ATLANTA, GA -- The Tigers' signature M-I-Z cheer is normally heard on a football field or basketball court in Missouri but on Wednesday it was heard at a ball room in Atlanta, Georgia. Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton and Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loften decided to host a welcome reception in the heart of the southeast.
Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden said, "Initially we kind of thought, 'Boss, that's a great idea, but son of a gun that's another event. How are we going to do this?' Because we knew it would be a lot of work. But as Dr. Deaton looked at that, he said this will give us a chance to really be able to plant our flag in S-E-C territory."
Mizzou Chancellor Deaton commented, "Well I think it's just to say to the world, and particularly the southeastern region, that we're thrilled to be here joining it with our colleagues Texas A&M University."
The event featured Texas A&M and Missouri presidents, athletic directors, and football coaches Kevin Sumlin and Gary Pinkel... Both who understand they'll be under a microscope this fall.
"Nationally they're going to see these two teams from the Big 12 come in, A&M and Missouri, coming into the SEC, and there's going to be a lot of evaluations based on that. I understand," said Tiger head coach Gary Pinkel.
Alden, Deaton and Pinkel agreed, they feel very welcomed into the new conference. Alden said, "Anywhere that we're at in SEC country, folks are so welcoming and so excited about Mizzou being part of the family, so it's been pretty special."
Attendees of Wednesday's events said that Atlanta is not just the perfect city because of its location in the heart of the SEC, but because there are more than fourteen-hundred Mizzou alum in the area. Tigers everywhere nationally are anticipating the statement that will be made down south this fall.