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Rock M Roundtable!

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ZouDave provided the questions this week, as I totally lost track of what day it is...

Due to understandably busy days/nights, plus a Holiday weekend, someone isn’t sure what day it is.  So…a little bit of a late start but Ross won’t even notice until Friday anyway.

#1 – Did Saturday’s performance from your team (Doug, I actually called ku a team there…I’ve grown) in any way change your expectations for the season, even in the short-term?  What were you most pleased with?  What concerned you the most?

#2 – Mizzou has been riddled with injuries so far in this season, which is officially only a week old.  Is it simply bad luck?  Is it Crazy Old-Testament God?  Is it a lack of proper conditioning?

#3 – MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™ is bigger than it has ever been.  There’s like 7 main stages now, somehow.  A multi-part question ensues:  What will officially happen next?  Is there any way the Big XII exists in 3 years?  Where do you WANT your team to end up?  Where do you THINK your team will end up?

#4 – On average, how much sleep has Bill C. gotten each night over the past 7 days?  Does he have a spreadsheet tracking this data?

The Beef: #1 – I think I was probably guilty (in my own head) at knowing what Franklin NEEDED to do for the team to be successful (which was to roughly match Gabbert’s stats from the year before).  However, I don’t think at any point I ever concocted my own expectations of whether or not he COULD do it.  I think the O-line injuries, along with the injury to J. Jackson, who serves as our most consistent downfield threat, certainly did not help Franklin in his first game.  Can we do better?  Sure.  Will we do better?  At times.  Are we going to win 9 games this year?  I am thinking not, just because of the injury factor at this point.

#2 – Bad luck.  I don’t think anyone can question the conditioning and science and everything that MU  (and other programs) have integrated into the training.  I suppose I could also blame the NFL lockout….

#3 – I am curious how long Baylor can hang up the movement of aTm to the SEC.  I am hoping it is longer than the time it will take for this to get posted later this afternoon, therefore not outdating me right away.  I will still want MU to land in the Big 10, but I still think the likely destination is going to be the SEC.  I don’t see the Pac-16 as a real option for us (but I don’t think OU/OSU/kU/kSU potentially is bad for them…and yes…I threw kSU in as a package deal with kU).  The Big East still represents the basement for me, but that is a better basement than what we thought it would be last year.

#4 – Well, there is sleep and then there is effective sleep.  Effective sleep is going to be much less than sleep for the rest of his life.

Michael Atchison: 1. I haven’t actually seen the game yet (life intrudes), and at this point I’m not sure I will, so I’ll pass.

2. I’ll go with calcium deficiency.

3. The Big 12 will not exist in anything like its current form in three years. Assuming that the latest round of legal wrangling gets worked out, A&M moves to the SEC soon-ish. If the league implodes, I want Missouri to end up in the Big Ten or in an expanded Pac-12 that includes Oklahoma and Kansas. I fear and suspect it’s the SEC.

4. Given that Bill continues to write at the same pace, I think it’s 15 minutes, max.

ZouDave: #1 – I definitely think our performance opened our spoiled eyes to the fact that not every QB has a breakout debut as a starter.  Brad Smith sure did, Chase Daniel sure did and Blaine Gabbert sure did, but the fact that James Franklin didn’t isn’t a sign that he will never belong in a sentence will those other 3 Pinkel QBs.  If the offense doesn’t get significantly better over the rest of September, however, I don’t see how we’re not 2-2 after our first 4 games.  That was a realistic possibility anyway, it’s not a bad thing to lose road games to ranked teams.  I was most pleased with the defense’s ability to put the clamps on; I think our D is going to be every bit as good as we thought it would be this year.  I am most concerned with our running backs, and now that Lawrence has gone down I’m more concerned than I was 4 days ago.  But if the line starts getting healthier, that may help the backs.

#2 – I definitely think it’s bad luck, but I won’t discount COTG in this.  I just wish I knew of another way to appease him.  We’ve tried Karma threads, we’ve tried Charity.  I think the next thing should be acts of contrition, followed by human sacrifice.

#3 – I think the next official card to fall will definitely be A&M winning whatever it is they have to win to become official future members of the SEC, and then I think the floodgates burst open and teams will try to be the next to make a move and pressure will be put on all of the conferences.  I agree with The Beef, I absolutely want Mizzou to land in the B1G.  I think we’re a better fit academically, athletically and culturally, not to mention geographically, but I think we won’t be able to wait on them and we’ll take the SEC bid.  And that’s a really, really cool option and it’s going to be fun but it’s going to change so many things so quickly.  It’s going to be a fun ride.

#4 – Having not been a father of any kind yet, I can’t really venture a good guess here.  But I’m guessing that he’s getting no more than 4 consecutive hours at any time, and yes he has a spreadsheet tracking this data.

Doug: 1 - Thank you, David. You have grown. I'm very impressed. Compared to how KU opened the season last year, you can't helped but feeled buoyed by the performance. Obviously, Kansas will need to rely heavily on the run game this season. They need to be successful on the ground to keep teams honest and open up the passing game. Pass-to-run hasn't worked for a couple of seasons in Lawrence, but they have the running backs to keep things moving on the ground. The bigger concern is the defense, but they started out well against McNeese State, so I have no idea what happened in the second half to allow the Cowboys to get close. What was more gratifying was that the offense responded and didn't go into a shell.

2 - Lack of calcium. Seriously, more broken bones? Don't they have "Get Milk" ads up in the training center?

3 - I think what happens next is fairly obvious, the SEC invites aTm as it's 13th member, and the Aggies accept, with the one added wrinkle of Baylor potentially filling a lawsuit (which just goes to show, Texas is a f-ing crazy place). Hell, I don't think the Big 12 will exist after this season, let alone in 3 years. The TV contracts were signed with the understanding of 10 teams being place, not nine. No way, Fox shells out a billion dollars for only nine teams. I'd like to see KU wind up in the PAC "Insert Total Number Here" or the (stop laughing) Big 10. The PAC "##" is the most desirable, since there will be no other conferences to potentially raid it, basically ever. I think the Big East has a slightly better chance of happening, but I fear the Big East, simply because it would be next on the radar for raiding by the Big 10, ACC, and even the SEC if the reports about West Virginia becoming the 14th school are to be believed.

4 - Sleep during the night: 3 hours. Sleep during the day passed out from sheer exhaustion: 20 minutes at a time, and he wakes up with drool dripping from his chin.

SleepyFloyd7: 1 - Most pleased with Matt Freaking Grabner. Weapon. The Defense was stout, and they will need to be until James Franklin gets his feet under him, the O-Line gets some chemistry, and the injured players get well.

2 - Bad luck - although the hamstrings are concerning. Hydrate, kids!

3 - Baylor will fold at the river, A&M does the SEC press conference, OU announces it's intentions, cats & dogs living together, MASS HYSTERIA!

No B12 in 3 years, although there is a chance that a conference exists with a similar footprint (but I don't think it's AQ). I grew up a Big 10 kid (my dad was in the band at Ohio State), so, selfishly, I'd like to see Mizzou there, but I think they are headed to the SEC.

4 - Actually, the first week is pretty ok. Sleep can be intermittent, but there should be plenty of time. The trouble will start about a month from now. Oh, and Bill - beware your daughter's development of Free Will. That is the harbinger of parental doom.

ZouDave: Don’t you mean Trey Wheel Barrow?

D-Sing: #1 – I was pleased with the win overall. This week will be a test of the defense to see just how stout they actually are, but I liked some of what I saw this week from them.

The offense, compared to past vintage, obviously didn't live up to prior performance. But I think some people forget that there's a difference between mop up duty and occasional relief (not "Wildcat", since he was, you know, a QB) and actually having a starting job. He's got moves, but his passing needs a little refining. His footwork was sloppy at times, but I'm willing to chalk some of it up to nerves and the fact that the game hasn't slowed down yet.

But he can't run that much on Friday or Vontaze Burfict will kill him.

#2 – I'll say bad luck. Maybe we should've gotten the live chicken.

#3 – I still think it comes down to what Oklahoma does next. If they decide that the Pac-12 looks like a safe haven and the league agrees to expand and take on Oklahoma State as well, then all bets are off and we hit the detonate button on the league; the Big 12 is 100 percent dead. If OU decides to stay and fight, then the league remains on life support for a little bit longer.

I don't think the league exists in three years, because as I said last night/this morning, the fundamental imbalance remains and I don't see it going away. That cat is out of the bag.

Culturally, I still think we fit into the Big 10 best. Geographically it might be a wash, but as much as our program has improved over the past decade, I don't think we're quite up for the arms race that is SEC Football, especially not in the West Division right now.

I'd take the Pac-12 next, although it (like winding up in the Big East) would suck on some level for the Olympic sports as far as travel goes. Academically strong, although culturally not sure how solid a fit we are there.

I think we end up in the Big 10 when the dust settles. I think West Virginia becomes the 14th SEC team.

#4 – 2.5 hours per night, but no spreadsheet.

(Three hours later...)

Bill C.: So I just got back from running errands--are we in the SEC yet?

The Beef: No…but Baylor almost is

Michael Atchison: Bill’s errands have killed the roundtable.

Interesting the difference in points of view among web communities of the same school. Here, there’s near consensus that the SEC is not where we’d like Mizzou to end up (at least not as a first choice), while at Power Mizzou the natives come at you with pitchforks and torches for that point of view.

ZouDave: So IF IF IF IF IF IF Mizzou is indeed on their way to SEC, does SEC stop at 14 or are they going straight to 16?  If they’re going to 16, who are the other 2 teams?

And either way, what do you think the divisions will look like?  What will the schedule be like?

Doug: Obviously, the SEC can't stop at 13 (duh), and I think if you're going to go 14, better to go at least 16, and then you can establish 8 team divisions. That way, Olympic sports can, potentially, have easier travel by only playing against schools in their divisions.

That's one part of the equation that's missing. If KU joins the Big East, should the school really pay to have the volleyball team travel all the way to Syracuse? Of course not. Better to only have football and basketball travel a long way, since those teams can earn those costs back.

ZouDave: What do you think about making four 4-team divisions instead of two 8-team divisions?

The reasons I would do it that way, if possible, are many.

1 – The conference is huge at 16 teams, so 4-team groups keeps that "intimate" feeling among those 4 teams.

2 – Scheduling, football-wise anyway, gets opened up to a lot of possibilities.

What I would do with 4-team divisions is rotate them annually to give you two 8-team Pods.  So you’d have Divisions A, B, C, D and in year 1 you’d have a Pod of A+B and C+D, year two is A+C and B+D and year three is A+D, B+C.  You play everyone in your division once every year, then you play the 4 teams from the other division in your Pod every year.  The best record from each Pod goes to the Conf Title Game.  This guarantees that you’ll play every team in the conference at least once every 3 years.  It also should safeguard against one whole division gaining dominion over the other division, like has happened in the Big XII, since it rotates.

Now, this still only gets you to 7 conference games and they may want 8 or 9.  There are ways to do that, as well, but this is where I’d start.

The Beef: Well, MU could be 14, WVU could be 15, but the notion of not taking a school from a state which already has one limits them down to going after Va Tech….or prying a school out of North Carolina.  Beyond that, and with the state of Oklahoma seemingly out of play with OU/OSU heading west, the SEC would either need to go back on that rule or go further north/west.

ZouDave: They could just take Baylor, right?  That’d be a great way to get Baylor to lift that lawsuit. :-)

Bill C.: I would be sooooooooooo for this.

ZouDave: Get Baylor to the SEC, get OU/OSU/kSU/kU to the Pac-16, and B1G has no choice but to take Texas.

And Nebraska fans commit mass suicide as they realize they’ll be put in the same division.

The Beef: I’d say Texas is big enough to take two schools from it.

Now what would happen if they take BU as team #14 and decide that is good for now…what happens to MU fans then?

ZouDave: See: mass suicide.

The Beef: Some rumor somewhere says the BIG might take UT with the LHN and just be creative in terms of how the TV money gets split (UT gets no money  from BTN, but keeps all money from LHN or something like that)

Doug: I do like the intimacy for football, though somehow I don't think university presidents would quite the see the beauty of it all through some of the more complicated aspects of your proposal: "What do you mean 'rotate'?"

ZouDave: What are the chances the Mizzou vs kansas football game stops being played annually when we’re in different conferences?  I would think very low, but at what point does one of the teams decide "it’s not worth scheduling a nearly sure loss in the non-con?"  Right now that team would certainly be kansas, but the way this series has gone I guess you never know.

I wouldn’t think there’d be any chance either side would let this rivalry die.  Mizzou would just have to have the mindset of "we’ll play you in basketball if you play us in football" and kansas would have the opposite.  Both schools ultimately get what they want.

And keep playing the games in KC, at Arrowhead and Sprint Center respectively.

D-Sing: That 4 team division thing with rotations and cross scheduling?

It's been done before actually. The last time someone attempted to make a superconference.

That's how the WAC was set up before it imploded. They actually never completed all of the rotations before the MWC formed.

ZouDave: Yeah, but the WAC sucked.

I think it would work.  I think.  I am concerned in these seemingly imminent superconferences that if they go to two 8-team divisions that you basically aren’t going to "know" the other side of the conference.  They probably wouldn’t do a rotating home-and-home like the Big XII did with 12 teams because that would mean players wouldn’t play a full ¼ of the teams in the conference during their 4 years.  And if they don’t do home-and-home like that, you’re only getting teams from the other side at home once every 8 years.  Cripes, man, I don’t know where I’ll be in 8 years.  I’d like to think I’d get to see Florida (example) at Faurot Field at least once before something takes me away from season tickets or something.

Doug: If KU and MU wound up in different conferences because the Big 12 dissolved, and not because one school went crawling on hands and knees to another conference (see: BIG last year), then yes, they would keep the rivalry alive.  Frankly there's too much exposure in the KC market to allow either school to not do it.  Plus, there would be a pretty good payday for both schools.

ZouDave: I think even if Mizzou had gotten invited to the B1G last year, there’d still be too much interest in keeping the Border War alive.  It’s the 2nd most-played football game in college football history; it has to stay alive.

And then think about the awesomeness of a Big Monday in December from KC featuring Mizzou vs kansas.  If the SEC and Pac-16 (in theory) decided to do a basketball showdown like the Big Ten vs ACC does, they’d just have to make sure it was Mizzou vs kansas every year regardless of placement in the conferences.

Doug: I disagree, I think Kansas would have been sufficiently pissed with Missouri basically begging for membership into the B1G, that the Border War would have gone away for several years.  I think, in this case, both Kansas and Missouri have been on the same page in wanting to keep the Big 12 alive (far easier to do when you feel you have options in case it does fall apart), that the games will continue if they wind up in different conferences.

ZouDave: Well if we’d gotten the invite instead of Nebraska, I don’t think it would have been "begging" at all.  I think it would have been the Big Ten expanding by a team and choosing Missouri.  I don’t think anyone at Mizzou did any begging of any kind, while I do believe our Governor opened his mouth too often and too loudly.

SleepyFloyd7: Egos don't pay the bills. If there is money (and there would be) the games will happen.

Bill C.: The governor managed become "Missouri officials" last year, which was unfortunate. The people who actually make the decision stayed reasonably quiet. Reasonably. Some of our officials do occasionally have trouble being completely quiet...

Doug: I think there was enough stink from previous flirtations with the B1G, that even with Missouri being silent (for the most part), I think the rivalry would have taken a few years off.  Besides, could you have seen KU agreeing to bolster the state of Missouri's economy by playing at Arrowhead and the Sprint Center given those conditions?

Michael Atchison: If the Mizzou-Kansas split happens, I think Kansas City will do what it takes to keep the rivalry alive in football and basketball. With the possible exceptions of Baylor and Iowa State, no one stands to be a bigger loser in the current upheaval than Kansas City. It goes from being the center of one conference to being on the edge of all of them. I’m confident that the city will be creative in finding ways to maintain the old hostilities. I’d love to see some version of the old Big Eight holiday tournament at Sprint Center; depending on how things shake out, that could include members of the SEC, Pac-16, Big Ten, Big East, ACC and/or some other conference.

D-Sing: If the price was right? Hell yeah I could see it continuing. The "Straight Cash Homey" mantra applies as far as I am concerned.

ZouDave: Definitely.  KC will need to do whatever it takes to get lots of basketball into the Sprint Center and will definitely need to hope the Border War stays at Arrowhead.

Bill C.: Oh god, an "Old Big Eight" tourney would be unbelievably great.

SleepyFloyd7: Hell, even a 3-team round robin weekend with MU, KU and KSU at Sprint Center would be a must-have annual ticket in KC.

Michael Atchison: There may be some roadblocks to turning it into an annual exempt tournament, but even a weekend with two double-headers each day could be a great event.

The Beef: So the rumor is now that ISU has retained their right to counter-sue, joining Baylor.  How long until kSU pulls the same?

ZouDave: Can anyone remind me what the rule is for the B12 officially "disbanding"?  At what point is it no longer a conference?

Michael Atchison: I think it requires a majority of existing members to vote to dissolve, but I’m not 100% certain.

D-Sing: My internet is down so I need a fact check but I thought that the NCAA rule is that if you drop below 7 you lose some standing. But I could be wrong.

Also I think there is a nullification clause in the TV contract if the league goes below 9. Again I can't check that because I don't have an iPhone. Or an Android phone for that matter.

The Beef: I had thought true "conference" status was at 6, and the TV contract I think had to do more with the teams in the conference and not a set number (though obviously if the number continues to dwindle, the odds they nullify the contract go up quite a bit)

D-Sing: Thanks Beef. That sounds right.

ZouDave: Alright, so currently the Big XII is at 10 members (since aTm hasn’t officially left, right?)

Does that mean we have to have 5 members file papers to leave and that disbands the conference, meaning all pending legal actions would be null?  If so, that means aTm, Mizzou, OU and OSU (who all presumably want out) wouldn’t quite be enough.  We know Baylor, ISU and probably kSU don’t want this thing to dissolve because they will lose out.  The key then could rest on Tech or ku.  If one of them gets an invite to the Pac-##, they become the 5th team that wants out, and the Big XII then only has 5 members not actively trying to leave (BU, ISU, kSU, UT and the other team of Tech/ku) and that means it’s over.  Am I right or is that just gibberish?

Doug: That sounds right to me, though shouldn't it be 50% plus 1?  Either way, the lynch pin(s) are/is KU or Tech.

Personally, I wouldn't mind KU to vote to end the conference so long as it means going somewhere not the Big East, because I think the Big East means K-State tags along.  Which would bum me out immensely.

The Beef: I think the general design of that makes sense.  I just don’t know what the timetable would have to be for this all to go down.  And that is my fear about the possibility of adding a Houston or SMU or school like that…that it could be done as a way to bolster the numbers back up to put penalties into play for everyone out the door.  It is why I bristled every time someone said the Big XII would aggressively seek out other schools to add.

ZouDave: Apparently there’s a statement from the Big 12 coming soon.  Maybe time to post this thing so that when that statement comes out our discussion today is already on the record?

The Beef: What oh what could the Big XII possibly say at this point?


SleepyFloyd7: It's not really a statement, per se.

It's just a video of Dan Beebe

Michael Atchison: Old guy confession: I remember watching the Hawaii concert on TV when it first aired.