This is the decision the University of Missouri faces in terms of whether or not they want to go the SEC, Big 10 or stick it out in the Big 12.
If Missouri picks either the SEC or Big 10, a lot of history will be lost.
If Missouri picks the Big 10, it could hurt football recruiting since a lot of it is being done in Texas these days.
If Missouri picks the SEC, it could hurt the long-term competitive possibilities for the Tigers. The SEC is far and away the best football conference in America and Missouri would probably be lucky to win 9 or 10 games in the SEC as often as they have in the Big 12.
If Missouri sticks it out in the Big 12, they run the risk of being left behind once it inevitably falls apart.
Either course of action could be a risk for the football program.
But the best decision and best future for the Tigers is making the move south to the SEC.
2. Recruiting would improve. With Texas A&M officially being welcomed today as the 13th member of the SEC, the recruiting pipeline in Texas would be somewhat maintained. With Florida and Georgia in the SEC, that opens up a possible connection to Florida, another great recruiting state. In 2010, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina all ranked in the Top 10 in terms of the number of NFL players each state can claim. All four of those schools are prominently featured in the SEC. Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa are not exactly recruiting havens in the Big 12.
3. Exposure to the rest of the country. Having occasionally traveled in my life, I can say SEC games are easily found across the nation. It's difficult to check out a Big 12 game in California, but the SEC is featured on CBS and ESPN. The conference will likely boast the largest TV contract in the game, meaning the dollars will be there for Missouri.
4. Missouri's had some success in the past against the SEC. In the all-time history of the Missouri football program, the Tigers are 20-8-1 against SEC schools. Just four short years ago, they thumped an Arkansas team by 31 points that featured NFL-leading rusher Darren McFadden. It would absolutely be more difficult for the Tigers to win the SEC than Big 12. No question about that. But they would still remain competitive. Arkansas, a program similar to Missouri's, played in the Sugar Bowl last year.
5. At the end of the day, the SEC offers the most stability. Those who operate the University of Missouri need to care about the future of athletics first and foremost. The Sprint Center should not matter in those discussions. The Kansas City economy should not matter in those discussions. For now, unless if the Big 12 offers a very credible expansion plan, the SEC is Mizzou's best option.