Is the Big 12 really rooting for Missouri football this weekend? You bet.


All right, so the Kansas University football season is officially over and all of the attention around here seems to be on the coaching search that is heating up by the minute and figures to take a few wild twists and turns in the next 10 days or so.

But just because the Jayhawks are done playing football does not mean college football is over. Far from it, in fact. Even for the most die-hard KU fans.

After all, with this being championship weekend and so many different games having all kinds of playoff implications, it might be fun to sit back and watch a little football without having a dog in the fight.

The biggest game on the Big 12 radar, without question, is Kansas State at Baylor. The winner guarantees itself at least a share of the Big 12 title and could, with a TCU loss to Iowa State — however shocking that would be — win the title outright.

For Baylor, the game looms large because a strong victory over K-State could be the statement win the Bears need to convince the college football playoff committee that they should be included in college football's first ever final four instead of TCU, which has maintained a slight lead over BU in the standings despite having lost to Baylor earlier this season for the Horned Frogs' only loss.

That's as much at the center of the national conversation regarding college football as any other game this week and is a big reason that ESPN chose to go to Waco, Texas, for Gameday instead of going to one of the true championship games in the ACC (Georgia Tech vs. Florida State), Big Ten (Ohio State vs. Wisconsin), Pac-12 (Oregon vs. Arizona) or SEC (Alabama vs. Missouri).

Is there a way that both TCU and Baylor could get into that final four? Sure. It might be a bit of a long shot, but it would be one of the most incredible scenarios for the Big 12 Conference. Here's why:

Oregon (10-1) and Florida State (11-0) seem to be in pretty good shape and will both be in without question if they win their title tilts. Let's say that were to happen. The only way that Baylor and TCU then would both be able to get in would be for Alabama (10-1) to lose. And who would Alabama have to lose to? Yep, former Big 12 member Missouri, which sits at 9-2 entering the SEC title game.

Go figure. All of a sudden, after a couple of years of not worrying a lick about them, the Big 12 is suddenly rooting like mad for Missouri again. As much as it seems like that might sting the Big 12, it actually stands to hurt the Tigers more. See, if Missouri wins, that could conceivably keep the mighty SEC out of the playoff picture altogether, which not only would eliminate the conference's title hopes but also would cost each member of the SEC some money.

In that scenario, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State and Missouri all would have two losses. Auburn and Ole Miss already each have three. Sure, the Tigers would be the champs of the SEC, but would the committee really put a two-loss Missouri team — with home losses to Indiana and Georgia, no less — in the final four ahead of a host of one-loss teams? Never say never, but the smart money is on no way.

With a win over Wisconsin, Ohio State could crash the party, but, with TCU already in and Baylor picking up momentum from a victory over a Top 10 opponent, the two Big 12 teams could stay ahead of the Buckeyes.

So there ya go. Plenty of reason to pay attention to college football this weekend, even though the Jayhawks are done playing.

I know how most of you KU fans work and I know it's tough to ask you to root for Missouri in anything. But if you're pro-Big 12 and would like to see two of the nine teams that beat Kansas stay alive for the national title — not to mention see a little more cash come to the KU athletic department — you'll do just that and do it with joy of knowing that even a Mizzou victory would actually wind up hurting the Tigers in the long run.

Good luck with your decision and enjoy what promises to be a great weekend of college football.


Scott Smetana 8 years ago

No chance. Even if KU was #5, I don't think I could root for Mizzery. That said, I think they would gladly lose so we wouldn't get in the playoff.

Lance Cheney 8 years ago

I just don't know if I could get behind Missouri, even if it did mean two Big 12 teams in the playoff.

Lance Cheney 8 years ago

I think I would much rather see Alabama win 146-2.

John Fitzgerald 8 years ago

Ha! I love how you put the spin on it that Missouri winning could still hurt them in the long run. Very creative Mr. Tait! I'll definitely be rooting for MU and I don't care what any KU fan has to say about it. Like you said, it's about the money. Imagine two Big 12 teams in the playoff. Imagine if it were TCU vs Baylor in the final. Huge payday for the Big 12. And if they get a big payday then you can bet KU will be getting some of that keesh as well. If you love and appreciate sports and love and appreciate the KU football team, I think you would be wise to side with Tait on this one. Rock Chalk and go BIG 12!

Dirk Medema 8 years ago

But realize that Matt's scenario (reason for aligning with the darkside) does not guarantee anything. Yes, it might keep the SEC out and get 2 Big12 in, but tOSU could just as easily get an invite and then just think how unimaginably dirty you would feel.

Makes my skin crawl.

Brad Farha 8 years ago

Awesome article Matt. Even with all that logic, I still can't bring myself to root for Mizzou. Even when it helps the BigXII. If Mizzou pulls off the upset, I will be very happy for the BigXII, but it'll be an unclean happy.

Len Shaffer 8 years ago

Brad, I think you get the award for the comment of the day. Sums it up perfectly ...

Michael Bennett 8 years ago

Are you drunk? I hope they lose by 50!!!!

Clara Westphal 8 years ago

No way I could ever cheer for Missouri for anything.

Robert Brown 8 years ago

When MU was in the Big 12 I sometimes cheered for them over Texas but I have policy of not cheering for any school that left the Big 12, especially Missouri and Nebraska.

Bryce Landon 8 years ago

PREACH IT, BROTHER! I wish Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Missouri would lose every game they play in every sport they participate in.

Bryce Landon 8 years ago


Marc Frey 8 years ago

I will never root for Mizzery. One word: Evil.

Mike Skiles 8 years ago

Agree with the general sentiments - NEVER will root for Mizzery, never ever. Meth-U can lose every game, every year, and maybe then I'll be happy. Sorry Matt, can't agree with your logic in this article, but keep up the good work overall.

Randy Bombardier 8 years ago

No I don't like Mizzu but I dislike sec more. Hardly a whisper of the impact of two big12 teams. Its the family shame that no one talks about.

Michael Lorraine 8 years ago

Intellectually, your argument makes sense and even though I have become increasingly more indifferent towards missouri, it is not in my DNA to root for them.

Doug Cramer 8 years ago

Will never root for Mizzcrap for anything. Lord help us if they win SEC.

It won't happen though...the SEC officials will not let it happen. Just like when we lost to Texas ( I believe it was in 2006 ).

The SEC will not stand for not being represented in the first college football playoff.

Merrill Reese 8 years ago

No way, no how. NEVER EVER would I root for Mizzou. As a Big 12 fan, it makes much more sense to root for Arizona and Georgia Tech. I hope Alabama butt whips the tiggers!!!

Doug Cramer 8 years ago

He's just saying that conference officials are rooting for Mizzcrap...not necessarily KU fans.

Don Everett 8 years ago


Please be quiet. No reply, no comment, no any thing. No one cares what you have to say.

Lance Cheney 8 years ago

I gotta side with Doug here. Both your posts were pretty abrasive and downright rude.

Andrew Horigan 8 years ago

And no one cares what you have to say. Especially when you tell the best writer on this site you lost all respect for him. Go somewhere else.

Ludwig Supraphonic 8 years ago

Hate miz-ew but live in SEC country. I would love to hear the whimpering with no SEC in the playoffs.

Aaron Paisley 8 years ago

I agree in principle. In reality, I want to see Alabama win by at least 50.

Shane Garrett 8 years ago

Yuck, like going to a distant relative family reunion and watching a cousin kiss his step sister. Nope don't like it. Not one bit. No sir. With that said, I might watch the game, but keep the barf bag close and the remote closer.

Dale Stringer 8 years ago

Can I root against Alabama without rooting for Misery? Hope so. I spent too many years in SEC country (SC). I would rejoice knowing all those SEC fans would be stabbing themselves in the eye if they don't have a team in the 1st D1 football playoff. Then I'd get to be happy everyday knowing that those "Nobody plays football outside the SEC" people all hate Misery too.

Aaron Paisley 8 years ago

Sort of off topic, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

I have been under the impression that the purpose of the CFP is to determine a national champ on the field of play. If that is true, then why is TCU ahead of Baylor in standings? I know the standard answer is TCU has a better body of work, but that body of work includes a loss to fellow 1 loss team Baylor. If both Baylor and TCU win Saturday and TCU gets in over Baylor, doesn't that send the message that on the field results means nothing and the system is even more flawed than the BCS.

Dirk Medema 8 years ago

Except for the fact that the loss was in Waco on a last second FG. Playing at home should be worth something, which would make the 2 teams pretty even based solely on that game. When you consider the other games, both won & lost, then it tips the scale in favor of TCU.

John Myers 8 years ago

Nope, never. Certainly a Big 12 fan, but I'll never root for Missouri. Ever. Well, let me restate. If a Missouri win in some contest would somehow directly create a better situation for KU, then I could see it. But even then, and even though it's semantics, I would not root FOR Missouri. I would root AGAINST the other team.

Joe Ross 8 years ago

If Kansas loses money because of a Mizzou loss, then thats money well "spent" as far as Im concerned. NEVER rooting for Missouri. Not ever.

Lance Cheney 8 years ago

Agreed. That's how I justify betting on KSU and MU. If they cover the spread, then that's money in my pocket. If they lose, that's money well spent. However, if they win, but don't cover the spread, well that's when I get really mad...

Brad Farha 8 years ago

Joe -- if you ever run for public office, you just got my vote.

John Boyle 8 years ago

Not even a valid question because the SEC is never going to let Missouri win that game and cost them a shot at the national championship. Maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist but I think SEC officials will be well aware of what is at stake and will ensure a Alabama victory.

Sean Swindler 8 years ago

Don't know how you can claim to be NATIONAL champion if you aren't a CONFERENCE champion?

Playoff spots should be decided on the field - if there are only 4, then the 4 highest ranked (by whatever measure a cmte wants to use) conf champs should get in.

Jonathan Allison 8 years ago

Also, don't know how the Big 12 can use the slogan "one true champion" and refuse to use the head-to-head as a tiebreaker.

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