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ANALYSIS: Breaking down Missouri's 2012 football schedule

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | 6:06 p.m. CST; updated 6:26 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 28, 2011

With a dominant victory over North Carolina in the Independence Bowl in the past, Missouri fans don’t have any time to waste before looking toward the future, as the SEC released its 2012 schedule Wednesday morning.

First, a quick breakdown on how the schedule is made:

  • There are 14 teams in the Southeastern Conference, split into two divisions of seven.
  • Schools play eight SEC games.
  • Schools play all of the teams in their own division annually, accounting for six games.
  • Each school has a “cross-division rival,” which it also plays annually.
  • Schools then rotate through the remaining opponents in the other division to fill their last game. Previously, this was done on a two-year home-and-home basis, but the SEC said in its release Wednesday that the 2012 schedule has no bearing on 2013 or future schedules.  

Missouri will play in the SEC East with Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Texas A&M is Missouri’s cross-division rival. The Tigers will face Alabama for their rotational game.

The nonconference portion of Missouri’s schedule has yet to be finalized. The Tigers definitely will face Arizona State in Columbia on Sept. 15, but their other three games are still up in the air.

Mark Alnutt, Missouri's senior associate athletics director for administration, who is in charge of football scheduling, said the Tigers' nonconference scheduling plan will stay consistent with what it has been:

  • One game against a BCS conference team. (The BCS conferences are the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC.)
  • Two games against teams from outside the BCS conferences (Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt).
  • One game against a team from the Football Championship Subdivision. (Note: When the Big 12 went to a nine-game league schedule, the Tigers dropped the second non-BCS conference game.)

It will be interesting to see what Missouri can come up with as far as nonconference scheduling is concerned. Alnutt said the first priority is to try to reschedule games with Southern Illinois and Miami (Ohio), which were originally set for Sept. 8 and Sept. 22 respectively. Those have been replaced by SEC games against Georgia and South Carolina.

If it doesn’t work out with Southern Illinois and Miami, Alnutt said that typically another team from those conferences probably would fill in. When the Big 12 changed its 2011 schedule after the departures of Nebraska and Colorado, the Missouri Valley Conference was able to get Western Illinois to come to Columbia for a game.

For the fourth game, Missouri would like to stick to its plan and schedule another non-BCS conference team. However, on such short notice (teams typically schedule games years in advance), it could be difficult for Missouri to get that locked down. If that were to be the case, Alnutt said the Tigers would schedule another BCS conference team before they would play a second FCS team.

One team that Missouri isn’t likely to play is Kansas, according to Alnutt. Although the game is contracted through 2012 at Arrowhead Stadium, no indication has been given that the Jayhawks are willing to come back to the negotiating table.

“We haven’t heard anything official from them or the Chiefs,” Alnutt said. “But we expect to hear soon.”

With all that out of the way, here’s a brief look at what the SEC schedule brings to the table for the Tigers.

Sept. 8 vs. Georgia
Georgia 2011 record:
10-3 (7-1, first in SEC East). Does not include Outback Bowl on Monday.
Missouri all-time vs. Georgia:
0-1
Why you should care:
There’s plenty of reason to care just because it’s the first game, but if the Tigers want to have a legitimate shot to challenge for the SEC East title, their path starts right away against the defending division champs.

Sept. 22 at South Carolina
South Carolina 2011 record:
10-2 (6-2, second in SEC East). Does not include CapitalOne Bowl on Monday.
Missouri all-time vs. South Carolina:
2-0
Why you should care:
Another game against an SEC East contender, and you shouldn’t miss a chance to watch South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore if he can return from a torn ACL in time for this one.

Oct. 6 vs. Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt 2011 record:
6-6 (2-6, fourth in SEC East). Does not include Liberty Bowl on Saturday.
Missouri all-time vs. Vanderbilt:
2-1-1
Why you should care:
It’s the James Franklin bowl — Vanderbilt’s head coach shares the name with Missouri’s quarterback.

Oct. 13 vs. Alabama
Alabama 2011 record:
11-1 (7-1, second in SEC West). Does not include BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9.
Missouri all-time vs. Alabama:
2-1
Why you should care:
There’s a chance the Crimson Tide could be the defending champ when the team arrives in Columbia, and even if it isn't, a chance to watch one of college football’s all-time great programs shouldn’t be missed.

Oct. 27 vs. Kentucky
Kentucky 2011 record:
5-7 (2-6, fifth in SEC East)
Missouri all-time vs. Kentucky:
2-1
Why you should care:
Tiger fans know there would be worse than losing Missouri's first Homecoming game in the SEC to a perennial bottom feeder.

Nov. 3 at Florida
Florida 2011 record:
6-6 (3-5, fourth in SEC East). Does not include Gator Bowl on Monday.
Missouri all-time vs. Florida:
1-0
Why you should care:
The Gators have struggled recently, but anyone who watches college football knows they won’t be down for long. Missouri needs to convert on the chance to pick up a rare road win in The Swamp before Florida returns to prominence.

Nov. 10 at Tennessee
Tennessee 2011 record:
5-7 (1-7, sixth in SEC East)
Missouri all-time vs. Tennessee:
0-0
Why you should care:
Neyland Stadium in Knoxville is one of the nation’s best places to watch a game. The Vols typically pack more than 100,000 fans into what is a picturesque setting for college football in the heart of autumn.

Nov. 24 at Texas A&M
Texas A&M 2011 record:
6-6 (4-5, seventh in Big 12). Does not include Texas Bowl on Saturday.
Missouri all-time vs. Texas A&M:
7-5
Why you should care:
In the first edition of the SEC newcomer bowl, there's no reason to break a two-game winning streak in College Station.


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Comments

Mark Sherman February 25, 2012 | 9:25 p.m.

Welcome to the SEC! We Gators have been waiting 46 years to get even for beating us in our first Sugar Bowl.

I would add to the section on why you should care about the game against South Carolina. In that 1966 Sugar Bowl, Florida fell behind 20-0, then scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. However, we lost the game when all of the TDs were followed by failed two-point conversions. Final score 20-18...and the QB who led that rally was Steve Spurrier. I'm willing to bet he hasn't forgotten that game.

(Not that I remember the game...I was four years old and had never even visited Florida at the time.)

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 25, 2012 | 10:45 p.m.

Mark S. - Glad you referenced the Sugar Bowl in your welcome. Many here remember the game and Steve Spurrier as QB. We were afraid our defensive Dan Schuppan might kill him. He clocked Spurrier nearly every play, especially in the 2nd half.

As is apparent, Steve survived and was able to win on some other fields. Just kidding! Our family has always remembered that great game and Steve Spurrier. We watch him at every opportuntiy while he is coaching at night.

We will love beating him again along with which ever coach can be enticed to come to Gainesville, with so much automobile traffic there. Your post is appreciated. You should have heard the noise we used to get from Lincoln. Won't be down there in person, but am happy for the new association.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman February 26, 2012 | 4:13 p.m.

Well, I'm glad we were able to start off a friendly dialogue. Actually, I'm surprised anyone responded, given how long ago the original story was posted.

I don't have much experience with people from UM (unless we're talking about the UM in Coral Gables). In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the only Missouri alum I've ever met was the dean at the UF College of Journalism. (He has since retired.) And yes, that means I am familiar with the reputation of Missouri's J-School.

I have to say, though, that I'm sorry to see yet another long-time rivalry coming to and end. First, Oklahoma-Nebraska, then Texas-Texas A&M, and now Missouri-Kansas. I'm not sure why these can't be worked out, especially since Florida, Georgia and South Carolina maintain non-conference rivalries. I actually e-mailed Tom Osborne, imploring him as a college football fan to keep Oklahoma on their schedule.

I'm more concerned as to how the SEC schedules will work out to maintain divisions without losing cross-division rivalries such as Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia. My understanding is that this year's schedule is a temporary workaround, and starting in 2013 there will be a more permanent situation (barring an additional expansion). So it's likely we won't be in the same division after this year.

Good luck...especially on September 8.

P.S.: You do know we hired Will Muschamp a year ago, right?

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 26, 2012 | 7:52 p.m.

M. Sherman - The Sugar Bowl with Spurrier was memorable with my group, not only because we won but because of the beating Spurrier took. He really did get zapped about every play but always was up ready for the next one. When Latest Comments showed someone writing about it had to answer tho it was bedtime.

Me watching '66 Bowl when you were 4 must give you a clue about age difference. Wife and I watched Mizzou football for 41 years, staring in 1961, traveled when we could and missed 2 home games (K State was bottom of the barrel in '70s and Warren Powers had started our decline. Another FB couple decided with us that we'd be better off at Lake of Ozarks since K State would probably beat us. They did. The other no show was due to sleet and rain during one of Mizzou first night games, was with Colorado.)

Are you up to date on Big 12 problems? ESPN, Texas, and earlier Big 12 Commissioner have caused the deterioration of Big 12. Coach Pinkel has stated, everyone knows there are problems, but no one will do anything about it. Now 4 teams have.

I knew you had a coach, just had to ride a little bit about the lousy traffic we've encountered in Gainesville every time we've gone through. We spent winters in Tavernier in the Keys 13 times, but stopped that 2 years ago.

I better shut up. When you get an old man talking....

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman February 26, 2012 | 11:06 p.m.

I know generally about the Big 12's problems, and how a lot of it comes from Texas running over everyone. My dad actually lives in Austin, but he is definitely NOT a Longhorn fan.

Which reminds me of a story you might enjoy.

Dad is retired Air Force, but a lot of years ago, when he was still on active duty and before he lived in Texas, he went to a bowl game between Air Force and the Longhorns. He was sitting next to a Texas fan, and before the game, this guy was going on about the UT mascot, Bevo. He was apparently a bit over the top in bragging about Bevo, but Dad just nodded politely.

Then there was a military flyover, at which point Dad turned to the Texas fan and said, "Can your cow fly?" I guess the guy wasn't very amused.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 27, 2012 | 7:08 a.m.

An Okie's (Oklahoman's) view of Texans: "An Okie wears the **** on the OUTSIDE of his boots."

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 27, 2012 | 9:48 a.m.

Ellis: I heard they closed the KU football field in fear of a terror plot when they found white powder on the field.

Turns out it was the goal line, and no one had ever spotted it before.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 27, 2012 | 11:26 a.m.

Mark S. - Yes, "Texas running over everyone." with a proposed channel broadcasting Texas high school games, by ESPN. A commissioner purported to be under the wing of an aggressive U.T., A.D. He resigned before MO left.

That KU no longer wants to play MU because of the switch is unbelievable to me as well. Coach Self after beating MU by one on Sat. again reiterated his intent, not to play MU again. I have never heard a great athletic coach verbally display an intent Not to play another team, so often. You?

There were, of course, those that were not allowed to play teams containing black players. Maybe we'll have to accept the decision and take the attitude the teams with blacks took. "You can't beat them if you can't meet them."

Great one Mike! Then there was the huge Texan, too large after his death to fit into any available coffin. It is said that they finally pumped the BS out of him and buried him in a shoe box.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman February 27, 2012 | 3:21 p.m.

Ha, I mention Texas and now other fans from the Big 12 are getting involved.

Frank, you might get another shot at KU in the conference tournament, and maybe yet again in the NCAA tournament. It's pretty much a given that both schools will qualify. Can you imagine Missouri vs. Kansas in the Final Four?

Am I correct in thinking that Missouri-Kansas is (for the moment) the longest continuous football rivalry west of the Mississippi? And if so, do you know what rivalry will replace it next year?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 28, 2012 | 4:50 a.m.

Texas-bashing aside, could it be that at sometime in the near future Tiger fans will experience "buyers remorse" at having left the Big 12? Is losing two previous opponents in Kansas better or worse than picking up two new opponents in Mississippi?

However, the SEC has a more "international flavor." Law in the state of Louisiana is based on French Napoleonic Code, and Mississippi has been compared, favorably, to El Salvador and Honduras.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 28, 2012 | 7:59 a.m.

Don't know if Ellis and Mike are such great Big 12 fans, in fact don't know either one of them personally. It is clear however, they both love to see themselves in print and can be seen "primping" on nearly every subject. Just kidding.

I have no idea who is the #2 FB rivalry. Have to take AK Frank Broyles stance when he said: I will never forget the NY Yankees winning 6 World Series in a row, but I can't for the life of me remember who came in 2nd in any of them".

"So it's likely we won't be in the same division after this year." I understood 2012 schedule is to be temporary but is there reason to believe big changes will occur in divisions?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 28, 2012 | 8:20 a.m.

frank christian says, "Don't know if Ellis and Mike are such great Big 12 fans. It is clear however, they both love to see themselves in print and can be seen "primping" on nearly every subject."
_____________________

Nah, I'm a track guy myself. Haven't been to a football or basketball game in years (college or pro) and would go only with a free ticket and lots of liquor. I didn't even watch the MU/KU game. I like the individual competition of track rather than the team sports. Besides, I officiate track, get in free, get to watch athletes up close, and get all I can eat. Whadda deal...eat yer heart out.

As for primping, everyone has an opinion and sometimes I even have two or three on the same day.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 28, 2012 | 9:28 a.m.

Mark S. - I once swore never to post until after breakfast. This is why. Broyles is not from that largest State to our NW, Alaska, but the one directly below, with the hillbillies, Arkansas. Sorry about that, but it pulled up another trivia story. Did you know MO U once hired Broyles on a multiple year contract? Fans were elated, but at end of 1st year he jumped the contract and went to AR U. The happy ending to the story is that Dan Devine took our Tigers down there in an unusual scheduling of a night game and beat Broyles. Not only that but Devine did it with Broyles forte, Defense. Not sure of score but believe it was single digits, each team.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 28, 2012 | 11:29 a.m.

I'm a Big Ten fan. No school has left the Big Ten Conference since University of Chicago did before World War II. However U. of C. didn't leave the conference in order to join another one; it left to concentrate on academics and research.

Concentrate on academics and research rather than on Division I sports? Why that's positively un-American!

Let's see. Back in 1960 the guy who then owned the Fulton Sun-Gazette newspaper gave my wife and me tickets on the 50 yard line to see MU play Colorado (I think the final score was 50-0) and I've gone to two or three games since then when Iowa State University was playing MU. Interestingly, Iowa State won those games (which pleased my Iowa guests).

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman February 28, 2012 | 7:49 p.m.

I didn't necessarily mean people who were fans of the Big 12, but rather of teams in the conference -- particularly Oklahoma.

Yeah, I know people don't remember who came in second (except for the fans of the second-place team), but some other rivalry is now going to be the longest west of the Mississippi.

By the way, the changes in conference seem to always focus on football, but clearly Missouri brings a lot to the SEC when it comes to basketball.

Nobody has quite worked out how the football schedules will work after 2012, but I think it's safe to say we won't allow the big rivalries to end as the Big 12 did with Oklahoma Nebraska. The rivalries that absolutely must be maintained are these:

Florida-Georgia (played in Jacksonville since 1936, with only three exceptions)
Georgia-Auburn
Alabama-Auburn (aka Iron Bowl)
Alabama-Tennessee
Tennessee-Vanderbilt
Tennessee-Kentucky (historically this was the Beer Barrel Gae until 1998, when two UK players were killed in an alcohol related car accident shortly before the game)
Mississippi-Mississippi State (Egg Bowl)

Also, there is something of a rivalry between LSU and Florida, as this has been a continuous series for many years. I believe there is a something forming between Arkansas and LSU, as they border each other and LSU ended its series with Tulane years ago. I suspect Missouri and Arkansas will became border rivals now, so with Texas A&M joining the conference, the Aggies might become a bigger rival for LSU.

In any event, the trick is to maintain the rivalries while still keeping some sort of divisional alignment, having each team play a round-robin within the division, and preferably keeping the conference schedule at eight games. Nine conference games could be an option, but this could jeopardize non-conference rivalries such as Florida-FSU, Georgia-Georgia Tech, and South Carolina-Clemson. Putting Missouri in the East for 2012 at least provides a year to work out the details. But this is what happens as the conferences continue to get larger.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 28, 2012 | 9:10 p.m.

Football rivalries are easy to form. Coach Bill McCartney of Colorado decided the Buffaloes needed a rival and thus declared Nebraska Corn Husker football team to be the new enemy, as such. I guess T. Osborne must have read it. I don't recall any reaction from anyone in Neb.

"Nine conference games could be an option, but this could jeopardize non-conference rivalries" "Non-conference", my key word here. G. Pinkel's scheduling of inferior teams for non-conference play became a huge minus for us. We gave up our tickets when a previously scheduled game with U of Iowa was rejected by Pinkel which almost caused litigation by IU. The replacement game was the chance to drive to Arrowhead Stadium in KC, Mo.,125 miles, to watch MU Tigers v Arkansas State. We still love to see them play(TV) and always hope they will win, but have never regretted the decision.

We have a controversial project in Columbia right now. Preparing Columbia for the SEC invasion (the best , most impressive way, to accept them). Stay in touch and I'll keep you posted.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman February 29, 2012 | 12:23 a.m.

The most impressive way to welcome the SEC would, of course, be to win the conference title. However, winning the SEC is HARD! Best to have a backup plan.

Starting a rivalry is not as simple as just saying someone is a rival. You need some history, a bit (at least) of hatred, and ideally a few "incidents." Competitive balance is a plus.

Scrapping the Florida-FSU rivalry is hardly the same as Missouri dropping Iowa. (Contrary to myth, though, it's not mandated by state law, either.) Ditto for Georgia-Georgia Tech (used to be a conference game) and South Carolina-Clemson. (Anyone remember Lou Holtz's last game as a coach?)

By the way, I did some research and found that Missouri-Kansas is in fact the longest continuous rivalry west of the Mississippi, although not the most played. Minnesota and Wisconsin have met one more time.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 29, 2012 | 5:07 a.m.

Some people might first figure out what they're going to do IF they change conferences and THEN change conferences.

BTW, Frank, Big Ten football teams, by conference decree, are going to nine conference games per season. One problem with an eight game conference schedule in the SEC is that it can be awhile before you work your way through all the teams that aren't in your division. On the other hand, some folks feel it's important to play at least four non-conference games (preferably against top-ranked opponents like Western Illinois).

Also BTW, the year Nile Kinnick won the Heisman Trophy (1939) a Big Ten schedule was EIGHT football games, conference and non-conference. That's a 50% increase to the present for NCAA Division I. Would that ALL "industries" could fare that well. :)

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 29, 2012 | 12:31 p.m.

Mark S. I may have been misunderstood in my last. I was not demeaning your concern for retaining rivalries. I referred to non-conference scheduling only show what Pinkel here, has done with it. He did not "drop" Iowa U. He refused to honor a standing contractual agreement even though IU threatened to sue. We just finished, I believe, a five year home and away with IL U. These games have been cherished by both schools fans many years before Pinkel arrived but it was reported that he had to be overruled by administration to allow these games to be played (he won them all). Devine, Onofrio, W, Powers all scheduled non-conference games with Notre Dame, Penn State, Ohio State, Ala., USC with teams no more seasoned than Gary's.

Columbia is trying provide a program of concessions in special areas around town on game days to welcome SEC traveling fans. They believe many, or all SEC schools do this every football game day. Is this not the case? Can you describe anything that city of Gainesville may do or provide for fans on football game days?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman February 29, 2012 | 4:43 p.m.

Some SEC schools travel better than others. I'm sure you'll get plenty of fans from Arkansas, just based on proximity. I believe Alabama usually travels well, but beyond that I'm not sure. UF does not have a strong reputation for traveling well, but we do have alumni spread out around the county better than a lot of schools, so I wouldn't be surprised if you get a moderate-sized group of fans who at least make regular appearances.

I haven't been to a game in Gainesville since 2001, and that was against FSU so it was not what you'd call ordinary circumstances. However, I do know that UF is particularly known for tailgating. Most fans set up in the commuter lot several blocks south of the stadium, so it's an easy walk. Since I graduated, they built a parking garage, but there is still plenty of "outdoor" parking there where people set up their grills and parties.

I'm not aware of anything the city does, but it's been a while, and even when I was attending, I was in the band, so I spent most of the day before games at practice. I'm probably telling you what you know when I suggest checking to see if there are local Missouri almuni clubs in SEC towns, as they may have a regular meeting spot for game days.

The stadium is just below University Avenue, and the north side of the street consists mostly of restaurants and bars that are mostly ideal for pre-game (or post-game) partying. I think you mentioned bad traffic, which you will not be surprised to know is at its worst on game day.

If you want to go to the game, you may want to consider staying in Ocala, which is about a half-hour south of Gainesville along I-75. That's what I always do, and most of the rooms in Gainesville will be full by opening day anyway. Ocala also has a large mall and lots of restaurants, so it's convenient for the whole weekend. If you're coming from north of town, Lake City (at the intersection of I-75 and I-10) is better in the sense that you don't have to go through Gainesville, but there's much less there in terms of amenities.

If you come with an open attitude, I believe you'll be treated reasonably well. No less an authority than Bobby Bowden has said that the nasty reputation of fans in The Swamp is overstated. I think Steve Spurrier allowed it to be hyped to increase the intimidation factor.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 29, 2012 | 6:21 p.m.

As stated, we won't be "runnin' off down there" any time soon. I just thought you might have something to pass on to the "Welcome Wagon" they are planning to provide in Columbia.

My wife and I are still "boaters" and plan to continue that hobby as long as possible. I long ago heard that TN river runs right behind the UT stadium in Knoxville and that dockage is available for boats, on the river, beneath the stadium. The idea of going to the football game by boat has long intrigued me. Do you have any information about that?

"I think Steve Spurrier allowed it to be hyped to increase the intimidation factor." Coach Stevo used to intimidate many with His mouth. Haven't heard of that so much at SC. He getting old too?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman February 29, 2012 | 9:52 p.m.

Steve has definitely mellowed since leaving The Swamp. I don't know if it's a question of getting older, or maybe he's just more secure about his legacy. Or maybe, since recruiting to SC is more difficult than recruiting to Florida, he's had to reposition his personality.

I have never been to Knoxville, so I really don't know much about Neyland Stadium, except that it's the biggest in the SEC. This is the first I've heard about being able to access it by boat, but if so, I'm sure there aren't many available places to dock your boat on game day.

I'm in Broward County, so the next time you head down to the Keys, let me know. I'd love to buy you a beer (or coffee, or whatever) -- especially on a Saturday in the fall.

(Report Comment)
Aaron Rogier February 29, 2012 | 10:31 p.m.

The one thing I believe about the Big 12 is that it produces many many great rivalries and so much instability, because the schools really do harbor burning hate for one another.

What made the Mizzou and Kansas rivalry so great was something deeper, more visceral than athletic competition and that dynamic permeates all of the great Big 12 rivalries. Unfortunately the fact that so many Big 12 feuds are built on blood isn't great for stability.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 1, 2012 | 5:36 a.m.

Aaron Rogier:

What you say may be true.

Friends of mine own and operate an 18-room bed and breakfast in Homestead, Iowa (Amana Colonies). During football season when University of Iowa has home games the Colonies fill with visiting fans and some Iowa fans, who live far from Iowa City.

Three years ago I stayed there on a Sunday night; the previous two nights the Colonies had been packed with Michigan and Iowa fans. My friends said they never cease to be amazed that how, except during the game, everybody gets along! Rather than stand or sit in partisan groups in restaurants or at buffet breakfasts fans freely mix and have a good time. The husband of the duo that owns the B&B is from Australia, and he says you don't see mingling between Australian team fans. The owners did note that the Iowa fans were a bit happier than the Michigan fans. :)

Aside from Ivy League football (where attending athletic events is first and foremost a social event*), I suspect this is a trait peculiar to fans of Big Ten teams (although it may not pertain to Michigan vs. Ohio State). Perhaps having a good time and meeting people is better thing than hate. As they say, it's only a game.

Iowa has won three consecutive Michigan-Iowa football games. Can the end of the world be far away?

*- In any given year, who outside of the Ivy League gives a damn which school wins the title?

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 1, 2012 | 8:44 a.m.

Mark S. - "I'm sure there aren't many available places to dock your boat on game day." Yeah, wall to wall boats on a river, may not be the best way gain entrance to a football stadium. I read a piece, with pictures on it, possibly in the ESPN magazine.

We always had lunch at Pahokee, FL on the way down. The restaurant had Pahokee High football pictures all over. That little high school has had at least one graduate wind up in NFL for years and years. ESPN did a piece which told that the receivers and secondary defensive players from that area obtained their unusual speed from chasing rabbits during the burning of the sugar cane fields. The kids did it, not for exercise, but for dinner. The piece related that many expressed disbelief about this phenomenon, but noted that Bobby Bowden and Urban Meyer never did.

"so the next time you head down to the Keys, let me know. I'd love to buy you a beer (or coffee, or whatever)"

Would, that we could! Afraid we must remain landlocked up here. If nothing else, $5. gas will assure that. Both would be acceptable. Coffee before breakfast and our group at Lake of the Ozarks long ago produced the axiom, "If ya can't wait 'til 11 am for a beer, ya jist ain't got no class a'tal!

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 1, 2012 | 7:32 p.m.

Ellis - I had thought Lloyd Carr was from MO and graduated from MU. Wrong again, born in TN and "played football 3 years at U of Mo". But, don't you think that those 3 years must have had a lot to do with his success at MI?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 2, 2012 | 4:06 a.m.

Frankly, Frank, I don't care where Carr (or any other coach) played football. Rogier and I (see our above posts) were discussing why with some universities/conferences football fans get along with each other and why elsewhere they don't.

Care to comment on that? I don't limit the invitation to Frank. Seems like it should be discussed.

An engineer friend, BS from Penn State and MS from Missouri University of Science & Technology, is a big Penn State football fan. He says that when Penn State joined the Big Ten it was a serious adjustment for the fans, but they made it, and found football fans from Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc. are nice people, worth meeting.

But to hear some people carry on it appears football fans from Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma are the most awful people in this world: vile and disgusting things, not quite human.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 2, 2012 | 9:13 a.m.

Sure, Ellis. "why with some universities/conferences football fans get along with each other and why elsewhere they don't."

It is because, unlike we well rounded, "feet on the ground", etiquette educated, naturally friendly, Missouri fans, some act like anal depressions in a surface.

For instance, when I told a group of KU fans, that the best thing ever to come out of KS has been I-70, they laughed and continued on their way. (Some may recognize truth when they hear it).

OU fans have long been portrayed in so many newspapers as loud, boisterous, braggarts, that I suppose we must give them that, but personally have never had a cross word.

It is those of the area around Lincoln NE, who in an effort to find something to do in that state, due to a coach named Bob Devaney, have acquired the Cornhusker Football team. Since they fill their stadium to capacity each and every game, have become sweet but sanctimonious, holier than thou, pests.

I wager no one else has written the Columbia papers more often complaining about their impolite treatment in our stands and parking lots, than NE fans. All false, made-up complaints, I'm sure. One lady wrote that, No NE player would Ever do anything dishonest or unsportsmanlike, Anywhere. When a defensive lineman recruited from Lincoln to our Tiger team, made a questionable hit on Qback Turner Gill in our game up there, coach Osborn stated he would have to "see the film" before he could judge the play and let the controversy fester, before he announced at the Monday Qback club meeting that the hit was not illegal. It was reported that death threats were received over the weekend, at the home of the Tiger player whose family still lived in Lincoln.

I've not done much with this "tongue in cheek" dissertation except to show that some fans may be disliked because they deserve it. (Hope I don't get any death threats.)

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 3, 2012 | 3:49 p.m.

Pahokee, as you may know, is almost next to Belle Glade, which is another sugar town along Lake Okeechobee. Both schools send a lot of players to DI colleges and the NFL, and the rivalry between those two schools is very intense. In fact, it was featured on an ESPN series about big HS football rivalries.

UF, for some reason, doesn't get a lot of recruits from Pahokee, although they do get a lot from Belle Glade. This came up a couple of years ago when Lane Kiffin was at Tennessee. He had recruited a kid from Pahokee, but he was somewhat indiscreet (Really? Lane Kiffin indiscreet?) about telling the player not to fax the paperwork through anyone at the school. The implication was that someone at the school would prevent the paperwork from being sent it so they could try to get him to go to Florida. Urban Meyer seemed only slightly irritated and amused by this, but the whole town of Pahokee took offense at the suggestion that they couldn't be trusted. As a result, Kiffin has been branded persona non grata in Pahokee.

I'll post a separate reply about college rivalries so I don't have one excessively long message.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 3, 2012 | 4:26 p.m.

Regarding schools getting along, I think every school has good guys and bad guys, but you will always hear the worst if you talk to a school's big rival. I have almost always heard that Nebraska fans were a classy bunch, but almost all of the negative comments have come from Oklahoma and Colorado fans. I actually had some first-hand experience as I went to Arizona when we played Nebraska in what we now refer to as "The Fiasco Bowl." My dad went to the game almost every year and had standing reservations at a hotel in town, but I only made plans after UF was invited, so I had to stay at a separate place in Scottsdale, so I was on my own for most of the trip. During the first couple of days I crossed paths with probably more Nebraska fans than Florida fans, and one day at lunch, a Husker couple invited me to join them. (For the record, they had also been to the bowl game against Miami the year before and they said we were a lot nicer than the Hurricane fans.) Even after Nebraska eviscerated our Gators, their fans were all very polite, and they actually seemed embarassed by how badly they beat us. Now, I have seen a couple of obnoxious Nebraska fans online, but they tend to be in the minority.

Ellis, you said "it appears football fans from Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma are the most awful people in this world." I suspect most of the comments about the Nebraska and OK fans come from each other. :-) I'm sure you will get a much better picture of Florida fans from fans of Alabama, Auburn, or Kentucky than you will from Georgia fans, especially since Florida and Georgia fans are no doubt at their worst when we play each other. But let me tell you a true story, which I'll post separately because I went past the character limit.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 3, 2012 | 4:33 p.m.

OK, here's my true story:

I was in the drum line of the Gator Band three of my four years at UF. My freshman year, we played at Florida State, and their drum line invited us to join them after the game. We all went behind the scoreboard after the game and played for the fans, who plied us with food, drinks and um, well, I'm SURE nobody would give alcohol to uniformed band members, right? (cough) Even if the drinking age then was 19? (For the record, Frank, it WAS after 11 a.m.)

Anyway, they brought in a six-foot sub, and we all had a great time, and the whole time on the bus ride home we were making plans for how to top this the next year in Gainesville.

Fast forward three years, when I was a senior. Someone decided that the rivalry between Florida and Georgia was getting ugly, so they set up a get-together between the Gator Band and the Bulldog band. Before the game, we all gatheed in a reception room somewhere in the stadium. Yes, we did what bands always do naturally, which is to break off into sections (drummers with drummers, trombonists with trombonists, etc.), and we introduced ourselves, but I have never been in a room so full of angry tension and unspoken hatred. I imagine the first day of the Camp David accords could not have been more unpleasant. There really wasn't any conversation between us and them.

I suspect the difference comes from the fact that we "know" FSU. People I knew from high school went to FSU, and throughout the years I have found myself working with either FSU alumni or FSU fans. NOBODY I knew from school went to Georgia. And in the 30+ years since I started at UF, I have only known one person from UGa. I think I've proven myself a reasonably polite poster on this board, but if a Georgia fan joins in, I'll probably ignore him because that's the one thing that will turn me into troll.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 3, 2012 | 5:31 p.m.

MarkS: "I'll probably ignore him because that's the one thing that will turn me into troll."
_______________

I chuckled at that.

You hard core basketball/football fans need to turn to track. Much nicer. We all get along.

Most of the time.

Ok, some of the time.

Fine....more than you folks do.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 3, 2012 | 5:46 p.m.

Mark S - Nice posts. thank you. In re Nebraska fans: Of course we can't accuse a whole bunch over the actions of a few, but did you note my use of the word "sanctimonious" in regard to them. This why my opinion has been formed. They are sweet as maraschino while they can see themselves as the superiors in a group.

Three couples of us were at stadium in Lincoln waiting for the girls to come from restroom. They were giggling when they appeared. A group of red clothed ladies had fallen all over them in their welcome to the game. One wanted to have a question answered by Missourians. They always go to Columbia for games and could not help noting that while at Lincoln before games people are trying to buy a ticket, but at Columbia we always see people trying to sell their tickets. "We have always wondered why Missourians don't support their team the way we do in Nebraska" (really sweet, right?)

Fortunately, one of ours can answer anyone, any time and told the Red ladies that in Mo. there are two large cities with their own NFL teams and many would prefer to stay at home and watch their teams on Sunday rather than drive to Columbia on Saturday. "Now if Missouri was like Neb. and There Was Nothing Else to Do......

It seems all the red ladies without another word, walked out.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 3, 2012 | 7:04 p.m.

A Columbia radio jockey from IA once said on the air that if one wants to see something in NE, he has "Chimney Rock" or the NE Corn Husker football team.

Recently while I was still attending, in a reserved parking lot next to stadium we heard chanting and at the back of the lot 5 or 6 NE guys (a Tiger must have brought them in) were (2 hours before game time), so help me, huddled up practicing their cheers for the game. Certain, of course that they would be the winners and we had better get used to the noise. I
walked near to use the porta potty with only a couple people ahead of me, when one of the "pep squad" came waving a bottle of wine he had brought while neglecting a cork screw. No one else would accommodate him so I (always the polite helpful Tiger)told him to follow me back to my car. I opened his wine, he thanked me and by the time I got back to the potty, close to 15 people had added themselves to the line. Bill Callahan was using his "west coast" offense and we beat them handily.

They always create a "sea of red" where ever they go and prominently display their colors to all. Except when they ranked #2 were beaten in Columbia some years ago (1st story was some yrs ago as well this was some More years ago) We celebrated with everyone else in our City, by bar hopping. At a large watering hole near a large hotel, we noted a quite "cowed" looking group as they stepped in the door and sheepishly looked around as tho wondering if they would be safe. It was, of course, Nebraskans, having changed out of all their red, except for the men's socks.

These are the Cornhuskers we all know and love around here. I, honestly, have not one story of this nature about anyone else in the Big 12.

One other note, NE took everyone in Lincoln to a bowl, lost money. Asked Big 12 for reimbursement and received it. This reported in Papers, have you ever heard of anything like it?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 4, 2012 | 12:04 a.m.

Well, there are plenty of stories of teams losing money on bowl games, especially the lower-tier bowls. I haven't heard of anyone asking to be reimbursed by the conference, though. However, there are cases in some conferences where just a few schools bring bowl money into the conference. I can't see the Big 12 being one of those, but if you happen to be, say, Boise State playing in the WAC and going to the Fiesta Bowl while the next best team plays in -- I dunno, the New Mexico Bowl? -- I could see them wanting some of that money back. I'm being hypothetical here, but it might make sense.

Which brings me to another subject: Should bowl games be required to provide travel and/or lodging for the playes and coaching staffs of the schools they invite? Yes, a lot of bowl games would never be able to afford it, but (a) lots of schools are losing money on these trips and (b) there are way too many bowl games. Two problems, one solution.

By the way, it's a good weekend. The Gator baseball team is currently ranked #1, and we beat Miami Friday (7-5) and Saturday (13-5), with the third game scheduled for Sunday afternoon. We've now beaten Miami 11 games in a row, and eliminated them from the postseason three seasons running. How is the Missouri baseball program? You will need to be good to keep up in the SEC -- in recent years we have sent 8-9 teams to the postseason.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 4, 2012 | 11:55 a.m.

Mark S. - I'm not completely up to date on big 12 revenue sharing, but they were not sharing equally. I believe schools with more exposure (tv) got larger shares. I think I recall reading that equal revenue sharing in SEC was a reason for MU's application there. I would welcome correction on this.

Profits for this ass'n of bowls is not a concern for me. Mizzou won their North division while beating a well publicized Kansas team convincingly, but Orange Bowl picked KU solely for the money from better attendance expected out of Kansas. I think of two answers to your (a)Devine team, players rejected a Liberty Bowl in Memphis, because they had not played as well as they (themselves) had expected and would be better off staying at home and studying. Today, that would sound like it came from a different planet. (b)Depends on how much football one wants to watch. I generally go over the published list and try to pick winners of them all. I at least tune in to all of them. I generally pick around 50%, same number as if I drew the names out of a hat.

I'm not a baseball fan. We seem to send some numbers to pro's, but don't believe we often do well in the conference. Again, correction welcomed. You should look up our women's softball team and pitcher, Chelsea Thomas. I think they can't hit her because they can't see the ball.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 5, 2012 | 3:44 p.m.

To all who commented regarding anything about Nebraska, Nebraska is already on the carpet with the Big Ten for not making at least a minimum number of tickets available to fans of visiting teams when football games are held at Lincoln. Big Ten doesn't care if you put the visitors in the end zones or hang them from sky hooks, but you have to let some of them into your stadium. :)

And then, to make matters worse, Northwestern University came to Lincoln last fall and beat Nebraska. That's fully equivalent to Iowa State going to Norman and beating the Sooners at home.

Give the Big Ten a few seasons and we'll civilize the Huskers.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 5, 2012 | 4:21 p.m.

It could enhance MU fans' enjoyment of the SEC if they know the time zones the universities and their stadiums and basketball arenas are in.

All seven members of the West Division of the SEC are in the Central Time Zone (even if it looks on a map as if Alabama should be in the Eastern Time Zone).

Five members of the East Division are in the Eastern Time Zone; Vanderbilt and MU are in the Central Time Zone.

Vanderbilt and University of Tennessee are located in the state of Tennessee, but the two are not in the same time zone.

Changing the subject, Alabama fans tell me the most breathtaking view of Starkville, Mississippi (Mississippi State University) is the one in your rear view mirror as you begin your trip back to Alabama.

Someone was was talking above about Alabama and their fans. Years ago I used to call on two manufacturing operations in Alabama, back when "Bear" (pronounced "bay.a") was their coach. "Wot kinda team d'ya s'pose Baya's gonna have dis yeea?" translates into English as "What kind of team do you suppose Bear is going to have this year?" I can get you guys a good price on English-'Bama/'Bama-English dictionaries. You may wish you'd bought one!

I prefer Auburn. :)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 5, 2012 | 6:06 p.m.

Ellis: I had a cousin from Mississippi who was an avid fisherman. He taught me that you could keep worms warm during winter fishing by tucking them in your lower lip like a chaw.

He always knew interesting and useful stuff, although I haven't had occasion to use this particular one.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 5, 2012 | 11:51 p.m.

Frank, I'm not sure about revenue sharing in the SEC. All I know -- and I'm sure this is true of every conference -- is that when a team goes to a bowl game, they get more of that particular payout than the other schools, but I'm fairly certain the rest is divided evenly. If it were not, the ratios would probably have to change every year as every school goes up and down in prominence. Even when viewed over the history of the conference, the balance shifts depending on the sport -- Alabama has been the most successful in football, but Kentucky is king in basketball.

Oh sure, I may watch as many of the bowl games as my schedule allows, but most of them I wouldn't consider going to.

I was in error on my previous post. Florida's win over Miami on Saturday was actually the tenth in a row, but since they won again on Sunday, I'll say that was premature rather than wrong. :-) Gator softball is also very successful. They made it to the championship round in 2009 and 2010, and one of those years broke the record for most wins in a season. However, they seem to be patterning themselves after the pre-2004 Red Sox, as they get to the finals and then get swept. Currently they are ranked #3.

Don't need an Alabama-English dictionary. I know that anything out of Nick Saban's mouth probably translates as "I'm lying." I'm looking forward to having Alabama play in an Orange Bowl or BCS Championship in Miami. There are a lot of Dolphin fans who want to give him the welcome back he deserves.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 6, 2012 | 7:11 a.m.

Saban's final game as coach at LSU was a bowl game that turned into a bust. LSU was leading on the last play of the game but they failed to put any pressure on the Iowa quarterback. He stood and waited for a receiver to get open (the game clock had expired, but the play was still active). Finally, the quarterback found one of his backs wide open; the receiver caught the ball short of the end zone and waltzed into it, and Iowa won the game. Oops!

The receiver, who hadn't caught a touchdown pass in his entire college career, said, "I knew I was wide open, so I said to myself, 'Don't you drop this ball!'" He was one happy camper.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 6, 2012 | 7:26 a.m.

Oh sure, Mike "that you could keep worms warm during winter fishing by tucking them in your lower lip like a chaw." Many people know that trick,and many people (including myself), never go fishing in winter.

Mark S. I do agree that 35 Bowl games are probably, "enuff"!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 7, 2012 | 11:21 p.m.

The story I heard about Nick Saban was that when he accepted the job at LSU, he hired a charter plane to for any members of his coaching staff at Michigan State that wanted to join him. When the plane landed in Baton Rouge, it was empty.

I have never seen a guy leave so many angry people behind at so many places. Even a guy like Larry Brown, who seems like the traveling vagabond of both college and pro basketball, and John Calipari, who left TWO programs on probation, seem to be better liked in the cities they've left behind. (Lane Kiffin doesn't count because he mostly angered opponents.)

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 8, 2012 | 11:40 a.m.

Mark - Unfortunately, it seems one trait trumps all in college sports. Not personality, not honesty - the ability to win games!

I think Okla U, Bud Wilkinson, had that school on NCAA probation 4 or 5 times. I know Mizzou played GA in 1960 Orange Bowl because OU was on probation. I attempted to verify my probation statement, but Wikipedia nor anyone else even mentions "probation". Several years are omitted in the bowl appearances during his tenure, am sure those occurred from probation,because of illegal recruiting practices.

I always wondered about Jim Valvano, fired at NC St, but still revered until his death.

It seems nothing but W's matter to fans, or MEDIA.

A note on the 1960 Orange Bowl. MO Qback P. Snowden passing stats were better than F. Tarkington in that game. If Fran just hadn't connected on those two TD bombs, the score would not have been 14-0 GA. Oh well!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 8, 2012 | 5:31 p.m.

Frank, I found a page you might want to bookmark:

http://sportsdelve.wordpress.com/2011/05...

This will confirm what you said about the 1960 Sooners. Apparently that was a tough year, as Auburn, Kansas and Indiana were also banned from bowls that year -- although it wasn't much of a sanction for Indiana, which finished 1-8 that year.

I'm not sure if this list is complete, though, because I'm pretty sure I remember Rice being sanctioned in the early 1980s (and thinking that placing Rice on probation was fairly pointless).

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 8, 2012 | 8:58 p.m.

Mark - Thanks a lot. noting that Kansas was on the list of schools on athletic probation in 1960, caused me to look back at that history. I found -
http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2004/nov/20...

Having returned to Columbia in Nov 1955 out of USAF with a wife and a son on the way, by 1960 we were having a home built and Saturdays were spent at the new construction with a cord from the construction meter to basement and a radio tuned to Tiger football, while we did things to speed completion of the house.

The account by the link is quite true. My memory is that everyone, including KU, knew that Bert Coan was ineligible to play that year for that team. Most knew, I believe, that when Devine took his Tigers to State College and beat Penn State, that they were on their way. Beating Navy and Joe Belino in '61 Orange Bowl stirred us all up and we and 4 other couples bought season tickets in 1961. I became friends with one of Devine's starting offensive tackles, who returned to law school and became a graduate assist. He claimed that while driving Devine and a reporter to an affair in StL, heard Devine admit that he, with the #1 rating, "choked" and wore his team out with practice before the KU game. My friend thought that was true.

If you haven't turned me off yet, I'll continue to bore you, with another Devine (my favorite), story. Having been beaten badly (as was always the case) by Sooners in Norman, Devine stood on a table in front of his dejected Tigers and proclaimed, "when we come back here, we are going to beat this team!" He later said, "I must have been nuts to do that." Two years later, with first black player, Norris Stevenson (just now deceased), a running back, he beat Okla. 41-19, in Norman. Though the 1960 KU game was officially given to MU, Devine publicly stated that it would always be a loss in his records. If you're not bored, keep feeding me.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 8, 2012 | 9:14 p.m.

Another note. I'm sure the only infraction Univ. of Mo. football has ever suffered, was with the recruitment of a kid named Johnny Roland, became All American and also played for awhile for STL Cardinals, if you remember. While he was on MU campus, Okla. U coaches tried to contact Roland. The accusation was that MU coaches successfully "hid" Roland from them which earned MU an official "reprimand".

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 8, 2012 | 11:33 p.m.

A reprimand, of course, is not probation.

Keep the stories coming, I was starting to worry this discussion might be losing steam!

You mentioned losing to Georgia on a couple of long bombs by Fran Tarkenton. One of the most famous incidents in the Florida-Georgia rivalry is similar, and while you may know it, I'll tell it anyway.

This was in 1980, and it was my first trip to what was then called the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Georgia was ranked #2 and led 20-10 at the half. The Gators were coming off an 0-10-1 season, but after a 6-1 start, we were ranked #20. In the second half, we got a FG and a TD with a 2-point conversion to take a 21-20 lead.

We carried that down to 1:26 left, with Georgia at their own 11 yard line, 2nd down and 9. (Yes, this is all deeply burned into my brain.) The Dawgs ran a pass play that fell apart, but one of the Florida defenders slipped on the grass, leaving Lindsay Scott open. Buck Belue, the Georgia QB, saw Scott and got the ball to him, and Scott ran to the end zone, leaving 1:01 in the game. They missed the extra point, leaving the final score Georgia 26, Florida 21.

Ironically, Georgia came back from 21-20 to score with 1:01 remaining the next year, and they even missed the conversion so the score was identical to the 1980 game. The difference was that it was a long drive, not a single big play. But to this day, I am convinced Lindsay Scott is the antichrist.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 9, 2012 | 5:39 a.m.

Frank Christian Said:

"Unfortunately it seems one trait trumps all in college sports. Not personality, not honesty [but] the ability to win games!"

NCAA has three divisions. For Division I the above statement is without a doubt true. In fact a cynic could say that Division I is ALL about winning, and very little else.

Unfortunately, Division II, particularly in football, seems to be going the way of Division I. You can see that in our area in a conference involving some public schools in Missouri and Kansas. Why? One reason is fans, another is that a coach with a high number of Division II wins may be a candidate to move to Division I, where the big bucks are.

Division III meets the requirements of "amateur athletics": there are no athletic scholarships. Oh, the games must be awful to watch! Actually, they aren't: because the level of play is less "professional," strange and interesting things can happen in football, basketball, baseball or softball games. For example, a team that has enjoyed a lead through most of the contest may easily fail to win. Since there typically isn't TV coverage, there are no TV timeouts.

Who plays at this level? As I have previously noted, institutions like University of Chicago, MIT, Caltech, and here in the Midwest colleges like Grinnell, Knox, Luther and (last I checked) Westminster (Fulton, MO).

Does Division I REALLY have to be so "root, hog and die"?

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 9, 2012 | 2:56 p.m.

Ellis - I believe the money from TV, ESPN, FOX, etc. has,as one might imagine, made the difference in "big time" sports. About the time I decided to give up our football tickets I had come to the conclusion that the only benefit of any fan in the stands to any school was to make a more presentable scene for a TV broadcast. I must admit that in 2002, knowing that I'd have more opportunity to watch from my living room than in previous years, made the decision easier.

About the difference in Divisions, I once "sucked in" a closet racist who had often joined in conversations about how D II football was good to watch because more white players were on most teams. I told him, later, I had heard that most D II teams had more white players. He became animated and smiling, proclaimed Yes! D II just seems to have nearly all white players. I returned, I guess that's because all the good players are in D I. Don't remember what subject he changed to, but it wasn't football.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 9, 2012 | 3:34 p.m.

In D III the players look like a cross-section of the college or university, whatever that cross-section might be. This is also true of some, but definitely not all, D II colleges and universities.

Why? Since there are no athletic scholarships in D III, those players have to meet the same academic requirements for admission as all prospective students. Also, there's no incentive to play in D II or particularly in D III if you hope to play pro ball.

There is at least one exception in D I: BYU. You won't find many black players on their teams. That's because more than 95% of BYU's students are Mormons, and there aren't a lot of black Mormons.:)

BYU is trying to diversify its student body; however, with their campus rules it won't be easy: no alcohol, no coffee, no tea, no caffinated soft drinks, no swearing, no premarital sex (Mormon friends tell me that's the rule more apt to be broken).

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 9, 2012 | 9:13 p.m.

I have a cousin who went to Washington University, which is a DIII school (in St. Louis, by the way). When my uncle told me they were happy if they got 200 people to come to the game, I said, "Two hundred? We had more than that in the band at Florida!" Actually, on reflection, I'm sure we had at least 2-3 times that attendance at my high school games, and that was a school that usually had a bad football team.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 9, 2012 | 10:31 p.m.

Mark S. - You know, don't you' that Ellis is going to jump on you with both feet? Those at Washington U. were there to learn, not play! A good point, but I bet we'll hear far more about it from him.

A thought. In early 90's, a friend with tickets and I with a car drove to Lincoln (again)for football and I got reservations in Auburn NE at a great old place in that small village which had added a row of rooms at the edge of the property. Those were not there when we used to stop for great dinners on way back to MO and neither was the beautiful concrete high school football stadium with the field quite visible from our deck at the motel. Tho we found out it served Two small schools in that county, I thought it contained more concrete than our high school stadiums in Columbia. We watched the Fri nite game and after getting beat at Lincoln, drove back to Auburn and spent Sat evening at one of the two bars in the "city". Much pleasant conversation ensued in which a friendly, 30 year old NE farmer told us that MU has a good football program, but they probably just need to put "more money" into it.

Right, wrong, I don't know. Can the money be going to wrong places when elementary schools have eliminated recess? When they are declaring "winners" when nothing has been won? And, the best, or worst, teaching self esteem without accomplishment of anything? Would you agree, this is a difficult age?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 9, 2012 | 11:40 p.m.

I thought I was essentially agreeing with Ellis, so he can keep his feet to himself!

I'm sure the Nebraskan just meant that putting more money into the Missouri football program was the only missing ingredient to making the Tigers an elite program, not necessarily that you have to do it. Of course, even within the athletic program different schools have different priorities. Football will always be king at most SEC schools, but I can't picture Kentucky placing football ahead of basketball. I'd guess basketball rates higher at Missouri than at a lot of FBS schools, so that's some money that doesn't go to the football program.

Every age has its own unique difficulties, whether it's the Depression, World War II, or the 1960s.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 10, 2012 | 2:55 a.m.

Well I'm confused (not an unusual situation). I have the highest regard for Washington university, but I never took a class there (I never took a class at MU either). I believe Washington University is where our friend Mark Foecking did his undergraduate work.

We played Washington University annually in football for many years; most if not all the games were played in their "stadium"; our "stadium" was too small. Washington University won most of the games until the 1960s, when we started winning all the games. Then Washington University said they didn't want to play us anymore! While what I just said is correct, it's also true that Wash U has since the 1950s reduced emphasis on athletics to concentrate on teaching and research (as University of Chicago did in the 1930s).

As I've said repeatedly, our present "stadium" is far smaller than most Texas HIGH SCHOOL stadiums. But we still have fun.

I do not think KU or MU fans understand the situation at University of Missouri System, which has four campuses. At campuses other than MU, enthusiasm for the KU-MU rivalry can be separated into three categories:

Just as rabid as the folks from KU and MU.
Only mildly interested in the KU-MU rivalry.
BORED AS HELL with the whole business!

I am in the third category. I'll close with a reminder that for OVER 50 YEARS KU and our campus[only] had a tuition reciprocity arrangement allowing Kansas students to take certain majors without paying out-of-state tuition, while Missouri students could take architecture at KU without paying out-of-state tuition. I personally know Kansans who took advantage of that agreement.

I am having a problem with one of my feet, which is why I'm typing this at such an ungodly hour.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 10, 2012 | 2:02 p.m.

As for the three categories, that's pretty much true of the population at large in both states, no?

I'm watching Florida vs. Kentucky in the SEC tournament. Kentucky probably just sealed it with two free throws and 14 seconds left.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 10, 2012 | 5:54 p.m.

A little rivalry bs. Mizzou and Baylor are playing for Big 12, in KC MO. Bill Self KU, stirred things up again by stating that KCMO really belongs to KU and K State rather than Mizzou and Mizzou will not be missed when they leave. Four players of MIZZOU are from KCMO and another 15 miles away.

You probably know all this, including that Baylor sent Self and Co. back to Lawrence prematurely. Wife and I follow MO basketball but are not hot on watching it. I feel that in most cases last two minutes are all that matters in basketball. I've determined in baseball, with the signaling of pitch/catch, stretching and scratching by batter, it may take ten minutes for him to strike out. One too fast and one too slow, that leaves football and I am satisfied.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 10, 2012 | 10:36 p.m.

Yeah, I heard about Missouri bouncing Kansas. I figured you guys would be happy today!

Getting back to the Big 12...any thoughts on what will happen with the remaining conference members? Texas is possibly skating on thin ice. They may be the kings of their conference, but that conference is getting weaker each year. Meanwhile, other conferences are already expanding, and if the Longhorns stay put, they may run out of other options.

As it is, I could see Missouri and Texas A&M trying to block a invitation from the SEC, but if they did join, they clearly would not have the influence they had even three years ago in the Big 12. All of which brings up this thought: Could Texas try to go it alone, like Notre Dame? They don't have the national following of the Irish, but they've already set up a foundation to start a television network to carry their games.

Texas could potentially join with Notre Dame and, theoretically, Army and Navy, to start an all-sports network, with the football games televised on NBC. I don't think BYU would take part, as they already have a cable channel, but what if the Longhorns got together with ND, with both schools agreeing not to play at the same time. This would actually help Notre Dame keep its independent status and give NBC games when Notre Dame isn't playing at home, and some weeks they would get a doubleheader.

Any upside for the rest of us? Well, if the rest of this fell into place, maybe NBC would push Texas into playing Texas A&M on a regular basis.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 11, 2012 | 7:45 a.m.

Mark Sherman:

Notre Dame will probably remain independent (for football). While Notre Dame has in recent years fallen on hard times (W-L) the Irish enjoy a huge fan base (only a minority of whom have ever attended Notre Dame or even set foot on campus except maybe for the stadium) and a terrific recruiting base aka, the Catholic high schools in America. To my knowledge there are no NCAA rules forbidding friendly chats between priests and bishops with top Catholic high school football players and their parents. :) "Ah, wouldn't it be a grand thing if your son played football for Notre Dame? And if he then were to study for the priesthood (after also playing in the NFL)..."

If Notre Dame wanted to join an existing football conference I'm sure their first choice would be the Big Ten. They could still keep traditional games with Navy and USC as non-conference games, although the Big Ten is going to a nine-game conference schedule. As it is, Notre Dame plays three football games annually against Big Ten teams, and there was a long-running annual series against University of Iowa years ago.

One story says Big Ten talked to Notre Dame about becoming the twelfth football team but settled for Nebraska as a "consolation prize." Possibly fictional, but believable.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 11, 2012 | 5:40 p.m.

Any time there is a conversation about ND joining a football conference, there is an assumption that the Big Ten (a.k.a. The Can't Count to Eleven Conference)is the likely choice. However, this overlooks the fact that ND is already a non-football member of the Big East. The other geographically sensible options would be the MAC (hah!) and Conference USA (also unlikely before the merger with the Mountain West, and post-merger even the MAC seems a better choice).

All that said, I agree it's unlikely ND will join another conference.

Speaking of the MWC-Conference USA merger...are those people bat guano insane? (Gotta watch my language here.) A 24-team conference is absurd enough, but for the MWC to be involved is sure to prompt several studies in mental illness. Apparently they forgot why the MWC was formed in the first place: because they were unhappy with a 16-team conference in the WAC! On top of that, the conference will stretch from Florida and Virginia to California, so travel expenses will be very high for programs that already are not funded at BCS levels.

Sorry, but I don't think this will last 5 years. And if it does, it won't work well.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 12, 2012 | 6:02 a.m.

Mark Sherman:

I haven't forgotten that Notre Dame, for other than football, is a member of the Big East. At a much lower level we have a situation like that in University of Missouri System. Unless there's been a recent change, UMKC (except for men's basketball), UMSL and MS&T belong to the same Division II conference, but one of them plays football as an independent. Because of its national notoriety? Because of lucrative TV revenue? Because of a huge and highly visible fan base? Pardon me while I quit the keyboard to laugh hysterically! No, its because it has a football team (of sorts) and the conference has no program for football.

The subject of Notre Dame joining the Big Ten will continue to surface - but nothing will happen. :)

There was a time, following WW II, when few Big Ten teams wanted to schedule Notre Dame in football. Today I believe at least seven Big Ten teams could give Notre Dame a run for its money:

Ohio State
Michigan State*
Michigan*
Wisconsin
Nebraska
Penn State
Iowa**

*-Currently plays Notre Dame
**-Used to play Notre Dame annually

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 12, 2012 | 9:54 a.m.

The first time Dan Devine, a Catholic, scheduled ND to play in Columbia, he must have found it necessary in order to quell continuing rumors, to announce that our MO Tigers team would without doubt contain more Catholics than any ND team, past or present.

Father Hessberg, President of ND was on Knight Commission formed to reform collegiate athletics. He was publicized as a strong proponent of the EEO rules enacted in hiring of new football coaches, advertising widely for (I believe) 30 days, so as to include every possible applicant and many other new requirements.

Our new Chancellor, Barbara Uehling ( a prime contributor to decline of Mizzou football), believed also. Coach candidate, John Cooper, after being advised of the Three committees, including one made up of students by which he was to be vetted, stated, "the football coach is hired by the Athletic Director." Got back on his airplane and I suppose headed straight for Ohio State where he coached quite successfully for 12 years.

Hessberg, on the other hand,a writer of the new rules, when replacement of ND football coach became necessary within the same time frame, without known conversation with anyone, hired a new coach within 24 hours. I believe the excuse had something to do with "different situations" at ND.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 12, 2012 | 3:04 p.m.

How is it that Missouri had so many Catholics on the team? In the Bible Belt, no less?

There are instances where a school (or a professional team, for that matter) has one specific person they want to fill a coaching job -- Steve Spurrier being hired at Florida in 1990 is a perfect example. In those cases, requiring additional interviews doesn't benefit anyone, including the person invited to interview, who is really just having their time wasted.

And you're going to catch hell from the Buckeye fans, who insist that it's THE Ohio State University. My response to that is to refer to the state as The Ohio. Even the folks at the University of Miami don't make a point of adding "The" to distinguish from Miami University.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 12, 2012 | 4:13 p.m.

We're turning blue again. Who said MO had a lot of Catholics on the team? The point was that ND would have so few. "There are instances where a school (or a professional team, for that matter) has one specific person they want to fill a coaching job" Exactly, except the liberals in charge in those days preferred equality in hiring to the success of the one hired. Except in the Fathers case at ND. "additional interviews doesn't benefit anyone, including the person invited to interview," Exactly, and this is the reason Cooper got up and left.

Buckeye fans don't bother me. We used to boat with a bunch and am aware of their attitude. Got a more clear picture of those fans about 10 years ago an overnight Friday in Columbus a local TV anchor was pleading with students to stop the smashing of business windows and overturn of automobiles after home games. I think this was win or lose in that City. Wonder what happened some years before that when we beat Woody Hayes in Columbus? I'll try to communicate my thoughts more clearly in future.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 12, 2012 | 5:39 p.m.

Many states have a "[name of state] University" and also a "[name of same state] State University," but where two separate public institutions do exist I doubt there are any two more dissimilar than Ohio University (Athens) and Ohio State University (Columbus) - and I'm not talking about just athletics. THE Ohio State University is widely regarded in the Big Ten as THE big pain in the...

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 13, 2012 | 1:15 a.m.

Sorry, I guess I was kinda dense not getting the point about the Catholics remark. But I am compelled to ask the question: Did Devine increase the number of Catholics on the Irish roster when he became head coach there? :-)

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 13, 2012 | 7:45 a.m.

In 1939 University of Iowa coach Dr. Eddie Anderson began an Iowa-Notre Dame series that lasted for a number of years, longer than Eddie himself did. Eddie wasn't a PhD doctor, he was a "doctor doctor" and a good one. (University of Iowa has a medical school and a large hospital/dental complex.)

Eddie was also Catholic. First Notre Dame showed up on the football schedule, then Boston College... (which may have been Eddie's alma mater).

Eddie eventually got into trouble. For losing football games? No. For scheduling Catholic universities? No. What got Eddie in hot water was that his patients complained he didn't have enough time for them, while Iowa football fans complained that Eddie didn't spend enough time coaching. :)

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 13, 2012 | 10:58 a.m.

Mark - "Sorry, I guess I was kinda dense not getting the point about the Catholics remark." No, I was remiss in the assumption that everyone on earth would also share the false premise that occurred around here, that because ND is such a popular Catholic (in origins)school, everyone on it's football team must be Catholic as well.

I doubt Devine thought much about Catholics on the football field, tho he stated he considered himself to be "father Devine" to his team members. We played ND there while Dan was coach. Al Onofrio won one game the year after Devine left. The team had just been beaten 62-0 by Nebraska (again)and Qback John Cherry later told that when the airplane took off for S. Bend there was complete silence among the players on board. He claims that someone finally said "Man, there ain't no dog like an under-dog!" Everyone relaxed, started laughing, got off of the plane feeling "what the hell" and though Devine had rented a floor in a prominent hotel for dinner and get-to-gether for Missouri friends in attendance at the game, they beat Notre Dame!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 14, 2012 | 6:30 p.m.

Father Devine? He didn't get in trouble for impersonating a priest? I guess as long as he stuck to "Father Devine" and not "Divine Father" he was okay.

I don't know anyone who thinks most of the ND football team is Catholic, just as I think most people know that BYU has non-Mormons on the team.

Another good few days for UF. Both basketball teams made the NCAA tournament (although neither is likely to advance as far as Missouri will), the men's indoor track team won the NCAA championship for the third year in a row, and last night the baseball team beat FSU 9-2. Jeff Demps was part of the track team, and I'm waiting to see if he will be on the U.S. Olympic team in London this summer. Of course, even if he does, I don't give him much chance of beating Usain Bolt.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 14, 2012 | 8:35 p.m.

Could this latest of yours be identified as Bragging? Surely not.

As stated, I'm not in depth about basketball, but isn't it true that if Fla. does not advance after beating VA, it will be because of Mizzou?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 15, 2012 | 3:05 a.m.

Yeah, I suppose I'm bragging. Just think of it as bragging about how good your new conference is. :-)

Also, I won't try to take a larger share of the revenue generated by Missouri.

You are correct -- the winner of the Florida-Virginia game has to face the winner of the Missouri-Norfolk State game. The good news for Florida is that we should be able to handle Norfolk State. I think you can figure out the bad news without help from me. And the Lady Gators have it even worse...if they win their first-round game, they have to play top-ranked and unbeaten Baylor. Bottom line, it's unlikely you'll hear any bragging about Gator basketball after this weekend.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 15, 2012 | 6:51 a.m.

It ain't anything until the games have been played. Am I defending MU? No, I'm neutral in this, but why don't you ask Nebraska how badly in football they beat Northwestern - in Lincoln, Nebraska no less - last autumn. @$#&* Wildcats! Bunch of socialites, academics, bankers and stockbrokers.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 16, 2012 | 6:18 p.m.

Mark S. - Dejection ++! but life goes on. My formerly Scottish wife who knew nothing about our football or basketball before our arrival back home stated "well, what is it they say about Mizzou? Always a bridesmaid, never a bride?

At least we can turn to our new Conference and hope for better results. Go, Gators!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 16, 2012 | 10:46 p.m.

I worked all night and slept through both the Florida and Missouri games. All I can say about the Missour game is :-o

Maybe I spoke too soon about the Gators being able to handle Norfolk State. Well, every NCAA tournament has an underdog that goes unexpectedly far. Maybe this year it's Norfolk.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 19, 2012 | 2:49 a.m.

I thought your arch-nemesis was going to go down tonight, but Purdue couldn't seal the deal. Any thoughts on which teams will be in the Final Four?

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 19, 2012 | 8:38 a.m.

"Any thoughts on which teams will be in the Final Four?"

NO! I told you I didn't know anything about basketball!

Just kidding, hope Gators can keep moving.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 19, 2012 | 6:48 p.m.

Well, I have to believe you know a LITTLE about basketball -- like how big a game it would be if Louisville and Kentucky were to meet in the Final Four, especially given that Louisville's coach used to be the head coach at Kentucky. That would mean that Florida doesn't make it, but aside from that, I'd like to see this matchup.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 20, 2012 | 8:24 a.m.

I'm fairly certain Univ of Kentucky and Univ. of Louisville are in the same state. That's about it.

Final game between Phi Slama Jama of Houston and Valvano of NC State was memorable. Seemed the Houston coaches decision to slow that run and stomp bunch down is what lost the game for him. Game was memorable, but I had no idea it would be 'til it was played. Sorry.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 21, 2012 | 6:27 p.m.

Louisville and Kentucky did not play each other in football from 1924-1993. The game was revived in 1994. Of course, both schools are better known for basketball, but even there, during the stretch from the 1923-24 through 1982-83 seasons, they only played during the regular season in 1948 and 1951. (They played twice in the NCAA Tournament during that time, too, but have never met in the Final Four.) That means there was a lot of long-simmering antagonism, as I'm sure the schools competed for recruits and fans. Dick Vitale rated it the third best rivalry in all of college sports, although I tend to believe he's biased toward basketball rivalries.

If you want to look at strictly basketball rivalries, I'd guess it's probably just behind Duke-North Carolina.

I thought I would just pull a few numbers and so I googled the series, but I found a really interesting article. Not only does it go into how the basketball series was restarted, but I also found that there is also (in some quarters) an additional dimension to the rivalry. You may know that Adolph Rupp is to Kentucky basketball what Bear Bryant is to Alabama football. When he was still coaching, he had all-white teams, while Louisville was only the second team to reach the Final Four with an all-black starting five. There seems to be dispute as to whether or not Rupp was a racist (not surprisingly, one's view on this seems to depend on which is the favored school by the person being asked). There's an interesting anecdote from Rick Pitino, who has coached at both schools. Check here (you may have to paste this into your browser):

http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/...

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 23, 2012 | 11:20 a.m.

Quite interesting. I had not been that "into" rivalry in any sport.

Your mention of Bear Bryant raised memory of a couple of stories. A middle aged,former football player was relating from his days at a small college, where every game day just before the team took to the home field, the head coach came into the room, rushed to a sink there and threw up! "What was your coaches name?" His name was Paul Bryant, they later referred to him as "Bear".

I have always wondered about a televised "tide" game I was watching back in Bryant's day(don't recall the opponent). Every time an attempt at tackling an AL player led to the grasp of the jersey, whole portions of that jersey would come loose and the ball carrier would continue on his way. This happened several times and the TV color man finally noted that teams used to sew their jerseys so that they would easily come apart when grasped by tacklers. "They finally had to make a rule and that practice is now illegal." I became curious, but I never heard that day nor ever read another word about the "worn out" jerseys of the Crimson Tide.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 24, 2012 | 1:07 a.m.

I never heard the story about Bryant, nor the one about Alabama's jerseys. I do remember back in the 1970s there was a lot of talk about "tearaway jerseys" in the NFL. This has me wondering if NFL teams got the idea from Alabama or vice versa. Either way, I guess the uniform budget could get pretty steep!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 24, 2012 | 10:51 p.m.

Google is a dangerous thing. You go looking for one thing and then keep finding other interesting thigs that take you off the track. Case in point: I looked up the rule about tearaway jerseys and found a fun article on NFL rules named after people. (The NFL rule about tearaway jerseys is named after Greg Pruitt.) Check it out here:

http://www.worldsstrangest.com/mental-fl...

I also found a discussion about the tearaways at Tennessee:

http://www.volnation.com/forum/tennessee...

Here's one on full rules for the jersey:

http://www.ehow.com/list_6670454_rules-c...

And finally, here's one about the tearaway jersey being used before Bear Bryant was even born (see the section on LSU):

http://tiptop25.com/champ1908.html

Enjoy!

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 25, 2012 | 6:09 p.m.

Mark - Those were good. The idea of having defense tear as many jerseys as possible while everyone on ground was best. That probably would have stopped the issue without a rule - eventually.

Our Tigers have had a number of games decided by the officials. I'll relate some later.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 26, 2012 | 1:36 a.m.

Well, I personally remember the infamous Fifth Down Game. What I could never figure out was that not only did none of the officials catch the problem, but it appeared that neither team seemed to notice, either.

That game between Louisville and Kentucky is now set for Saturday. This has the potential to be one of the biggest games in the history of college basketball. I just hope it lives up to the hype.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 26, 2012 | 10:52 a.m.

Mark - 5th down was best advertised. Our seats were on the 20, 41 rows up giving us a clear shot of the last play of that night game with Colo. Everyone at that end of the stadium saw that the ball carrier,I believe Qback, was down with the ball outside the goal line and only a second surge brought the ball across. In short, even with 5 downs Buffs actually did not score!

A great painting of the scene reprinted was put on sale. Seeming to be done from our side of the stadium the crowd in stands, teams lined up for the ball to be snapped were all shown with great accuracy and detail, except the down marker showed a big 5!

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 26, 2012 | 8:19 p.m.

MarkS. - In early '60s in Columbia v Neb., Gary Lane our qback was hit about his own two, with back to goal line went down on both knees, feet and all well this side then hit again and pushed into end zone. The offical call was a safety. 2 points for Neb. By late 4th qtr neither team had scored and was clear that Tigers would not be able and Neb had moved probably around 30 yd line tho held to a final pass play which was busted. Qback was scrambling when official moved into way and stopped our tacklers, qback kept dancing and found a receiver in end zone. 9-0. Perhaps a tie without officials. Devine, showing the film, next week said, now watch the official screen off our tacklers. Couple of more good ones, but don't want to bore.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 26, 2012 | 11:46 p.m.

Feel free to post more. I have one for you, too.

In 2004, the Gators were playing Tennessee in Knoxville, and we were clinging to a 28-27 lead late in the 4th quarter. Florida was trying to run out the clock and failed to convert on third down. After the play, a flag was thrown, with Florida's WR called for a personal foul after slapping the head of a Tennessee DB.

However, on replay, not only was it apparent that the Tennessee player slapped the Florida player's head first, you could plainly see the official looking directly at the entire exchange. So instead of offsetting penalties and a replay of third down, the Gators had to punt after taking a 15-yard penalty. On top of that, the officials failed to restart the clock after the penalty, giving additional time to Tennessee.

Tennessee took the ball and moved it into FG range, then kicked a 50-yard FG to win the game. At this point, I actually picked up the phone and considered calling the Knoxville PD to report a robbery. After the game, the SEC office ruled that both the penalty call and clock issue were both wrong, and Ron Zook was told that he could refuse to have the officials from that crew work any Florida games after that.

What makes this interesting is how the dominoes fell afterward. Had the Gators won that game, it's possible that Ron Zook might have kept his job for another year -- which in turn means that Urban Meyer would not have been hired at Florida, in which case Mike Shula might have convinced Tim Tebow to come to Alabama. (Tebow says that nearly happened.) Tebow at Alabama might have saved Shula's job, in which case the Tide would probably not have hired Nick Saban.

Meanwhile, Urban Meyer, not hired by Florida, almost certainly would have taken the Notre Dame job in 2005, Charlie Weis wouldn't have, and maybe Notre Dame doesn't have that awful 2007 where they went 3-9 and finally lost to Navy. Or...maybe they do have the awful season and Meyer's career fizzles. And maybe Charlie Weis eventually replaces Zook at Florida. There's really no end to this line of possibilities, is there?

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 27, 2012 | 11:36 a.m.

Mark S. - First, after punching the post button above, I noted I had forgotten difference between bore and boor. I don't want be a boor. Forgiven?

You'll also have to forgive and remember at mizzou a winning season was upper most in most minds. Official error became so often an issue that I became honestly concerned with every close game, that the officials not determine the outcome. When a friend happily announced that statistics showed that only about 10% of the calls in collegiate football were incorrect, my thought and answer was, "why 10%? All they are paid to do is stand there and watch!. When I found out that if a punter in his end zone happened to step on or over that back line he becomes an ineligible player, sitting on the twenty I began to watch, just for fun. Probably 30 years later, I saw it happen! Aha! I looked at the official, who had his back turned to the punter and was staring down field!

These miscues have for some reason most occurred during Neb. games. In Columbia, we led Neb by 1 or two points at the near end of game. Neb with ball had moved but were still out of field goal range. I believe they had resorted to a 4th down play to keep the ball but we held them with no gain. Should have been our game, but here came the flag! (you ain't going to believe this.) A retired U.S. Army Col., turned football official, had called MO for "profanity on the playing field"! 15 yds put NE within field goal range, which they kicked and the game was theirs. Devine publicly announced that that particular Army officer would never officiate on Faurot Field again.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 27, 2012 | 3:43 p.m.

I believe one example of being a boor is "one who excessively criticizes spelling and grammar errors online." So I definitely forgive you.

Is profanity considered unsportsmanlike conduct? If so, I'm sure it's not called consistently. Problem is, if the official gets specific in describing the infraction, he will have to penalize himself. :-)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 27, 2012 | 4:12 p.m.

Frank and the punter on the goal line:

One of my most memorable events at a Tiger's football game occurred...oh...20-or-so years ago.

The Tigers were terrible...again...and were playing Texas if memory serves. After a 3 and out (again) on their own 3 yard line, we had to punt. The long snapper hiked the ball 10 feet over the punter's head for a safety.

Now why was that memorable, you ask?

Well, it's because the unknowing stadium announcer had a hot mike and said, quite loudly, over the PA system......"WELL, JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!!'

I think I rolled all the way down the white rocks laffin' so hard. My father-in-law only made it halfway.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 27, 2012 | 7:20 p.m.

Speaking of bad snaps on punts...

I was at the last Florida-Miami game in the regular series in 1987. (We've played a few times since then, but not as a regular series.) It was awful. The final score was Miami 37, Florida 4.

Now, 4 is obviously an unusual score. What happened was that Miami was punting, and the snap went over the head of the punter, a guy named Jeff Feagles, and went out of the end zone for a safety. Later in the game, the same thing happened again.

A couple of years later, I was watching an NFL game on television, and Feagles was now punting for the Patriots. Guess what happened? Yep, out of the end zone for another safety.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 27, 2012 | 7:22 p.m.

Oops, minor correction...the score of the game was actually 31-4.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 28, 2012 | 7:49 a.m.

Mike - With me sitting on the West 20 yd line, those unholy words must have floated over us, or possibly, I was saying the same thing at the same time. When we Beat Texas here, (John Makovick was their coach)at half time I left the stadium, (a convenience afforded Big 12 fans whom had "forgotten" something or had a desire for a drink of something besides a "cold sodie" as was served inside.)and while I'm not a hero worshiper, was pleased to pass, standing in shade of his raised limousine trunk lid, Senators Chris Bond and Kay Hutchinson, having a beer. They seemed alone, but we can rest assured they were not.I smiled and said hello and so did they, but I have always wished I'd stopped, congratulated and thanked those two.

Mark, I believe it was the SEC commish reported to be in town yesterday, stating that MU's permanent cross section rival had not yet been determined and that SEC tournaments may well be played in K.C. Mo. "that is certainly a possibility, tho I can't promise anything." Would not the K.U. fans die, were that to occur?

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 28, 2012 | 10:30 a.m.

Mark - My reference to SEC came from TV report last night. I had not seen the piece in this paper, "SEC Commissioner Slive speaks to Missouri fans in Kansas City". Should I assume you can bring it up if you so wish?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 29, 2012 | 5:54 a.m.

Funny things happpen on the road to the Final Four. One team, even favored by the President of the United States to reach the Final Four in the men's tournament, didn't make it to round 2, while another which was supposed to get clobbered by North Carolina (picked by many to win the tournament) is now in the Final Four.

How about those Lady Bears (Baylor)? They may not only win the women's tournament but go 40-0 for the year. Some Southern Baptists may even dance for joy (others still don't believe in dancing).

Frank: Your boo-boo was a small one. As Michael Williams has previously noted, I once posted "pubic" for "public." Somewhere, Sigmund Freud is laughing his arse off.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 29, 2012 | 7:49 a.m.

Ellis - "Your boo-boo was a small one."

Oh yeah, I've already topped that one. Upset with Henry Waters for not including one 2nd Ward Council candidate in his analysis of the field, I wrote a dissertation about Mike Atkinson, then in last sentence wrote Mike Anderson.

Where you been?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 29, 2012 | 9:32 a.m.

@ Frank:

Some old friends of mine ran into a little production problem (90% rejects!) and I went to help them out. You don't make much profit with 90% rejects. As of this morning (via E-mail) we are down to 10%, and I think with a little more time we'll approach zero rejects. Often it's the big reductions that can be made quickly - once the problem has been identified - but it takes a while to "ring" all problems out of the system.

They are happy; I've had my palm crossed with silver (which must of course partly go to Internal Revenue Service for 2012 taxes) and it feels really nice to still be considered "useful." At my age, solving production problems is far more satisfying than sex. :)

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 29, 2012 | 11:54 a.m.

Ellis - Glad to hear you've been "working". As we all know, illness and accidents can happen, even to younger fellows, such as your self.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 29, 2012 | 4:54 p.m.

Mark S. - "Is profanity considered unsportsmanlike conduct?" Nothing I heard or read ever referred to the actual rule.
A paper did state that an MU safety uttered the word or words, not to any official or anyone else, but to himself in criticism of his own performance on the play. If this was true the volume of speech surely would be quite low, making the call even more bizarre.

I have couple more stories if you are still out there.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 30, 2012 | 2:06 a.m.

Regarding tournaments: The SEC basketball tournament moves around from season to season, so I don't think Kentucky will be too bothered by going to KC. This year it was in New Orleans, I believe, which is not the home of any SEC team -- LSU plays in Baton Rouge. However, they definitely want an arena with a large capacity. I'm not familiar with the facilities in Kansas City (Kemper Arena?), but I would expect the city to have a reasonable facility. Likewise for St. Louis. Neither team has an NBA team, but I would think the arena where the Blues play would be quite adequate.

The football title game is pretty much permanently located in Atlanta, which again is essentially neutral, despite its proximity to Athens. The first two years, the game was played in Birmingham, but its neutrality might be best described by Auburn fans who often refer to it as "Bamaham." Anyway, Atlanta is a larger city and I'm sure has more hotel space, and it's probably preferred by the sports media who cover the game.

The baseball tournament is always played in Hoover, AL, although I'm not sure why.

As to the Missouri player cursing himself: I missed the Florida-Louisville game last weekend, but I understand that late in the game, Rick Pitino was given a technical foul for yelling at his own player, although I haven't heard what he said.

Ellis: One time I was involved in an advertising forum in a discussion about ads during the Super Bowl. The guy who ran the forum referred to "Super Bowel Ads," not once but twice in the same message. I don't usually point out other people's errors in spelling/typing, but I felt it necessary to ask if this was a reflection of his opinion of the ads. (It wasn't.)

I would also point out that for some people, solving production problems is a necessary part OF sex. :-) (Not me, of course...)

If you guys keep posting, I'll keep coming back. I may occasionally miss a day here or there, as I worked a double on Wednesday, but that doesn't mean I'm going away.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 30, 2012 | 5:40 a.m.

Mark Sherman:

An announcer one time on a mid-Missouri radio station erred in saying "sectional sofa" and it came out "sexual sofa."
(Radio station's call letters will not be mentioned.)

Yes, I do believe I've encountered one of those "sexual sofas."

On occasion I've heard people referring to an item of production equipment using a rather derisive and sexually-explicit term (either in English, Spanish*, or both). My observation is that I've been working with similar items of equipment for nearly 60 years now and I have yet to see an item of production equipment REPRODUCE itself. :)

*- I've worked in Latin America.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 30, 2012 | 9:06 a.m.

Mark S. - Yesterday, events caused me to look at the title of a reprinted news story and I noted the following: "High court has options on health care law; justices to vote Friday
Thursday, March 29, 2012 | 4:24 p.m. CDT
BY MARK SHERMAN and RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR/The Associated Press"

A cursory check could not place a Sherman of AP in Gainesville, but wondered, you ever heard of this guy?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 30, 2012 | 6:09 p.m.

Ellis: I also have not heard of production equipment reproducing. Perhaps this is because the people responsible for it often have it "fixed."

Frank: I have never worked for the AP and I am not (to my knowledge) related to the reporter. I only know about him from occasionally doing a Google search on myself. I don't live in Gainesville. I'm in the Fort Lauderdale area. If you look for me there, be advised that I have never made a quilt, and I don't know that guy, either.

However, when I was a freshman at UF, I lived in a dorm that shared a mail area with two other dorms. There was another Mark Sherman who lived in one of those two other dorms, as well as a Marc Sherman who lived elsewhere on campus. We used to keep getting each other's mail, but I never met the other two. Years later, when I lived in Palm Beach County, I got a package that was apparently meant for yet another Mark Sherman who lived nearby. I talked to his wife on the phone about that, but I never met him either. Maybe I should organize a Florida Mark Sherman club.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 30, 2012 | 6:36 p.m.

Mark Sherman:

Yes, I've personally ordered several kilns spayed and at least one humidity dryer neutered. Those vet bills are murder! Big day in basketball Saturday. Rock, chalk... just kidding, Frank.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 30, 2012 | 9:11 p.m.

Yes, definitely a big day. Unless the Gators are playing, I am what you would call a casual fan of college basketball, but I am definitely looking forward to this game. I have to work in the morning, but I should be done before noon and have the rest of the day free.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 30, 2012 | 9:14 p.m.

Mark S. - Big 12 plays at Sprint Center in KC,MO. Never been there. Arrowhead Stadium would be looking for football. (D. Devine created the largest crowds ever to watch football in state of MO, 50,000 and up as announced every Saturday, until they built Arrowhead which seated 75,000.) Slive stated that Atlanta with central location, has and probably will continue to be favorite location for football tournament. We don't expect to ever go, but the fact that I've gotten lost in Atlanta probably every time we've been there (so often, that we began to use I 65 thru Birmingham, early on, in trips to FL), would be an influence.

Ft. Lauderdale? I suppose when you spoke of school, I thought you meant home. Made me think of story about people of FL. I'll relate and hope you agree. Many Missourians and others believe that trips down I75, (imo, most dangerous hiway in our country) to the bumper to bumper autos and wall to wall people along that West coast are the way to see FL. cont'd.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 30, 2012 | 10:02 p.m.

And we were advised by many old timers that "snowbirds" were detested by most there.

We chose the Keys for our 3 month getaways because of our unwillingness to accept "the herd instinct". One month vacation rental at a residential subdivision in which every home backed onto a canal leading to the ocean told us this was the place. My wife had acquired "bridge buddies" and I knew that I would die surrounded by all that water with no boat. This the crux of the story. A young cuban American neighbor with a business in Miami volunteered to help me find a used fishing boat suitable for my needs and pocket book. He drove me all over Miami and once to Ft Lauderdale in search of a fishing boat. I found the one in Islamorada and he of course, trailed it home for me. I finally asked, you won't accept money for anything, what can I do to repay you for all you have done? The answer, "Hey man, just be my friend!" We were close all those years and still hear of him thru wife's buddies and I call once in a while to brag about sitting in sunshine while he is working in that heat. He is close to 50 now.

We loved FL. Wife used to say, she'd never leave "the kids", but they sure better stay in MO! I wanted to relate the story to anyone who would read it as proof of what we have in this country. I've drawn it out, but it is Friday and I don't have to work tomorrow. Ha.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 30, 2012 | 10:39 p.m.

Sorry Mark, I added Ha to my post, if I'd known you have to work in the morning, I would have posted a Sob!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 31, 2012 | 6:27 a.m.

@ Mark S.:

Further on neutering and spaying of equipment, the mineral industry has two grinding devices, each cylindrical. One is called a rod mill and the other is called a ball mill. Obviously, with designations like that a trip to the vet is obligated. :)

Rod mill = Makes intermediate sized product at high capacity. Grinding media are steel rods, oriented to the mill's long axis, but only occupying a portion of the interior volume of the mill. Mill spins on its long axis.

Ball mill = Used for fine grinding. Same shape as rod mill, but grinding media consists of either steel or ceramic balls of various diameters, occupying only a portion of the interior volume of the mill. Mill spins on its axis.

Typically the product of a rod mill may become the feed for a ball mill. Both mills create considerable heat on grinding and must be shielded to reduce their sound; otherwise, workers would go deaf.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman March 31, 2012 | 6:24 p.m.

I-75 runs down the center of the state a bit, then goes west to take you to Tampa and down the west coast, eventually becoming Alligator Alley across the Everglades and then along west Miami-Dade County. Unless I'm going to the West Coast or some where in west Broward or Miami-Dade, I don't use it much. I'm much more likely to be traveling I-95, which runs through the eastern counties. But either way, an Interstate Highway is no way to see Florida, just a way to get from one place to another.

I'm not sure why you would consider I-75 to be the most dangerous highway in the country. Down here we don't even consider it the most dangerous highway in the state. Although it's much more rural (two to four lanes), U.S. 27 is often referred to as Bloody 27, and we don't say that with a British accent. Also, I-95 is much more congested than 75 during rush hours because it runs through more and larger metropolitan areas.

I have been in Florida since 1971, well before I-95 was completed. Us old-timers tend to see snowbirds as rude, overbearing and arrogant, although many of them have taken to living here year-round. It's very irritating to hear how much better everything is "up north" from people who refuse to go back, especially when they are the biggest negative here. I don't know if you've been to New England, but apparently it's the same relationship people in Maine have with Bostonians.

Ellis, I am not really a tool guy, so the explanation was helpful. As for the potential damage to one's ears. I suppose you would use some sort of diaphragm for protection.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 31, 2012 | 10:25 p.m.

Mark S. - Wildcats are home free, Kans. U is behind as always, until the end. I hope we are watching Wildcats and Buckeyes, next week.

I consider I75 most dangerous because of the hours I've waited while wrecks ahead are cleaned up and it is only road that I've been forced off of, twice, in travel up,down and across all our coasts, as well as Europe and Iceland. To give an idea you are not aware of, in taking Al 65, 231 to I10 in FL (did you know I-10 is the only Federal highway that runs east west completely across our U.S.A.? I Read that on a sign in Santa Monica.CA, where 10 begins.) we were enjoying, as usual quite normal traffic, on 10E when traffic began backing up and we bean to notice the line of cars on the shoulder and then wife giggled when we came to the I75S exit. All those yankees were backed up waiting to get to Sarasota, Clearwater and beyond. We continued on to Lake city, then cut across to I95 and a beach hotel we liked at Armond Beach. We never used "I" roads to see anything. I believe we have driven every road in Fl that will get one to Homestead, from the north. We found that I95 would be normal traffic until nearing your neighborhood, beginning with W Palm B. We would turn W. at Stewart, then S. when we could get #27. The only accident we ever noted on that highway was a tank truck turned on its side, apparently turning off too quickly. Traveling inland is more interesting hwy 441 just south of Pahokee provided pavement that would cause concerns for ones axles for several miles before the sign told that "rough road" could be expected for next 5 miles! I'm going to start another post.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 31, 2012 | 10:54 p.m.

It'll be KU&KU. next week. Did you know that Bill Self applied for job at Mizzou when they hired Quinn Snyder?

The old timers I was referring to should have received " ". They were those from North (MO) that had been down the west coast and thought they knew all about FL. This is interesting to me, I'll get to the outrageous penalties against our persecuted Tigers.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 1, 2012 | 1:51 a.m.

Actually, it's KU vs. UK, which is how Kentucky abbreviates itself. This is actually a good thing as it avoids confusion between the two. Likewise, Florida is UF, not FU, which occasionally someone will post in a futile attempt to annoy me. Usually it plays out like this:

Troll: "FU lost to Louisville last weekend."

Me: "I didn't even know Louisville played Fordham University last weekeend."

You mentioned Stuart in your previous post. That's actually where I grew up. If you turn right instead of left when you get off I-95, it's only a couple of miles to my high school. When I lived there, this was pretty much the last remaining unfinished portion of I-95, between Vero Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. The holdup was largely because of disagreement as to where it should be routed. East of the Turnpike would bring people into town, farther west would would divert people away from town, which many people hoped would keep the small-town atmosphere. Martin County is known for trying to not become overdeveloped like the counties to the south.

To deter the wall of high-rise condos found elsehwere, there is a countywide ordinance prohibiting buildings with more than five occupied floors. (So you can have a six-story building if the ground floor is a parking garage.) In roughly 40 years that this has been in effect, there has only been ONE variance granted, and that was for the hospital. So if you drive through Stuart to the beach and head north, there are just a few small condos along A1A, a Holiday Inn, a few small businesses that cater to fishermen and beachgoers, and lots of public beach. But as soon as you hit the county line, you are suddenly confronted with a wall of condos and lots of private beach property.

I just realized I missed your follow-up about the article in the paper about Mike Slive visiting KC. I pulled it up and will post my comments on that article over there.

(Report Comment)

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