View Full Version : MU Kerkhoff: Itís a championship, so enjoy it, Mizzou

11-16-2008, 10:34 AM

It’s a championship, so enjoy it, Mizzou

The Kansas City Star

AMES, Iowa | The question came from a Missouri fan last week:
“Should I buy a ticket to the Big 12 championship game?”

He wasn’t talking about waiting until the participation became official, which happened Saturday when the Tigers thumped Iowa State 52-20 a few hours after Kansas lost at home to Texas.

He meant, what’s the use? Why invest in a butt-kicking by some South Division bully?

The soul of the Missouri fan is a fascinating place. A protective layer has developed after years of crushed expectations and heartbreak, making joy difficult to accept.

Some checked out emotionally after the Oklahoma State loss and Texas debacle, refusing to invest more hope in a team that was supposed to compete for a national championship.

But where this honest approach may come in handy when dealing with disappointment, it’s a disservice at a time of genuine accomplishment.

Like Saturday.

For the second time in as many seasons, the Tigers are champions of the Big 12 North Division, and although it happened in a weaker division than 2007 and before a fraction of the audience that witnessed last year’s wild scene with Kansas at Arrowhead, the achievement cannot be underestimated.

“You never take it for granted, never say, ‘Here we are again, let’s move on,’ ” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “You have to enjoy it because it’s hard to do it, very hard to do it.”

Yet the Tigers made it look easy, at least against North foes. The average victory margin against fellow cold-weather schools is 51-15 with Kansas to go. That’s 10 straight against the North, by the way.

It means Missouri will get a trophy, print commemorative T-shirts, hang a banner in the Devine Pavilion, sew a patch into the locker room carpet, just like last year.

Fans should get on board, or back on board, and ride this thing, because you never know when the next one comes around, and they should move ahead knowing a national championship and a Heisman Trophy for Chase Daniel won’t be part of the deal.

Daniel would have to string together about eight more quarters like the first one Saturday — when he completed all 16 passes and went touchdown, touchdown on the first two drives — to return to the Heisman hunt. Not going to happen.

But Chase and the guys have plenty to chase in the three remaining games.

First up, Kansas in two weeks. A double-digit victory season is before them, which would bring to one the number of times the Tigers have won at least 10 in consecutive seasons.

And the back-to-back first-place finishes? First time since the fighting Faurots of 1941 and 1942.

The Tigers hang out in Kansas City for another week for the conference championship game. That opponent will be Texas Tech if the Red Raiders win at Oklahoma next weekend. A Sooners victory would carry the mystery to the next weekend.

Whoever the opponent, Missouri will go in as the underdog against a team that might be ranked first or second nationally. It will be mindful of 2003, when top-ranked Oklahoma lined up against three-loss Kansas State at Arrowhead and lost by four touchdowns.

Missouri won’t be playing for a national championship, but a victory will send the Tigers to the Fiesta Bowl, their first Bowl Championship Series game.

None of that had a chance unless the North was captured.

“The very first day of practice, Coach (Pinkel) said for us not to look past anything and concentrate on winning the North,” said freshman tight end Andrew Jones, who filled in admirably for the ailing Chase Coffman. “That was our only goal.”

After the final seconds ticked off, players hustled to the corner of Missouri fans, who supplied a rousing ovation. The celebration carried into the locker room because Pinkel wanted his guys to know they had done something special, even though it’s not a national title run.

“If every team in the country put all their eggs in that basket to be the national champs, there’s going to be a lot of disappointed people,” Pinkel said.

Nobody at Missouri should feel that way.

11-16-2008, 10:41 AM
It's actually 11 straight North wins, and KU would make it 12 straight.

But who's counting...... :)

11-16-2008, 10:44 AM
As much as I love poking fun at Mizzou for not ever winning anything I'll have to pull for them in this game. Fuck the Big XII south.

11-16-2008, 10:45 AM
Doesn't matter. They are gonna get their ass handed to them in the championship game.

11-16-2008, 10:47 AM
The Champions of the Big 12 North! Wow that is right up there with winning the AFC West this year! :rolleyes:

11-16-2008, 10:47 AM
I won't be mad at Texas Tech if they win it all.... but my god if Texas or Oklahoma win I will be very pissed off. I f'ing hate those schools.

11-16-2008, 10:50 AM
I won't be mad at Texas Tech if they win it all.... but my god if Texas or Oklahoma win I will be very pissed off. I f'ing hate those schools.

If you're a Mizzou fan you want Texas Tech there, I think they're the most beatable out of the three.

11-16-2008, 10:52 AM
I won't be mad at Texas Tech if they win it all.... but my god if Texas or Oklahoma win I will be very pissed off. I f'ing hate those schools.

Yeah thats the ticket! GO Red Raiders! :) ok..ok..but it is nice to say go Raiders and not be laughed at