Maybe it has something to do with the breadth of fine journalists the school pumps out each year but, recently, those associated with Missouri have no problem speaking their mind.
And it’s not making them any friends.
Last summer, the Tigers did not try to hide their desire to join the Big 10, with Governor Jay Nixon leading the charge. As you might have noticed, that didn’t happen. But that’s old news now, I guess.
A few months ago, head football coach Gary Pinkel was easily the most outspoken against Texas’ Longhorn Network and its unsuccessful attempt to show high school games saying, “You’re going to advertise your school on there, where you list all the great recruits you have on there? There’s just no common sense there. That can’t happen. Are you kidding me?”
Judging by Pinkel’s tone, it comes as no surprise that Missouri was fed up with the Big 12 and decided to take its zero Big 12 football and basketball championships and one basketball championship to the Southeastern Conference, a move that makes Texas A&M look smart.
Friction between the Tigers and the Longhorns arose earlier this week when Mizzou defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson denounced the state of Texas.
“I hate people from Texas,” he said. “I give people on our team from Texas a hard time because they’re from Texas. I hate Texas. I just do. I hate Texas.”
“Overrated. Overrated. Overrated. It’s blown out of proportion. It really is.”
That’s some Grade-A trash talk, except for the fact that 35 of Richardson’s teammates hail from the state, including offensive stars James Franklin, Henry Josey and Michael Egnew.
When asked for a response to Richardson’s comments, the Texas players declined — at least they’ve been coached well by the media relations department.
“We don’t do much talking, we just show it on the field,” said running back D.J. Monroe.
Periodical clashes in the Cotton Bowl not withstanding, this is the last time Mizzou and Texas will face off for a long time. And you know what? I don’t think anybody really cares. This is a rivalry that should have had a lot of potential — the Tigers recruit the state of Texas like they’re based in Corpus and not Columbia, and both schools traditionally put a strong product on the field — but it’s never really gained much teeth. Missouri should be a great road trip (I would know, I almost went to school there), but the game’s treated like a second-tier match.
Texas holds a 17-5 series lead over Mizzou. The last two matches were won by Texas with a margin of 97-38.
Missouri is a good basketball school, no doubt. Awful in baseball, for sure. The best in journalism, for those of us who care about those sorts of things. And Shakespeare’s Pizza? Yeah, that famous Columbia pizza joint takes Homeslice to school.
But it’s lost on me why Missouri thinks it can succeed in the SEC, if it struggled to stay relevant in the Big 12. The A&M situation confuses me for similar reasons, but it’s not too hard to understand the Aggies wanting to get out from under Texas’ shadow.
Even stranger is the sort of game the Tigers are talking as they head out the door.
“I played against their best recruits and I wasn’t impressed, at all,” Richardson said.
Guy’s not afraid to voice his opinion. Sounds like a future columnist.