Hearne: The Frightening Fall of the Soon-To-Be 4-0 Missouri Tigers

Screen shot 2013-09-27 at 12.38.16 PMWe all make mistakes, right?

I’ve got a couple of doozies under my belt. Perhaps you’ve noticed. Not everyone however is wildly anxious to own up to the error of their ways.

Take the University of Missouri athletics department.

When MU bailed on the Big 12 a couple years back, it appeared to be an all but a necessary evil. And Missouri didn’t exactly write letters of apology to the schools it left behind, you know, no Dear KU missives.

Actually, the opposite was true.

Everybody from MU football coach Gary Pinkel to the school’s chancellor to its fans were swept up in a wonderous frenzy of SEC worship and delight.

That was then…

And after a disappointing season last year, this year’s Missouri Tigers football team is poised to start the season 4-0.


“They’ll be undefeated but they haven’t played anybody,” says football scribe Craig Glazer. “And if I had to put money down, I’d say they’ll end up 6-6, but I think Pinkel’s going to be on the warm seat next year if that happens. For him to truly have a successful season he needs to win seven games and that’s gonna be hard.”

PictureofSculptureTigerMedium-thumb-246x279A bowl bound 6-6 Missouri squad would be a joke, Glazer says.

“I don’t like the way that works, that winning six games gets you to a bowl game,” Glazer says. “You know, they win  six games and they’re in the Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers. That’s kind of silly to reward a team that only won a couple of somewhat meaningful games and a bunch of games against some cupcakes. That’s just not very impressive. I mean, how many people want to watch a 6-6 team play another 6-6 or 7-5 team; it’s just not very exciting.

“My question is, what happened to Gary Pinkel? Why has he lost his ability to bring in players? He went to the SEC in order to bring in better players, but the opposite has happened. I mean, MU has gone backwards.”

Should Missouri have stayed put?

gary_pinkel_ASU_091712“Yes, they should have stayed in the Big 12,” Glazer says. “Missouri was not ready for this. At this point in time they cannot compete against any of the good teams in the SEC, let alone the great teams. Missouri is now like a low level team. In the Big 12 they were a somewhat prominent team. They’re be the fourth or fifth best team if they were still in the Big 12.

“Now they’ve moved into a conference where they’re arguably one of the worst teams – they’re at the bottom. And at this time, they’re not showing that they have the ability to get any better. Then you have the Missouri basketball team that was decent. And I think it does hurt em that they don’t get to play KU. Now they’re just kind of a no-show. It’s been a downhill blast since they left the Big 12.

“And in the immediate future, what’s going to make things better? They’re probably going to have to get rid of Pinkel.”

Ah, what might have been, Glazer waxes…

“You know, in the Big 12 this year Missouri would have probably won 8 or 9 games and maybe be nationally ranked. Now they’re just kind of in a state of mediocrity in both football and basketball, so I don’t know what they can do.”

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21 Responses to Hearne: The Frightening Fall of the Soon-To-Be 4-0 Missouri Tigers

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    The Big 12 owes its continued existence to the departure of Mizzou and Texas A&M. They upset Texas’ plan to leave for greener pastures. The bleeding of teams ended with their departure and the failure of any other conference wanting anything to do with Texas.

    Mizzou had its day in football. A national championship and the team which started Bear Bryant’s long losing record in bowl games.

    What college teams play any significant non-conference games (Bill Snyder wrote the book and they all followed)?

    Bowl games aren’t about who is the best in a given year. But about who can put the most butts in a stadium or eyes on the one-eyed babysitter.

    In the words of Firesign Theater, eat it raw. Yes, rah, rah, rah.


  2. Stomper says:

    Good topic Hearne. My opinion in sports is worthless but that doesn’t stop others from opining so why not me. I’m an old time Big 8 fan and it took me a while to get over the entrance of the 4 hoodlums from Texas . Hindsight is always 20/20 but back when it looked like the Big 12 was going under, Colorado, Nebraska, and Missouri looked to be pro-actively smart by jumping from a sinking ship. The NU fans I talk to today all seem to regret the move. Can’t find any Buffs to talk to but curious about their thoughts. I’m looking forward to reading the opinions from your commenters on this topic. Thanks for throwing it out there.

    • Ginger Bonita says:

      Colorado fan here: CU joined the Pac-12 mainly because it was certain the Big 12 ship was going down and they wanted to get their spot in the shiny new conference before Baylor could outmaneuver them politically when the Texas schools were angling themselves for the Pac. Many Big 12 fans will recall that no one particularly wanted Baylor in the conference when the Southwest Conference disintegrated, but Texas governor Ann Richards, a Baylor alum, pulled strings and got the Bears in the conference to the exclusion of Arkansas.

      Given that the Big 12 somehow survived those two years of conference-jostling I think there’s some regret from CU fans over the move. They had already spurned invitations to the Pac-12, the latest as recently as 1995, I believe. If the move didn’t make sense then, it surely doesn’t make sense now at a time when CU’s athletics department is broke. Paying a Big 12 exit fee at the same time you’re now having to get into a facilities arms race with well-heeled California private schools and Nike proxy Oregon is not the best financial decision. Personally, I wished Colorado had gone to the Mountain West where it would have natural rivalries with Air Force, Colorado State and Wyoming. If Boise State, Utah and Texas Christian had stayed, it would have been a great conference. It’s sad that there’s no CU-Nebraska rivalry anymore. Now the best the Buffs can do is a contrived rivalry with Utah and the annual CSU tilt.

      CU’s afflictions are mirrored with Missouri’s move to the SEC. Like CU, Missouri has a relatively apathetic fan base. Sure, they turn out when the team is undefeated, but they jump ship pretty fast once the losses roll in. Look at all those empty seats last year during the Vanderbilt game. There’s a reason that Missouri kept getting passed over for plum bowl games, and it wasn’t the Big 12 conspiracy all their fans claimed. It’s because bowl directors know they have a hard time getting MU asses in seats. Now MU has to expand their stadium and spend a shitload of money to keep up with other SEC schools. I get why they made the move. It looked certain that the Big 12 would implode under all the bad acting from Texas and Oklahoma. It’s just hard to see how a historically-middling team in the Big 12 (save for a couple years when they won the North) can justify a move to the SEC over time.

      I suspect a lot of the schools that made conference switches will come to regret the move, except those which abandoned the Big East. That made sense. But otherwise, I don’t understand why Rutgers is going to the Big 10 or why West Virginia is in the Big 12.

  3. PB says:

    Sure the SEC is tougher, but I think you’re forgetting that Mizzou was only a “prominent” Big XII team when the league was divided by divisions and they had that small window where the North was down and they won a couple of “titles” before getting run by OU in the league championship game. They were firmly a middle of the pack team in the 10-team Big XII so I’m not sure how even their most ardent supporters could have expected anything better than that when moving to a stronger conference.

    Let’s face it, that University and everybody and everything connected to it just screams mediocrity and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just wish their fan base would embrace their averageness instead of continuing to embarrass themselves with their delusions of grandeur.

  4. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Come one Hearne. You should be better than this obvious bit of trolling. I’ve seen less stinkbait in a catfishing tournament. SaranWrap is less transparent.

  5. the dude says:

    Dear KU,

    Sorry we left you guys holding the bag of crap that Texas distributed to all big 12 members and we bolted for greener (LITERALLY) pastures. Good luck with the Texas greed, hope they don’t implode yet another conference with it.

    Always Yours,
    Truman Tiger.

    • Ginger Bonita says:

      True, it’s not optimal to be subject to Texas’s and Oklahoma’s whims. But how exactly is MU so much better off? And how does MU avoid becoming the cultural anomaly to the SEC like Colorado was to the Big 12? You have very little football tradition, while your competitors like Florida, Alabama and LSU are larded with it. All the money MU gets from the SEC that its fans troll about, how does that benefit the fans in any way? You’re already paying higher ticket costs. I get that all the SEC pillow talk is making you feel warm and rosy, but long term I don’t see the move making a whole lot of sense for MU, particularly once you’re mired in endlessly in the bottom third of SEC standings.

      • the dude says:

        Money Ginger, it’s ALL about money.
        Anyone that tells you different is full of it.
        MU makes a lot more money in the SEC than they did in the Longhorn 12.


      • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

        You really have to ask a question that stupid? Let’s see…stuck in a dysfunctional conference that’s doomed to fail and being one of the “Forgotten 5” OR joining the best athletic conference in the nation, which no team has left or wanted to leave since what..1965? Equal revenue sharing amongst all teams. Massive SEC Network tv deal. Look, anyone dumb enough to judge these conference moves within the first two years, really shouldn’t be talking about it. Higher ticket prices for fans? Pfffft. Ticket prices never go down, they always go up. That’s just the price of being a fan. And the SEC money DOES benefit the fans. Have you seen the massive renovations going on at Faurot? Come on. Just because CU’s athletic department is in the toilet, don’t act like Mizzou’s is in the same boat.

        • Ginger Bonita says:

          Look, anyone dumb enough to judge these conference moves within the first two years, really shouldn’t be talking about it.

          Well, you’re judging it as a great move within two years, soooo….

          How does that massive TV deal benefit you? Seems to me that it only makes rich people richer. And how do renovations benefit fans, other than artificially boost rising ticket prices? So that only the wealthy can enjoy $9 popcorn and $85 tickets to some directional school? You MU fans prattle on and on about money that a school makes that trickles down to its supporters in no conceivable way. Nice peasant mentality. Must have learned that from being in the Big 12.

          • the dude says:

            You just don’t get it do you?
            It is not about the sport, the underpaid athletes, the idiots in the luxury boxes or the fans.

            What the hell about that do you not understand you nitwit?!?!

  6. PB says:

    “Mizzou had its day in football. A national championship”

    Huh, it what dimension did that happen? They have exactly one national championship in their entire history of athletics and that was when Norm Stewart was a pitcher on their baseball team in the early 50s.

    And as far as greener pastures go, that certainly doesn’t seem to satisfy the administration or their faithful as everyone from the Chancellor to Pinkel to every one of their SEC-proud fans, won’t shut up about still wanting to play KU. Let it go already, you’ve got A&M and Vanderbilt.

  7. speedy says:

    Why don’t we leave all this anti-Mizzou talk to the KU Star… The starting QB and 4/5ths of the O line were injured most of last season. This will be a much better year. As for the ten Big 12 teams, name one that wouldn’t jump at the chance to join the S.E.C…. never mind, none of them would ever get an invite anyway.

  8. harley says:

    This is the third time hearne has had to force himself to write an article
    of why Missouri should have stayed in the big 12.
    Have you seen the “great renovations” at kstate stadium? weak and boring..
    and nowhere near the quarter billion that mu is making.
    Have you seen the grave financial situation of ku ? A dying institution.
    the governor has sucked those education dollars away and used them to fund
    his “border war” and tax cuts for weathly Kansans (thank yu mr. brownback)!
    Have you seen iowa states numbers?
    How about those longhorns…history in football now that the sec can
    come to texas and recruit. A dying team with dead man walking coach!!!!!
    Have you seen oklahomas recruits?
    HAVE YOUSEEN THE MISSOURI TIGERS. Last year was a tough year.
    First year in the most financially successful league in ncaa history.
    They lost their starting qb from day 1. What would a and m be without
    johnny football? Or Alabama with McCarron? or Georgia without their
    dynamic qb…NOWHERE. MU had serious injury problems
    all last year and starting out in the new sec compounded their
    problems on the field.
    And again mr. glaze makes a complete fool of himself not knowing anything
    about the Missouri program and pretending to be an expert in this area.
    Missouris recruiting has never been great. Except for the few stars they’ve
    gotten like gabbert or Richardson..most were not highly recruited
    player but many became #1 round draft picks in the nfl. 2 star/3 star
    high schoolers playing at mizzou then becoming #1 nfl picks. Glaze
    doesn’t take that into account. But since greene the #1 high school recruit
    chose mu you can see what a powerful offense they have….and its
    getting better.
    So its year 2 for mu in the sec. Had mr. glaze been educated in the sec
    he would have knownthe fact that it takes time to build a winner in that
    league. Look at south Carolina…who unloaded one of the most
    successful coaches to bring inanother coach who EVENTUALLY
    made them a winner. LSU…even Alabama had tough years in the
    sec…it takes time to get up to speed when you’re playing teams
    that have 5 or 6 nfl starters on offense and defense.
    But glaze pretends to know these facts…but he’s wrong.
    And hearne struggles to write ANOTHER COLUMN ABOUT WHY
    MU should not have left. Old news hearne…old worn out attempts!!!!!!
    But they know nothing about mu…except a false bunch of b.s.
    So Harley has to educate these people.
    Money…money money…hey hearne you try living without that
    trust fund. would you move to bring in another 60 milliondollars
    a year if you were the AD or chancellor.
    And fan support…Missouri now ranks in the top 20 of ncaa schools
    of national fan support…ku…not even close!!!!
    Football…its the king…its the money ball. Its the way to grow a university.
    Missouri has so much cash rolling in they need brinks trucks lined up to
    bring it in. And their academic standing and their new capital improvements
    programs are staggering. Glaze wouldn’t understand this because he never
    made it thru college…but a universitys lifeblood is not sports…but money…
    I’ve beenaround thousands of mufans…not in Lawrence hearne…but
    throughout the country…and almost none are dissatisfied with the sec
    move. You might find some mu fans in your subdivision in Lawrence
    hearne who might be unhappy…but if you take a trip to Columbia you’ll
    see the start of one of the nations fastest growing…fastest improving
    campuses ever!!!!!
    MU will be fine. The adjustment didn’t work as well as texas a and m’s
    (of course mu wasn’t lucky enough to find a needle in a haystack like
    johnny football) but they are moving in that direction.
    Glaze never read a stat book…never researched a piece of documentation
    …so he’s the least qualified to speak about this and manyother subjects..
    besides the fact that hearne doesn’t have the go to sources he had
    when he was at the star….time has taken its toll and this blog has
    about 1/10000 the power his column had in the kc star…as they
    say…location is everything!
    But I could go on…the newest facilities in the nation…a fund set up
    to make mu the “Wharton of the Midwest”….
    about 100 million dollars ready to drop into the university from donors…
    licensing rights that have skyrocketed…far beyond anything in dollars
    that ku or k state or even Oklahoma would ever receive.
    National publicity….as part of the sec MU has become one of the
    most cited universities for research and development…
    and of course the millions of dollars (probably about 40 million dollars)
    in additional tuition revenue tht comes into the state from
    out of state students…something ku/kstate /I state would never
    even come close to….
    And sports…yes…it will take time. But if you watch stats its coming
    faster than it seemed last year when franklin and literally the entire
    offense was injured.
    But people like glaze don’t know that…so hearne tries a third time..strikes out!
    MU will be fine in football. It may take a coachingchange but
    they’ve got the dollars to do whatever they want.
    One foolish comment asked what all the money coming to the
    university does for the average student…well it helps them
    academically and provides the departments with millions
    of dollars to be at the forefront of new vitally needed discoveries.
    Glaze/hearne…this is your third attempt and you’ve failed again.
    Why not focus on the downfall of ku. Yes..they will fill their
    barn…but they are financially ailing. I was there recently
    and saw many parts of the buildings and student areas in
    need of serious repair. The facilities are old and worn out.
    And even with a final four it doesn’t make any difference…
    when the crowd cheers die the university still must continue.
    YOu kid yourself glaze thinking that you’re a genius in all
    areas…but theres never any facts/figures/data to back up
    anything you say. Sorry dude…you’re just playing with a
    quija (we gee) board and no stats to back up anything you
    Missouri will continue to recruit and just like all the other
    sec schools who went thru down times…they will reach
    the big lights.
    Its tough when Alabama gerogia etc. are getting all the
    top recruits and eventual nfl players and being able to
    compete. But mu will take time.
    They will not be the bottom feeder of the sec…it will take time..
    but they will get there. they’ve got too much money
    not to.
    And they’re not into the sec tradiitons yet. Playing between the hedges..the
    grove…bama…those great programs were not built overnight…there
    were down years.
    financially…glaze would you give up your place in kck with some marginal
    talent for a top hall seating 10,000 and making $50,000 a week and being
    able to afford the top talent in comedy? of course you would.
    that’s why mu left…the bright lights and big buck football gave them
    the opportunity. If ku or kstate had the same opportunity to make the
    move to the sec do you for one second think they would have not jumped at
    the chance. Of course they would.
    Instead they play in worn out buidlings…suffer and struggle financially
    to make ends meet….are located in one of the most regressive states
    in the nation…and must scrape together a few coins to make any
    kind of improvements.
    I love ku basketball. Self is the best. But that won’t save ku….
    the money is drying up….the school is losing it’s luster…
    and as an mu alumni I am prouder now to say I was there.
    Look it’s simple….its the money folks….and for those who ain’t
    got it they’ll cry that “its all about the money”….but be honest…
    without the money the car goes nowhere.
    MIZ ZOU….
    also spoke with a good friend who’s son is in blue valley north area…
    told me that ku has nowhere near the pulling power it once had.
    the programs are suffering from severe budget cuts and its
    getting worse. On the other hand Missouri is becoming a
    mini Austin with high dollar student housing downtown that
    resembles the big money flashy student housing that exists
    in Austin. Just part of the further evolving high dollar changes
    going on in Columbia. If you’ve not been there its rated one of the
    top small towns in America….right between 2 major metro areas
    and the flavor that you find in few towns its size.
    Hearne…I truly hope this is the last attempt at your stories trying to
    convince readers that the move was a bad one for mu. This topic
    is old/outdated and is proof that you need to get more facts/stats/
    and information research before you write something that is
    filled with misinformation.
    if you want further details on this or other stories feel free to contact
    me at law4life1000@yahoo.com.

    • admin says:


      Your fingers must be bleeding after all that typing. Third time for me, eh? I dunno, but I think your comment just lapped all three of mine.

      Besides, this wasn’t about MU staying in the Big 12 per se. It was an honest look at where the Tigers were going on the eve of starting the season 4-0.

      With Craig’s assessment of the switch to the Sec thrown in for dessert.


      • harley says:

        sorry hearne…we’re making food for our tailgate…
        well i’m not….
        you’e made three articles to try to push down the
        move by mu.
        Tell your gay friends in lawwrence that its over.
        we don’t want to play you in football ….we’d slaughter
        you…and we’re not interested in being another
        victim of selfs nba college squad.
        no one cares…at leathe the 100,000 people I’ve
        talked with…
        kustays and goes broke in the big 12….and as texas
        sinks watch for an implosion there …..hopefully they
        can lure saban…that would be amajor coup..
        but the network is dying…espn is losing huge
        money there…and once the losses bleed to much
        red (or orange) texas splits withoklahoma/state
        and tech to greener pastures.
        I made this prediction as I made the prediction of
        mu’s move after the big 12 debacle.
        I’m stumping your writers on stories (see my

        • harley says:

          see my comment on wilsons story about the issue
          I brought up a week ago about those free phones…
          and they’e not Obama phones…they’re Clinton/bush
          as you can see hearne I should have my own
          byline here.
          but i’m out of time…
          hang inthere…Harley has taken your placed as the
          go to guy for the information about eveytying.
          I suggest before you write any story you contact
          me at law4life 1000 to getb my take.
          oh…and the Anderson story…stay tuned…
          more to come…Harley knows all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Snappietom says:

    Craig G, if you think the Tigers are going to go 6-6 this year your smoking, left-handed cigarettes my friend. Of course the SEC is tougher, it’s the best and why not
    play the best and get better yourself not to mention, but I will, lots of cash to help the
    overall school. Big 12 is a weak conference. Texas included. They might as well rename it the Texas Conference. Tigers get 8 wins this year and go to a bowl.
    Pinkle gets a big bonus and starts a winery serving “Jumbo Glasses”

  10. Lance The Intern says:

    ….And Mizzou just gets an oral commitment from one of the top high school running backs in the nation. I can see how this whole “move to the SEC” thing isn’t working out for them…..
    How are KU football’s high school football prospects looking?

    • harley says:

      lance…whos the running back?
      i’m waiting to tailgate…I hate it…too much work and booze…
      hope they come real late…
      but we got tickets that are great so I don’t mind…
      chiefs hopefully go 4-0…..can’t wait for raiders and donkeys!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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