Tag:St Louis
Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 3:28 pm

Big 12 leftovers

With Oklahoma and Texas clear to leave, it seems like the Big 12 is dead. Personally I don't see a merger between the Big 12 and Big East going to happen. I think schools like: West Virgina, New Jersey Rutgers, and Missouri will try to fine greener pasters then staying in a jumbled mess. Now the plus side of a merged Big 12 and Big East conference is it'll be a good basketball conference, but that doesn't matter in NCAA sports anymore. All these conference realignment debates are tied to football because that is where the money is. To be honest, I can't see the Big East survive, but the atheletic directors are having a meeting tonight to discuss the Big East's future. As the dust clears, we'll see what happens to the Big East.  

As an alum from Mizzou, a Big 12 school, I'm glued to the news in regaring to the Big 12 and it's schools. Assuming Texas and OU head to the Pac 12, here are my guesses to what'll happen. First of all, I'm surprised Texas might go to the Pac 12. I orginally thought they might go independent as they have their own network, and I'm curious how that will play out down the road if the Pac 12 takes them. No matter how much Texas wants their own network, there is no way the Pac 12 will allow that network to survive unless they adapt Pac 12 programing. That said, if the Big East survives, I could see them taking Texas as they'll probably allow that network to survive in order to have them in their conference. As things look right now, it looks like Texas has a spot in the Pac 12, but we'll see what happens to the Longhorn Network.

It seems like OU is pose for the Pac 12, but I don't see the Pac 12 stopping with only 14 members. I wouldn't be surprised if they took Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. My reasoning for Oklahoma State is they have a solid football program, and I know Oklahoma will prefer to bring them along to the Pac 12. That said, OU will jump the Big 12 ship alone if they have to for their own interests. Lastly I see Texas Tech joining the Pac 12. Texas Tech has a solid football program, and they are another rival for: Texas, OU, and OK State. In regards to Baylor in the South, I see them being left out of a BCS conference. They aren't attractable enough to join a BCS conference.

What does conference realignment look like to the Big 12 North leftovers? If we go back to OK State and Texas Tech, lets say they don't go to the Pac 12, then I see Kansas and Kansas State heading West. Both schools aren't the best in football, but they are big schools and at least have some appeal in football. Since Kansas State has finally gotten decent again; they could be a good addition to the Pac 12. I also see Kansas State wanting to bring their counterpart Kansas along. Both have a good rivarly, and Kansas might have another breakthrough season again in the near future. Otherwise if OK State and Texas Tech head to the Pac 12, I don't see them joining anywhere. The Big 10 is being stubborn right now, and they are still focus on getting ND, and possibly the New Jersey Rutgers. ND is an obvious fit for the Big 10, and the NJ Rutgers will bring the NYC tv market which is the sole reason the Big 10 them. If ND stays independent, and lets say the Big 10 adds NJ Rutgers, they'll either add one more school, or 3 more schools. Right now I don't see them expanding pass 14 teams, and they can survive as a 14 school conference. Now if ND and NJ Rutgers refuse to go to the Big 10, then I see Kansas and Kansas State heading to the Big 10 if they decide to add 2 more teams. Otherwise, they might be left behind with Iowa State. I don't see Iowa State going anywhere as they don't bring much to the table. Most of their bowl apperances are tied to 6-6 records, and they don't bring anything with them besides their alumni base.

Finally there is my school, Mizzou. The first scenario I see is Mizzou to the Big 10. Geographically they would fit well in the Big 10. They have a rivarly with Illinois and Nebraska. In addition, they have had some good games against Iowa in the past. Again, the Big 10 is stubborn. The Big 10 is still focused on getting ND, and most likely the NJ Rutgers because of their tv market. But if one of those schools decide to stay put, then Mizzou seems like the best fit as the 14th team. Otherwise, it seems like the SEC has their eyes on Mizzou if WVU decides to stay put, or join the ACC. The SEC needs a 14th member, and Mizzou would be a good fit. They have a rivarly with Arkansas, and they bring a decent football program along with a solid tv market. That is my guess of where Mizzou goes as I can't see them being left out. I'm not saying that as an alumni, but I'm saying that by looking at why certain teams are moving over others. Mizzou has consistently: gone to several bowl games recently, they have been a top 25 caliber team in recent years, they bring the St Louis and Kansas City tv markets, and finally they are a large school. They have a significant presence in the area, and I can't see them being left behind due to what they bring to the table. The problem with Kansas and Kansas State is their influence is limited to mostly KC when it comes to a major city market, and that city is split among several schools. Furthermore, Kansas and Kansas State aren't the most appealing schools when it comes to football. As of now, I only see Mizzou from the Big 12 North being able to survive the conference realignment battle. These are my guesses of how things will play out for the Big 12 schools.

Posted on: December 24, 2010 12:11 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 12:17 am

Missouri vs Illinois, a rivalry renewed

This is just a quick thought, but as a Mizzou Tigers fan, I am glad to see the Busch Braggin Rights game has been renewed as a top 25 inter-conference rivalry. The score from last nights game may look like a little lopsided with Mizzou winning by 11, but until the last minute of gameplay, the game was a constant back and forth battle. Mizzou got a call in their favor that gave them the basket, two free throws, and then the ball back. Along with the intentional foul, they call a technical on Illinois. This last minute with the foul and technical was the game deciding moment. It will be argued among fans about the intentional foul was the right call, but the fact to the matter is Mizzou gained the lead when Laurence Bowers made the basket, and most likely would of gotten one free throw as most likely there would of been a free throw given for the push. 

Now that the explanation how a 11 point win was actually a good game, lets get back to why this rivalry is back. For the last decade, Illinois dominated this rivalry. Illinois won 9 straight games until last year when Mizzou won 81-68 when Illinois was in a down year. Now in 2007 and 2008 both games were close with Illinois winning by 3 in 06 and by a point in 07, but both teams weren't that good. Mizzou was still in the rebuilding phase during those years, and Illinois fallen off the map from their high point back in the early and mid 2000s. 

Until last night, the last time both teams were rank in the top 25 was back in 2003 when #21 Illinois beat #11 Mizzou by a point. That #11 ranking was flawed as the 2003 season for the Tigers ended up being a bust and they ended up losing in the first round of the NIT with the 2003 and 2004 season. To be fair, lets say 2002, #12 Illinois vs #11 Mizzou, was the last time that two actual top 25 caliber teams faced each other. In the early 2000s there were some good top 25 match ups, and in the late 80s was the peak for the rivalry when there were back to back top 10 match ups. Now the Mizzou program is back on track, and Illinois looks like they are coming out of their funk after a couple of disappointing seasons. I know they lost to Illinois-Chicago, but most teams encounter an upset here and there. But overall, it looks like the old school rivarly in which games  are back in forth contests with two of the best teams in the nation is back. 

This is exiting not just for fans of either school, but basketball in general. There aren’t a lot of long and traditional out of conference rivalries in basketball. Duke vs Michigan State has been exciting in the last couple of years, but that hasn’t been a long and traditional rivalry. The Busch Braggin Rights game has been played on neutral ground for 30 years, and the rivalry dates back to the 40s. That’s impressive, and considering how neither team has never been in the same conference makes it a more impressive feat. People can call me a fan boy for glorifying this rivalry, but no one can deny that last nights game was exciting, and it was a re-visit to the glory days when both teams were good and fought hard to the end. 

Overall this rivalry has it's up and downs as both teams aren't the most consistent powerhouses. It isn't a Duke vs UNC game, but to see a good rivalry outside of their conferences is a treat we all should enjoy. Yesterday was a good example of what a rivalry should be: game has been a constant back and forth battle, both sides are into it, one side is covered in yellow (Mizzou), and the other in orange (Illinois). Now that is a rivalry, and probably one of the best rivalries in basketball.
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