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Gary Pinkel on the ‘crazy,’ ‘sad,’ ‘embarrassing’ state of the Big 12: ‘We’ve got problems in our league.’

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Missouri's conference fate has not yet been decided, but regardless of what happens, football coach Gary Pinkel isn't pleased with the way the Big 12 has conducted its business during the past year.

In that time, the Big 12 has lost three members — Colorado, Nebraska and now, Texas A&M — and the Tigers could be right out the door with them. Only the Mountain West has lost as many teams as the Big 12, though all three of the Mountain West's schools left the league for more money, competition and to have a better shot at playing in a BCS bowl game every year.

"It's all crazy stuff," Pinkel said during a phone interview on Tim McKernan's ITD Morning After show on KFNS 590 AM in St. Louis. "I don't want to spend a lot of time talking about it. It's just a lot of information out there, most of which is probably inaccurate.

"But it's also really sad that this league … there's no other league in the nation that's dealing with this kind of stuff. It's the third member we've lost in two years. Obviously we've got problems in our league and we don't fix them. So, it's embarrassing. And it's sad because it has such great potential."{YSP:MORE}

Pinkel isn't exactly one of those coaches that mouths off to the media, so the fact that he's voicing his opinion on such a hot button topic means that he must be really irked by it. And who can blame him? The Big 12 has become a farce with teams trying to hold the conference hostage until they bend to their demands. There's no other major conference that has had more turmoil in the past year than the Big 12 and Pinkel is correct to call it embarrassing.

On Monday, the Kansas City Star reported Missouri had received an invitation to the SEC on the condition that the Big 12 collapsed. However, after the Pac-12 announced that it was not going to expand, it left the remaining Big 12 to work out its problems and the status of Missouri's future affiliation up in the air. Even though Missouri is likely to stay in the Big 12, Pinkel isn't convinced realignment is over.

"You never know. We thought this thing was over … it's been over like four times," Pinkel said. "Last year, the whole thing was going to change. I don't know what's going to happen. Next year is it going to start brewing up again? I don't know. It's unbelievable.

"We've got problems in our league. OK? And we all know what most of them are. But we don't solve them. We've lost three really good members in a year and a half and we think we'd maybe wake up and try and fix the problems so we can have a great league. Because until the problems are fixed, this stuff's going to be happening and it's going to go on and on. And it's not a whole lot of fun to be a part of."

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