So the University of Missouri will never travel to Lincoln, Neb., for a Big 12 football or basketball game again.
How weird does that feel?
While this wasn’t a storied college rivalry by any means, many great memories linger from the decades of competition. For those who attended Mizzou in the '70s (like Tipsheet), there was the epic James Wilder Game up at Memorial Stadium – one of the best football games any of us will ever see.
The basketball competition tended to be less exciting, but distinctive nonetheless. Doc Sadler teams are deliberate, just as Moe Iba’s teams were deliberate.
Games at the Devaney Center were always a grind. Now that place, like the Hearnes Center, will house secondary sports while basketball moves downtown and Nebraska moves on to a new conference.
An era ends. Sadly, we’re going to see lots more of that as the college sports landscape degenerates into money-grubbing chaos.
Perhaps the Tigers will meet the Cornhuskers on the other side some day – in a super-sized version of the Big Ten.
MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE
Questions to ponder while the Cardinals set up triage outside their clubhouse for spring training games:
Shouldn't Little League baseball registration forms be more realistic?
Why did the NCAA take so long to examine UConn's basketball recruiting tactics?
Would somebody please show Matt Kemp how to get out of the ballpark?
Wouldn't it be cool to be a celebrity in Oklahoma, like Doug Gottlieb? Wouldn't it be nice to get warnings instead of speeding tickets?
QUIPS ‘R US
Here is what some of America’s leading sports pundits have been writing:
Rick Reilly, ESPN.com, on Caltech coach Oliver Eslinger: “Coach K is good, they say. Roy Williams isn't bad. Rick Pitino can coach, I suppose. But I'd like to see how those guys would've done with a roster of three valedictorians, six National Merit Scholarship finalists, seven mechanical engineers, three computer scientists, one debate team captain and one chess club president. That's what peoples Caltech's men's basketball roster. Try taking that job. You'd be working at Home Depot inside three years. How are you going to sneak a center with Size 17 feet and an IQ to match into a school that ranks on many lists as the hardest to get into in America?”
Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle: “Caltech's (previous conference) win back in '85 was a victory over La Verne, which at the time was weakened by its recent split with Shirley.”
Gregg Doyel, CBSSports.com: “Even in the galling pantheon of billionaire tycoons and millionaire athletes squabbling over your last few dollars, have you ever seen a more dislikable side than these NFL owners? I haven't. As unsympathetic as they are, I want the players to crush the owners in labor negotiations that to date have been crawlingly unproductive -- and are about to accelerate toward combative when the collective bargaining agreement expires Thursday night.”
Mark Kreigel, FoxSports.com: “I’m sorry for sounding like a shill for what has traditionally been a lousy union, the NFLPA. I used to think it was Gene Upshaw’s fault. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s the players themselves. A few weeks ago in Dallas, players association president Kevin Mawae — now retired after 16 seasons with the Seahawks, Jets and Titans — concluded a news conference with an impassioned sermon on the difference between players and owners. ‘You can strip the business away,’ he said. ‘You can take 22 guys and put them on the field in the middle of Nowhere, Texas . . . we’ll still go play the game because we love the game.’ He’s wrong in that you can’t strip away the business aspect here. But he’s right in saying most guys would play for free. Yes, they do love the game — sometimes, against their own best interests. That’s why you should be rooting for the players. But betting on the owners.”
Paul Daugherty, SI.com: “Pundits who should know better play the no-depth card every year at this time. They overlook lots of obvious: In the tournament, TV timeouts last longer than some sitcoms. There is never a shortage of breathers . . . TV TO's might drive you crazy. They're heaven sent for teams such as Ohio State. In the last four minutes, coaches work every possession like they're prepping for neurosurgery. They're puppeteers. The last thing a coach is going to do is trust any player, let alone a bench guy, to make a play. It's so much easier to diagram a play to death. Most tournament games are close. A coach isn't going to finish a close game with a bench player on the floor, unless he has to.”
“It's hard to micro-analyze golf. You can’t make too much of match play last week because it's one round and Torrey Pines was one tournament. I don't know if there has been enough of a sample size. Maybe he just needs to play more.”
Golf coach Hank Haney, on Tiger Woods’ struggle.