If Missouri were to somehow miss the bus to the SEC or the Big Ten (and end up in a conference like the Big East, Mountain West, etc.), the blame does not fall on Mike Alden, Jay Nixon, or Brady Deaton.
Here are some numbers to explain what I mean:
The first number represents the time period between 1971-2000 (30 years). I refer to this as the “Black Hole Of Missouri Football”.
The second number represents how many Head Football Coaches Missouri had during the time frame (Al Onofrio, Warren Powers, Woody Widenhofer, Bob Stull & Larry Smith).
The third number represents the number of conference championships Missouri won in football during that span (none).
The fourth number represents Missouri’s winning percentage in football in those three decades (.426).
We all know the reasons why Nebraska was invited to join the Big Ten and why Texas A&M was unanimously voted to be invited to the SEC. A lot of it has to do with football culture, tradition, and branding. I think we could all agree that when you have those things, a possible invitation becomes an easier decision for a major BCS conference.
Though I’m joking a little when I say it, if conference expansion doesn’t get as big as most of us think it will and invitations are fewer than expected, then it could be argued that Missouri missed the boat not because of a Governor, an Athletic Director, or a Chancellor in a compromising position…
Despite the best efforts of Gary Pinkel in the last six seasons, blame truly falls on 30 years of futility. If there were even ONE magical season in those three decades with a Big 8/Big 12 title and a National Championship, the culture and fanbase could be VERY different for the Missouri Tigers.
If Missouri doesn’t end up in the Big Ten or the SEC, it’s only because they weren’t INVITED. If they aren’t invited for the same reasons that gave Nebraska and Texas A&M an edge, that blame shouldn’t fall on the easy targets we continually talk about.
It should fall on the Black Hole we try to forget.