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: Oct 5, 2011
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:48 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Missouri has no business wondering around down south exploring another league. It has too many years of history in the wonderful midwest. This history is built into the DNA of the school. Rather than move, it should refocus on resolving outstanding problems and remain with its fellow teams in the region. Anything less is a sellout and those behind the decision will be put on the wall of shame for life.

Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:46 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

That comment was talking about this post
"Did you really just say that Kansas-Missouri is better rivalries than Ohio State/Michigan (American sports greatest rivalry), Army-Navy, Florida-Georgia, USC-Notre Dame, West Virginia-Pitt, and even Texas A&M-Texas?  You wonder why people stop reading and commenting on CBS' website."

Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:44 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

This comment right here is the reason that it is so sad.....

1.) Florida's biggest rival was FSU until the change in conferences Florida/Georgia are you kidding me. Im not a KU or MU fan but your nuts to think that "rivalry is bigger than KU/MU

2.) Every rivalry you mentioned is only football based. Sure there are some basketball games from time to time that matter with the two schools but MU/KU is not just a football rivalry its huge if not bigger in Basketball and the history in both programs at both schools is longer and richer than anything mentioned above.

3.) Read the whole post it also talks about how Kansas City would lose out the biggest. Arrowhead would no longer hold the MU/KU game. BIg 12/10/9/8 what ever they are going to be will not hold any basketball tournament in KU because it wont be the center of the conference, and people still don't realize the NCAA sports hall of fame is located in KC I would move it if KC becomes the donut hole it is expected to be if MU leaves.

Don't read one part of the article and then bash it, read the whole thing to get the true thesis of the article.

Since: Sep 25, 2007
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:44 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Dennis, every time you feel the need to write an article about Mizzou, KU, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas City, etc.  remember to ask yourself "Would I be writing this obviously regional piece if I weren't a Mizzou grad?" If the answer is no change your topic to SEC football. If the answer is yes you're probably wrong.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:43 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

As a Mizzou fan, i can understand why Dodd has the Mizzou/KU rivalry ranked 3rd. If you consider the history and what makes them rivals, there's actually a lot of bad blood.  Now as far as quality of the rivalry goes, it's really just about hate. Considering their entire history, both programs have no better than average football programs so other than the #2 vs. #3 game we had a few years ago, the games have been very low key. As for basketball, KU pretty much dominates that matchup. Rarely have you seen both teams great at the same sport while playing each other and that's why many think that the rivalry is overrated.

And being a KC guy, it is not a Chiefs town first and Jayhawks town second.  The Royals are easily bigger in KC than the Jayhawks and if the Royals were a decent team they would actually be more popular in this town than the Chiefs. Within 3 years, the town will be painted in royal blue again like it was in the 80s.

Here's a suggestion to the Big 12, instead of being passive this whole damn time and watching team after team leave, why not actually be proactive and try to bring teams in and get it back to 12. If the Big 12 would try bringing in some quality programs right now, Mizzou wouldn't even consider leaving. In such an unstable conference right now, Mizzou would be dumb not to explore other options.

Since: Jul 15, 2011
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:41 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Oldschool, you mean the Missouri team that lost to the Hawkeyes in the Insight Bowl last year?  Why would the B1G take that team over Nebraska?  Answer:  They wouldn't because Mizzou is OVERRATED.

Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:35 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Basketball vs Football.

Options vs. No Options

Missouri has options KU does'nt.
A year or two from now Iowa St., will be mad at KU and KSU for leaving because they will be left behind and they have no (better) options.
Remember this is the same Missouri that threw dirt at Nebraska a year ago, when Missouri was the first to flirt with the Big 10. Big 10 took Nebraska. Left Missouri behind. Now MU has options. BTW - maybe the Big 10 should have took Missouri (also/instead) of Nebraska. Did you see that Wisconsin game?

Bill Self remember you've always taken advantage of your options.

Since: Oct 30, 2008
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:29 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

I know.  Unbeleivable how these guys think they are bigger than their britches.  Who cares about the MU vs KU rivalry?  It has no impact anywhere but backassword Kansas City.

KU and MU certainly didn't care to destroy one of the greatest rivalries OU vs Nebraska when the Big 12 started.  So hypocritical.  So self serving.

If KU really wants to preserve the MU KU rivalry, then stand up to Texas for once.  Makes me laugh that the problem has always been Texas, but KU only has the balls to stand up and attack MU.

Since: Jul 15, 2011
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:25 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

Dennis Dodds, you really need a reality check.  First, KC is the largest city in MO, and that inandof itself is pathetic.  Long Beach, CA, Fresno, Tucson, Albuqueque, OK City, Vegas, El Paso, Austin, San Jose, etc are ALL LARGER in population than KC, and none has big league football or baseball.  Why?  Because they don't deserve them.  Stop crying about the State of Missouri ~ much like you, it's best years are decades gone.

Since: May 6, 2009
Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:20 pm

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

It really bugs me to agree with a beaker but kcsprtsfan3 is dead on.  Kansas City does not have a major school but KU & Mizzou are huge here with a large contingent of K-State, Iowa State and Nebraska fans thrown in the mix.  When you listen to sports radio in KC college sports are almost always one of the topics.  KU basketball is a hot topic from October until their usual flame out in March.  (sorry I could not help myself).  Mizzou has solid basketball and football that is always a topic and K-state is always good enough to to be included in the conversation.

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