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Rock M Roundtable!

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1 - No matter which rumors you choose to believe, a lot has gone down on the conference realignment front in the last three days.  I ask this every couple of weeks, but ... now what do you think happens to your school?

2 - If Mizzou ends up getting screwed in the whole expansion thing, who will fans spend the next 10-50 years blaming for it ?

3 - What sport do you pretend to be a fan of all along when postseason/tournament time comes around, when a week before said event, you couldn’t name a player in that sport, (hockey/soccer/etc.)?

4 - What is the single greatest sporting event you’ve witnessed in person

RPT: 1. I'm 60 percent confident Missouri is headed to the Big Ten, 40 percent confident Missouri is screwed. A little peace of mind might be nice at this point, though.

2. Texas. Or maybe Dave Matter.

3. Curling.

4. That requires way too much effort to go through my mental rolodex this early in the morning. We'll just say either Mizzou 41, Nebraska 7 or Mizzou 62, Kansas 60 for now.

Bill C.: 1. Gotta say, at the moment I am nowhere NEAR 60% confident in the Big Ten.  I've probably flipped too far in the other direction, but I'm at a solid 30% confident right now.  And 70% confident we're in the Great Plains division of whatever the Mountain West ends up being called.

2. Since we're talking Mizzou fans as a whole ... Mike Alden, Texas, Mike Alden, the national media, and Gary Pinkel, in that order.

3. Honestly, since I stopped playing Fantasy Hockey, the NHL fully fits this description for me.  I keep up with the Isles (since, for reasons escaping me, that's the team I adopted when I adopted the Pirates, Dophins and Trail Blazers), but I realized when the playoffs started and I began to pay attention that ... I really didn't hardly recognize any names outside of the top stars.  It was jarring.

4. I guess it has to be the Flea Kicker game, eh?

RPT: Alright. 60 might have been excessive. Put me at 51-49, but understand my healthy fear.

Doug: 1 - I feel most confident that the Big 12 anchored by Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas stays together in some way, shape, or form, say 45%.  The Big 12 remains together as a whole: 35%, Big 12 minus Colorado, plus a new school: 10%, $#*! blows up... 10%.  If the nuclear option happens and the Big 10 and Pac 10 both go to 16, I really don't think the SEC is going to stand pat at 12 teams, and I think there would be a decent chance KU would be scooped up by them.  From where we stand right now, and there's still a lot to play out, Kansas State and Iowa State both seem to be in the worst position.  Baylor is only slightly better off, simply because of the Texas legislature looking out for them.

2 - I really don't know.  Who have they spent the time since the Big 10's last expansion blaming?

3 - I don't pretend to be a fan of hockey, even during the playoffs, but I did watch Olympic hockey even though I didn't really know the rosters before the games started.

4 - November 23rd, 1991.  Kansas 53, Missouri 29, Tony Sands: 58 carries, 396 yards.  And, it was a cold day.

(An hour later...)

Michael Atchison: 1.  On January 12, 1907, the University of Missouri joined with Kansas, Nebraska and Washington University to form the Missouri Valley Conference.  To celebrate the 104th anniversary of that event, those four schools will form a new league, augmented by Kansas State and Iowa State.  It will be called The Big WTF Happened?

2. Bert Coan.

3. I don’t pretend.  On the rare occasion that I watch hockey, it’s the guys in the white jerseys against the guys in the dark jerseys.

4. Best football game was the 2007 game at Arrowhead.  Hoops is tough.  It would be among the 4OT win over Iowa State, vs. Iowa in the final of the Guardian’s Classic, Nebraska in 1994 (where Piatkowski’s shot rimmed out), Lee Coward’s shot to beat Kansas in 1987, beating #1 Kansas in 1990 at Hearnes, the Thomas Gardner/Christian Moody OT game, and 62-60 in 2009.

ghtd36: Alright, suckas, let's do this.

1 - God, I've got such tiredhead from this whole thing. I think Mizzou ultimately ends up in the Big Ten, but I don't particularly care to discuss it any further. It's boring, speculative and repetitive.

2 - Knowing Mizzou fans, probably Rickey Clemons.

3 - Sadly, the answer is probably the Women's College World Series. Pre #TremendousStubble, I couldn't tell you much about the Mizzou softball team. Now? I'm a card-carrying member of the Rhea Taylor for Supreme Overlord fan club.

4 - Got a couple options here. I saw Ian Kinsler hit for the cycle last year. I was at the Jim Leyritz game of the 1996 World Series. Mizzou 36, Kansas 28. The Thomas Gardner Affair. 1996 Gold Medal baseball game (Cuba def. Japan, including players like José Contreras, Kosuke Fukudome and Tadahito Iguchi).

(An hour later...)

ZouDave: Sorry I'm late to the party.  I've been meeting with a vendor about a new antivirus product.  My life is incredible, you know you want it.
1 - We'll soon be proud members of the B16 Ten.
2 - Well the St. Louis fans will continue to blame Don Denkinger, that is for certain.  The rest of us will blame either Lew Perkins or DeLoss Dodds.  And fire Pinkel.
3 - I can't really say I do this at all.  I only really watch college football, NFL, college basketball and soccer.  I will pay passing attention to MLB but I don't pretend to be a fan and I rarely watch the playoffs.  I don't ever watch the NHL or NBA, I don't watch NASCAR, I don't care about the PGA or pro tennis.  I'm true to my loyalties, and my loyalties are scarce.
4 - This is a fairly tough question because are we talking about the greatest as in biggest?  Greatest as in most enjoyable?  Greatest as in most dramatic game?
Really I guess for me it's going to come down to 2 different events that I was lucky enough to witness in person.  One is the 2003 Mizzou vs Nebraska game, which has probably already been mentioned by somebody.  We couldn't have set it up any better than fate set it up for us that day.  Mizzou wanted to win that game and wanted to win it BAD.  Two weeks prior we had lost to kansas, and this was supposed to be our year of turning the corner and getting to a bowl game.  #10 Nebraska and the top ranked defense in the country are coming to town, riding a 24-game winning streak, the sting of 1997 is still in the air, and Missouri is hungry.  TBS has us on national television for a night game.  The weather that day made for great tailgating, but the weather that night turned a little bit rainy and added to the drama.  The electric atmosphere kept Mizzou in the game for awhile, but at the start of the 4th quarter we'd just about given up hope.  Down 24-14 as the first play snapped in the 4th, Brad Smith took a QB keeper on 3rd down and 5 to the left, beat the entire defense to the sideline and then beat the secondary in a foot race to the endzone to give Mizzou brand new life.  The defense forced a turnover deep in Nebraska territory, were held on 3 downs so they brought in the kicking unit to try and tie the game at 24 but instead of placing the ball down for a kick backup QB Sonny Riccio popped to his feet, rolled right, spotted Victor Sesay Sesay BOOM BOOM Sesay in the endzone (approximately 100' directly in front of me) and Missouri had a lead they would never let go of.  The crowd didn't stop cheering for approximately 3 weeks, Missouri went on to win the game 41-24, and Bill C and I kept our promise to each other to meet at midfield after the game and make "snow angels" on the midfield logo.
There was also the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final in 2007 in Chicago between the USA and Mexico.  Three friends and I had decided months before the final that we would be making a road trip to Chicago and bought tickets to the semifinal game on the hope that we would see the USA there.  We were rewarded for our faith with a USA vs Canada semifinal (Mexico was playing against a country I'd never heard of in the other semifinal) and we got to watch a 2-1 win over Canada to put us into the finals.  We walked over the ticket office, bought our tickets for the final, then watched Mexico depants whatever country they were playing.  The stage was set for the 2 big boys of the region, rival nations that HATE each other on the soccer field.  When we arrived at the final 3 days later for tailgating, we couldn't believe our eyes.  People as far as the eyes could see, and maybe 1 in every 10 was American.  Surrounded on every side tailgating, the atmosphere outside was friendly and exciting.  Upon entering the stadium, it was anything but friendly.  Spit on, doused in beer and sodas, food thrown at us, cursed at in Spanish, all before getting to my seat.  Then Mexico takes a 1-0 lead going into the half...the situation did NOT look good.  And the crowd only grew more hostile.  Mexico hadn't beaten the United States outside of Mexico in something like 10 years at this point, and this was a chance to do it in the finals of the tournament.  Midway through the 2nd half Brian Ching drew a penalty for the USA that Landon Donovan drilled home to tie the game at 1.  A few minutes later, Benny Feilhaber hit a volleyed shot that traveled 20 yards in approximately 0.0001 second into the back of net to give the USA a 2-1 lead.  DeMarcus Beasley should have made it 3-1 but he missed an open goal from 6 yards away (he kicked it over the would have been easier to score!) but the USA was able to hold on to get the 2-1 victory.  This was the win that put us in the Confederations Cup in 2009 where the USA would beat Spain and finish 2nd in a 3-2 loss to Brazil.

Michael Atchison: I’ve just scanned the day’s expansion links, and can I just offer a few calming words?

Missouri is going to be OK.

There’s a growing, frenzied consensus that says that the Big 12 sucks.  The Big 12 does not suck.  It’s not perfect, but it certainly doesn’t suck.  It doesn’t generate as much revenue as some of the other leagues, but it generates a lot.  It generates a lot of exposure.  And as a whole, Missouri’s athletics program is as healthy as at any time in the school’s history.  Remaining in the Big 12, if the league can hold together, would not be a bad thing.

Of course, going to the Big Ten would not be a bad thing, either.  The reasons have been set forth here and many other places.  It would be stable, it would be lucrative, it would be good for the school as a whole.

And if the Big 12 blows up and the Big Ten doesn’t happen?  Obviously, it’s a long way from the Platonic ideal, but Missouri will be OK.  There will always be a Missouri.  It’s a major land grant institution with a big athletics budget, sitting in a state with a lot of TV sets.  It’s an attractive property.  And the media landscape is changing in ways we can’t predict.  Within ten years, virtually every Division One college football game is going to be televised.  And streamed to your computer, and your phone, and your iPad.  Missouri isn’t closing its doors (and neither is Kansas, K-State or Iowa State).

(Three hours later...)

Bill C.: Well I'll say this much: if this roundtable is any indication, Mountain West, here we come.

(30 minutes later...)

ghtd36: I've just got expansion tiredhead is all. And to be honest, I'm tired of fighting with people who think that Mizzou is some second-rate institution that is lucky to be in the Big XII as it is.

Congratulations, guy who roots for Texas but didn't attend Texas. You win.

ZouDave: Yeah there's really only so much more we can even say about it.  It's all just waiting now.  Once decisions have been made there will be a ton to talk about I'm sure.


ghtd36: I prepared this little number.

Suck it, England.