Hearne: Lose the Crying Towels, Mizzou Alums Say MU Has No Choice

Parting is such sweet sorrow, then again…

For two of Kansas City’s biggest supporters of Missouri football and basketball – Missouri Tiger Club of KC honcho Joe Zwillenberg and PR wildcat Will Gregory – bailing on the Big 12 for the SEC is simply a no brainer.

"It’s stability," Zwillenberg says. "Oklahoma and Texas tried to get into the Pac 12 but they couldn’t get in, so they came back to the Big 12 and said, ‘We want to be here.’ But dude, it just doesn’t work that way, because you know eventually they’re going to screw you and contracts don’t mean crap nowadays. So I think Missouri’s doing the right thing."

Gregory agrees.

As for not so thinly veiled threats by KU basketball coach Bill Self to schedule other schools in place of the Tigers if they bail, "You know who else won’t have a problem finding non league games to play? Missouri," Gregory says. "I can see how KU and K-State would feel that way because MU leaving would hurt their revenue stream, but any team they add to the Big 12 is not going to mean as much as Missouri. What are they going to add, West Virginia or BYU? I’m not blaming Kansas for our departure, you need to look south for the answer."

That being Texas, with its controversial Longhorn TV network.

"I think (Self’s) just trying to protect himself," Zwillenberg says. "And he has a lot of influence, but I think if Kansas fans wanted it they’d play MU eventually. Look, they’re not invited to this party right now and I’d imagine there are some hurt feelings."

Gregory’s advice to KU: Follow MU!

"I mean, it’s not my fault the SEC doesn’t want Kansas, the SEC is a football conference. I’m sorry that their phone wasn’t ringing but ours was and I’m very excited that we don’t have to live under the thumb of Texas and Oklahoma. It seems like KU would have some leverage with the strength of their basketball team. And I think, like Missouri, they should try and get the best deal that they could."

Despite their obvious allegiances to KC, both agree MU absolutely should take the SEC up on its invitation.

"Oh, you have to go – it’s security," Zwillenberg says. "If you look back and you didn’t go, you’re an absolute idiot."

What about Missouri sacrificing its geographic proximity and the decades old rivalries?

"Well, we have a new basketball coach which will make for a great rivalry with Arkansas," Gregory says. "Which by the way is another border state and so is Tennessee."

How about the prospect of MU becoming an SEC doormat in football going up against Alabama, LSU, etc?

"The last four years we’ve been the 4th winningest school in college football," Zwillenberg says. "We’ve averaged 10 wins a year. So yeah, we’re going to have to step up our game, but when you’re competing against the best, I think you play your best. And we’ll gain recruiting access in states we’ve never been able to recruit in before."

Now a few kind words for the soon to be jilted Kansas teams about to be left behind in the Midwestern dust…

"The Big 12 will stay together as long as Texas and Oklahoma stay but if they leave, it’s over," Zwillenberg says. "I mean, I’m not happy about it; it’s just the way of the world. I don’t want it to happen, but it’s the smart play. And I know for a fact from several sources there will be at least two events here in Kansas City – a football game and definitely a basketball game with KU or it maybe a tournament. If Missouri’s going to go to the SEC, they definitely cannot leave Kansas City on an island. Kansas City cannot be left behind. We have a 119-year rivalry with Kansas that will continue. I would bet my house on it."

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4 Responses to Hearne: Lose the Crying Towels, Mizzou Alums Say MU Has No Choice

  1. % says:

    This KU fan understands completely why Missouri is leaving. I wish they would stay, but any university that has the chance to leave the Big 12 should do so. It’s doomed to failure. The clock is already ticking on its current 6-year time bomb. And Texas is likely to start pulling wires before those six years are up. If KU’s (or any other Big 12) administration is not actively seeking out an alternative to the Big 12 then their actions are neglectful and incompetent. KU’s going to be holding a mighty-empty bad in a few years.

    I know some KU fans are jealous and some are spiteful. My only gripe with Missouri is the duplicitous nature with which its administration has acted. Virtually every report had Brady Deaton as the conference’s chairman rallying up the cavalry to bring the Big 12 back under one tent when it looked like Texas and Oklahoma weren’t going to get past the first date with the PAC-12. Then Gary Pinkel, who was one interception-returned-for-a-touchdown away from getting canned when MU beat South Carolina in a meaningless bowl game a few years ago, sounded off about the Big 12 and Deaton and the curators pissed down their legs about who was actually in charge over there in Columbia. Turns out its Pinkel, who’s just a few years away from getting fired anyway when Missouri likely returns to its historically moribund state (pre-empt on the inevitable Missouri strike: I know KU sucks at football). Then Deaton, credibility neutered, had to back down and let things follow the path they’re on now. And now they can’t seem to get their act straight. Their “major announcement” today sounded like a joke. Everyone knows where you’re going. Now just get on with it.

    Nevertheless, congratulations to Missouri for finding a way out of this conundrum. Like I said, I wish and hope KU gets out of this sinking ship soon. I’ll miss to Missouri and KU games as I’m certain they won’t continue.

  2. smartman says:

    My To Doo-Doo List
    Yeah, gotta get Gregory and Zwillenberg’s take on this. Now I don’t have to worry about what Lou Holtz and Mark May think.

    Hell, get Shannin and Parks, Fat Tony and Darla, maybe Al Brooks and Alonzo Washington, Funk and The Squid; top it off with Glazer’s $300.00 date and her porn star friend to weigh in and you can officially close the whole book on this conversation.

    I agree Mizzou has to go but this isn’t a choice between good and evil as much as it is a choice between radiation and chemo.

  3. harley says:

    sad…very sad…
    as a mizzou fan i can’t understand how the mu administration could fuck this whole thing up so bad. Okay…the big 12 is
    falling part. Texas and OU want out and to go elsewhere and when it does ku kstate and i state are out in the cold.
    But don’t worry about them…they are smart and their schoolsw will come out fine.
    But this never ending trail is ridiculous by the school. another roller coaster ride for the big 12,,,mu and its fans.
    but thats to be expected. I remember all the years of mu football and the roller coaster rides…win big games…lose
    small games….beat ranked opponents…lose to unranked opponents …..get screwed by officiationg…(colorado 5 downs..
    nebraska kick etc.)…so this is to be expected.
    MU has no choice…get out now…make the best of what they can in themeantime…don’t beat down kc…try to salvage
    a football game and a bball tournament. MU will be fine in the sec or the big 10 or whatever league they end up in.
    They see the handwriting. The big 12 is going to be tough sailing…hopefully not because nothing would be worse than
    for ku and kstate to get screwed in the future.
    relax everyone…change is coming…and we all get used to it….and maybe there won’t be any more ku/mu rivaliries..
    so what…it was nice…but times and people change….we’ll all be fine in the end.

  4. PB says:

    How Can They Cry
    About “stability” in a league two years after they were the FIRST Big XII school to make noise about leaving? They simply still haven’t got over the fact that they were back-doored by Nebraska and couldn’t get into the hallowed, ivory-covered B1G as they originally intended. And that’s another thing, I was under the impression that the proposed move to the B1G was supposed to be all about the academics and the AAU status of all its members, but now they’re seemingly content with going to a league that as a whole, sits somewhere between DeVry and Brown-Mackie on the academic scale with only TWO AAU-sanctioned universities. So much for that bullshit excuse.

    They all SAY its a great move, but in the spirit of the state motto, they certainly can’t SHOW ME that it is. Stability, my ass…unlike their Kansas and Iowa neighbors, they were always going to be golden if the league collapsed. No, this has always been more about Mizzou being the needy, self-esteeem challenged chick craving acceptance and now that they painted themselves into a corner with their fake pregnancy, there’s no going back. Jilted by the one boyfriend that they’ve had a crush on ever since their MVC puberty , they simply spread their legs for another.

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