Over the last decade the most devastating Mizzou moments tended to take place off of the field/court. Four of the eight competitors in Region III were in no way associated with the result of a game.
Most off-the-field incidents that made this list were based around two things: good fortune and insecurity. Mizzou had none of the former and far too much of the latter, and perhaps none included less good fortune and more epic insecurity than MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™, the first M-I-Z... E-R-Y competitor with its own section at Rock M Nation. And oh, what a section it is. Every few months, something comes up that reminds me of last summer, and I end up visiting this section and reading through how it unfolded. I find myself both really, really pleased with the writing I did at that time ... and really, really anxiety-ridden all over again.
So what was the worst part?
Jay Nixon shooting his mouth off and alienating Texas Tech and Oklahoma State (who, last we checked, are still conference mates of Missouri's)? (By the way, uh, Gov? If you support your university so much that you're willing to piss off conference mates, how about you stop screwing your university's employees? Because now you're pissing me off. /politics)
Dennis Dodd's half-flattering, half-horrifying "Ol' Mizzou has been the waitress who unbuttons a couple of buttons on her blouse, leans over a table of guys and tells them, 'I get off in five minutes,'" article?
The fact that Mizzou played their leverage perfectly (if the rumors favor you, you try to use it to improve your lot in life, whether you change conferences or not), and in one Chip Brown rumor, Texas squashed any semblance of Mizzou leverage?
Those couple of days where the Mountain West looked like a distinct possibility?
The fact that Nebraska got the bid Mizzou was "opening its blouse" for?
So many to choose from. So much good writing. So many ulcers.
Paige Sports Arena
You would be hard-pressed to find a worse 12-month period in the history of Mizzou athletics than the span from December 2003 through November 2004. What started with Them Crackers Shaking and an awful loss to Belmont in December, continued with the completion of Mizzou's basketball collapse (replete with two M-I-Z... E-R-Y losses against Texas and Kansas) and finished a few months later with the football team's collapse and the announcement of probation for the Mizzou basketball team. That, in and of itself, would have been enough.
But in addition to all of this, Mizzou fans had to endure the Paige Laurie drama. In March 2004, Mizzou officially announced that the beautiful new arena there were building would be named the Paige Sports Arena, after the daughter of primary arena donors Bill and Nancy Laurie. Mizzou fans, already frazzled by the poor basketball season and increasingly uncertain about the level of sway held by the Lauries ("Dad buying the biggest dollhouse"), were less than impressed. But it was still going to be a gorgeous, state-of-the-art arena, so it could be worse.
Then, of course, 20/20 got involved. John Stossel reported that Paige Laurie had paid a fellow USC student (that's right, Paige wasn't even a Mizzou student, and she was getting a Mizzou arena named after her) $20,000 to do her school work for her. Despite the further embarrassment this brought, the report served a good purpose: it got the arena's name changed.
(Oh yeah, and around this same time, Mizzou had to change the name of an economics professorship. It was named after Ken Lay. 2004 sucked. So, so much.)