This is the it, the moment everyone has been waiting for – minus the butthurt KansASS fans and the sprinkle of other Big 12 fans crying around about the changing of the conference landscape: 7/1/12.
What has been a mere formality since the the beginning of basketball season is FINALLY official, and everyone can go back to business as usual.
Except, it won’t be business as usual for the four schools – Missouri, Texas A&M, West Virginia and TCU – that switched conference affiliation at midnight. It’s a whole new ballgame now.
For Missouri, its goodbye Bevo, KU and the rest of the Big 12 and hello sundresses, football is king and fellow secessionist of the South.
And not for one minute since the official announcement Missouri was moving south last November have I regretted the decision – even as the once-appeared-to-be-collapsing Big 12 added two more members (TCU, West Virginia to replace A&M, Mizzou). Not that it was mine to make, but it is off to bigger and better things.
Every Mizzou fan, whether or not we have one REAL answer why we left our former brothers of the Big 8, should feel the same. The Big 12 was once on the verge of Armageddon, rising from the smoke as Texas pretended to save the day. At the time, conference stability was reason alone to leave. The Big 12 appears more stable, but at any second it can fold. At any second, Texas and Oklahoma can leave. At any second Texas and Oklahoma can rule the conference from a state that the Big 8 adopted to their thriving conference with open arms, only to see all the power shift to the direction of its new members.
Oh, wait, that already has happened and Texas came out as the hero. Vomit. I won’t miss it, and nor should you Mizzou fans. DeLoss Dodds, Chip Brown and Dan Beebe (now Chuck “I have no freaking clue what I’m doing” Neinas) can all rot in Hell as far as I am concerned. Beebe apparently didn’t learn anything from the failures of appeasement during World War 2 and the conference almost died (like Europe was almost taken over by Hitler) because Beebe appeased Texas and did whatever they wanted. Let’s make no mistake about it, this conference was ran by a man – Dodds – and a school – Texas – with a puppeteer commissioner.
Dodds and Texas = Hitler. Beebe and Neinas = the European allies during World War 2 afraid to go to war with Hitler (Dodds).
And yes, I compared Dodds to Hitler.
So, adios Big 12. You too, Kansas. Have a nice life. I will miss you. No one can replace you, but we don’t need you like you need us, and you will coming crawling back because you need the rivalry. Someday, you – especially you Bill Self – will get over being butthurt and we’ll take ya back because we feel sorry for ya and because we never wanted to end it with you. That decision was yours. We had the offer on the table and you wiped your ass with it and threw it in the trash. Your pitiful excuse of, in a 3-year-old’s voice, “the rivalry belongs in the conference” is total bullshit, you know it, I know it, everyone knows it. It should be played, and you will soon realize it. But, if not, have a nice life. Enjoy Kansas State – the rivalry you have neglected all these years. The hatred won’t be the same, just like Arkansas (who will soon be a rival for Mizzou) won’t EVER be a replacement for you. I hope to see you again someday. It’s sad that you can’t get over your feelings for one minute to continue the greatest rivalry in the NATION. Nothing beats it. People died. There was bloodshed. Towns and counties were burned to the ground. Nothing beats KU-MU “Hate Week” and now it is all done because you can’t get over yourself to continued the longest running rivalry west of the Mississippi. Don’t feed me, “but you left” crap. Waa, waa, waa, waa.
F()ck off! I will hate you, always and forever. Just die in a fire and get it over with. Or a crash, anything. F()ck off and just go away, forever.
But hey, it was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?
And so was the Big 12, but the Big 8 died a little everyday once the Texas schools joined – as the Big 12 saved your asses from the dying Southwest Conference – and the power shifted to Dallas. The further from the Big 8 we got, it was no longer “our conference.”
Nebraska, more than anyone was pissed at this. When they left the Big 12 for the Big Ten a year ago, I wasn’t mad at them. I was happy. It changed the landscape of college sports. Now, it changes again as Missouri and A&M mark the fourth members (Colorado left a year ago with Nebraska, headed to the Pac 12) of the Big 12 to leave for greener pastures. That pretty much tells you all you need to know about the state of the Big 12. It is not fair to all members, and it never will be as the rich get richer and the rest just trek along.
The “grass is always greener” saying is always debunked, but, this time the grass really is greener, and I can’t be any more excited. You should be thrilled too. This is a great opportunity. Mizzou is now members of the greatest athletic conference in all of sports, and its now our time. Its a New Era for Mizzou, one that already started paying off once the announcement was made. Recruits – despite the naysayers claiming recruiting would take a huge hit – several of them, stated that being in the SEC was a major factor in coming to Mizzou, not a detractor. and a not-yet-complete 2013 recruiting class that is in Top 15 in the nation. The move will hurt recruiting, huh? How about the $30 million gift to the athletic department from the Kansas City Trust – the second biggest in school history – which will go mostly toward a new and improved Faurot Field.
SEC has already been great and its only just beginning.
No more rumors. No more speculation. No more shitting my pants with nervousness. It’s time to sit back, crack open a cold one (if that is your thing) and watch. We are where we are now, and its a long-term decision that will set the direction of the University for the rest of my life and hopefully longer. The level of competition Mizzou is about to face is about to change. The Big 12 is a great athletic conference, but the SEC is a whole other animal.
This is not about the money, although it will be more, but not a substantial amount, it is about stability. I still think the Big 12 is unstable, but not as much as I did previously. As Gary Pinkel stated on June 1, who ever wants to and/or tries to leave the SEC? Nobody. Because it is stable as stable can be, and will continue to be. Leaving the Big 12 is like leaving behind friends, some like-minded individuals, and some assholes and joining a family. Sure, that family also has some assholes, but they aren’t stabbing you in the back, threatening your property values or damaging your property and engaging in pissing matches. It’s a wonderful “freeing” feeling, and it feels great.
That said, I wish the Big 12 well. It was not bad to Missouri. The Tigers experienced the resurrection of their once proud football program – a small one behind Corby Jones, Devin West and Brock Olivo, that quickly died in 1999 almost as fast as it began, to its current one under Pinkel, which saw the Tigers rise from the Bottom of the Big 12 North to two Big 12 North titles, a game away from a BCS title game (ironically, isn’t it funny it is dying too?) with a No. 1 ranking to signing the top high school recruit in the nation, DGB behind and NFL machine that included the school’s two greatest QB’s Brad Smith and Chase Daniel – the two most important players in program HISTORY. Oh, and lets not forget two Elite Eights in basketball, three Women’s College World Series, a baseball Super Regional, conference titles in wrestling and soccer, conference tournament titles in basketball and baseball, an Elite Eight volleyball appearance, and the hiring of a spectacular group of classy coaches who have represented the school (mostly) well. Missouri has built a program that is strong both on the field and in the classroom, and they did so in the Big 12. It’s worth remembering that.
Let’s also not forget some of the memorable moments over the last 16 years: Mizzou sacking “Sod Reesing” in the endzone for a safety – not once, but twice – in winning two of the three memorable Border War games at Arrowhead, which included the greatest sporting event I have ever attended in the 2007 winner-take-all (Big 12 North and No. 1 ranking) Armageddon at Arrowhead showdown in what is the most important game in the rivalries history, to Brad Smith running wild (291 yards) in a 63-31 win over Texas Tech at Faurot, to finally beating Nebraska in 2003, ending a 30-year home drought and 25-year drought in the series, the 2010 Oklahoma game – from GameDay to Gahn McGaffie’s running back the opening kickoff to the ensuing celebration in the 36-27 win over Oklahoma, the 2005 Cotton Bowl when Tony Temple and Missouri dominated Peyton Hillis, Felix Jones and Darren McFadden 38-7 as I was the dividing line of Mizzou and Arkansas fans, to JT Tiller having a career game and Marcus Denmon hitting a full-court shot as Mizzou whipped Memphis to make the Elite 8 in 2009, the first Elite 8 appearance under Quin Snyder as the underachieving Tigers, the 12-seed last-team into the tournament Tigers put on their Cinderella slippers, to Kim English’s perfect play and magical run at Sprint Center in KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI as the Tigers won the Big 12 title in their last ever basketball event, to memorable KU games – including the epic one in Lawrence this year when Mizzou blew a 19-point lead, to Zaire Taylor hitting the game-winner in 2009, Thomas Gardner and Marcus Denmon both scoring 40 in magical come-from-behind wins and to Clarence “Tooty” Gilbert’s barrage of 3-pointers in a blowout at old Hearnes Center and last, but not least, Keyon Dooling’s “holy shit, did you just see that dunk” in Lawrence that confused the refs into calling a charge.
Really thats just the tip of the iceberg. So many memories in the last 16 years – 16 years that saw Mizzou transcend into what they are today and make it possible for this move into the New Era.
It’s been fun. Things are now going to get even more fun.