Nothing official just yet, but per the latest from the Grey Lady it certainly seems like we've reached the effective brink of Missouri joining the SEC. Per the New York Times:
The person said that Missouri’s decision to apply for membership to the SEC was “inevitable and imminent,” although a specific timeframe has yet to be set. Missouri’s Board of Curators will meet on Thursday and Friday at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where the process of withdrawing from the Big 12 and applying to the SEC is expected to begin. Expansion is not listed on the agenda, but there is an private session scheduled Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.
After Missouri applies, the person said that it expected “no problems” with gathering enough votes among SEC presidents for the university to become a member.
The Tigers have been swaying in the breeze the past few weeks, and while I suppose it's possible this could all fall through, it is seemingly picking up the aura of inevitability that came with Texas A&M in late August. Timetables could be a crapshoot, but you have to imagine this would probably come to fruition in the next several weeks and in plenty of time in advance of the 2012 football season where a 14-team SEC could make its debut.
It's been clear for some time now that Missouri was the number one target of the SEC for the fourteenth team, but even so this leaves a major question mark for the conference as a whole moving forward. If Missouri joins the SEC East like many have suggested then there will be no major realignment within the existing ranks, but if they are added to the SEC West an existing member of the West will make the transition over to the East.
For Alabama, this could be a very big development either way. We staunchly opposed Missouri earlier because it would have necessitated Auburn's move to the SEC East, which would have served the dual purpose of likely ending Alabama's traditional rivalry with Tennessee and strengthening the Auburn program as a whole through weaker competition and a better foothold into the key recruiting territories of Florida and Georgia.
For the sake of pure self-interest we wisely balked at such a move, but regardless of our objection it certainly seems like Mizzou is on its way to the SEC and either Missouri will be placed in the East or the rest of the SEC said to hell with 'Bama and the Third Saturday in October, misnomer and all, probably just died. I'm sure we'll have further reports on this in the near future, and we'll address them accordingly here at RBR.