Because there just hasn't been enough said about Missouri, the Big 12, and the SEC
The Kansas City Star
Today’s column blames both Missouri and the Big 12 for their unnecessary and seemingly inevitable divorce, and this is such an emotional subject that any of us would be silly to pretend that personal feelings aren’t part of how we view it.
Of course they are.
My bias is that I want what’s best for Kansas City, and not just financially^. Just as important to me is keeping things around here fun and interesting and while there’s a case to be made that getting to know a new conference would be both fun and interesting, time will most likely create a disconnect between MU and the local Big 12 fans that will be a bit of a wet blanket.
It’s not a completely clean or fair analogy, but the rivalry in St. Louis between Mizzou and Illinois can’t be enhanced by the two schools playing in different leagues.
^ The number that’s often used for the economic impact of the Big 12 basketball tournament is $14 million. There is some indication from experts that that’s (perhaps grossly) exaggerated. We’ll get into that more as this story moves along.
So if my bias is toward Kansas City, maybe the rest of my feelings around this story are at least in part a product of that. This is a hard thing to reconcile, honestly, because the arguments from Missouri people about why they should run to the SEC make sense on a lot of levels.
It’s just that the arguments on the other side make more sense to me, about the Big 12 being a better historical and geographic fit, and even many (maybe most) of the MU folks I hear from who want to go to the SEC will admit that a stable Big 12 is the best scenario.
One thing that really can’t ever be solved is the fact that everyone has someone else to blame in this. Missouri takes a lot of heat for supposedly starting all this realignment by openly flirting with the Big 10, but Tigers fans rightfully feel scapegoated because they didn’t actually, you know, leave.
The invitation never came, of course, but MU fans will blame the underlying problems that have driven three — going on four — schools away from this league in less than two years. Their side of it is much more logical to me, but again, maybe that’s my own bias coming through, but the fact that everybody has someone else it can blame is a big reason why these problems haven’t been fixed.
One point I’d have to concede, even while thinking Missouri should stay: I spoke to some Nebraska fans this morning, who asked a lot of respectful questions about the current Big 12 mess. The tone of their questions and responses was curious, not gloating or stacked with schadenfreude.
That said, if I’d have asked them to raise their hands if they regretted going to the Big 10, nobody would’ve moved a muscle.
So even if I disagree with what Missouri is probably doing, and their reasons for doing it, I can certainly understand.