All posts by Seth Merenbloom

The University of Central Florida Is The Self-Proclaimed College Football National Champion

Going undefeated is an impressive accomplishment. It doesn’t matter if it’s achieved in a Power-5 conference or if that gauntlet is run to perfection in a mid-major conference. That’s what Scott Frost accomplished in his final season as head coach of the University of Central Florida football team.

The Golden Knights perfect record was capped off with a 34-27 win over Auburn. While this was a truly great achievement, it by no means makes Frost and UCF national champions. But don’t tell that to UCF.

Their passionate fan-base believes that going undefeated makes you the rightful owner of the national championship. This drum was beaten to death before the bowls even kicked off. Alabama getting into the playoff over UCF was seen as the heist of the century. Who’d Alabama play they asked? Who’d Alabama beat they asked?

As far as who Alabama played in comparison to UCF, well, Alabama’s strength of schedule was superior to UCF’s. Frost may not believe that it was right, but it was true. Sure, Alabama’s SOS gets an immediate pump from playing in a Power-5 conference. You know what I have to say about that? Too bad. Life isn’t fair.

And who did Alabama and UCF beat? UCF beat one committee ranked team in Memphis and played just one Power-5 team in Maryland. Alabama had the already stated luxury of playing in a Power-5 conference with a Power-5 schedule. And I’ve heard the argument that Power-5 teams don’t want to play UCF in Orlando. That being the case, one of the big boys doesn’t have to play UCF on its home turf, however, that doesn’t mean that UCF should use that as an excuse to not play those teams at all. Perhaps if UCF had scheduled someone other than a lousy Maryland team from the Big Ten, the committee would have treated a potential one-loss UCF team the same as a one-loss Alabama team. There’s really only one way to find that out. Schedule a potential loss and run the table in the AAC. Do that and get back to me.

Let’s also keep something else in mind when elevating UCF to its mythical national championship. The Golden Knights and the supporters of UCF are making their argument based in part on beating a team from the SEC in its bowl game. But just a minute. Let’s press pause on yet one more argument in defense of UCF’s national championship hardware. We’ve been told throughout bowl season that the dominance of the SEC is mere perception and the SEC isn’t that strong from top to bottom. If we assume that to be fact then UCF’s win over Auburn doesn’t mean nearly as much as we’re being told.

UCF, Frost, and outraged fans across America can’t have it both ways yet here they are attempting to do so.

The Golden Knights can have a parade and can raise a national championship banner. AD Danny White can even give the entire coaching staff national championship bonuses. But it doesn’t change the fact that UCF didn’t win the national championship. UCF won the Peach Bowl and Alabama will play Georgia in the REAL national championship.

I applaud UCF and Frost for the great season that the Golden Knight’s fans were treated to. UCF has numerous players who will play on Sundays and nobody can ever take away the 12-0 record. But concocting national championship banners and having a parade in honor of a self-appointed championship cheapens what Frost and his team accomplished.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Missouri Tiger Marcell Frazier Is Speaking To The Media Again

After a 1-5 start to the season, the Missouri Tigers were fortunate to be in the Texas Bowl. That good fortune was created in large part to an offense that found its top-gear during the second-half of the season. Bowl games are fickle beasts though. So when Texas beat Missouri 33-16, it wasn’t a complete surprise. The attention that players give these non-championship level bowl games is always questionable and, at times, the focus of the coaching staff can be questioned. And that’s just what Missouri’s Marcell Frazier did. He questioned coaching loyalty.

Frazier’s defensive squad played well enough to win this game. If anyone had room to call anyone out, it was a member of the Missouri defense. But Frazier was out of line when calling out now-departed offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, offensive line coach Glen Elarbee and, when we get right down to it, the entire offensive side of the ball under the leadership of interim offensive coordinator Joe Jon Finley.

Back in June, Frazier announced that he wouldn’t grant interviews to the local Missouri media this season over treatment that he perceived to be harsh and unfair. We not only heard nothing from Frazier via local beats but heard very little from him nationally. That all changed once Texas beat Frazier’s Tigers.

For Frazier to have placed a self-imposed gag order on himself over critical members of the media only to throw former coaches, current coaches, and teammates under the bus is classless. I know, in his own words, he’s just a teenage boy (but not really), but he positioned himself to be as mature, if not more mature than many of the adults in his life. Not so.

As a fan, I don’t like Heupel and Elarbee leaving the program when they did. But I get it. Just as Frazier said, college football is a business and coaches move around looking for new opportunities that will further their careers. We all know the nature of the business and that includes the players. Heupel and Elarbee left at the worst possible time. Get over it. The timing of their departures was no excuse for Frazier to lob his verbal grenades at Joe Jon Finley and the offense.

All year Missouri fans heard about the toxic locker room atmosphere that Barry Odom had inherited from Gary Pinkel. We heard about a few bad apples who didn’t have the best interests of the team at heart. When Odom kicked players off of the team or had players transfer out, Missouri fans were sold on the idea that the culture was being cleaned up. Maybe these guys were toxic, maybe they weren’t. But this is what we were sold on.

I’ll say this. As good as Frazier was on the field, his attitude should be called into question. If he was willing to publicly say what he said about everyone associated with Missouri’s offense, then I have to wonder what he was saying behind closed doors. Maybe we’d have a hint of Frazier’s attitude if he wouldn’t have been hiding from the media all year. That is until he was ready to attempt to publicly humiliate teammates and coaches.

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E-mail Seth at seth.merenbloom@campuspressbox.com 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 

Don’t Expect The College Football Playoff To Change Before 2026

Our college football playoff includes Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama. That’s three conference champions and Alabama. This is something that really gets under the skin of most fans with Ohio State being the odd team out. Last year it was Penn State.

The topic of discussion is whether or not winning the conference should be a prerequisite to being in the playoff. It’s a question that is fair to ask. But is it a reasonable question to ask? I say no.

Now don’t interpret this to mean that I believe Alabama belongs in the championship field while relegating Ohio State. to the irrelevant field of bowl participants. Maybe Alabama is better than Ohio State. Maybe Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes are better than Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide. We have no way of knowing the answer to this question because the selection process is more of a subjective process rather than objective process. The old computer-based rankings of the BCS don’t look so bad right now.

The subjective nature of the rankings creates an environment where perception is used to split hairs when comparing the likes of Alabama and Ohio State and Iowa and Wisconsin were used to split Ohio State’s hairs.

Ohio State giving up 55 points to Iowa is Exhibit A. The perception of Kirk Ferentz’s Iowa offense is that it’s averse to scoring points. It certainly didn’t help matters that Iowa also scored 56 points against a 4-8 Nebraska team. This created a lack of confidence in the consistency of the Ohio State defense.

Exhibit B used against Ohio State was Wisconsin and the perception of how good the Badgers were in 2017. All year long we were told that Wisconsin was the most overrated undefeated team in football. The Badgers hadn’t played a relevant team. Just wait until Wisconsin played a “real” team like Ohio State, we were told.

As the Big Ten Championship played out, the eyeball test told us that Ohio State was head-and-shoulders above Wisconsin. There was just one problem. The Buckeyes won 27-21. If Ohio State’s performance against Iowa put the Buckeyes in a playoff casket, then this meager 6-point win against “lowly” Wisconsin was the final nail in Ohio State’s playoff casket. Perception became reality when Ohio State was judged against what the experts considered Iowa and Wisconsin to be. Style points were demanded from the Buckeyes and Meyer’s team couldn’t deliver.

Talking about whether or not the playoffs should be expanded has been a hot-button topic since the first year of the playoff system. There will always be teams who feel passed over for a spot that is considered rightfully theirs. This will be the case whether there is a 4-team playoff or an 8-team playoff. But I do believe there is room for more than four teams in the playoff.

Expanding the playoffs is easier said than done. ESPN is currently in the middle of a playoff television contract that runs through 2025. That contract is worth $5.64 billion. With that many zeros in the contract, there won’t be a change to the playoffs until the 2026 contract is negotiated.

While I do believe there is room for the playoffs to be expanded, I can see both sides of the playoff expansion argument. 4-teams work. 8-teams would also work. But why not 10-teams? This is why the television contract will dictate what is done. How many teams the networks deem conducive to maximizing profits is the number of teams that will participate in the playoff. Period.

One thing is certain to me in all of this. With the SEC getting multiple teams in the playoff, people will start demanding change. Especially since everyone’s college football antagonist, Alabama, was the SEC team benefiting from this. Whether that means expanding the playoffs or dictating that winning your conference is a prerequisite to playoff participation, something will change once we get to 2026.

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E-mail Seth at seth.merenbloom@campuspressbox.com 

Photo: Pixabay

 

Scott Frost Is In Over His Head At Nebraska

I have respect for the success that now-retired coaches once had. That success can be looked back upon with a feeling of nostalgia. Having respect and nostalgic reverence for that success should not mean trying to recreate what Tom Osborne built at Nebraska. In chasing Scott Frost, that is precisely what the state of Nebraska is attempting to do.

When Shawn Eichorst and Mike Riley were each fired, the attitude that oozed out of Nebraska was that this was the state’s opportunity to go back to its nostalgic past. The self-proclaimed opportunity being presented was a chance for the program to go back to its rightful place of 1990s success.  Bill Moos was hired to replace Eichorst and his top priority was to replace Mike Riley with someone who “gets” Husker football. Whatever that means.

But let’s be honest. Anyone remotely close to the Nebraska program knows why Nebraska hired a relative no-name athletic director who had made a name for himself at Washington St. He is in place to be athletic director in title only. The person calling the shots for this football hire is Tom Osborne.

Frost’s name had been a hot commodity early on in the coaching market and Florida seemed like a reasonable destination for the young coach. But then Osborne called and told his protege that it was “time to come home.” And Frost reportedly “understood the message.” 

If this call to come home did in fact happen, it’s a troubling sign for Nebraska football. It’s troubling because it’s indicative of a search that wasn’t an actual search. In addition to that, it’s troubling because Frost and Moos will be seen as Osborne’s puppets. Hell, maybe that’s exactly what the state of Nebraska wants. If its 70 year old legend won’t put the headset on again – Bill Snyder is somewhere asking “why not”- then the next best coach is a person who was a contributor to that now nostalgic glory.

Frost is a solid coach. Many programs would be lucky to have him. Just ask the University of Central Florida. Frost engineered a magical turnaround, but Orlando isn’t Lincoln. The Knights are not the Huskers. The AAC isn’t the Big Ten. You get the point.

Omaha attorney Mike Fitzpatrick is front and center in the Scott Frost fan club. He’s gone as far as to print up coasters imprinted with “Hire Scott Frost Now!”  Fitzpatrick summed up the feelings of Nebraska fans everywhere with these prophetic words.

“Mr. Moos, not being from the state of Nebraska and only being here a short period of time, hasn’t had a chance to see the culture and how we do things in Nebraska. I’m convinced the only way Nebraska is going to gain prominence again is by having one of the guys who was there at the time we were (prominent).”

This would be a tough environment for any coach to win in. Short of undefeated seasons and national championships, nothing will pacify these fans. It’s simply too much for a talented, but young coach to handle.

Is Frost going to be seen as the same kind of true son home run hire as Jim Harbaugh was at Michigan? The question has been asked. Now that the comparison is in your mind, ask yourself this: Will the state of Nebraska accept 3rd and 4th-place finishes while never beating its rival? That’s what Harbaugh has accomplished at Michigan and he’s an experienced Power 5 coach.

It’s time for Nebraska to move on from the Osborne-era. Sure, look back on his won-loss record with the respect it deserves, but these are different times. Expecting Frost to recruit to Lincoln like it’s the 1990s isn’t realistic given the changing landscape of college football. The biggest difference between college football in the 21st-century and the 1990s is social media. When Lawrence Phillips broke into Frost’s apartment, fetched his former girlfriend and dragged her down three flights of stairs, he was allowed to stay on the team. Remember what Osborne said – He just needs football in his life. That attitude won’t stand up to the scrutiny of a 24/7 news cycle.

Frost will have to run a tighter ship than what Osborne ran. If he doesn’t, he may win a championship at Nebraska, but will wind up sacrificing his career in exchange for recreating that nostalgic glory. The state of Nebraska may consider that to be a fair trade-off but I doubt Frost will.

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E-mail Seth at seth.merenbloom@campuspressbox.com 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Phil Fulmer Is Set To Be “The Don” Of The VolNation Family

John Currie has been fired by Tennessee. With the soap opera coaching search that was underway at Tennessee, his firing shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. But let’s be honest, Currie was in a precarious position from the beginning.

Currie’s job was a position that Phil Fulmer coveted. The former football coach left a storied past on the sidelines and he hoped to lead the program back to the top as A.D. He was a finalist for the position that Currie was ultimately selected for.

Fulmer received a consolation prize in place of the job he pined away for when the university hired him as a special advisor. That sort of thing happens a lot but, in this instance, it left Currie in a shaky position from day-1 on the job. All it would take is one real or perceived slip up for the hardcore Vol fans to get their wish. That slip up occurred when Currie attempted to hire Greg Schiano to replace Butch Jones.

It was all downhill from there for Currie and the writing was on the wall.

There are now reports that Fulmer has been sabotaging Currie’s coaching search in hopes of replacing the Rocky Top outsider. This isn’t a good look but if we’re being honest, it’s exactly what #VolNation has deeply desired all along.

#VolNation marched on Knoxville in protest of the attempted hiring of Schiano due to their high moral standards. Those fans couldn’t fathom the thought of a man like Schiano roaming the sidelines inside of Neyland Stadium. Under no circumstances could they have Schiano acting as the face of the program. And Currie was considered guilty by association.

But #VolNation is just fine with Fulmer.

Each year college football presents a laundry list of awards to players, coaches, and teams. Many are serious. Some are not. The Fulmer Cup is one of those parody awards.

The Fulmer Cup tracks player arrests. If your program had the most players arrested, you win the award. And why is it named The Fulmer Cup? Easy. Because Phil Fulmer ran a program whose arrest record rivaled its winning percentage. Ah yes. The good old days!

This is all well and good for #VolNation. You can run your program like Tony Soprano if you’re considered a True Vol. If you’re an outsider, like Currie and Schiano, then perceived moral improprieties will have you pushed off of Rocky Top.

With Fulmer lurking over his shoulder, Currie was placed in an impossible situation from his first day in Knoxville. All he had to do was give Fulmer and his fans a reason to hate him. Once that happened, Fulmer seems to have taken care of the rest.

All that’s left to do is for Tennessee to name Fulmer as A.D., name Peyton Manning as a special advisor to the program, and to bring Tee Martin in as head coach. Once the ’90s are reestablished in Knoxville, all will be right for #VolNation.

The thing is, I don’t know if we should call this Rocky Top family an athletic department or a syndicate. Rick Barnes better watch his back or Don DeVoe may be brought back to coach the basketball team.

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E-mail Seth at seth.merenbloom@campuspressbox.com 

Photo: Flickr

Campus Pressbox Lost One Of Our Own; Mike Tews Will Be Missed

Campus Pressbox recently received word that one of our writers, Mike Tews, passed away over Thanksgiving weekend. While I didn’t know Mike personally, everyone at Campus Pressbox, myself included, talked with him on a consistent basis. Technology makes it possible for strangers to also be the best of friends in many regards. And when sports is the focus of the blog site, it’s even easier to form connections with like-minded people who are spread across the country.

Mike was a Campus Pressbox veteran. He was one of the first hires made by the site. That was way back when we were known as The College Football Roundtable. The site has evolved over time and Mike was a contributing member from the very beginning.

As a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Mike was a Badger. But he also adjusted well when asked to go beyond his Wisconsin roots. If something was going on in the Big Ten, Mike could always be counted on to write opinionated, responsible content. In a word, Mike was always a professional.

Mike may have considered Ohio State to be the toast of the conference but his Badgers are well positioned to rule the conference this year. I only wish Mike was still around to see Wisconsin take a swing at the Buckeyes. And it would only be fitting for Wisconsin to pull off what Mike would consider to be an upset and roll into the Playoff. Just imagine if Wisconsin wins the national championship.  Mike would have enjoyed the emotional roller coaster that every fan dreams of riding with their team.

When Wisconsin takes the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, keep Mike in your thoughts. I know all of us at Campus Pressbox will be.  And if you have time, please go back and read Mike’s articles. He was not only a Wisconsin fan but a true Big Ten fan so there’s something there for everyone.

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E-mail Seth at seth.merenbloom@campuspressbox.com 

 

Tennessee Volunteer Football Fans Have Lost Their Minds

It’s been nine years since the SEC football conference champion came out of the East. It’s for good reason that the division is known as the SEC Least. For that to change, a better collection of coaches have to be assembled in the East and that is beginning to happen. Sort of.

There were two openings created in the East when Tennessee and Florida fired its coaches mid-season. Tennessee fans planned on singing Rocky Top with Jon Gruden. Florida fans planned on doing the Gator chomp with Chip Kelly. Once reality set in, Gruden stayed put with Monday Night Football and Kelly accepted the natural fit at UCLA.

That left Tennessee with Greg Schiano and Florida with Dan Mullen. I was going to write about both of these hires, but after looking into the storylines, I’ve decided to focus on the would-be marriage between Schiano and Tennessee.

Schiano isn’t a hire that will excite Tennessee fans. He may be an underwhelming hire, but the reaction from those fans, both influential and Average Joe, is downright scary. Some fans want Currie’s plane to crash while a local coffee shop, Remedy Coffee, says that Schiano isn’t allowed in the establishment.

The reason why some fans are hoping for Currie’s death and coffee shops won’t sell Schiano a dirty chai is because he coached at Penn State during the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Fans and politicians can’t believe that Currie would allow someone who supported child molestation into Neyland Stadium. The outrage is so strong that some believe the offer to be the Tennessee head coach will be pulled. If this is the case, it’s a huge overreaction.


First, let me say this; Schiano doesn’t support or condone child molestation. I don’t know the man and I’ve never spoken to him. But I’m confident in making that statement. Jerry Sandusky and Penn State were both prosecuted. What happened in Happy Valley was awful but it’s been dealt with. I’m sure that isn’t a popular opinion but it’s the truth. Schiano is innocent.

Now for the hammer to be dropped.

The problem is with the Tennessee fanbase. You’re all off of your rockers. Many college football fanbases are rabid, volatile, emotion-filled groups of people. But this group of fans perched upon Rocky Top is really something special.

This group of Tennessee fans, comprised of no-names, politicians, and business owners, are so upset that they didn’t get Gruden that they’re trying to run off a coach before he’s stepped foot on campus. Schiano has coached at Penn State is just a convenient excuse. Not getting Gruden, or even Dan Mullen was a huge blow to the over-inflated egos that root for Tennessee football. It’s just a bad look for any fanbase.

Remember this; there’s no room for Schiano in Knoxville but Peyton Manning remains a living deity. Accusations and assumptions are only damning when the target isn’t a member of the Tennessee’s Mount Rushmore.

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E-mail Seth at seth.merenbloom@campuspressbox.com 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 

The Missouri Tigers Versus The Florida Gators Offers Intrigue

I like storylines. A good storyline elevates an already good game or adds intrigue to an otherwise out-of-sight/out-of-mind game.

Florida at Missouri is a game with an intriguing storyline.

Jim McElwain was relieved of his duties in Gainseville. McElwain’s Gators won two SEC championships as he picked up the pieces after the failed experiment with Will Muschamp. But it’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-today industry and, going into this game against Missouri, Florida is 3-4 with no hint of an offense.

As for Missouri, first-year head coach Barry Odom is nursing a 3-5 record. The Tigers are coming off of a would-be impressive road win against UConn. Drew Lock looked magical as he completed 83 percent of his passes while tossing five touchdowns. But please, let’s put that performance in perspective. It was against a bad UConn team.

So what’s intriguing about this matchup?

For Florida, it’s going to be about pride. Will the mid-season firing of their coach be considered a gut check opportunity for the Gators? This is a road game for Florida and those can always be dicey in the SEC even when the road team is traveling to the Siberian northern region of the conference.

Missouri needs to build on the recent wins against Idaho and UConn. As Dave Matter pointed out, a bowl game is still on the table for Missouri. It’s difficult to argue against math. Numbers don’t lie. But 6 or 7 wins are potential outcomes. As for the probability of being bowl eligible? Well, that depends on if you’re a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty type of fan.

What we do know is that Florida has set its course. McElwain is out and a new coach will be hired. Firing him was questionable to me. Doing it mid-season was downright BOLD. If Florida plans on hiring a current coach – like Dan Mullen – then the AD gained nothing by firing the coach midseason. If the Gators are going to go whale hunting – going for a Chip Kelly or Bob Stoops – then a midseason shakeup makes a bit more sense. Having said that, if the AD is playing Moby Dick, then that whale of a hire better be made. Otherwise, it’s going to be more like Mopy Dick at Florida.

This game for Odom and Missouri is now more precarious. Florida doesn’t have a head coach and the performance of the team has been underwhelming to date. The storyline makes this a must-win game for Odom if he hopes to keep the morale of the fanbase as a glass-half-full proposition. This game is also important for recruiting. Odom had made head-way into the South and was hoping to do the same in-state. Verbal commitments have been lost and the in-state talent couldn’t care less about Missouri. A win against a struggling, but name brand SEC school like Florida will help Odom’s elevator pitch.

I’m not going to make a prediction about this game. There are too many unknowns with these teams and there has been far too much on-field inconsistency from each of these teams. What can be said is this – there’s intrigue with this game and it could make for one of those classic mid-season SEC games.

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E-mail Seth at seth.merenbloom@campuspressbox.com 

Photo: Airforce Global Strike Command

Making Death Threats Is Not A Part Of Being A Sports Fan

As their team sits at 3-3 and in 2nd-place in the SEC East, fans of the Florida Gators thought their season would be going better than it has up to this point. There was the season-opening 33-17 loss to a disappointing Michigan team. And they lost frustrating games to LSU and Texas A&M. None of these losses were bad losses but those games against LSU and Texas A&M should have been wins.

I’m here to tell fans of the Gators that it’s just a game. It’s. Just. A. Game.

But for a vocal, impulsive minority portion of the fanbase, it’s more than just a game. This is SEC football and everyone should dominate the way Nick Saban and Alabama do. So naturally (?) some Florida fans have resorted to making death threats against both Jim McElwain and some of the players.

If you’re a fan of the Gators, there are bigger things in life than the record of the football team. If you’re a fan of any team, there should be bigger things in your life. But this is SEC football. Remember? “It Just Means More.”

Except it doesn’t.

The success or lack thereof of your favorite sports team should not mean more. It shouldn’t mean more than your well-being, the well-being of your family, or the strength of your relationships with others. Most of us understand this. But sadly many don’t.

Your happiness and reason d’etre shouldn’t hinge on the success of a sports team. And when your mental sanity is tethered to the record of a sports team, you only appear more delusional when it’s a college team your psyche is tied to. If you’re a grown ass man or woman, stop worshipping 17-21 year old kids and go find a life. It’s a big world out there and Jim McElwain shouldn’t be the captain of your ship.

This attitude is nothing new, particularly in the SEC.

I’m not a fan of NCAA basketball referee John Higgins. When I say that, what I really mean is that I’m not a fan of Higgins as referee. He may very well be a great guy and great businessman. When the Kentucky basketball team lost to North Carolina in the 2017 NCAA tournament, some Wildcat fans blamed Higgins. And you guessed it, there were even threats made against his life.

These aren’t the only examples of fans going off the deep end but these are two of the most reason examples in the SEC.

Watch your team on television. Go to the games. Be an armchair quarterback on message boards. Have fun being a fan. But remember this. It’s all about fun for you. Your livelihood doesn’t depend on the success of your favorite team and neither should your happiness.

If you find a need to harass and threaten the lives of coaches and players then being a fan of a team isn’t for you. You need to put on yourself on probation for lack of institutional control and come back to sports when you’re mature enough to handle it.

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E-mail Seth at seth.merenbloom@campuspressbox.com 

Photo: Pixabay

Mizzou Is In The SEC For Better Or For Worse

Everyone likes taking shots at the Missouri football program. I get it. There’s no denying that Missouri football is horrible in its current state of affairs. But Missouri is not the only bad team in the SEC.

Missouri has become the seemingly trademarked product of all that is bad with SEC football. This anti-Missouri bias was on display when Gary Danielson referred to Tennessee as “Missouri” while the Volunteers were being drubbed 41-0 by Georgia. And Danielson didn’t call Tennessee “Missouri” once. He did it twice and this was after Brad Nessler corrected him.

Danielson’s jab at Tennessee at the hands of Missouri was met with some snarky defense.

Ha, ha, ha! We get it, Holly. As bad as Tennessee played, it’s an insult to the Volunteers to refer to them as Missouri. Just remember that Missouri doesn’t REALLY belong in the SEC. And when it comes right down to it, Missouri should really be kicked out of the Alabama-And-The-13-Dwarfs conference.

Former Missouri beat reporter for the Kansas City Star, Tod Palmer, jumped to the defense of Missouri. All that got in response from Anderson was the classic “snowflake” jab.

Danielson was making the same statement on air that Anderson was making on Twitter. That statement was that Missouri is bad and doesn’t belong in the SEC. It’s just a tired, whiney argument at this point. I can’t say this loud enough – Missouri is in the SEC and Danielson, Anderson, Saturday Down South and everyone else needs to come to terms with this!

[Merenbloom: Why Does Saturday Down South Hate Missouri And Barry Odom]

Part of coming to terms with this is expecting people like Palmer and myself jumping to the defense of Missouri when the jabs are thrown. We’re not “snowflakes” when we bring up the recent success that Missouri has had in the SEC. When Anderson asked Palmer how Missouri’s two SEC East titles went for the Tigers, she and others like her continue to question Missouri’s place in the conference. No, Missouri didn’t win the SEC Championship during either visit to Atlanta, but Butch Jones would gladly trade his collection of 2nd, 4th, and 6th place SEC East finishes for just one of Missouri’s conference championship game appearances.

Here’s the reality of the situation.

Missouri is in the SEC and the Tigers have had some success in their new conference. Times are tough right now for Missouri as the on-field product is hot garbage. And if you need to know, hot garbage is indeed worse than a dumpster fire.

Tennessee hasn’t won the SEC East since 2007. Times are tough in Knoxville, but for different reasons than Missouri’s tough times. The Volunteers aren’t a dumpster fire let alone hot garbage. Jones is merely the captain of a dysfunctional ship.

Here’s a little more reality.

Danielson was out-of-line for using Missouri as the butt of his joke. But at this point, Missouri fans are used to this kind treatment from Danielson. He didn’t like Missouri being in the SEC when the Tigers were good in 2013 or 2014 and he doesn’t like Missouri’s membership in the SEC when the team is hot garbage.

As for Anderson, she made her comment on Twitter and I had no problem with using that forum for the jab. Having said that, calling Palmer a “snowflake” for defending the program showed who had the thin skin.

And I’ll offer a touch more reality…

There’s a fine line between hot garbage, a dumpster fire, and a dysfunctional ship. Both Missouri and Tennessee need new coaches.

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E-mail Seth at seth.merenbloom@campuspressbox.com or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons