Lost in the excitement of the upcoming season and when deafened by the noise of the overly self-important SEC media flapping their sausage arms around the complimentary breakfast buffet at the Hoover Comfort Inn, it is sometimes difficult to remember that Missouri football is absolutely fucking awful.
You may have forgotten that Mizzu is a newly-minted member of the SEC, especially considering natural comparisons to Texas A&M, who made the most of their first year in the league with an all-time road win at #1 Alabama, led by their redshirt freshman and Heisman-winning wigger punk QB Jonathan Manziel. TAMU went on to one of their best seasons ever, losing just two tough SEC games and slaughtering Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. They finished the year by landing a consensus Top 15 recruiting class, ensuring that their bid to become an elite SEC team, and therefore a true national power, remains in striking distance. In short, TAMU has used the springboard the SEC platform provides to build momentum for their program, which is imperative given the level of competition in this league. You simply have to recruit and win to remain even marginally relevant in the bigs.
Now turn to Missouri. Located in Columbia, a quaint town nestled in the lush and lovely center of the state, the University of Missouri was founded in 18something and Christ Almighty are they terrible at football. In the last decade, they posted only moderate success in the atrocious Big 12 North and have nearly no relevant history of winning anything (according to wiki, it's 15 "conference titles," the latest coming in 1969, and 2 "non-consensus national titles," including an absolutely baffling claim to 2007, which is worse than any of Alabama's phantom championships). In fact, the school is average to sub-average at everything it has ever done, from athletics to academics; I recall that they have a good wrestling program, which is great aside from the fact that the SEC doesn't participate in the sport. They have a dozen or so average players in the NFL, with only Aldon Smith being an actual baller. As such, Missouri's football program is really only good for the league's APR, since presumably their bevy of three-star football players are all going pro in something other than sports. Adding Missouri to this league was such an obvious cash-grab that it might as well have been called Kim & Khloe Take St. Louis.
Which brings us to the real concern: not only should existing league fans be irritated with the addition of a nothing football school with little to add aside from a quick trip to Busch Gardens, but Mizzu fans should be furious with the move as well. Isolated in the Big 12 North and surrounded by powerhouses like Iowa St, Kansas and a then-reeling Nebraska, Mizzu fans got to don their their black and pyrite and play pretend with the rest of the football nation. There was a time when Gary Pinkel was an up-and-coming genius who gashed his opponents with his "innovative" offense. I'm sure he was quite happy playing only one or two good teams a year, only having to put in a decent season to squeeze out a marquee matchup in the Alamo Bowl.
But things are much different now. Scrappy Mizzu, all swagger and style, moved to the SEC, and resident scholar Sheldon Richardson ignited the Tiger fan base by claiming that the Tigers were ready to run through the "old man football" conference. Fast forward 12 months, and the Tigers won two (2) SEC games against Tennessee, coached by the biggest disaster in school history, and Kentucky, who only plays football because they are contractually obligated to do so. Mizzu was atrocious. And while you may dismiss that first year as SEC growing pains, it would be myopic to do so. Every single metric that a sportsdork could create suggests that the SEC is by far the most talent-laden conference in the country and that success in the league in primarily predicated upon collecting said talent.
So where does Mizzu stack up in that area? Just a shade under Vanderbilt. Mizzu is the poor man's Vandy, and I don't mean just the ghetto uniforms. Mizzu's class coming into the league two years ago? Ranked #31 (Rivals), two spots behind Vandy. Last year, after getting all the SEC exposure and being able to use the whole "we play in the big leagues" angle? Number 41, with only one four-star player, while Vandy pulled in a nice class at #19. Currently? Mizzu sits at #46. And it goes without saying that not only are these numbers poor for an allegedly elite national program, but they are abysmal when compared to the rest of the league. Mizzu is certainly not improving. They are not even treading water. They are getting further and further behind, like the gum lines of their meth-addled fan base.
It would be easy to denigrate Mizzu for their amateurish crap stadium and hideous fan base, so let's do that. Faurot Field is a large high school track that hosts thrilling intramural soccer games when not in use for football purposes. Missouri has a lot of meth. It also is home to Branson and a restaurant where obese people have rolls thrown at their heads. To cap it off, Columbia is sandwiched between two fairly large cities that do not give a fuck about the University of Missouri. All in all, great pick up Slive.
Missouri money-men got their wish. They made it to the big leagues. Their horrible recruiting, lack of an established brand and dearth of resources, however, will ensure that the program develops into the kind of doormat that the rest of the league will simultaneously loathe and yet be thankful for, as playing the Tigers and their patchwork squad will be a good opportunity for underclassmen PT for years to come. And although they will get plenty of national coverage from here on out, I doubt it will be the kind they were anticipating.
[Want to reach the author? Go fuck yourself.]