Alright, I’ve Had Enough

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe

For once, I am actually okay with the BCS.  I don’t like the Fiesta Bowl, but overall, I’m happy.  First, give the mid-majors a chance against one of the big boys.  Second, TCU and Boise St. played in last year’s Poinsettia Bowl with TCU prevailing 17-16.  We don’t need a rematch.  But no, this is not what this post is about.  This post is down to a more personal level.  I’m a Missouri fan and I’m sick of the Big 12.

For the third year in a row it was announced that Mizzou was going to a lower bowl than we deserve.  Three years ago we trounced Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl while Kansas, who we beat 36-28, went to the Orange Bowl.  Last year we beat Northwestern in the Alamo Bowl while Nebraska, who we beat 52-17, went to the Gator Bowl.  Now this year, we’re headed to the Texas bowl against Navy while 6-6 Iowa State will head to the Bowl and 6-6 Texas A&M takes on Georgia in the Independence Bowl.  We’re 8-4 and beat Iowa State 34-24 just a few  short weeks ago.  There is no excuse for two 6-6 teams to jump an 8-4 for bowl placement.  None.

But the Bowl is trying.

The popular reason I’ve seen is that Iowa State brought 20,000 fans to Phoenix the last time they were there in 2000.  That’s wonderful, but that was the first bowl game the Cyclones had been to in 22 years.  Do you really think 20,000 people are going to make that trip to see Iowa State play 6-6 Minnesota?  I really doubt it.  The Golden Gophers have now been to Phoenix for three of the last four years and they have never won it.

The Texas Bowl isn’t bad.  It’s actually better in every way except perception for the Tigers.  It’s in Houston, where we recruit heavily.  We get to play a decent 8-4 Navy team instead of a bad Minnesota team.  The game will be televised on ESPN rather than the NFL Network which no one gets.  I just feel like that slight has a snowball effect.  What happens next year when Missouri and another team are equal?  I can tell you which team will get pushed down.  I can also tell you who’s to blame.  Dan Beebe.

I guess I’m unsure of the duties of a Commissioner of a power conference, but I would imagine that one is lobbying for the best treatment for the teams in your conference.  Beebe doesn’t do this or he would’ve made sure this didn’t happen once, much less three years in a row.  This doesn’t even take into account Mizzou’s woman’s soccer team who won this year’s Big 12 regular season title and was snubbed from the tournament making it the first time a regular season conference champion from a BCS conference failed to be selected for postseason play (for soccer, and I’m fairly certain this goes for any sport, but I’m not 100% sure).  Don’t you think Mr. Beebe could have sent a few emails out about that one?  Anyway, I have a suggestion.

Missouri should bolt to the Big 10.

They have 11 teams already and this would allow the Big 10 to get their Championship game.  The Big 10 actually assigns bowls based on conference standing.  If you finish sixth, you’re going to the sixth place game in the Big 10.  That’s how it goes.  None of this “Oklahoma is normally good! Let’s move them up in the bowl rankings even though they sucked this year!”  They’re 7-5, by the way, headed to the Sun Bowl.  Ask the 2000 Kansas State Wildcats if they agree with me on this.

The Big 10 has its conference powers like Ohio State and Penn State, but everyone else seems to be on a level playing field and they are given a great chance to beat the top dogs (see Iowa this year).  Do you think that Mizzou would have been left out of the BCS in 2007 if they had played in the Big 10?  No, because they beat Illinois who went to the Rose Bowl and they would have had a better shot against Ohio State who got a bogus title shot that year.

There’s also the matter of the television contract.  The Big 10 has their own television network; the Big 12 does not.  It’s not hard to see which one would be more lucrative.

I must say, I don’t enjoy the Big 10.  Their football is boring.  They’re very traditional and well, slow.  I think it would be interesting to see how Mizzou’s fast-paced, explosive attack would fare against those kinds of teams week in and week out.  Maybe it would force them to change and update their styles to accommodate the true spread attack.

If this did ever happen, which it won’t, we would still be able to keep our rivalry with Kansas, it would just have to be out of conference.  Illinois and Kansas would just switch roles.

So that’s all, I’ll step off my soapbox.  I’m just annoyed that this team has been passed over three consecutive years in favor of inferior teams.  Once?  Fine.  Twice?  Okay, it better not happen again.  Three times?  Something needs to be changed.

2 Responses

  1. Bryan you are missing the point of the bowl games. Bowl games are not here to put good games together that we will watch and enjoy. The big deal of playing a later bowl game has diminished over the years. Bowl games are about money. Period. Why are you going to the Texas bowl? It is close enough for your fans to travel. College kids can make road trips and rich people can fly. It is the same reason UK has played a bowl game in Tennessee for the past four years. UK fans can easily make the drive to Nashville or Memphis. Unless you are in the top of the BCS or maybe 2nd in you conference, will you play in a “deserving” game. If you don’t prepare to be placed at a location in which profits are maximized.

    • I get what you’re saying and that’s absolutely right, that definitely explains last year’s slight to Nebraska. They travel in droves everywhere. That doesn’t explain being put behind kansas and Iowa State. Columbia is closer to both sites than either of those campuses. Mizzou’s averages 12,000+ more fans at their home games than ISU.

      The Texas Bowl was the last in line for the Big 12. I’d wager the casual fan doesn’t know that and if given the choice, they’ll watch the two 8-4 teams over two 6-6 teams. Still, I’m just annoyed that this keeps happening.

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