A few things first. One, I'm obviously disappointed but not as much as I thought I would be because I spent the game with some great Mizzou folks courtesy of our glorious Alumni Association. Two, Wisconsin, it looks like we'll be meeting in the Capitol One Bowl, so run and hide. Run. And. Hide.
You see, I live in Madison, Wisconsin and before I met up with the alumni association, I used to watch every game from a small sports bar where the barkeep was kind enough to flip to the Missouri game for me. I'm used to being the only one wearing the black and gold. Before I moved here, I spent five years in Beijing, where any football was hard to find and I had to keep track of games into the wee hours of the morning courtesy of you all here. First time I wore a Mizzou jersey into a bar, a couple of locals looked at me like the RCA dog. A middle aged man who would win in a Red Green lookalike contest approached while the rest of the people at the bar looked on.
"Are you visiting?"
"No, I live here. In Madison. I have a lease, a job and a cat. My car has Wisconsin plates."
"Why are you supporting, what's that team again? You live in Wisconsin now boy, you should go for the Badgers!" The barflies cheered and nodded.
"If you moved to Afghanistan, would you join the Taliban?" I didn't make very many friends that first day.
The bartender was friendly enough, the drinks were heavy, and I let the locals watch Wisconsin mercilessly pound Southern Maine Art History University on the big screen while I settled into my corner to once again, stand alone for my beloved Tigers.
Every week was the same. "Hey it's the Missouri boy! Who does Mizzow play today?"
"It's Mizzou, and they play Georgia/Vanderbilt/Florida/the entire civilized world.."
Meanwhile Wisconsin kept destroying everything in their path, except for Arizona State which was explained away as being a conspiracy by the refs that made the JFK assassination pale in comparison. Then came the day they lost to Ohio State. Instead of getting some quiet around town for a while, it was explained as such
"See, that's the reason why the Big 10 is the toughest division in college football! Wisconsin is a damn good team and if they lose to Ohio State, it just proves the Big 10 has the hardest strength of schedule wise." I needed a shot after that and asked what about the SEC?
"The SEC was strong like twenty years ago maybe, but now that it's based on strength of schedule, the SEC is vastly overrated. Anyone looking at it can see that. If an SEC team played a Big 10 now, not talking about past history, but now, anyone in the Big 10 would take them handily."
You do, that Purdue hasn't won a game yet and a couple of other teams have a losing record, right?"
"Of course. That's because they play in the toughest division. If they played in the overrated SEC, they would all the sudden be on top...say, sounds a lot like Missouri to me..."
I signalled to the bartender. "Better make it a double."
Flash forward to yesterday and I'm at work, talking BCS with my boss. I mentioned the possibility that Missouri could play WIsconsin the Capitol One Bowl.
"Dude...Wisconsin would murder them."
"Dude...you lost to Penn State. Let me remind you of that, sir. A team with nothing to play for came to Madison and beat a team trying to get a better BCS bowl."
"Yeah, but it was an off week. Besides who has Missouri played? There really aren't that many good teams in the SEC anymore."
So run and hide Wisconsin. You have a quarterback that goes down quicker than a drunken prom queen, an O LIne that provides about as much protection as the French military in 1940 and a defense that gives up more...well, no witty analogy here, so I'll just say it... a defense that got repeatedly burned on the ground by Penn State and a freshman QB. The elderly nuns at Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow Convent could provide better pass defense. (I was wrong, there's one.) And the worst of it is, you have a fan base that's so blind-to-the-facts and so arrogant that it's rivaled only by the North Korean press.
Well, soon old man you'll get your wish. As usual, Wisconsin is picked to play a better bowl than they deserve. You play Mizzou soon. A Mizzou team that still managed to put up 42 points on soon-to-be national champions Auburn. A Mizzou team in which some very special seniors will play their last downs as Tigers. A Mizzou team which is very good, and just because you haven't paid them any attention in Big 10 la la land, doesn't mean you can disrespect them. In short, a disrespected Mizzou team that won the SEC East and now has to play a three loss Big 10 team.
So run and hide, Wisconsin.
That is all.