The Big 12 has tried its best to make Mizzou and its fans feel guilty, and I am trying really hard not to get cold feet.
The Missouri Tigers just got done with a weekend where they beat their two most principal (remaining) Big 12 rivals, Kansas and Oklahoma, including playing the Sooners for the final time in a revenue sport. I have to admit it’s starting to feel really weird watching the Big 12 opponents disappear one-by-one.
I know fans of other schools don’t want to hear this, but if Missouri could have its cake and eat it too, they could come up with a rotating schedule of Big 12 teams to play in a non-conference basis in every sport. They could also start up that Big-8-esque basketball tournament in Kansas City. The problem is the issue with any time you’re dealing with divorce, and believe me that’s what this is a divorce. The Big 12 basically wants Missouri to move out by July 1st, and then they’ll never speak to each other again unless they have to, (i.e. NCAA Tournament or a bowl).
We are coming to find there are a lot of people who happy about this, but as we go through the season, I’m starting to get a little peeved. In no way am I saying the Tigers should have gone to the SEC, but it’s going to be pretty hard for me to get excited about Missouri and Ole Miss in basketball. Missouri is leaving for a better football conference but they are leaving behind one of the best basketball conferences in America. It’s something Missouri fans have to reconcile, but it makes more critical the need for Missouri to win the Big 12 in some fashion.
The Tigers are not going to get much help basketball-wise in the top-heavy SEC, I could easily see them contending for the round-ball title, and not having to go through as daunting a task to do it this year. I think gaining momentum in basketball going into the SEC will give the Tigers an advantage. Obviously, football will be an uphill climb, but let’s be honest, Missouri wasn’t winning the Big 12 football title any time soon anyway.
I will miss the games with Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Iowa State, and everyone in between. I think they should find a way to work things out and play Missouri once in a while. Because when they were in love, the action was good. Really good.