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Rock M Roundtable!

1 - Alright, so ... Missouri has (sort of) made its move. Or at least announced its intentions to think about possibly making a move. (Or, as it was framed on Twitter last night, Mizzou has announced that it is de-committing from the Big 12 and wanting to take its official visits.) At this point, what are the chances Missouri is a Big 12 member this time next year?

2 - On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how do you feel about this move for Missouri as a whole? (I know I've basically asked this question about 16 times before, but ... well, s*** just got real last night).

3 - Because of all the off-the-field hubbub, it is almost an afterthought, but Mizzou and K-State play an enormous football game this weekend. Who wins?

4 - Laurence Bowers is out for the season with a knee injury. Is there anybody on the team Mizzou could have less afforded to lose this year?


1. I know Missouri seems an inch away from being out of the door forever, but why wouldn't they at least listen to any final offers? I'll give the Big 12 a 25 percent chance.

2. Considering the only move we've made is one to evaluate our best option, in the words of Billy Bob, "A TEN! A F*****G TEN!" If you're actually talking about a rumored move to the SEC, I'm still around a 7 or an 8. I know ghtd (competitive struggles) and Atch (geography) are both vehemently against the move, and I certainly understand and respect their positions on the matter. I just want to know in which conference Missouri will be playing for the majority of the rest of my lifetime. I feel better about knowing that in the SEC than I would in the Big 12.

3. I don't know if it's because of Curatorganza or what, but I feel like I haven't been properly worried about this game enough.I think Mizzou wins, but I admit to having had the opportunity to watch a total of zero minutes played by Kansas State this season. So, clearly, I'm well-qualified to speak on the matter.

4. Mike Anderson

Doug: 1 - Not great. Granted it takes two to tango, we know there is no "official" invite from any other conference, but my guess is that will change very soon.

2 - 5 or 6, honestly. Missouri is already the third best football program in the Big 12. If enough teams were added to go back to divisions, tell me Missouri wouldn't be odds on favorite to win the North Division every year. Missouri is barely a top-half team in the SEC, with six solid schools ahead of them, taking into account current accomplishments and historic success in no particular order: Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Georgia. Never mind the fact the SEC has won the last five straight BCS titles and six of the last 10.
I think Missouri's basketball team would do well in the SEC, especially if they don't wind up in the same division with Kentucky.

3 - I have a feeling Missouri will be walking into a buzz saw in Manhattan this weekend, that said, I'd really like to see the Tigers win.

4 - Well, it'll help us answer the question no one was asking, "How good is Steve Moore?" This leaves Missouri with only two experienced big men who can play in the paint. About the only guy Missouri could less afford to lose would have been Marcus Denmon, and really that's a tie. Honestly, did Frank Haith just do no recruiting what-so-ever? Regardless of your roster, how do you not bring in more than one under-sized freshman guard?

The Beef: 1 - I just don’t believe MU does what they did yesterday without assurances from the SEC about an eventual offer.  If we did, and I have defended our administration at almost every turn, but they will deserve all the heat they would get.  I believe our chances of coming back to the B12 are 5% or less, basically barring UT turning the LHN into the B12N…which we know wont happen.

2 - I am at about 8.  RPT has already spoke to the possible reasons for not, and I put more stock in Atch’s reasons than ghtd’s, as I lived through us never thinking we would be competitive in a conference that just added powers UT and aTm back in the mid-90’s.  It takes time and money, but it can be done.  The SEC will certainly bring money…

3 - I think kSU is playing some great team football, but I have to believe we remain and more talented team than they are.  We have been very good and are already pretty seasoned on the road, so I don’t think the environment will scare us at all.  Barring strange weather or something, I still like our chances to go in there and play mistake-free football, which will be enough to allow us to control the game and pull out a win.

4 - I think the loss of Bowers is tough (though in deference to Doug’s comment, the recruiting failure from a depth standpoint is certainly more on Anderson than Haith at this point).  Yes, the silver lining is a more experienced team in 2012-2013, but the loss will sting and not help Haith at all, who really needed a solid year this year to start to quell some of his off-the-court issues.

ZouDave: 1 – Missouri has made its move.  And I could not be prouder of the administration for it.  The only way Mizzou is a Big XII member this time next year is because we have to wait until 2013 to join the SEC or something, but it will be known by next month let alone next year that we are NOT future members of the Big XII.

2 – 10.  I don’t think anything really changes that drastically for Mizzou on the field.  We’re still going to be a team in the upper-half of the conference, and in good years the upper quarter, but we’re going to have to pull rabbits out of hats to win the conference.  That is no different than what we have right now.  The idea that Mizzou can’t compete on the field with the SEC is ridiculous, and our results against the SEC under Gary Pinkel prove that (4-1).  In basketball, I think again we’ll be probably pretty similar overall and maybe even a little bit better (though 3rd in the SEC may not be viewed any differently than 5th in the Big XII).  Off the field, this was the only decision.

3 – I will be in Manhattan for the game this weekend (my first ever road game in Manhattan).  I was expecting it to be a moderately friendly atmosphere, but I’m not really expecting that anymore.  I’ve already talked to a close friend of mine who is a KSU fan and alum and I can tell he’s upset about all of this because he knows this isn’t good news at all for KSU.  But, as to the game I think Mizzou has a GREAT chance in this game.  We match-up exceptionally well with KSU and I think that’s going to show in the results.  But Bill Snyder is an excellent coach and KSU just got a little bit of extra ammo for this one (it might be the last time we ever play them) so the most important thing will be to weather the storm and don’t be down 14-0 in the 1st quarter.  Get the game into the 2nd quarter when the emotion starts to drop and it’s still a game (or Mizzou is ahead) and the game will belong to the Tigers.

4 – I had that same conversation yesterday (with the same KSU friend mentioned above) that of all the players Mizzou has, Bowers is specifically the one we really cannot afford to lose.  I feel just absolutely awful for him because he won’t get to play his Senior season with English and Denmon who he has played with every day since he stepped foot on campus.  That just breaks my heart.  While I will be glad to see him again in 2012-13 (in the SEC!!), it’s just not going to be the same.  Just a terrible, heart-breaking injury on what will always be remembered as a watershed day in Mizzou history.

Michael Atchison: I just have a minute today, so excuse the brevity.

1. It’s a 5% chance to be back at this point. It’s really hard to unring a bell.

2. 3. I’ve said what I think about this before, and I don’t want to belabor it. It saddens me for a lot of reasons. But I’ll say a couple of things. I don’t know everything the decision-makers know. There are a lot of moving parts here. And I have a lot of faith in our decision-makers. Brady Deaton is a smart and savvy man who takes his duty to the University very seriously. Steve Owens has been an important figure to me for a long time and I trust his judgment without reservation. And I also practiced law with Don Downing, one of the University’s curators, and he’s a superstar. The man has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, he’s been successful as both a plaintiff’s lawyer and a defense lawyer, he was Jay Nixon’s chief deputy in the Missouri Attorney General’s office, and he’s been dedicated to public service. If all of those people are behind the move, I’ll get behind it, despite my significant reservations.

3. I think this is a coin-flip game. I’m really impressed with K-State. But I think that Mizzou will move the ball just enough to win. Tigers by three.

4. Bowers is the most irreplaceable player on the roster. Denmon is the best, but there are others who can cover for him. Either Kadeem Green is going to be a lot better than most expect, or Kim English is going to reprise the Jeff Hafer role as miniature power forward for much of the year.  Yesterday I saw Jeff Goodman tweet that George Goode ended up at Fairleigh-Dickinson instead of Mizzou because he was concerned about playing time. George, you could have had all the time you could take.

SleepyFloyd7: 1 - I don't know how Missouri could continue to be a member of the B12. I guess it's theoretically possible, but I don't see it. .05%

2 - 9 = Meaningful change was never going to come about in this conference - not just "equal revenue," high-school sports on LHN and the like. I'm talking about making the kind of conference that doesn't need "handcuffs," the kind of conference where everyone pulls together, the conference that is only as strong as it's weakest link. The University of Missouri decided to be proactive and determine it's own fate. I take that as a good sign. Plus if Gary Pinkel wants this move (and this doesn't happen if he's not on board), who the hell am I to argue?

3 - I think Missouri, coming off a bye, and playing their best game wins this game by 2 TD. That being said, how often do teams play their best game against a Bill Snyder coached team? I think it's going to be a dogfight, and I look forward to seeing it in person. Tigers by 3.

4 - 8 scholarship players now. Just a devastating injury.

D-Sing: 1. Right now as I type this at about 8:20am PDT, I would put the chances of Mizzou being a Big 12 member next year at 100 percent, for the simple reason that we know nothing concrete beyond a) The Curators gave Deaton decision making authority regarding conference affiliation and; b)Deaton has resigned as the head of the Big 12 Presidents. To state anything else is to engage in pure speculation, especially given that a year and half ago, we were sitting and waiting for a Big Ten invite that never came.

I know what Tennessee AD Dave Hart said, and I don't want to dismiss it out of hand entirely. But at this minute, I can't bother to engage in the speculation because we've been down that road before and been burned. I'll wait until we either withdraw from the Big 12 or there is a press conference inviting us to the SEC or wherever before I will believe that we are not in the Big 12 in 2012-13.

And even then, we still might be in the Big 12 next year because there won't be enough time to transition.

2. Given the above, though, I will give the move made last night a 10. I'm not going to deduct style points because of the lateness of the announcement, and what else are we supposed to do as an institution? Just sit idly by and wait for a decision to be made for us? No. We had to take a stand. We couldn't sit on our asses while the events that affected us unfold to determine the course of our beloved institution, to paraphrase a certain suburban Chicago teen.

3. I feel oddly unsettled about this game. I'm actually leaning K-State in a squeaker.

4. Marcus Denmon is the only injury that would have me more concerned. Our key post presence is gone, and given our size limitations, this will make things challenging to say the least. Also we don't have a lot of scholarship players to begin with (Thanks, Mike!) so...yeah. It might be a long season.

The Beef: With all due respect D-Sing…we’ve not been NEARLY this far down the road before.  Now like I said, if we have gone down this road this far and get burned, all bets are off on the administration, but considering the time which we have taken so far to get to this point, putting the odds at our returning to the Big 12 at 100% is somewhat short-sighted in my opinion.

D-Sing: Then consider me overly conservative in this regard. Yes, we've never been this far down the road. And at this point, I have to trust the administration. It is a big step to grant this much power to the chancellor, I admit. But again, as of right now, all we are doing is exploring options. Until a new option presents itself, at this very second I have to believe that we are in the Big 12. Which is why I was explicit about the timing.

Now, if an SEC invite presents itself at 2:00pm, it changes my feelings. That is all I was trying to say.

ZouDave: I agree with The Beef…it’s seeing smoke and saying "I have no proof there’s a fire."

It may be true, but that’s an odd conclusion to reach.

Or maybe to put it another way, it’s like hearing hooves approaching you on a road and thinking "Wow, a zebra is nearby."

D-Sing: I've never had a problem with being the odd one.

I might be taking the Holmesian statement about not theorizing before one has all of the data to its extreme. Maybe I'm also not trying to get my hopes up.

ghtd36: Good morning.

1- I think there would have to be some big and visible concessions made by the other members of the Big XII for Missouri to not move to the SEC. It would be an extremely shortsighted maneuver by the administration -- uncharacteristically so, since I think they've made savvy moves for the better part of the past half-decade -- to use this move as a bluff.

2- 3. And for what it's worth, my position on the SEC has been totally mischaracterized. I'm not against moving to the SEC for "competitive reasons"; far, far, far from it. Just because it's football season doesn't mean that every other sport has ceased to exist. No, I'm against a possible move to the SEC because it is a poor cultural fit, a poor geographic fit, a poor academic fit, and not a significant improvement to Mizzou's current financial situation. Missouri fits about as well with the SEC culture as relish does on ice cream. Missouri is a moderate and (relatively speaking) mild-mannered fan base; the SEC is, um, not. Geography-wise, I hope I don't need to explain why it seems like a bad idea to finance sending the volleyball team to Gainesville twice a year. Academically, the Big XII schools average out higher in the US News and World Report college rankings than the SEC schools. That's by no means the end-all-be-all, but it's at least a decent barometer on what will be a step back on an academic standpoint. Finally, Mizzou does not stand to make a significant amount of extra dollars by moving to the SEC, contrary to popular belief. Mizzou's third-tier rights are not going to all of a sudden become more valuable; they are what they are, regardless of conference affiliation. What this ultimately comes down to is the thought that new is better, and I can't argue with that, because there's no argument against it. But it is simply incredible to me how the SEC has become this beacon for everything that is amazing in college athletics, in the eyes of the fan. The SEC is just a thing, people; it is good in some ways, and bad in others. Let's stop deifying what is ultimately a conference like every other conference. I fear, however, that once Mizzou's eyes become less wide and glassy, the long-term ramifications of this move -- losing geographic rivalries (and yes, I do want to play Kansas, in conference, every year, in every sport), taking a step back academically, moving into a poor cultural fit, and all for a negligible financial improvement -- will haunt my alma mater.

3- Missouri gets the necessary stops on Collin Klein to pull out a 14-point win.

4- Truman.

D-Sing: Why would the Volleyball team be going to Gainesville twice a year? That has me confused.

And yes, Gainesville would be the longest road trip in the conference.

But a trip to Gainesville from Columbia would be shorter than a trip to Provo from Columbia.

SleepyFloyd7: And I talked with Softball Coach E last night - he thought travel with the SEC would be easier. Fly out of CoMo to Memphis and easy distribution to all of SEC territory.

Made sense to me.

ZouDave: If it’s ok with #TremendousStubble, then it’s ok with me!

D-Sing: Also, looking at the rankings for the US News and World Report for National Universities, the ten Big 12 schools have an average ranking of 100.2.

For the twelve schools in the is 99.167.

The perception is that the SEC is a step down academically, but if we are using the USNWR rankings, it's almost a wash, and just about everyone is a step down from the Big Ten.

ZouDave: Also, I think I saw someone posted on Tigerboard last night that Columbia to Gainesville is like just over 1000 miles, whereas Ames to Austin is like 975 miles (approx).  So this isn’t necessarily different than what other Athletic Depts already deal with.

Of course, I haven’t checked the math on this so it could be way wrong.

D-Sing: Running on googlemaps, it's 964 miles from Ames to Austin, campus to campus.

Every conference has its long road trips. Pullman or Seattle to Tucson isn't exactly peachy, either, but they've been doing it for 33 years or so.

ghtd36: The average distance between Columbia, Missouri and the 13 SEC schools: 644.7 miles.

The average distance between Columbia, Missouri and the 8 other Big XII schools: 482.1 miles.

So, hypothetically, if your softball team plays 10 conference road games, that's an extra 3,252 miles per season.

ZouDave: Which would be brutal if they have to walk between venues.

How many of those are they flying to/from?  What then is the average change in travel time per trip?

ghtd36: That's like an extra flight from Seattle to Miami every year.

ZouDave: But broken up over how many trips?  I don’t find a 2.5 hour flight that much different than a 2 hour flight, is what I’m saying.  If each round trip, on average, is like an hour longer or something then I’m not sure I really see the significance or harm.  But again, I’m not doing the math here so I don’t know.

Now, if you’re talking about having to cover that much more distance in a car each year…that becomes significant because that’s a lot more time and driving isn’t as comfortable a trip.

SleepyFloyd7: So Greg, you are arguing with Coach E? Are you aware of the consequences of tangling with #TremendousStubble? DIRE!

D-Sing: But they aren't doing that flight at once. It's broken up over each road trip, so again, I don't think that the distance makes that big a deal. Especially in the 21st century. It's not like they're taking a steam engine everywhere nowadays.

Bill C.: Okay, so the afternoon question: if a Mizzou move to the SEC ends the Kansas series in football and/or basketball, what is your NEW 1-10 rating?

ZouDave: I don’t know if I can answer this right now, because honestly I’m riding a bit high from the decision.  I have a firm belief that Missouri will make every effort to keep playing kansas in football and basketball, and any decision to not continue the series will be a kansas decision.  If that happens, I blame them.

But…in 3 years time ask me again how I feel about not playing kansas.  I might feel QUITE a bit different.

The Beef: I would be working off of the belief that we would do everything in our power to keep it going on both sides.  If, for whatever reason, it does not, I am not likely to lose too much sleep over it.  I realize I am in STL now and not from MO originally anyway, but I really don’t think my answer will change too much if it ends up being kU who decides not to keep it going.

D-Sing: I readily admit my answer is going to be slightly unpopular: It wouldn't bother me one whit in football. Not one iota. We play who we play.

Basketball would suck a bit if it didn't continue.

ZouDave: Not that I think it will take much effort, but Mizzou needs to be VERY CERTAIN we win the football game this year for two reasons:

1 – It will push the official all-time record in Mizzou’s favor at 56-55-9 (this is including the 1960 win in favor of kansas, btw).

2 – We’ll get to keep the Marching Drum forever.

Michael Atchison: I’d be shocked if a move to the SEC doesn’t end the Kansas series, at least in the short term. And we can say "we still wanted to play and they said ‘no’ so it’s on them," but that seems a little too cute. Mizzou’s move would have direct negative consequences for Kansas. There’s little economic value to Kansas to playing Mizzou in basketball. Kansas can play anyone in Lawrence or KC, sell it out, and keep the pot. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they got on the phone with Nebraska or Iowa and said "a spot in our football schedule just opened. How’d you like to play us at Arrowhead?" They replace the revenue that way without a benefit to Missouri. And I suspect that if Kansas had gone to the Pac-12 and had left Missouri scrambling for the Big East or some lesser league, Missouri would feel exactly the same way.

Even if Kansas agrees to continue to play, the rivalry will never be the same as it was. Being in the same league matters. The games count for more. You’re in each other’s business a lot more when you share a conference.

D-Sing: "Even if Kansas agrees to continue to play, therivalry will never be the same as it was. Being in the same league matters. Thegames count for more. You’re in each other’s business a lot morewhen you share a conference."

I think of Georgia/Georgia Tech. I think of Clemson/South Carolina. I think (now) of BYU/Utah.

Hate is hate. Rivalry can go on without conference affiliation, but I do think you are right that the motivation has to be there. Will the motivation for the on-field rivalry still be there? That is the $640,000 question.

Michael Atchison: We don’t know what BYU/Utah is going to look like yet over the long haul (and that rivalry, for certain social reasons, has a dynamic all its own), and the other two rivalries are in-state affairs in football-crazed locations.  In the case of Georgia/GT, they were never in a league together and therefore never had an acrimonious split, and South Carolina left the ACC forty years ago and didn’t threaten the dynamics of the league by doing so (they left initially to be independent, not to join the SEC; a lot has changed since 1971). I don’t think there’s a particularly apt analogy for what might happen between Missouri and Kansas. Frankly, I’m not sure that football is deeply-felt enough among KU fans and alums for them to insist on playing Missouri, especially not when Mizzou seems to have such a serious advantage over Kansas. If Kansas were the better program, they might want to play. But I doubt they want to do Missouri any favors and get humiliated on the field at the same time.

ZouDave: I also think of Texas/Oklahoma BEFORE the Big XII…

Michael Atchison: Do you think Texas is going to continue to play A&M?

ZouDave: I will honestly be surprised if they don’t.  I think the fans of both sides will demand it.

SleepyFloyd7: Yes, I do. It may take a few years, but that game will survive.

ghtd36: What incentive would Texas have for continuing to play A&M?

Michael Atchison: Texas already has Notre Dame, Cal, BYU, Arkansas and Southern Cal on upcoming schedules. I don’t see much eagerness to add A&M.