July 28, 2015

Kansas was part of a pitch to join four other schools from the Big XII to jump ship to the Big Ten

Big XII

Big XII

Below is a blog from Missourinet affiliate KTGR/Columbia-Matt Michaels.

Mizzou’s membership in the SEC would have been a fantasy if the Tigers’ old rivals had jumped ship first… and it may have had a chance of happening.

A report in the Omaha World-Herald says an unnamed Big 12 athletic director pitched some Big 10 athletic directors on a potential expansion plan in June 2010. The plan would have seen five Big 12 members jump ship: Oklahoma, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Nebraska… and Kansas.

The idea got a good reception from the Big 10, but got hung up on a revenue-sharing plan that would satisfy everyone. Reportedly, it would take three to four years for all the schools to reap the financial benefits, and when Nebraska and Colorado left the conference on their own, the five-team deal was dead on the vine.

Never mind who orchestrated the “Big 16″ plan – Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione and Iowa State’s Jamie Pollard are the only AD’s in that group of five still in the Big 12 now – but it would make the most sense to be someone in that pack of teams. The deal also would have broken up the oldest college rivalry west of the Mississippi.

You know, the same MU-KU rivalry the folks in Lawrence refuse to reignite because the Tigers “ditched them” for the SEC. The rivalry the Jayhawks apparently were ready to abandon long before Missouri’s move down south.

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Senior cornerback leaving Mizzou football program. Fifth scholarship player gone since the spring

David Johnson (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

David Johnson (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

David Johnson, a redshirt senior cornerback from Spring, TX is leaving the Mizzou football program.  Johnson played in 19 games for the Tigers and was named the team’s most improved defensive back by coaches prior to the start of the 2013 season.

Career highlights:

2014 SEASON
Played in seven games on the season, registered five tackles (all unassisted) with a TFL … Had a career-high four tackles at Toledo (Sept. 6) including a tackle for loss … Also forced a fumble against Toledo.

2013 SEASON
Played in 12 games as a sophomore, finishing with three tackles for the Tiger defense … made a tackle in the SEC Championship Game against Auburn … had two stops and one TFL in the 58-14 win over Murray State (Aug. 31).

The top four cornerbacks on the Mizzou depth chart are: Kenya Dennis (Sr., 5-11/195), John Gibson (Jr., 6-0/190), Aarion Penton (Jr., 5-10/185) and Logan Cheadle (Soph., 5-10/180).

Johnson makes it five players on scholarship who have left the program.  Marcus Loud was kicked off the team for violating team rules and three others transferred–OL Jordan Williams from Denton, TX, DB Shaun Rupert from Montgomery, AL, and DL Evan Winston from Muskegon Heights, MI.

If Mizzou wants respect, they simply need to win…bigger games

Another conference championship game, another disappointing loss for Gary Pinkel

Another conference championship game, another disappointing loss for Gary Pinkel

I’ll start by saying I have no emotional ties to the University of Missouri.  I didn’t attend the school, didn’t grow up in this state and I’m actually still a couple of years away from saying I’ve lived half my life in the Show-Me State.  So perhaps, I’ll be able to bring a little perspective and share my theory to Missouri football fans from an outsider’s view as to why there is a lack of respect directed towards the team.

Yesterday, SEC Media made their predictions on where they thought each team would finish.  Missouri was not picked to win the Eastern Division.  Were you surprised?  They were picked third behind, 7-6 Tennessee and Georgia who is picked to win the division.  Before last season, after winning their first Eastern title, the Tigers were not expected to repeat.  After a 5-7 debut, nobody dreamed the Tigers could compete.  Yet each time, Missouri proved the doubters wrong by winning an SEC division.  While still shocked, SEC media wrote off the early success to a “down” Eastern Division with all the talent in the west.

Today, the All-SEC team was announced by the media.  This includes offense, defense and special teams.  This includes first team, second team and third team selections.  In all, 78 positions available…Missouri had two players named to the list…and they were third team selections.  Kentrell Brothers, who is the SEC’s top returning tackler and Evan Boehm, who has started 40 straight games and was a a First Team Freshman All-American by College Football News at left guard in 2012.  That was before he volunteered to switch positions and learned how to play center.  That’s it!  Just two spots out of 78. The same number of players as Kentucky and fewer than Mississippi State, who was picked for last place.

That’s just a quick snapshot of the disrespect fans feel is paid to Missouri.  A team that has more wins with Gary Pinkel than Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze, the same amount of wins as Mark Richt and Les Miles and just one fewer than Steve Spurrier in the three years that the Tigers have been a member of the SEC.

I’m not even sure Spurrier has much respect for Missouri.  At his press conference this week, he paid a backhanded compliment to Pinkel’s program.

Gary Pinkel disputes a call during the Tigers loss to Auburn during the SEC Championship game.

Gary Pinkel disputes a call during the Tigers loss to Auburn during the SEC Championship game.

“They do a super job.  They really maximize the talent they have…and their offense does enough to win. Yeah we have that little trophy that we call “The Battle of Columbia’s.”  They got it last year, scored two at the end on us.  It’s a nice little rivalry.”

Words like maximize, or get the most out of what you have, that little trophy, nice little rivalry.  At least one division rivals doesn’t respect Missouri to give them their due credit.  To the HBC, Mizzou is nothing more than the little engine that could.

Before the SEC,  Missouri had no fewer than eights wins a season in the final six years in the Big 12, finishing with an average of 9.3 wins per season.

They rack up wins, they go to bowl games, they’re sending players to the NFL and they’re getting drafted in the first round.  So, where is the problem?  Why is Missouri not respected?

They don’t win enough big games. Yes, they’re putting up big win totals, but they’re not getting the big W’s.  Plain and simple.  Outsiders look at the Missouri Tigers and say yeah that’s great, you’ve averaged nine wins since 2006 and have won four division championships, but you’re 0-4 in conference championship games and you’ve lost those by a combined scored of 201-97 (an average of 50-24).

From 2004 to the Tigers final season in the Big 12, they went a combined 5-12 against Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas…the powerhouses of that conference.  Since their arrival in the SEC, Mizzou is just 4-5 against Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, they biggest division foes.

I understand the frustrations of being left out of the national talk, but they can’t lose 34-0 at home to Georgia, two weeks after an embarrassing loss to Indiana.  Beat the Bulldogs or even score some points and people forgive the Hoosier hiccup. Don’t blow a 17-0, 4th quarter lead at home to South Carolina for your only regular season loss.  Don’t go 2-3 against ranked teams in ’08 (by the way the ranked wins over #20 Illlinois and #22 Northwestern…the losses? #17 OSU, #1 Texas and #4 Oklahoma) and don’t lose to Oklahoma twice in the same year like ’07.

Since that ’07 season, the Tigers are 14-22 against Top 25 teams.

Missouri has had some big wins, and the program has come a long way since the days of Woody and Stull, but not enough…at least to the outsiders.

 

Media picks Mizzou third in the SEC East behind Tennessee and favored Georgia. Auburn picked to win the championship (VIDEO)

Maty Mauk doesn't worry about the lack of respect for Mizzou in the SEC

Maty Mauk doesn’t worry about the lack of respect for Mizzou in the SEC

Georgia was selected to win the SEC Eastern Division with 1,498 points, including 166 first-place votes. Tennessee was second with 1,231 points and 36 votes to win the division, while Missouri was third with 1,196 total points. The two-time defending East representative in the SEC Championship game also received 20 votes to win a third consecutive division title.

The craziness of the Southeastern Conference was showcased in the annual media voting at SEC Media Days, as for the first time in the 23-year history in the poll, media were divided on divisional champion and overall SEC Champion. By a narrow margin, the Auburn Tigers were picked by media in attendance to capture the 2015 SEC Championship. Auburn received 96 SEC Championship votes, while the Alabama Crimson Tide was close behind with 80. The Georgia Bulldogs were third with 28 votes.

Alabama, however, was picked to win the SEC Western Division with 1,405 total points, while Auburn was second with 1,362. Alabama received 92 first-place votes in the West, while Auburn collected 108. The Crimson Tide won the Western Division vote due to receiving just three votes for fourth place or lower in the Western Division, while Auburn received 26 such votes. Points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale.

Five times since 1992 the SEC Media Days predicted champion has proceeded to win the SEC Championship, including Alabama last season.

I chat with a media member who picked Mizzou to win the Eastern Division.  Hear his reasons why.

[Read more…]

After a 1,000 yard rushing season, Mizzou’s Hansbrough finds himself on the Doak Walker Award watch list

Russell Hansbrough

Russell Hansbrough

Mizzou tailback Russell Hansbrough has been named to the 2015 Doak Walker Award Watch List. The award is given to the nation’s top collegiate running back. This is the second major preseason watch list for Hanbrough, who landed on the Maxwell Award Watch list earlier this month.

Hansbrough has rushed for nearly 2,000 yards in his Mizzou career, and led Mizzou with his first 1,000-yard season in 2014, totaling 1,084 yards, good for sixth in the SEC despite starting just three games.  He was also seventh in the SEC in rush yards per game. Hansbrough was SEC Offensive Player of the Week and National Tailback of the Week following a 199-yard outburst at Texas A&M, the 10th-best single-game rush total in program history.

The winner of the Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The College Football Awards show on Thursday, December 10, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas in early 2016.

The award, which will name its 26th recipient in 2015, is named for SMU’s three-time All-America running back Doak Walker. It is the only major collegiate award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification.