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Rock M Roundtable!

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Alright, let's see which community roundtable questions made the cut, and whether this resulted in better conversation...

1 - What would the Big 12 need to do in order to stop any teams from defecting? Is it possible at this time, or is it too late?

2 -
Pick a Norm-era Tiger and a Quin-era Tiger that you think would have been more valuable in the Mike Anderson system.

3 -
If you could choose one item from each of the following categories (regardless of actually being able to find/purchase said item) what would you choose:

1) Throwback Jersey
2) Autographed Sports action-shot
3) Author signed book (sports related or not)
4) Band signed LP
5) Cast signed movie poster

4 - What is love?

Michael Atchison: 1 - Well, they could fire Dan Beebe.  Unless that happens, my first thought is to expand first, but I can’t come up with any school that would be enough of a carrot to keep the others happy (Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois are not leaving the Big 10).  The Big 12 is maxed out geographically.  The only thing the Big 12 can do is to convince the Big 10 to go east for all of its new members.  Tell them that the way to get Notre Dame is to destroy the Big East, and have them poach Pitt, UConn, Rutgers and Syracuse.  Absent that, unless Texas is ready to share evenly throughout the league, it’s over.

While we’re on the topic, can I offer you my dream scenario for Big 10 expansion?  This won’t happen, but it makes so much sense: Invite Kansas as the sixteenth member.  Look at this:

West, pod one:  Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa.  The three Big 12 teams get to join while maintaining natural rivalries and geographic integrity.  Keeps them from being stepchildren in the league, and completely locks up the Midwest for the Big Ten, while adding a marquee hoops program and another American Association of Universities school.

West, pod two: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern.  They’d miss Iowa in this group, but it maintains rivalries.

East, pod one:  Michigan State, Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana.  Perfect.

East, pod two:  Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt (not Rutgers).  I know this looks unbalanced from a football perspective, but I’m not sure this pod was much better a year ago than West one was, and Big Ten football has always run in cycles.  I understand the thinking that Rutgers gets the league into New York, but I think the entire lineup of 16 would do the same.  Cable and satellite TV is expanding.  This network is going to be on everywhere.  And so many people in New York are from someplace else, many of them from these huge public universities.

If there are particular rivalries that need to be protected that aren’t already accounted for naturally, that’s easy.  From the plains to the rust belt, that looks like a perfect heartland conference.

2 - So we’re going with guys who didn’t max out their potential for the other coaches?  For Norm, how about Tyron Lee?  Good athlete, capable scorer, completely lost under Norm.  And for Quin, the pretty obvious answer seems to be Jason Conley.  That guy in the open floor?  Are you kidding?  He could run, score, pass, rebound.  He’d be phenomenal.

3 - I want the book or the LP.  For book, I’ll take a copy of High Fidelity signed by Nick Hornby or an Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay signed by Michael Chabon.  For the LP, I want either (a) Exile on Main Street signed by that lineup of the Stones (I love me some Mick Taylor); (b) London Calling signed by all four members of The Clash (and given that Joe is gone, that’s not likely to happen); or Born to Run signed by Bruce (Clarence can sign, too, if he’d like).

4 - What isn’t love?

ZouDave: 1 - They would have to make everything more equitable, first of all, and remove the power that Texas has over the rest of the conference.  We'd have to get rid of that stupid rule that for change to be made in the conference you need 9 teams to vote for it, you'd have to have equal revenue sharing, and you'd have to have a TV contract and/or Big 12 Network that guaranteed all 12 teams would be on TV every single week.  And even then, I don't think you get it done.  The biggest reason Mizzou should make this switch is to be a part of the CIC and the Big 12 can't offer that.  I know discussing the CIC isn't what we are really discussing, but it's still the truth.  Athletically, this move is great.  Financially, this move is a no-brainer.  Academically, this move is the best thing that could ever happen to the University of Missouri.

Oh, and they'd have to fire Dan Beebe and apologize for letting him exist.

2 - Norm-era:  I'm going to have to stick with what I know on this one, and I didn't start paying attention to basketball until about 1989 so that's my frame of reference.  I'd say a guy like Julian Winfield probably would have excelled in Anderson's system; a combo guy like that with his athleticism and shooting ability would have loved running up and down the floor like Anderson does.  Paul O'Liney would probably also have been pretty deadly under Anderson.

Quin-era:  How about every player he ever had?  There isn't a single player that wouldn't have benefitted from playing for an actual coach instead of  But I think it's a tie between Clarence Gilbert and Arthur Johnson.  Gilbert would have been competing for All-American in this system, because he basically played this style of ball anyway even without it being Quin's style.  Imagine the whole team focused on defense and shooting the way Gilbert was?  The guy would have been unstoppable.  And the Arthur Johnson thing is less about Johnson being better (the guy was pretty freaking awesome already) and more about just imagining what Anderson's teams would look like with Arthur Johnson down low instead of the guys we have.  Oh man, I can't even imagine.

3 - Is this Mizzou-centric or all-encompassing?  I'll answer it both ways.

Throwback Jersey - Corby Jones from Mizzou, Bo Jackson Royals jersey otherwise
Autographed Sports Action Shot - Sonny Riccio throwing TD to Victor Sesay, Derrick Thomas hitting John Elway otherwise
Author Signed Book - "True Sons" by Michael Atchison, of course, or "Animal Farm" by George Orwell
Band Signed LP - uh...Marching Mizzou "Marching Into the Millennium"?, or "Who's Next" by The Who.
Cast Signed Movie Poster - ok...gonna have a harder time making this one Mizzou-related, so I'll just say Animal House.

4 - Love is a many splendored thingLove is a battlefieldLove is in the airLove is my disease.

Michael Atchison: Or I could sign Animal Farm.

I was once asked to donate a signed copy of the book to a Mizzou auction.  I said I’d be happy to do it, but to be aware that a copy of the book signed by me is worth exactly the same as a copy not signed by me.  I told them to ask Norm to sign it, too (I have a copy signed by Norm, Willie Smith, Gary Link, Al Eberhard and Kim Anderson).

Doug: 1 - I second Atch's idea on how to get Notre Dame. Frankly, I think they should do this anyway, grab the 4 most powerful Big East programs, and then hold Notre Dame hostage into signing on as the 16th team. I'm also intrigued by the Big 10 pods Atch mentions. I think that is a way to cement the Big 10 as the best athletic conference, at least until the SEC scooped up Texas, Oklahoma, aTm and Oklahoma State.

But, so long as Dan Beebe remains the ineffectual and hamstrung conference director that he is, the 8 strongest remaining Big 12 programs will become part of a 16 team power conference with the 8 strongest from the Pac 10.

2 - That would require a lot of work that I just don't want to put in.

3 - Throwback: a road gray George Brett jersey
Sports shot: framed shot of "The Shot"
Poster: Star Wars (screw off if you need further explanation)

4 - What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me... no more.

Michael Atchison: By the way, my previous list was non-exclusive.  If Bob Dylan wants to sign a copy of Highway 61 Revisited, I’ll take it (same goes for Prince and Sign O’ the Times, the Replacements and Tim, The Hold Steady and Separation Sunday, Chrissie Hynde and the first Pretenders album, Elvis Costello and This Year’s Model, Van Morrison and Astral Weeks, and many, many others).

Also, it appears that all the college hoops writers are back from vacation, because I’ve seen three sets of preseason rankings in the past two days.  Jeff Goodman (Fox) has K-State at 5, Mizzou at 9 and Kansas at 11.  Zach Hayes (Rush the Court) has K-State at 4, Mizzou at 12 and Kansas at 17.  Luke Winn (SI) has K-State at 4, Kansas at 5 and Mizzou at 19.  Three questions: (1) how good is the Big 12 race going to be next year (that’s rhetorical)?  (2)  How much is it going to suck for Nebraska, Iowa State and Colorado?  And (3) How legit a shot does K-State have at winning a national title?

Doug: 1 - So good.

2 - So much. Actually, I think we can all agree this would be the worst possible year for a new coach to come into the Big 12 North. I know the consensus of the Roundtable a couple weeks ago that the Hoiberg higher is a no-lose situation for Iowa State. But, let's be realistic. They are going to lose... a lot of basketball games over the next couple of seasons until he gets his legs under him, if ever does.

3 - They'll be one of the top 10 teams in the discussion. I don't think their chance will be quite as good as last season's. That bracket could not have broken better for K-State, and they were on the cusp. I think against Duke, the Wildcats would have been a 3 to 5 point favorite. Next year, Pullen being the guard is going to hurt him. I don't know what they have off the bench or coming in recruiting wise, but they'll miss Clemente a great deal.

ZouDave: It's going to VERY much suck for Nebraska, Iowa State and Colorado.  You have to think all 3 of them will basically be praying to go 2-4 against the top 3 in the North, thinking 1-5 is the most likely and 0-6 a real possibility.  Tough to do much else with your season if you're spotting 6 losses in your division and still have the South teams to deal with.  On that front, does it make it harder for the Big 12 to get more teams into the 68-team tournament if you've got 3+ heavyweights at the top of the conference beating everyone up?  We haven't even mentioned the South teams that will be good, but you can pretty much count on them all not conceding power to the North.  At what point does the lower half of the conference not have enough wins to warrant post-season attention?'re supposed to choose something from EVERY category, not choose just one category you could have re: question 3.  ANSWER ALL OF THE QUESTIONS!  THE READERS DEMAND IT!

They also demand people besides me, Atch and Beaker answer their questions.

Doug: I read question number 3... I just didn't care.

Michael Atchison: I do think people are underestimating the loss of Clemente.  It’s rare for a team to have two guards who are that dynamic, each with a set of stones like that.  They had two guys who could kill you each night.  That’s big.

And I just got the Dogs Playing Poker app for the iPhone, so this may be the last you ever hear from me.

Bill C.: 1 - Honestly, I think Dan Beebe is a boobe (see what I did there?), but he's not the problem.  With the power structure in place with this conference, there is no way any commissioner (except MAYBE Jim Delaney...or David Stern) could run this conference in a way that benefits everybody equally.  Texas holds more chips than everybody else, they know it, they know you know it, and it is what it is.  We knew it would be this way when the conference formed (Mizzou actually expressed reservations with the arrangement before the arrangement was even made), and we should not be surprised.  It's not going to change.

Really, the only thing I see giving the Big 12 a chance to not lose any teams would be the quick (and I mean RAPID) formation of a Big 12-Pac-10 arrangement, complete with some sort of half-proof that it will generate revenue very similar to what the Big Ten Network delivers.  But...even then, if Mizzou is offered, they're gone, even if money is the same.  This university needs an academic shot in the arm, and fast.  We're in the triple digits now in the US News rankings, our law school just saw its ranking plummet, state funding has reduced this university's capabilities considerably (which is what happens when Southwest Missourians run the legislature for a seemingly extended period of time), we pay some of the lowest salaries of any AAU institution ... we need help.

Moving to the Big Ten wouldn't guarantee academic improvement (though I would predict that our US News ranking would immediately jump about 15 spots, like I believe PSU's did when they joined), but not moving to the Big Ten clearly won't promise anything other than what is currently happening.

2 - After the doppelganger series, I would be remiss if I didn't say that Nathan Buntin would have loved the Mike Anderson system.  It would have done very nice things for him.  I did LOVE the Julian Winfield mention, though.  He was very Zaire-esque (except with better scoring potential), and he would have thrived.

As far as Quin players...he hasn't been mentioned yet, so I'll say Travon.  Solid scorer, inside and out, and ... though he wasn't the greatest rebounder in the world, he'd have easily been the best rebounder Mizzou had last year.

3 - Jersey ... Yeah, I'll steal the Bo Jackson reference.  Saw him play in KC once ... he hit two homers, saved a home run, and fired 99 mph strikes to third base after fly balls, even though he didn't have to (because nobody was ever going to try to tag to third on him).

Action shot ... Honestly, the dogpile on Reesing in the endzone in 2007 would be awesome.  And since none of my lifelong teams have won a championship in anything, we'll go with that.

Signed book ... Kavalier and Klay would be fantastic, but I'll go old school.  We have about a 50-year old copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, and since Wikipedia tells me that Harper Lee is still alive, it would be pretty cool if that ended up signed.

Album ... First choice: Highway 61 Revisited.  Second choice: Highway 61 Revisited.  Third choice: Highway 61 Revisited.  Fourth choice: Highway 61 Revisited.  Fifth choice: Born to Run.

Movie ... Give me Almost Famous.

4 - All I know for sure is that, personally, my love is like ... wo.

And now Atch's questions...


2. If one of the three can go at least 3-1 against the others, then the NIT might be in play for them ... but yeah, it will take two pretty big upsets for any of them to reach even 2-4 against the top three teams in the North.  Digs you a mighty hole.

3. Clemente was all over the place, up and down and up and down, but he was able to carry them offensively at times, and they'll at least miss his potential. Their defense is going to be ridiculous, however.  I simultaneously can't wait till we play them next year ... and wish we could get moved to the Big Ten for this season so we wouldn't have to play them.  You'll get bruises just watching MU and KSU play.  While their defense should be great, their offense should be just inconsistent enough that it will probably be hard for them to win six games in a row in the NCAA Tournament.  They will absolutely be a threat to get to the Final Four, however.

Michael Atchison: Sorry, I misread the question.  For my throwback jersey, give me . . . hmmm.  I’ve never really cared much for this sort of thing, but give me a Mizzou 23 football jersey from the 1960s.  Johnny Roland, Roger Wehrli and my father in law all wore it for Dan Devine.  Autographed action shot:  The Safety, 2007.  Movie poster:  The Godfather.

ghtd36:Hey Internet friends.

1 - To be quite honest, I'm not sure there's much that the Big 12 can do right now. It's made its bed, and now it has to watch everyone...leave....its....bed. OK, that was a bad metaphor. It's sowed the seeds, and now it has to see its...vegetables...walk...away? I don't know. But suffice to say that it's not good for the Big 12.

The problem, as always, is money. Not only does Texas hold an inequitable amount of power...

OK, let me stop right there. I think it's important to note that I don't necessarily blame Texas for being the biggest kid on the block. They're not doing anything wrong, and really, neither is Dan Beebe. The problem (or, if you're a Texas fan, the fun thing) is that because Texas has so many fans -- some of whom went to Texas, most of whom didn't -- in so many major media markets (Dallas [No. 5], Houston [No. 10], San Antonio [No. 37]), you play to the biggest moneymaker. It's simple economics, and it sucks for other schools, but I understand it.

Anyway, the problem is that when you have a TV contract that sucks and a built in bias (AGAIN, WITH GOOD REASON) toward 1/12th of your clientele, your other schools are going to feel slighted. The solution, to be honest, is to start a Big 12 Network, but that takes time and money and political capital which I don't think the Big 12 has at its disposal right now.

So, to answer your question, there's not much they can do.

2 - I think it's safe to assume that if he were playing in Mike Anderson's system, Spencer Laurie's jersey would be hanging in the rafters.

3 - Throwback jersey: Julio Franco Rangers jersey.

Autographed sports action shot: Either Chris Webber calling the phantom timeout (and he has to sign it "To Greg: My Bad. Chris Webber) or Frank Francisco throwing the chair into the stands in Oakland (and he has to sign it "To Greg: Totally Worth It. Frank Francisco).

Author signed book: Michael Atchison signed first-edition True Sons.

Band signed LP: Ben Folds Five, Whatever and Ever Amen

Cast signed movie poster: Biodome

4 - Well, it's kind of hard to explain. It's kind of like...

Gonna grab my baby, gonna hold her tight
Gonna grab some afternoon delight
My motto's always been when it's right, it's right
Why wait until the middle of the cold dark night?

Wheeeeeeen everything's a little clearer in the light of day
Aaaaaand you know the night is always gonna be there anyway?

Michael Atchison: There’s only one edition of True Sons, so you can be sure that your copy is the real thing, until, of course, it’s available on Kindle or Nook or iPad, and then I can sign your electronic reader of choice.

RPT: 1. It's really a simple solution: find a way to disburse $20 million a year.

2. Doug Smith and Arthur Johnson. Let's give the big men some props.

3. Hmmmm...

Throwback [for each sport]: Gretzky Oilers, Griffey Mariners, Dr. J Sixers, Namath Jets, Corby Mizzou and Trajan Langdon Duke. I now realize what a weird list this is. And my ultimate throwback: Jim Craig 1980 USA Hockey jersey.

Autographed Sports Action Shot: Brett Hull, Stanley Cup Finals 1999

Author signed book: I'm also going Orwell, but give me 1984.

Band Signed LP: Any album signed by Stevie Ray Vaughan

Movie Poster: Mega Piranha. UribeAuction can back me up on this.

4. It's shorthand for the airport in Dallas that isn't DFW.

RPT: OK, I can't leave my hockey throwbacks to one.

Gretzky Oilers, Messier Rangers, Bourque/Neely Bruins, Roy Canadians, Yzerman Wings, ANY Whalers jersey, Sakic Nordiques.

This is why it's probably good I can't afford nice things.

Bill C.: Um...Trajan Langdon?

ghtd36: I was about to ask the same thing.

RPT: Re: Trajan Langdon,

I had a retrospectively embarrassing fascination with the 98 Duke team, and let's face it, Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, William Avery, and Shane Battier's jerseys wouldn't have been much of a conversation starter now, would they?

Addendum: Magic Johnson Michigan State jersey. Thoughts?

ghtd36: Know what?

Dibs on Norm Stewart Mizzou jersey.


ZouDave: I'd rather have Larry Bird's Indiana State jersey.  That just SCREAMS old school!

Bill C.:


Michael Atchison: Give me the Carl Nicks 1979 Indiana State uni.  That guy was seriously underrated.

ghtd36: A David Clyde Rangers jersey would be painfully awesome.

Bill C.: While we're asking, I'll take a John Cangelosi Pirates jersey.

Michael Atchison: And yes, I remember watching the 1979 Indiana State-Michigan State final.  Mostly, I remember Al McGuire shouting "Gregory Kelsah!"

ZouDave: Question for Atch:

In a given week, on average, how many times would you say you shake your fist at things and/or say "you rotten kids"?

Michael Atchison: I’d be able to tell you but for my dementia.

RPT: This is a perfect new bit. Name your most painful jerseys in each sport:

Ricky Clemons NCAAB
Kerry Meier NCAAF
Chan Ho Park Rangers MLB
Dennis Rodman Mavs NBA
Sean Avery Stars NHL
Dwight Clark?? NFL

Who wants to buy Bill a Sid Bream jersey?

ghtd36: MLB- David Clyde or Ruben Mateo
NFL- n/a (for reasons previously established)
NCAAF- Kerry Meier or what about a Jason Samples Troy jersey?
NCAAB- Cole Aldrich, Tyus Edney
NBA- Bennett Salvatore refs jersey or an Antoine Rigadeau Mavs jersey
NHL- Ditto RPT on the Sean Avery Stars

ZouDave: MLB - Alex Gordon
NFL - Lin Elliot
NCAAF - Matt Davison
NCAAB - Tyus Edney
NBA - n/a
NHL - n/a

Bill C.: Alex Gordon...ouch.

MLB - Bream, obviously.  Or Cabrera.  Or Bonds, for having a noodle arm.  Or Chico Lind, for misplaying the preceding grounder.  Or Leyland, for waiting too long to take out Drabek.  Or Stan Belinda, for sucking.  Or Dave Littlefield, for being the worst GM in the history of sport well after the Cabrera play.  Plenty of options.

NFL - Anybody on the early-'90s Bills, for knocking the Dolphins out of the playoffs seemingly every season.

NCAAF - Yeah, gotta be Davison.

NCAAB - Kemba Walker!!

NBA - Rasheed Wallace, for pulling the disappearing act of all-time in 2000 Game 7.  Or everybody else on that team, for doing the same.  Or the refs, for deciding that Shaq throwing Steve Smith into the third row wasn't a foul.

NHL - Um...pass.  The Isles have sucked for long enough that it really doesn't matter.

God...put my teams into one city, and they'd be ... Cleveland.

ghtd36: Speaking of CLE (well!), I understand LeBron sort of pooped the bed last night.

RPT: Jason Samples is the one that pissed you off? I figured Junior Louissaint ran away with that title.


ghtd36: Nah, it's Samples for me, because he threw the first touchdown pass, then caught the dagger in the fourth.

(45 minutes later...)

ghtd36: Next question: what's up with the "mustache tattoo on the finger" thing?

It seems to be sweeping the nation, yet it is A) dumb, B) unoriginal, C) unfunny, D) dumb and E) dumb.

Michael Atchison: When I look at all the 20-somethings tatted up, I can only laugh and say from experience:  You will change your mind about a lot of things.

ghtd36: Back around Christmas, there was a discussion on the radio about the last decade. One thing that came up: what are we going to look back on in 20 years and think was absolutely stupid (much like we view tie-dye from the 60s, bellbottoms and disco from the 70s, hair metal/effeminate men being attractive from the 80s, etc.).

I contend that in 2030, we're going to look back at the proliferation of tattoos in our culture and think, "What the hell were they thinking?"