Saturday, March 17, 2012

so long. farewell. auf weidersein goodbye!

Sweet.  Epic.  Perfect.

All three adjectives are terrific descriptions for what we as a nation, we as Big XII fans, and we as Mizzou haters, witnessed yesterday.

Sweet.  Epic.  Perfect.

Norfolk State 86, Mizzou 84.

How does it taste, Tiger fan?  How does that shit taste?

Last year, the “fashionable” thing to do, if you were a Mizzou fan, was to buy VCU Final Four gear.  A really great guy in my bowling league actually wore a VCU Final Four shirt to said bowling league the Wednesday after KU crapped out to VCU, apparently because supporting your rival’s demise is a fun thing to.  (In his defense?  It is a fun thing to do.)

So how does it taste, Mizzou fan?  How does that shit taste?  You lost to Norfolk State.  Number 128 in the RPI.  A school that managed to score 36 in a 62-36 loss to Southern Illinois (number 100 in the RPI), who in case you didn’t know, finished with a losing record, just fired their coach, and the frontrunner to land their job is Bruce Weber.  Yes, THAT Bruce Weber, who took an Illini program that both Lon Kruger and Bill Self led to one seeds and deep runs in the tourney, and immediately turned it into the laughing stock of the Big Ten (plus two).  THAT’S who Southern Illinois views as their “savior”.

And even THEY beat Norfolk State by more than the 21 ½ point spread Mizzou was favored by entering yesterday’s contest.

After yesterday, Mizzou fan has forfeited in perpetuity the right to ever bring up UTEP, Belmont, Bradley, VCU, Northern Iowa.  Forfeited in perpetuity.  Why?  Because whatever “chokes” you assign to KU, NONE of them have come in the first round as a two seed.

(And as a side note, how is losing in the Elite 8 a “choke” job?  It’s only a “choke” if you’ve managed to get beyond the Elite 8.  Congratulations, Mizzou.  25 NCAA tournament appearances … ZERO Final Fours.  Always our bitch.  Always.)

The only reason I bring this up today … well that’s a lie.  I’d bring this up even if I didn’t have a reason.  This is too freaking sweet, too freaking epic, too freaking perfect, to not celebrate.  But the main reason I bring this up … is because now, its over.

Mizzou is off to the SEC, whoring itself out for a couple million more dollars in revenue rights every season, whizzing away centuries of conference ties, border wars, and meaningful rivalries in the process.  KU will remain in the Big XII, at least until their opportunity to engage in prostitution becomes a reality, and we bolt for the Big East, the Pac 12, or (if someone was really smart, they’d do this) some emerging Midwest Conglomerate that takes a couple power football schools, a couple power basketball schools, and grabs the best mid-majors in the region in either sport, and in true NASCAR fashion screams “have at it boys!” to get the thing started.

(Tell me this Power XII conference wouldn’t work: I’d have a North Division of KU, KSU, Iowa State, Creighton, Northern Iowa, and West Virginia; a South Division of OU, OSU, Wichita State, Texas Tech, Baylor, and TCU.  In football terms, you have five legit BCS bowl bid threats immediately, six if Baylor can replace RG3.  You’d also maintain the “round robin” format, because three schools don’t field D1 teams.  And spare me the “how can that ever get you BCS accredited” garbage, it works for the Big East after all.  In hoops, sweet Jesus is this conference loaded.  6 current tourney teams, with OU, OSU, Northern Iowa, and Texas Tech routinely in the field (but not this year).  And you could name the conference the “F*ck Texas Memorial” Conference, which at least ensures the current SEC and Pac 12 schools will be on board with giving it BCS accredidation.  Tell me this wouldn’t work.)

So if this is how the rivalry ends … color me pleasantly surprised, but ultimately sad.  I wish it had ended with one more epic clash, one more monumental showdown.  Instead, it ends as it usually did, with Mizzou on the losing end, in the receiving position, taking it yet again (25 times and counting!) just short of the sport’s ultimate prize.

To the surprise of no one, I can live with that.  To the surprise of possibly everyone, I’m pissed off about it.  Do the right thing, KU athletics department.  Sprint Centre, December 31st, every year.  KU / MU.  It needs to happen.  The fact that its not going to is completely on you, KU AD.  And that’s the true tragedy out of yesterday’s developments …

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