Category Archives: Missouri Tigers

Half-hearted rivalries 

In this morning’s Kansas City Star, there was an article with comments from former University of Missouri president R. Bowen Loftin about the possibility of the Tigers resuming their athletic series with the University of Kansas. 

Kansas and Missouri began their football series in 1891, only 30 years after Kansas became the 34th state. The Tigers and Jayhaks played 120 times, making it the oldest NCAA Division I rivalry west of the Mississippi River. FYI, the oldest NCAA football series is Lehigh vs. Lafayette, which bgan in 1884.

Loftin stated only one reason why Mizzou and Kansas have not played since the Tigers left the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference in 2012.

Bill Self.

Loftin blamed Self, the Jayhawks’ men’s basketball coach who will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame later this year, for not wanting to play Mizzou, at least in football and men’s basketball. In recent years, Mizzou has reached out numerous times to Kansas about playing football games at Arrowhead Stadium and basketball games at Sprint Center, but each time, the Jyayhawks have said no way. 

Self, of course, denied Loftin’s premise. He emphatically stated he had nothingt to do with football scheduling. 

Loftin speaks from experience about dormant rivalries. In 2012, he was president at Texas A&M when the Aggies joined Mizzou in leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. A&M wanted to continue its rivalry with Texas, but the Longhorns refused. 

In his comments, Loftin believed the Longhorns and Aggies would continue their rivalry before the Tigers and Jayhawks do. 

I know about in-state rivlaries going dormant, but Louisiana really isn’t comparable to Texas, or to Missouri-Kansas, either. Tulane has never really been at LSU’s level, and the gulf has continually widened since the Green Wave dropped out of the SEC in 1966. LSU discontinued its annual rivalry with Tulane on the gridiron after the 1994 season; the teams played four consecutive years from 2006-2009, but LSU then bought out the remaining six games on the contract. In men’s basketball, Dale Brown dropped Tulane in 1981 because he felt the Greenies were non-competitive. Tulane dropped its program for three years in the 1980s due to a point shaving scandal, but the Tigers refused to play Tulane until 2003, seven seasons after Brown retired. LSU and Tulane only compete in women’s basketball and baseball, as well as a few minor sports. 

As much as I’d like to see LSU and Tulane play every year in football, Tulane must shoulder a lot of the blame. Why not play in Baton Rouge every year, or four out of every five years? The Greenies are going to make far more in Tiger Stadium than they ever will at Tulsa, SMU, East Carolina or another American Athletic Conference school, and certainly much, much more than playing at UL Lafayette or Louisiana Tech. As for LSU, it would be much more financially prudent to play Tulane than to pay Troy or Chattanooga an exorbitant sum to come to Death Valley as it is doing this season. It would have been much better in 2017 becuase LSU has only six home games, since the Florida game was switched to Gainesville after last season’s Hurricane Matthew flap. 

On the flip side, if Tulane wants LSU to come to New Orleans, it is going to (a) have to give LSU a larger cut of the gate and (b) play in the Superdome. Yulman Stadium only seats 30,000. I understand the idea of playing on campus, but in this case, it would be unreasonable for LSU to do so. If Tulane is worried about LSU fans overrunning the Superdome, then that’s too bad.

LSU has tried to make too many other SEC schools their “rival”, but the other school would not reciprocate. The series with Ole Miss has largely been irrelvant since Johnny Vaught retired as Rebel coach in 1970 (save for a brief return in 1973). Alabama could care less about beating LSU unless the Tigers are at or near the top of the polls. As Bear Bryant put it, “I’d rather beat the cow college (Auburn) once than Notre Dame ten times”. Nick Saban has turned this so-called rivalry into a laugher. Auburn and LSU didn’t play every year in football until 1992, and Auburn might be going to the Eastern Division anyway. 

LSU has played Arkansas for the Golden Boot since 1996, but the Tigers resisted it with every fiber of their being until then-SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer finally prevailed upon LSU to play along.  The game has always meant much more in Fayetteville than in Baton Rouge.

Back to the Border War. 
Kansas’ non-conference football schedule this season is an out and out JOKE. Southeast Missouri, Central Michigan, Ohio University. The game vs. the Bobcats is in Athens, Ohio, which is a coup by Ohio coach Frank Solic in getting a Power Five school to travel to Athens and play a Mid-America Conference school. 

The trip to Ohio begs the question: why not play Missouri at Arrowhead and get a huge gate? It would be mutually beneficial. It would allow Mizzou to fulfill the SEC requirement to play a Power Five opponent in non-conference, and Kansas would not have to embarrass itself playing a lower level team like SEMO. 

I cannot say for sure Self is personally responsible for Kansas not wanting to play Mizzou. But the Jayhawks are wrong on this one. Why would Kansas pass up a chance to play in Kansas City, only 45 minutes from its campus, to go to places like Ohio U and Memphis? 

The Texas-Texas A&M series is not something I’m really worried about. Texas has enough in-state rivals (Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU) in the Big 12, and A&M is content making Arkansas and LSU its big rivalry games. 

In the grand scheme, it’s only college sports. It could be worse. The fact the Jets and Giants play only once every four years in the regular season is sad. The NFL is missing the boat. 

Wonderful weekend so far!

Yesterday was a very, very good Saturday. I wish I had not put myself through what I did earlier in the week, because it was totally unnecessary.

Brittany was very glad to see me and she was wearing her usual smile which could melt the polar ice caps. I don’t know how Zach met her, but he’s a lucky son of a gun. So is Jeff, Lisa’s boyfriend. So is Sean Cash, Liz’s boyfriend.

Why did I worry so much about Brittany? Besides, what happened the previous Monday was my fault. Mine. And Brittany was busy training a new employee, so I couldn’t be upset about that. I had no right to be.

Just before noon yesterday, I got up to walk around to stretch my legs, which I like to do from time to time, usually between rounds of trivia. I noticed one of the customers at Lisa’s table left their debit card in the folio the servers give to the customers. It was an Oklahoma State debit card, and if this gentlemen got too far without his debit card, he would have to wait until Tuesday to go to his bank and straighten it out, since the banks are closed tomorrow for Columbus Day.

Luckily, I was able to move fast (I can’t say run, because I can’t run, thanks to my girth) and give the card to its owner before he left. Good deed done.

Turns out there was something in it for me, too. Lisa brought me a $25 gift card, meaning I could eat free or close to it for the day. And I did; after my meals both afternoon and evening, I had only a $2 balance. I gave Morgan Gilliland a $10 bill and told her to keep the change. She’s seven months pregnant and needs the assistance, so I was glad to do it. Besides, Morgan has been very patient listening to me rant on Facebook (in private), so I owed at least that.

It wasn’t the first time I returned something monetary to its rightful owner. In 2009, I found a $50 bill lying on the ground at Osborne High School’s stadium during the annual Kaser Relays. I brought the bill with Ulysses S. Grant’s likeness to public address announcer Rex Johnston, and he and the Osborne staff were able to track down the lady who lost the bill. She gave me a $5 finder’s fee to express her gratitude.

The Missouri game wasn’t good for Brittany. She and Zach are huge Mizzou fans, and it had to be disappointing that the Tigers laid an egg at home on national television.

The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the American League championship series with a 6-4 win at Baltimore. That made Brittany feel much better. She and Alexandra Mullinax have tickets to tomorrow night’s game at Kauffman Stadium.

Once again, it was late heroics which lifted Kansas City, with an RBI double by Alcides Escobar in the top of the ninth plating the go-ahead run, and Lorenzo Cain lacing a single to score Escobar with an insurance run. The Orioles had no chance overcoming a two-run lead against Greg Holland, and the Royals were on their way to the plane at Baltimore-Washington International halfway home to the World Series.

This is the third time in franchise history the Royals have gone up 2-0 in a postseason series. However, this is the first time they’ve done so in a best-of-seven. The other times were best-of-five, and Kansas City ended up sweeping, in the 1980 ALCS vs. the Yankees and this year’s ALDS vs. the Angels. On the other hand, the Royals were DOWN 2-0 in each of their previous three best-of-sevens: 1980 World Series (Phillies), 1985 ALCS (Blue Jays) and 1985 World Series (Cardinals).

LSU beat Florida in Gainesville, 30-27, when Colby Delahoussaye kicked a 50-yard field goal with three seconds to go. The game was mighty sloppy, fitting for two once-pround SEC kingpins which have both fallen on hard times. The Bayou Bengals got a gift late in the game when a pass by Gator quarterback Jeff Driskel was tipped and intercepted by LSU’s Rickey Jefferson with a little more than a minute left at the Florida 36.

LSU was very fortunate to win. Florida fell behind 27-24 with 2:40 to go but drove to the Bayou Bengals’ 1, only to fail on third down to score a touchdown. Gators coach Will Muschamp opted for an 18-yard field goal rather than attempting to win. Not the move I would have made. If you can’t make less than 2 yards, then why bother?

In addition to the lovely Brittany and Lisa, I got to see a lot of my favorite Buffalo Wild Wings staff, including Liz, Shannon and Raymie. I left just before 9 this time.

I had to get up early today to go to Staples in Overland Park. I would have gone to the one across Barry Road from Buffalo Wild Wings, but that store doesn’t open until noon, and since the one in south Overland Park on 135th Street opened at 10, one hour before Buffalo Wild Wings, I figured why not.

I saw Brittany Mathenia-Tucker in the parking lot at Buffalo Wild Wings this morning. She’s now working at the Outback across Barry Road. I’m inside Buffalo Wild Wings now. Not a huge crowd because the Chiefs have a bye and Royals are off today.

I don’t think I’m going to stay extremely long today. I have some work that needs to get done, although I got a head start on it by finishing the Smith Center-Ell-Saline game story and beginning my column, which is about halfway through. I want to have tomorrow as free as possible.

Show-Me Stinker

The stench coming from Columbia, Missouri is wafting all over the Show-Me State.

The Missouri Tigers turned out a total stinker today, losing 34-0 at home to Georgia, which was playing without Todd Gurley, the Bulldogs’ All-America running back who was suspended Thursday for accepting autograph fees, which of course is a violation of NCAA rules.

All of the radio stations in Kansas City began pontificating late Thursday, shortly after Gurley was suspended, that Missouri had the upper hand, that the Tigers were on their way to repeating as SEC East champions. They, and a lot of others, wrote Georgia off, because the Bulldogs also had a backup running back who was hurt, and their quarterback, Huston Mason, was struggling as he tried to fill the sizable shoes left by the graduation of Andy Murray, UGA’s all-time passing leader.

Gurley’s replacement, Nick Chubb, rushed for 143 yards, and Mason completed 22 of 28 passes for 156 yards. The key, though, was the Bulldog defense, which intercepted Missouri quaterback Maty Mauk four times. Mauk was a meager 9 of 21 for 97 yards, and the Tigers finished the game with only 147 net yards.

Georgia needed to win, since the Bulldogs have already lost to South Carolina. The SEC East race is now wide-open, with Georgia, Kentucky and Missouri all sporting a loss. Kentucky beat Louisiana-Monroe in a non-conference game and goes to LSU next weekend. Missouri goes to Florida. Arkansas plays Georgia in Little Rock.

Football Saturday rewind

Today has been a wild ride in college football, hasn’t it? Arkansas looked like it would defeat Texas A&M, and then the Aggies somehow rise from the dead and win in overtime. Missouri recovers from its horrendous home loss to Indiana by going to South Carolina and defeating the Gamecocks, handing Steve Spurrier his second conference loss at home this season. Florida State falls behind North Carolina State by 10 in the third quarter but scores the next 28 to pull away.

Missouri’s loss to Indiana looks far worse now that Indiana was beaten badly at home by Maryland. I can’t stand Terrapins coach Randy Edsall, a real jerk who makes Nick Saban look like he runs a totally loose ship.

My alma mater looked terrible for most of the first quarter. LSU’s Anthony Jennings threw two interceptions vs. New Mexico State, but the Bayou Bengals finally got going behind second string quarterback Brandon Harris and did what was expected, winning 63-7. I’m worried, though. It has to get a lot better, or LSU could be in for some long Saturdays in the SEC, starting a week from tonight at Auburn.

Then again, there was also a lot of normalcy. Kansas State mauled UTEP, although Bill Snyder may have been concerned by the late touchdowns allowed by the defensive backups. Kansas got shut out by Texas at home.

The only football game left on TV is Oregon State-USC. Meh. I’ll check in from time to time, but largely I’m going to get ready for my next excursion to Kansas City to see my friends at Buffalo Wild Wings. Brittany Mathenia-Tucker and Lisa Toebben already said they were working tomorrow. YIppee!