Hearne: Mizzou Thrashes Kansas in Small Cities Showdown

kufans_20130213075617_320_240Let’s get real…

Most people in life couldn’t care less about whether Bill Self’s basketball Jayhawks best Mizzou in basketball or vice versa.  It’s a game people and games are meant to be played then forgotten.

There are far bigger fish to fry in the game of life than hinging one’s hopes and aspirations on how a handful of out-of-towner athletes perform against other groups of out-of-towner athletes from competing colleges.

Here’s what really does matter when it comes to competing cities, and that’s economic performance. For example, how Lawrence is doing in comparison to…wait for it...Columbia, Missouri.

That ladies and gentlemen is where the rubber meets the road, and that’s where Missouri’s Tigers are cleaning the Jayhawks’ clocks.


Really badly.

As evidenced by the 2012 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranking “the 179 smallest metros” by economic growth and how well they create and sustain jobs.

The bad news: Lawrence ranked 178th, one shy of dead last.

The good news: There is no more bad news.

Not until next year’s survey anyway, but hey, at least the Jayhawks don’t have far to fall.

Which brings us to Mizzou…

Columbia, Missouri clocked in at No. 10, up from 25th place in the 2011 study.  And while it’s probably way too early to count any of those SEC Blessings in that equation, clearly somebody’s doing something right out there in the Middle of Nowhereville, USA.

So while Self may get a couple more blue chip recruits than the Tigers, it’s Columbia that’s counting its economic blessings.

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And while Lawrence Chamber of Commerce prez Greg Williams  was tap dancing in today’s Journal World, Columbia’s Regional Economic Development commission (REDI) was touting the city’s ranking on its web page under the headline, “Columbia, Missouri #10 Best-Performing Cities 2012 – Milken Institute.”

Which brings us to Williams curious defense of lowly Lawrence:

“It is a good reminder that we can’t just rest on our laurels,” he said.

Uh, what laurels?



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16 Responses to Hearne: Mizzou Thrashes Kansas in Small Cities Showdown

  1. hawkfan says:

    Actually, in the late 90s, Lawrence was the fastest growing city in the midwest so obviously Lawrence has fallen off with the anti-development forces in city hall. So yeah, Lawrence has rested on its laurels.

  2. Fresh says:

    Lawrence keeps electing the same people to office that fleece the town for their own gain.

  3. Fresh says:

    People that live in Lawrence think of it as some quaint little college town like it was in the 70s and 80s. It isn’t anymore and hasn’t been for a long time. It is Olathe West with a nicer and hipper downtown. Everything else is Johnson County suburbization.

  4. paulwilsonkc says:

    Thats discouraging; I live in Olathe and think Olathe sucks. I LOVE downtown Lawrence and, outside of KU, is all of it I experience. PLEASE don’t ruin that for me by calling it WEST Olathe. Olathe; Zip Code EIEIO

    • the dude says:

      Sorry wilsun, the truth hurts sometimes.
      Awrence of Flatlandia is but a west extension of Joco.
      Olathe does suck.

  5. Markus Aurelius says:

    No surprise here. Kansas government – be it statewide or local – is pretty backwards thinking. CoMo has shown up in Top 10 lists for ‘most livable’, ‘economic development’ ‘best place for families’, etc, etc… pretty consistently since the early 1990’s.

  6. smartman says:

    Only people more annoying than the Overland Park, Leawood crowd are the Olathe-ites and Lenexacans. Only people more annoying than them are the Lawrence people that think Lawrence is Berkeley on the Kaw or Santa Cruz.

    And after God was done creating Missouri he squated down to marvel at his work. And as he squatted he took a huge dump. The Archangel that was assisting him said. “What are you gonna do with that?”

    God looked at him, tamped the steaming pile down with his foot and said “I’m gonna call it Kansas”,

  7. paulwilsonkc says:

    Directions to Olathe from 71 highway South of KC; you go North till you smell it, West till you step in it.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      I’ve heard similiar directions given to Manhattan KS. Go west on I-70 til you smell it, then head north til you step in it.

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