A New Era Begins for Mizzou Athletics

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A couple of weeks ago, I flew from Las Vegas to Akron, Ohio for a wedding. My flight took me through Atlanta and I found myself facing a three hour layover at 6am.

I'm sitting, reading a book on my Kindle and minding my own business. I'm dressed in one of my Father's Day presents (a sleeveless Mizzou shirt from Kohls) when I spy someone approaching me out of the corner of my eye. It's one of the airport custodial staff.

"You realize that you're joinin' a real conference now, right?" he says, nodding at my shirt.

I look him right back in the eye.

"Yep," I say, trying to return to my book.

"Are you sure y'all are ready? We play real football here. SEC and ACC ain't no joke. Georgia, Georgia Tech. SEC and ACC are good at football and basketball."

I sigh, briefly closing my eyes. Trash talk is not really my bailiwick, especially when I've been on a red-eye flight. I also decide to not mention how putrid the ACC actually is in football and remind this older gentleman that we're in the SEC East.

Instead I flash him a smile and simply say, "I think we're more than ready for this. We'll find out for sure starting September 8."

He shook his head at me and said, "We'll see."

Moving day is finally here, and it seems like both such a long time ago and very recent that the announcement of us leaving the Big 12 for the SEC occurred. The days of MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™ and the breathless watching of doors are in the past, and an uncharted future are now becoming a reality.

There has been a heavy marketing push into the South (with Atlanta, funnily enough, being hit hard).

The department has initiated a large fundraising campaign, including the announcement of a $30 Million donation from the Kansas City Sporting Trust (because we were supposed to cede Kansas City to the Big 12, right?).

An across the department rebranding from Nike was received pretty well nationally.

Wrestling won the Big 12 Conference Championship.

Men's Basketball won the Big 12 Tournament.

Men's Baseball won the Big 12 Tournament.

Softball made it to the super regional round.

Football enjoyed a bowl victory and eight wins for the sixth straight season.

Momentum appears to be on our side, and all I can say at this time is that the sky is truly the limit. How far can we go? I truly don't know.

We'll see.

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