Blog Entry

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Posted on: October 5, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 10:22 am
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Welcome to the Big Doughnut Hole.

This used to be the center of the college universe. At least one of them. This city still has hosted more Final Fours (10) than any other. It's a Chiefs town first and a Jayhawks town second. Most of all, it's a melting pot with a sizable amount of Iowa State, Nebraska, Missouri alums here as well.

We have the NFL and Major League baseball (barely) but it's a college town more than anything. A better college town than New York or L.A. We are connected by our teams and events. They give us our sense of self.

The annual Big 12 basketball tournament is a gathering place to drink, gossip and people watch. The Missouri-Kansas football game at Arrowhead is an event that traces its roots back to the Civil War. Kansas, and all its basketball history, is 40 miles away. Bill Snyder is still working miracles down the road at Kansas State.

But with Missouri declaring its intentions to look around on Monday night, suddenly there is no center here. Just a big hole where that gathering place used to be. You can feel it. To the right of us, probably soon, will be the SEC (Missouri);  a short three-hour drive to the north of us is the Big Ten (Nebraska). To our left will be what's left of the Big 12 (Kansas and Kansas State).

Kansas City could become a great staging area for GameDay's equipment semis in the Midwest, but for the actual college experience, it's slipping away. The Big 12 tournament is now in danger. It will continue, somewhere. But it has to be hard to anchor a conference tournament in a state where the league has no teams.

The Kansas-Missouri rivalry is now in danger too. That's another shame. After the Iron Bowl and the Red River Rivalry, it is the best.

A few years ago, they moved MU-KU football to Arrowhead Stadium and it became a spectacle. In 2007, No. 2 Kansas lost to No. 3 Missouri and the Tigers became No. 1. ABC/ESPN still counts the game among its most highly-rated in history.

But like that Wicked Witch, it's all melting away. I know this because Bill Self didn't hold back Tuesday when Missouri declared its intentions

Kansas' basketball coach told the Lawrence Journal-World that the MU-KU series may be over.

" ... I don't think I would be interested in having a once-a-year game like I did when I was at Illinois, playing Missouri," Self said. "I could probably change my mind (but) trust me, we would have no trouble finding a non-league game to play.

"I love the rivalry .. but I can't imagine why would we continue playing?"

Which is sad because the basketball series goes back to 1907. The football series goes back to the 1890s. Kansas, like a lot of folks in Kansas City and the Big 12, are upset at Missouri. By taking its ball to the SEC, it would be impacting that Big 12 tournament. It would damage the Kansas rivalry.

Point being: Why put money in Missouri's pocket by playing a non-conference game?

"I have no ill will toward Missouri at all," Self said, "but to do something at a time that could be so damaging and hurtful to a group, I can't see us just taking it and forgetting ."

If this is truly the end , then someone may want to hire extra security for what could be the final regular-season Border War game in history -- Feb. 25 in Lawrence. Forget the fans for a moment, there are scores of sportswriters who would shed tears over the end of this epic rivalry.

We are losing that sense of self here in Cowtown. Clearly, Missouri administrators don't care. The SEC doesn't care. The networks will continue to televise games. They don't care.

Conference realignment goes on unabated. Traditional rivalries are being cut down like rainforests. Our natural habitat is being destroyed. Is this a good thing for college athletics? No, that's not really the point.

Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas called modern conferences "scheduling opportunities" and "amalgamations". I called them "content farms."

Now it's hitting home. It would suck to be a doughnut hole.

 

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Comments

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 1:46 am
 

Rock M Nation says it well

 The "anonymous source says Mizzou really wanted the Big Ten" story got national headlines. My goodness. This drove me crazy for two reasons: A) Of course Mizzou pursued the Big Ten first. Remember 2010? That still happened. There are varying reports about just how strongly Mizzou pursued the Big Ten -- I've had pretty trustworthy people tell me both that Mizzou was just doing its due diligence in case the B1G showed interest, and that Mizzou and the B1G had basically reached a "done deal" agreement before Nebraska entered the fray -- but clearly something happened last year, and it isn't news. B) You can get a catty, anonymous source to say anything, and running with such a nothing story based on said catty source is lazy and done just to get people fired up. People are fired up enough already.



Since: Jul 25, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 2:39 pm
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Coachhoss - If we are irrelevant then why does it matter.  Everyone is after their own interests period.  Mizzou would be stupid to not take care of themselves as best they can.  You guys are one of the best teams in history.  We are not.  We are a good team (way better than say A&M) over the last 10 years and we have a decent long run history.  But we are not OU and TX.  We already get this.  That is why we have to move somewhere where we don't get left out later.  That could happen if you all decide a year from now or whenever that you and TX are leaving.  We can't sit around an hope you guys help us out because you won't.  If you take the emotion out of the equation, Mizzou's choice is a no brainer.  If they can get into the SEC they have to do it - regardless of how hard it makes it on their record.  We can't get left out later and end up in the Mountain west or wherever.  That would be irrelevant.  But the idea that the Big 12 is offering stability of any kind just because you all and Tx now want to stay is ridiculous.



Since: Oct 28, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

I literallly laughed out loud at the conferences that go team go posted. That's hilariously bad



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

The Kansas-Missouri rivalry is now in danger too. That's another shame. After the Iron Bowl and the Red River Rivalry, it is the best.

 

This is an utterly ignorant comment, but not much of a surprise considering Dodd is a Mizzou grad and has his nose permanently affixed to the SEC's buttcrack.




Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:02 pm
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Yeah ellupo, they were actually shooting each other, take a US history class and you might know that

I never questioned whether they were shooting or not.  I questioned that the game is this huge rivalry because of that shooting.  I will take my history class and you learn how to comprehend what you are reading.



Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Missouri will get back in line...We will see if the SEC actually wants them.  if they do, you can go be irrelevant in another conference.



Since: Jul 25, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:47 pm
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

When was MU giving OU and TX crap for looking elsewhere.  What they were doing while OU and TX were looking west was they were looking east.  Frankly most Mizzou fans hoped you guys would go so that we could just go to the SEC that way.  But then you all got rejected by the Pac 12 and now you all come back and say hey let's hold hands for six years with a buyout that we can afford but you all can't.  Get in line little Missouri.  Sorry guys - we are not in line with you this time.  PS.  Tell your boy Boren - great press conference.  That really helped rebuild trust.  



Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Missouri was one of the first to look at leaving the Big 12...then Nebraska also looked and the big 10 took Nebraska.  What I don't like is Missouri's timing.  Why look now that the conference is starting to look a little more settled.  They were giving OU and texas crap for looking towards the pac 12 and then turn around and look to leave later.   Missouri is just as much to blame for the problems in the big 12 as anybody else!



Since: Oct 19, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:15 pm
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

The best college football rivalry was destroyed when the Big 8 became the Big 12.  Nebraska-Oklahoma.  With Texas pulling all the strings, it's only a matter of time before the basketball tournament is moved to Texas, just like the football championship.  Missouri banged on the Big 10's door last year and then criticized Nebraska when it received the invitation.  Good luck in the SEC, Mizzou...if it'll have you.




Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:13 pm
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

I hate how Missouri is getting all this crap for trying to move out of the a conference that has an uncertain future mainly due to the moves made by THREE OTHER SCHOOLS PREVIOUSLY. They're just trying to make sure they don't end up in no man's land, forced into independancy or into some sh*t conference. If you want to put the blame on someone, blame Texas for taking all the money, the Big 12 for giving all the money to Texas, or the other three teams that already bailed.


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