Blog Entry

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Posted on: October 5, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 10:22 am

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.



Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2011 9:32 am

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 statement alone should show you Dodd's bias.  The rest of the country would maybe put Army-Navy ahead of tOSU-ScUM as the best rivalry.  I guess Dodd does not understand college football as much as he wants everythong to believe.

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 9:22 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

JC, you are is not the 3rd biggest rivalry.  For it to be a great rivalry, you need the teams to both be good at the same time every once in a while.  KU did have a good football team for a couple of years when Mangini was eating Kansas State players for strength and Missouri has been solid in football but there is no consistency.  It is a good regional rivalry but nothing more. 

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2011 9:19 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Come on, Dodd.  Tell the truth.  The only reason you care about this is because you are a graduate of Missouri.  If it wasn't your alma mater, there is no way you would have written this article and tried to pretend that the MU-KU was an important rivalry in college football.

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2011 4:50 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Kansas-Missouri is not the 3rd best rivalry....  I guess they put that in just to see if we were paying attention?

Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: October 6, 2011 3:02 am

MIZZOU is Gone

It's clear that the only thing that can prevent MIZZOU from going to the SEC is a very fast invite from the Big 10, and I think it is maybe too late for even that. The majority of MO people seem to want the SEC.   I don't know what the Big 10 is doing, but taking a long time to take PN ST and NEB means they are sticking with tradition. They are probably waiting for ND, finally, and then a major northeast market.
I will call it right now, BC, to lock up an ND rival and the Catholic vote! 

Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: October 6, 2011 2:49 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Righty-O , KS-MIZZOU is the 3rd greatest rivalry, better than USC-ND, OH ST-MICH, GA-AUB, TX-TX A&M, Stanford-Cal, FL-FL ST, Army-Navy, etc.
It is a great old rivalry, but if it ends that will be on KS. I don't understand how anyone associated with the Big 12 can complain about the SEC and MIZZOU, after TX , OK, TXTech, and OK ST tried to do a jailbreak!  And yes, Ken Starr, that will all come out in your fantasy courtroom!
In the SEC, MIZZOU will have rivalries in the national spotlight, prime-time TV, not some hyped-up regional rivalries.  I have followed the SEC for over 40 years, have lived my whole life in SEC country and Houston. I guarantee, both A&M and MO will be competitive almost immediately, because the SEC brand draws top recruits. Teenagers know about NOW, they don't care about what happened in 1914, 1945, 1969. And frankly, the way our top teen "academic recruits" choose their colleges is just as superficial as the FB stars! They saw a ranking on the iternet.
A couple weeks ago, the AL-FL TV ratings smoked the WISC-NEB ratings, and both were blowouts. That's what this is really about. Period.

Since: Jul 25, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:38 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Don't worry the big 12 is all about sharing and being friends now.  I'm sure they won't take the tournament away from you.  I mean with all the trust and good will that has been built.  Maybe you all could just offer to play on the LHN for free in exchange for having the tournament in KC.  

Since: Jul 25, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:32 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

I'll answer this.  First of all the end of the LHN.  Second a Big 12 Network with equal sharing of that (3rd tier) money.  Third a long term deal that ensures that TX and OU don't jump ship (like they almost did two weeks ago) - six years is nothing.  What is mizzou supposed to do?  Sit around and wait until TX and OU don't want to be here any more?  They can afford the new buyout if they want.  Mizzou can't.  As Kevin Harlan said today "if you take emotion out of it, it's a no brainer."  Finally all the KC thing is a weak argument.  Mizzou has options.  It doesn't owe KU and Kstate anything.  Let's not pretend that they would stay for Mizzou.  Ku will play MU because while it puts money in Mizzou's pocket it puts it in KU's pocket as well.  2 million actually.

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:18 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Bludgeon, you tell me what changes need to be done for Missouri. I don't see any others griping anymore after what has already been done. They have already fired the commish, changed the TV revenue to balance the have and the have nots, what else since Missouri is so important

Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:38 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Yeah no kidding, right?  Kansas-Missouri ahead of Michigan-OSU?  Does Mr. Dodd even watch college football?

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