became will become the 14th member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), according to an announcement posted from the future on the conference's website last night that was almost immediately removed.
"Given the ever-changing conference paradigm over the past year," the release
began will begin on Monday, "the Southeastern Conference has continued to demonstrate its commitment to maintaining its stature as one of the nation's premier conferences by welcoming the University of Missouri as the league's 14th member, Commissioner Mike Slive announced Monday." The Monday referenced is Oct. 31—three days from now.
The post was almost immediately taken down, but not before the requisite screen grabs had been filed away. Five articles were posted, all dated Oct. 22, but all were clearly intended to have gone live after the weekend. "Missouri Joins The SEC," declared the homepage, while another story outlined "A History" of "Missouri-SEC Connections." There were even Q&As: one with Chris Dortch, author of The Blue Ribbon Report, on how the Tigers would fare in the SEC's basketball field, and one with Tony Barnhart, who writes about college football for CBS Sports.
"It's like when you bring in someone new to your family," future Barnhart
said will say on Monday. "The first two to three times at the dinner table are probably a little awkward, but after that everybody becomes comfortable."
Except that this time it was a surprise, and a mistake, and after you've told your family, you act like it never happened. Awkward!
Today, Mizzou's official athletics site is leading with a story about Tiger student-athletes leading "the Big 12" in graduation success rate, and SECdigitalnetwork.com no longer has any mention of the announcement. And to really clear everything up, Charles Bloom, PR director for the conference, tweeted last night: "Web vendor made mistake. No agreement between #SEC and Missouri."
Time to tell the family.
Screen grab via Larry Brown Sports.
SEC Accidentally Announces Missouri To SEC [Outkick The Coverage]