.
Great points, tute.
For Missouri, and the fans, the SEC should be considered quite a positive. We all know they wanted in the Big Ten...but it wasn't mutual.
The folks in Missouri, especially near St. Louis, always feel an association with the miswest cities, like Chicago. And rightly so. Nobody will deny that. BUT...the question is if you live in Missouri, who do you associate yourself with more: southwest schools in Texas and Oklahoma (who run the Big 12) or schools in the south, like Kentucky, Tennessee and others? The answer is likely the south. Sure, Kansas and Iowa St. might be good partners for Missouri. But the rest of the Big 12 isn't exactly classic Missouri. Since the Big Ten wasn't an option, that left 1 choice: the SEC or the Big 12...and the SEC is a more logical fit for Missouri than the Big 12 in the minds of the Missouri admins. 6 or 13 year waiver rights aside, it's still Texas/OU's conference with Iowa St., Kansas St., Baylor, and even basketball power Kansas just along for the ride.
Almost gotta think with the FSU/Clemson Big 12 talk, that maybe the ACC should have made a stronger push to get Texas, TTech, OU and OSU...since a 16 school conference with those 4 would be better (with FSU, Miami, GTech, Clemson, VA Tech, UVA, Maryland,NC State, UNC, Duke, Wake, BC as "filler" as opposed to Iowa St., Kansas St., Kansas, Baylor, etc.