Thursday, November 3, 2011
Does Missouri fit in the SEC?
By ESPN.com staff
No matter what anyone says, Missouri's move to the SEC isn't official just yet.
That won't stop us from examining an interesting question swirling around the Tigers' possible move.
Is Missouri a good fit for the SEC?
Grantland's Robert Mays examined the question from a variety of angles, and I encourage you to check out the full story.
Here's a quick look at a few of the factors considered:
A place where Missouri is definitively not Southern is in its football culture. Columbia has been home to its share of great crowds in the last several years; Nebraska in 2007 and last year’s win over No. 1 Oklahoma come to mind — but where Mizzou football ranks in the lives of students and alumni doesn’t stack up to its new SEC counterparts. When an Alabama law school grad/season ticket holder/tailgater Josh Segall was recently asked by a reporter in Columbia if Mizzou fits the culture of the SEC, he responded with, “I don't know; do you know anyone who re-scheduled their wedding because Missouri was playing a home football game?”
The stat Missouri fans have trumpeted since this move got legs is that Mizzou has won its past five games against the SEC. As friend and ESPN.com Big 12 blogger David Ubben pointed out to me, two of those games were against an Ole Miss team coached by Ed Orgeron — whose teams finished a combined 7-17 in those years — the other was in a bowl game against a coach-less team during the best season in school history.
There's a whole lot more, including some insight from former Tiger Kevin Rutland.
The move would be a good one for the basketball program, and the story examines this further. It also provides a boon to the SEC in the world of academia, since Missouri would come with the seemingly gigantic badge of membership among the elite Association of American Universities.
Give the full story a look.