University of Missouri athletics is in rare territory with both the football and basketball teams in the Associated Press Top 25.
The Missouri Tigers travel to Iowa State this weekend, the 15th ranked football team in the country.; 8-and-2 overall, 4-and-2 in the Big 12 Conference. The Tigers basketball team begins the season at 15th. MU is one of only four schools to have both its football and basketball teams in the Top 25.
MU Athletic Director Mike Alden says such success should deliver a damaging blow to the infamous MU paranoia.
“There’s always a skepticism, I think, about us as Missourians, about things. Whether that translates to the Show Me State attitude, whatever that may be,” Alden tells the Missourinet. “I just think it’s a healthy skepticism is the way I have always tried to approach that.”
Alden says a big part of his job is the change attitudes about what can be possible.
“Hopefully, it’s changed and hopefully it’s getting more positive. And I think success will do that,” Alden says.
Alden says success on the Columbia campus spreads behind just the two major sports. He points out that the volleyball, wrestling, baseball and softball teams have been successful of late. Athletes in other sports have excelled.
It’s not all about athletic success, either. Alden is proud of the high-profile programs at the university. Gary Pinkel is completing his 10th year as the head football coach, building a program that had entered a state of decline. Pinkel hasn’t just enjoyed success on the field. The football team ranks 5th nationally in academics among major college football programs. Alden says Mike Anderson, entering his 5th season at Missouri, has brought the program back to national prominence and also has his players in the classroom, studying.