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: Apr 13, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:31 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

SEC bowl tie ins are no different.

Since: Apr 13, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:30 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Ohio State vs. Michigan is the best football rivalry.

Since: Nov 4, 2007
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:22 am

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Well, if the Big 12 wants Mizzou to stay, its time they start focusing on the changes needed to help keep Missouri around.   Its a two way street.   If the Big 12 would rather keep the status quo, then that's their choice but don't just blame Missouri for it.   Hopefully the Big 12 will find suitable replacements who will be okay with having their nose ring yanked around.

The fact that the bowl tie ins aren't dependant upon conference standings and are a popularity contest is enough for me to support a change of scenery.   I'd rather stay in the Big 12 but things would have to change for the better for everyone and not just the top two football schools of the conference.

Since: Jun 2, 2011
Posted on: October 5, 2011 9:29 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

I totally understand what this article is talking about. Living in KC it's easy to see how this decision will impact more then just a conference and football or basketball games. Entire cities and traditions will be lost. But with that being said, let's not point the finger at Mizzou and say it's all your fault. The teams that left made those decisions on their own. And let's not overlook the fact that Oklahoma, OSU, Texas, and Texas Tech are only in the Big 12 right now because the PAC-12 didn't want to expand. If they had left this would be a nonissue and the other teams would be fending for themselves. Mizzou is focusing on what it needs to do for the university, a feeling every school in this conference has in common and something every they have all acted on at some point since this conference was created with the merger. Not once have the schools banded together without something forcing their hand. The way I see it, Mizzou is in the same boat that Texas and Oklahoma where in several weeks ago. And the SEC is in the same position as the PAC-12. If the SEC wants to expand and take MU, then they will get them. If they don't, the MU stays in the BIG 12. I'm a MU alumni and fan and I hope MU stays in the BIG 12, but I would understand if it doesn't. Here's how I see it: 1. The BIG 12 is talking about expansion and says it has interest from other school, but the only people dropping names are sports writers from unidentified sources. The conference has had over a year to get it's act together and send invitations and hasn't. Hell, the ACC added two teams faster. 2. It's great that Texas volunteered to share tier 1 and 2 revenue equally, but it wasn't until the PAC-12 said no thanks and Mizzou started looking to leave. And given the back and forth over the LHN, can you blame MU or any other team in this conference for not questioning Texas' motives. How long before they pull another stunt? 3. This point plays off point 2. Even with equal revenue sharing, this conference is anything but equal. Texas feels it is entitled to the spoils, even after last years debacle in football. Nebraska and Oklahoma had/have the same feeling, just not to the extent. MU, KU, Iowa State, and K-State have been looked upon as the little siblings. Eventually you grow up and move out where you can make an impact and a difference. There needs to be balance throughout the league, something the BIG 12 has never been able to achieve. I would hate to see the MU-KU rivalry die, but one game, even with all the history, will not change the schools course. There is too much at stake. You need to factor in all the variables and decide what is right for your students, athletes, and university. My worst fear is that MU says, "we can't leave look what it would do to KU, ISU, KSU, TX, OK, OSU, TT, and Baylor." Then the next year the PAC-12 changes it's mind and OU and Texas jump ship leaving the rest of the conference in disarray. And don't say that won't happen, they'll have a contract. Really, because coaches and universities break contracts all the time, the punishment isn't strong enough to deter the action. In this time of conference realignment you need too make the choices that benefit your school, or get into a conference where the schools act as a unified force or organization.

Since: Mar 19, 2010
Posted on: October 5, 2011 9:22 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

If misery wants a game at Arrowhead, the should get MissSU, TAM, or some other SEC homer for their B*%ch. If they end up screwing KC, MO out of the Big 12 Tourney, I'd be hard pressed to let them in the city limits.

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: October 5, 2011 8:28 pm

KU town? Funny, few showed up at Arrowhead

crowd was, what 80% MU?  And even the 2007 game, which was the KU "home" game, it was clearly 50-50.  Has been more Mizzou each game since....even with Lawrenec 90 miles closer than Columbia.  I really, really hate Dennis Dodd.  It's not just his skewed take design to get comments (guilty) and page view. It's the blatent inaccuracies in his articles, as well.  If the MU-KU FB game at Arrowhead ends, how would that be anyone's fault other than KU's?

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: October 5, 2011 5:34 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Actually it was a few years back, even before the LHN even existed that Missouri wanted into the Big 10 and lobbied for it. Missouri would dearly love a conference rivalry with Illinois that is already has in the NFL & MLB. But the Big 10 conference has a yankee north midwest flavor in its attitude. Missouri is considered "south" in its way of thinking. This is why the SEC probably sees this University as one of its own in lifestyle and invite it in when the dust settles.  

Since: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: October 5, 2011 5:01 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

As a Mizzou fan, I'm not really sure what to think about the whole thing. On the one hand, I don't blame Missouri for trying to find greener pastures. The Big 12 just isn't that stable, despite all the agreeing the other schools have been doing lately. Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State all tried to leave. There's no reason they wouldn't try again. If the Big 12 locked up some kind of deal for at least 10 years or something and brought in TCU, BYU, Louisville, West Virginia or teams like that, I'd be in favor of them staying. If they go, I will certainly miss the rivalry with KU, even though my hatred for them runs deep. The biggest loser in the whole thing would be Kansas City. We would likely lose the Big 12 tourney along with the annual game at Arrowhead. If they leave, that will be the worst part. But if they leave, I can't say I blame them. But MU-Arkansas or MU-LSU just doesn't have the same appeal.

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: October 5, 2011 2:22 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

You are a living breathing, billboard for everything that is good and noble about abortion.  Your mother must regret that non-decision every day of her life, and more so even on days he sees your warped balding dome.  Like Daniel Day Lewis / Daniel Plainview said to Eli in There will be blood, you are just the afterbirth, the slime on you mother's thigh.  You belong on the mantle, in a glass jar.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:56 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Wait, so the fact that the conference is on the brink of extinction has nothing to do with Texas, OU, A&M, Nebraska, or Colorado? Weird. And for the record, if KU or K-State were in Mizzou's situation they would be doing the exact same thing. If you think otherwise, you're just a blind homer. KU just wants Mizzou to sink with the ship and join them eventually in the Sun Belt conference.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or