Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday

Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Dave Matter in a live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    Greetings, chatters. We're back in our regularly scheduled time slot and back chatting in Missouri for the first time in about a month. After a couple weeks of vacation and last Friday's chat that was conducted in the passenger seat of a rental car while Ben Frederickson sped through Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois before I took over the slog back to Columbia, we're back at the P-D Columbia bureau (my home office) and here to take your questions on all things Mizzou. Fortunately there's plenty to tackle. Let's get started.
    Any thoughts on UCF's Danny White as a potential candidate. I think he'd be a coup for Mizzou.
    Danny White is now the AD at Tennessee, so I would say that's a no.
    Greetings “Chatmeister”. Sounds like media days were kind of ho-hum. (JK). 2025 seems a little far away for SEC expansion and I realize that date was used for TV contract purposes. What is your guess on when TX/OU join the SEC? I predict that as money can buy out a lot of problems, that 2022-23 or 2023-24, at the latest, the SEC welcomes TX and OU into the club, thoughts?
    If Oklahoma and Texas were to leave the Big 12 for the SEC in time to play football in 2022, the consensus is they'd both owe the Big 12 around $80 million. Even with a gracious loan from the SEC, those two schools aren't going to be paying that much money. That's why it's in their best interest for the Big 12 to dissolve and for the spare parts to be sold off to other conferences. The most fascinating part of the story in the last 24 hours is Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby accusing ESPN of colluding to break up the Big 12 - clearly to help speed along the OU/Texas migration to the SEC. In other words, this is in all likelihood headed to court in some form of fashion. There's no way OU and Texas will stay in the Big 12 through the remainder of the current Big 12 TV deal. That doesn't make sense for anyone involved. But the money has to match up for the Sooners and Horns to be released. It's going to be quite a show to watch unfold.
    Dave, How do you assess the depth on the O-Line? The starters are set, aren’t they?
    Also when does fall practice begin? Thanks
    No, I would not say the starters are set. I asked Case Cook that very question and he took the diplomatic approach saying all five spots are up for grabs. It's safe to say Cook (right guard) and Mike Maietti (center) are entrenched as starters. Hyrin White should figure in somewhere at left or right tackle. Xavier Delgado was on the field a lot last year at left guard. I suspect he'll get competition from Luke Griffin and EJ Ndoma-Ogar. If White wins one tackle, who gets the other? There's the Montana State transfer Connor Wood, last year's left tackle for most of the year, Zeke Powell, or Javon Foster, who filled in some for Larry Borom last year. 
    Should be some compelling battles.
    Dave - So what would you say Jim Sterk's legacy will be from his time at Mizzou? Thank You.
    A mixed bag.
    He brought some stability after the tumultuous 2015 and quick exit from Mack Rhoades. I thought he had the right intentions at heart during the NCAA investigation for academic fraud but in hindsight might have played it differently in terms of copping to some of the allegations. The Dawn Staley flap was unfortunate, for sure. Along the way, a power struggle developed between Sterk and the university leaders - and it came to a head during the search for Odom's successor, when some Board members asked for a search reset once Sterk had narrowed his focus on some finalists. Some people in high places lost faith in his leadership and he was never able to restore that faith. Yes, he did a fine job raising money for some major projects, but depending on who you're talking to, some at MU will give Drinkwitz as much credit for the fundraising as they do Sterk. (Also, deputy AD Ryan Alpert deserves a lot of credit for igniting fundraising in the midst of a pandemic.) 
    College sports changed dramatically this summer with a lot of forces impacting the sport at once: name/image/likeness rules, the Alston case, football playoff expansion, SEC expansion, NCAA decentralization. Add it up and Mizzou's leaders - we're talking campus powers - saw that Sterk had two years left on his deal and rather than start looking for a new leader in two years and confront all these new challenges with a lame duck AD, it made more sense to cut ties now and offer the settlement package I reported last night. 
  • What are your thoughts on how Missouri coaches view Streck ousting with two years left on his contract. This seems to contradict your general thoughts that the University would not consider terminating a head coach because of the large budget deficit in the athletic department.
    I don't see how it contradicts anything. They're paying Sterk about $1.5 million. If you're referring to Cuonzo Martin's buyout, $1.5 million is a lot less than the $9 million or $6 million they'd owe him for parting ways this year or next. Also, the campus powers who believed Mizzou needs new AD leadership don't necessarily feel the same way about the basketball coach. That's not to say Martin gets a lifetime contract or can afford to let the program slip this year or next, but Sterk's situation and Martin's situation aren't seen as equals.
    Thoughts on the Roots N Blues lineup this year? Brandi Carlile and Sheryl Crow are the only gals I'm excited to see.
    I'd like to see Brandi but I don't like the lineup as much as the past two years. Either way, I'll be in Boston for the Mizzou football game that weekend.
    Does Missouri want OU and Texas to join the SEC? I'm assuming it will mean more money for Mizzou, will it hurt them in recruiting and win totals? I feel the 11 votes needed will be reached today.
    It will be a unanimous vote. That's how these decisions are made. The SEC doesn't go this far into the process without everyone being onboard. Texas A&M has come out in support of the additions, albeit begrudgingly, I'm sure. So if the Aggies are OK with the moves, Mizzou will certainly be OK with the move. We're talking about approximately $20 million more per school per year with these additions. Mizzou's annual revenue will still be in the lower tier of the SEC, but turning down that kind of cash would be institutional malpractice, regardless of the impact on the field or the recruiting trail. 
    Yes, adding two quality football programs makes it harder for programs like Mizzou or Mississippi State or Arkansas or South Carolina to win the SEC - but it's extremely hard for those programs to win the SEC anyway. We don't know how the divisions, pods or schedules will look just yet, but if Mizzou trades annual games against Florida and Georgia for annual games against Oklahoma and Texas, how is that much harder? 
    As for recruiting, I think adding these two programs is a net gain for Mizzou. Texas and OU can still only sign 25 players per year, but their additions should make the SEC more appealing to more prospects in Texas - and they can't all go to Texas and OU. There's an endless supply of players in the state. 
    Dave - I listened to your comments on the Paul Finebaum's show the other day. You provided some great insight regarding Jim Sterk leaving Mizzou. Although an AD has so many expectations for fund raising and putting season ticket holders in the stands, do you think they are ultimately measured for the football and basketball coaches they hire? That to me, has to be their hardest job and how they are judged. Thank You.
  • Yes, I'd say hiring coaches in the two revenue sports is at the top of the list of ways we measure ADs. They all raise money and they all build facilities. Some are better than others at mobilizing the fan base and growing the fan base, but that ability is harder to measure. Mizzou grew its fan base in the late 2000s with the two Big 12 North titles, but do you attribute that to the job Mike Alden and his staff did canvassing the state to rally the fans or do you credit Gary Pinkel and his players for winning more games? But when it comes to hiring coaches, credit and blame falls squarely on the AD's shoulders because he's the one solely responsible for making those calls.
  • Any idea when the next MU AD will be named? I agree with Fredricksons article, it needs to be someone that has a fire and drive like coach Drink.
    There's no major rush to hire someone. It's more important to hire the right person. That said, I would think they'd want someone in place before the start of the football season. Mack Rhoades left Mizzou the second week of July in 2016. Jim Sterk was named AD on Aug. 9 - so roughly three weeks. And that's when Mizzou was operating under an interim chancellor in Hank Foley, who hadn't been through a high-profile athletics search like this. 
    Mizzou is also in the market for a deputy AD to run its communications department, and before the Sterk development, the goal was to hire someone to fill that spot by the start of football season. MU was prepared to spend about four weeks on that search and hire. 
    Dave- What head coach of college footbalI does Drink remind you? I think he has a lot of Lou Holtz in him. His personality, charisma, and his public speaking skills reminds me of how much I enjoyed listening to Holtz talk about everything. They have a way of poking fun at themselves, but they command so much respect. Thank You
    I go with Spurrier. The Ole Ball Coach wasn't afraid to zing other coaches and other programs but there was never any malice or meanness in his tone. Spurrier had a lot of fun with that part of the job. Drinkwitz does, too.
    Does anyone really expect Texas / OU to wait until 2025 to play in SEC? Let's be real, they will be playing in the SEC in 2022. Bet on it!
    Agreed. Unless the SEC has plans to expand beyond 16 and has more schools to add. That could take longer to manipulate and organize.
    Hi Dave,

    What if instead of the SEC expanding with Texas and OU, the SEC just accepts all the Big 12 teams and goes to 24 teams? No lawsuits, no pay outs, no upset university presidents or politicians, could start in 2022, and ESPN already has the TV contracts for both conferences. The SEC would divide into Four divisions: (Big 12) North, (Big 12) South, (SEC) East, and (SEC) West. There would be 11 conference games per season and one non-conference game or cross-division rivalry. Nearly all the rivalries remain intact, and some old ones are renewed (MU-KU). The schedule would be:

    Play everyone in your division each year plus:
    Year one: North versus South, East versus West
    Year two: North versus East, South versus West
    Year three: finish home and away of year one
    Year four: North versus West, South versus East

    In four years, each team plays all teams in their old conferences home and away and all teams at least once.

    ESPN gets 132 conference games with all power 5 teams (more with non-conference / cross-division games). No paying large amounts of money to non-power five teams to play, no Alabama – Mercer nor Mizzou – SEMO games.

    Worried about getting teams into the CFP due to strength of schedule. Skip it. Instead of a conference championship game, the SEC would host the SEC Invitational Football Tournament. The six top SEC teams against the top 6 non-SEC teams in a twelve-team bracket.

    Your thoughts?
    The key to realignment is you have to add programs that enhance your value in the market, but with equal revenue sharing in the SEC, if you add too many programs that don't drive up the league's overall value of the league, you're dividing your revenue into smaller slices for each member. Adding OU and Texas increases the size of each slice even though you're now feeding 16 mouths instead of 14. But adding Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, etc., only increases the mouths without increasing the size of the slice. So in the end, you're overall product is bigger but not necessarily better - and your revenue slice could be smaller. So, I would not expect the SEC to add programs that don't add value and instead dilute the brand.
    How soon will we know if Texas And Okie are accepted by the SEC? Any idea of when they would actually participate in the league if they are admitted? Thanks, Dave.
  • I'd say as soon as Friday the SEC could formally accept OU and Texas. No telling how long it will take to figure out when exactly they'll be full fledged SEC members. My hunch is the SEC will say something along the lines of "Our intention is Oklahoma and Texas will begin competing in the SEC in the 2022-23 academic year." But the lawyers are going to have to sort that one out first.
    Two questions, 1.) when would you expect Mizzou to hire a replacement for Sterk? 2.) What is a normal off season schedule for Bball players
    I touched on the Sterk timeline earlier. Nobody is publicly sharing a timeframe - they don't like to be held to deadlines - but my guess is four weeks or less. I'm sure Mizzou would like to trot out its new AD for that first football game on Sept. 4. But if it takes longer to find the right person for the job, they'll take longer.
    As for hoops offseason, the players have all been on campus since June and going through workouts with the coaches. They're limited in the hours and days they can spend together, so initially it's a lot of individual or small-group workouts, but they've been having full-team scrimmages and practices more recently. The NCAA has a designated day to mark the first official day of preseason practice, which is sometime in October. 
    Hi Dave. With all the breaking news about Texas/OU blowing up the college football landscape, and the departure of MU's AD, what's this past week been like for you?
    Monday night was a little hectic, but I'm coming off two weeks of vacation and a week in Alabama for media days, so my batteries have been fully charged. I'm conditioned for all hell to break loose on this beat when you least expect it. No sweat. 
    As for SEC expansion, this round certainly impacts Mizzou, but with Mizzou being on the sidelines for all the action, the MU beat isn't as frantic as it was a decade ago. There's still plenty to write about and report, but not like there was in 2011 when Mizzou was one of the programs on the move and at the heart of all the uncertainty. 
    Thanks for the chat! I live in Florida, formally Missouri. Talking with a Tennessee transplant, I shared with him how here in Florida, gator stuff is everywhere. He said you could get Tennessee stuff at church. When I left Missouri, it was hard to find MU stickers, shirts and other items around St. Louis. Is it still like that around Missouri? Drink could spread the brand more if he could influence this part of selling the Tigers?
    Well, I don't spend much time in St. Louis, but Mizzou gear really isn't too hard to find if you know where to look. St. Louis isn't solely a Mizzou town, so if you're a local business selling college gear it's in your best interest to offer other brands, other schools, too. 
    Ultimately it's up to those stores to decide what they want to sell. The AD doesn't decide what's on the shelves. If there's a demand for Mizzou gear, then the smart stores will sell it. 
    Any updates on Mizzou basketball and football recruiting?
    That's a pretty broad question. I don't chronicle recruiting on a daily basis like the recruiting sites. Mizzou has one basketball commitment, Christian Jones, a point guard from East St. Louis. Aidan Shaw, a four-star wing from the Kansas side of the state border is an important target and considering Mizzou. 
    As for football, Drinkwitz said they'll try to add three to four more commitments for the 2022 class then wait until after the season to see how much space they have to add any more recruits or transfers. 
  • Do you see any way Big 12 can survive as a conference? Are they done? If the Big 12 would've gotten its on TV network, none of this would be happening.
    The accusations by Bob Bowlsby against ESPN seem to indicate the other eight teams in the Big 12 are going to stick together (for now) and try to make a go of it, perhaps by picking off the best available options. I don't believe they have an anchor strong enough to command the kind of TV money they're accustomed to making, so does that mean a Big 12 mash-up conference will no longer be considered part of the power conferences? Perhaps. I'm sure there's folks at each school that would prefer to break away and find the best landing spot, but from what's being reported around the country, there doesn't seem to be a really strong appetite in the Big Ten, ACC or Pac-12 to add pieces just for the sake of adding pieces.
    Dave, is it a big loss to the university that Jim Sterk is leaving?
    The university leadership doesn't believe it's a big loss; otherwise it wouldn't be paying him $1.5 million to walk away.
    Will OU & Texas become the biggest rivalry for Mizzou, once they're in SEC?
    They do have some history. Especially OU.
    For you to have a true rivalry both sides have to agree that it's a rivalry. Oklahoma's SEC rival will be Texas. Texas' SEC rival(s) will be Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Arkansas will want in on that action, too, from their days in the Southwest Conference. 
    Oklahoma has far more in common with Missouri than it does South Carolina or Florida or Tennessee, including about 100 years of conference affiliation, but I don't know if that will automatically turn that game into a true rivalry. 
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