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Even With A&M And Mizzou, SEC Is Still A “Regional” League

With Texas A&M and Missouri now officially ticketed for the SEC (hopefully for 2012), a familiar email is finding its way anew into the MrSEC.com inbox:

“The SEC is no longer a regional league!”

Sorry.  We’re not buying that.  For decades the SEC prospered as a 7-state league: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky.

In 1992, the league expanded to include South Carolina and Arkansas.  Carolina made sense, but Arkansas was a school some 400 miles from its nearest SEC rival (Ole Miss).  If we’d had internet messageboards in ’92, you can bet folks would have yelped about the end of the SEC’s “regional” era.  How could fans travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas?

Twenty years later that’s what some anti-expansioners are saying about the additions of A&M and Mizzou.  “Too far away.”  “Not a cultural fit.”

As for the cultural fit thing, if you’ve ever been to Fayetteville and Gainesville, you know there are some pretty big differences in terms of culture.  Ditto Baton Rouge and Lexington, Starkville and Nashville.

But regarding distance, how many people do you know who travel to every road game with their favorite team?  With HDTV in every household and every game on television these days, it seems to me that any and all schools outside the Top 20 are having to work harder than ever just to lure fans to home games, much less road games.

The fact of the matter is that most of the people who do travel with their teams do so just once or twice a year.  There’s a reason most SEC teams are alloted just a few thousand tickets when they travel to their league rivals.  How many Carolina fans trekked to Arkansas this past weekend?  How many journeyed from Ole Miss to Kentucky?  From Vanderbilt to Florida?

For those few who do travel, the SEC — even with Texas A&M and Missouri — is still the most regional league in the country (along with one other).

Columbia, Missouri is 292 miles on US-65 from Fayetteville.  It’s 461 miles from Columbia to Lexington.

College Station, Texas is 366 miles from Baton Rouge.

Now compare those figures to the distance between new Big 12 member West Virginia and its closest league foe Iowa State — 871 miles.

Suddenly Missouri and Texas A&M don’t seem so isolated.  But check the numbers below and you’ll better see how the SEC and the Big Ten — which just happen to be the two top conferences reputation-wise — have managed to expand their footprints without stretching their boundaries to ridiculous lengths:

BCS Conference Longest Road Trip Distance Between Schools
SEC Texas A&M-South Carolina 1072 miles
Big Ten Nebraska-Penn State 1072 miles
Big 12 Texas Tech-West Virginia 1471 miles
ACC Miami-Boston College 1504 miles
Pac-12 Washington-Arizona 1574 miles
Big East* Boise State-Central Florida 2617 miles

*For the Big East, we’re using two of the newest invites as our example.

A difference of 300 miles is about four or five hours by car, mind you.

So just say you don’t like Missouri and/or Texas A&M.  Say that Mizzou can’t win and nothing good ever came out of the Lonestar State.  Just be honest and say you’re anti-expansion.

But please don’t talk about the SEC no longer being a regional league.  Truthfully it ceased to be a regional league when Arkansas joined two decades ago, yet it still is the most tightly-knit BCS conference in the country… even with its new additions.

 


73 comments
Sthrn Bll
Sthrn Bll

Simply put, when you think of 'The South', Missouri doesn't come up for most/many. I don't think Missouri is a Southern state, as most Southerners agree. However, that's cool that they're in our conference and I hope y'all enjoy a nice butt kicking ;)

GRC429
GRC429

One quick note: Contrary to popular belief,  " Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road" is not the Missouri fight song.

GRC429
GRC429

A  "linked" history will not be the current problem with Missouri. Read the St. Louis Post Dispatch sports page , and you will find the majority of the coverage of collegiate sports is dedicated to Illinois schools. Makes sense, because a growing portion of the "metro" area is now located in Illinois. A large portion of the athletes graduating from St. Louis do not even visit the Missouri campus. They never have !  Kansas City is the same situation.  A large part of the population lives in Kansas. Kansas City athletes often end up at Kansas or Nebraska. Missouri doesn't  "control" the TV market in either of these two cities.  The Mizzou fans don't travel overly well. In football, men's basketball, and, from time to time, a few other sports. Missouri can be moderately good at a national level. Most of the time, however, their other sports are fairly mediocre. Adding Missouri just adds to the losses generated in non-revenue sports. The University doesn't care about it's student athletes, or whether their school and fans have a cultural link to the other SEC schools. They have pipe dream that THEY will make millions and millions of dollars, from TV. I guess they'd rather lose to Kentucky, than Kansas, in basketball. In football, apparently losing to Florida, Georgia and the monsters of the SEC West, is preferable to being smacked by Texas,OU, etc, in the Big 12. 

Old St. Louis
Old St. Louis

Well, I grew up in St. Louis county and grew up knowing that Missouri was a Southern state due to my family's history of service in Missouri's Confederate ranks during the war. Missouri DID secede and the Missouri Brigade, recruited from all over the state, has been cited by many historians as the best Confederate brigade in any theatre of the war,. It saw action all through the war from Wilson's Creek to Blakely Alabama, fighting at Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg Campaign, Atlanta Campaign, Franklin, all through the western campaigns where it always carried the field. At Franklin Tennessee it lost some 63% of its men in its valiant charge against the Union breastworks, being led into battle by its brass band playing Dixie. At Blakely, in the defense of Mobile Alabama, the day after Lee surrendered at Appomatox, the brigade's thinned band of Missouri brethren was ultimately destroyed in final battle standing firm against an avalanche of Union brigades. Yes, I think Missouri is a grand fit for the SEC and I am very, very, happy to see Missouri joining her sister Southern states for future great games of football.

Christopher Wilson
Christopher Wilson

I was born in North Carolina, grew up in Kansas City and graduated from Mizzou. I always thought of Missouri as Midwestern. Currently I live in Houston, TX. I am so excited to travel to SEC destinations and compete against the great competition. You will feel right at home in Missouri. These are some of the kindest people in America. They will show u what hospitality is. I'm not sure on game day you will find it as inviting as at Texas AM, as they have very gratious fans. I think u will see that we have some great football fans. We grew up watching people like Derrick Thomas slaughter QB's for the Chiefs. Guys like Dale Carter shut down receivers on the corners. We had Bo Jackson in baseball. We know what great SEC athletes look like. LSU in recent years is our Chiefs farm team, just look at the roster. We already have special relationships with the SEC teams, a great respect. That being said, MU is coming on strong. We are improving in football and Basketball. We as fans have high football IQ and a passion for the game. I never wanted us in the big 10 and have never met a Mizzou fan that did. If you don't think there is passion for Ol Mizzou just wait till game day! I think the spread offense that we bring will create some interesting contest in the SEC. It will be cool to see if SEC adopts our spread or if we lean toward SEC prostyle offenses. I also think that recruiting will improve with or without Texas. What is the SEC perception. Do you think there are a lot of recruits to go around? I think coach Pinkel does. To steal a line from Slive, MU created homecoming and thanks for the welcome to our new home, THE SEC.

SKBlank
SKBlank

Graduate of Missouri State here, current Mizzou grad student. Trust me when I tell you "Springvegas" and Branson are definitely as "South" as Kentucky or Arkansas, even Tennessee... We have the Bass Pro HQ in Springfield, the Dixie Stampede in Branson. The Southwest areas of Missouri, really the Ozark area, is definitely a tinge Southern. They may not be the likes of the Bayou—we aren't out hunting alligators in the swamps (kidding, kidding)—but you are sadly mistaken if you think the Ozarks or the Bootheel don't qualify for "Upper-Southern" in the grand scheme of U.S. territorial culture. To be frank, even my home county—Jefferson County just south of St. Louis—is likely "southern" in most respects if you were to ever visit it. Missouri has a strong high school culture in football too, which SEC faithful should covet. We may not be the ripe areas of Georgia or Florida in recruiting or tradition, but Missouri high school football has produces the likes of Jeremy Maclin, Blaine Gabbert, Sheldon Richardson, and the latest top national recruit: Dorial Green-Beckham (from Springfield, MO!). There are more cultural ties to football and fandom of sports in Missouri than isolated SEC naysayers want to believe.

As a Mizzou student, I also hear a lot of talk of trading in the hoodies next year for something a little more classy at home games...

COMO Native
COMO Native

I grew up in Columbia, MO, and also lived in South Carolina (now in Maryland). Missouri is a mix of Midwest and Southern, depending on what part of the state you live in. They used to play "Dixie" at the football games until the late 60's. Had a confederate memorial rock on campus until the early seventies (was moved to the courthouse--not sure if it is still there). The county (Boone) where Columbia is located was confederate during the Civil War, the county to the south of it was union, and the county to the east of it (Callaway) seceded from the union and the confederacy, and never officially rejoined--they still call themselves the "Kingdom of Callaway".

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

How did it change when Arkansas joined? That makes no sense. Everyone knows Arkansas as southern. Show me one person other then yourself that doesn't? Arkansas has long rivalries agaisnt Ole Miss and LSU. They played a lot of sec schools in bowl games. Oh, and here is the one you love to use. What SEC school borders 5 sec states? Oh yeah, that would be Arkansas. Louisiana-LSU, Mississippi-Ole miss, MSU, Texas-Texas A&M, Tennessee-UT and Vandy, and now Missouri. So everyone commented before on you trying to use Arkansas as not a cultural fit. Again, your propoganda goes on.

MizzouDad!
MizzouDad!

I live in southwest missouri and am stoked about being a part of the best collegiate conference. My son is a Mizzou graduate who is a university professor in florida. He is just as stoked as I am. We look forward to traveling to eastern conference cities. Thanks for the welcome. This will, longterm, turn out to be great for MIZZOU and great also for the SEC....GO SEC!!

Slim Eastwood
Slim Eastwood

Look up Gen. Joe Shelby. He lead the Missouri iron brigade. The ones who never surrendered. They went to Mexico instead. The made a movie about it called Undefeated.

Slim Eastwood
Slim Eastwood

I AM from the Ozarks Webster county. and I doubt that whoever " ozark" is actually is . This isn't the deep south but its southern. If your from here and you go up north they will let you know it.
Look up the words to the Missouri waltz. Then look up the original words. Read Mark Twain! He was from north east Missouri even. Harry Truman's mom refused to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. There is a dad gum Dixie outfitter store on the strip in Branson. Watch outlaw Josey Whales.
The civil war started between Missouri and Kansas. Years before fort Sumter.
Ya'll act like Ohio just joined the SEC. Come on man . Atleast acknowledge we r as southern as Kentucky.

bubba
bubba

I live in Kansas City Missouri and I for one am stoked to be in SEC. MU is a great school (would be 4th oldest school in SEC I believe) and has the 4th highest enrollment. Non revenue sports are strong and in FB admittedly they sucked in 80s and 90s due to horrible coaching hires and underfunding of AD among other things. 2 of the most memorable games ever for MU was in late 60s and then in 70s against Bear Bryant. MU has been considered as a sleeping giant for a long time because they could never get their act together in FB, now they are back on track and should compete well in SEC and in BB they've had alot of tradition but have never made it to Final 4 despite being in elite 8 four or five times. Every MU fan I know in the KC area is excited about the move.

Ozark
Ozark

I am from the Missouri Ozarks, and I never thought of myself as Southern. Most Missourians think of themselves as midwesterners. I personally believe that Mizzou's marriage with the SEC is a bad match culturally. There appear to be many factors that contributed to their decision: BIG XII instability and the continuing threat of inevitable collapsed that is buttressed only by Texas and Oklahoma, money, the six-year TV-rights lock that the BIG XII is considering (basically chaining all members to the conference), the fact that MIZZOU's dean is from Kentucky and was a professor at the University of Tennessee, and the strong football reputation in the SEC. There are people in Missouri who have an affinity towards the south, and the Bootheel of Missouri is undoubtable Southern in every way (the fact that the Bootheel is distinctly different than the rest of Missouri is telling in itself), but we are cuturally and geographically closer to the Big XII and Big Ten.

norhtern sec fan
norhtern sec fan

WHAT I'M NOT GETTING HERE IS WHAT THE TERM "SOUTHERN CULTURE" REALLY MEANS IS THIS CODE FOR BEING RACIST? BECAUSE IN 2011 WHAT DOES THE CIVIL WAR HAVE TO DO WITH COLLEGE SPORTS? GET OVER IT MISSOURI AND TEXAS A&M ARE IN SHOW THEM SOME SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY AND WELCOME THEM IN!

Tim
Tim

You can't use the civil war as a measuring stick for the SEC. There were a lot of men from Maryland that fought for the confederacy, but Maryland isn't SEC territory.

Mightymo
Mightymo

Interesting to note that only universities from states represented on the Confederate battle flag are members of the SEC (Texas A&M and Missouri included). Also, culturally, Missouri loves auto sports and has produced some excellent NASCAR drivers, including MIZZOU graduate Carl Edwards (current points leader), Jamie McMurray, Ken Shrader, Michael Wallace, Kenny Wallace and Winston Cup champion Rusty Wallace.

Paul Blaylock
Paul Blaylock

I just wanted to say I am a Mizzou fan who lives in Nashville...I grew up in south east Missouri 20 minutes away from Paducah KY.,.. I am sooo excited that my team is port of the SEC now and hope folks in the SEC will welcome us. I know the debate whether Mizzou is Southern or not will go on for awhile but you all will see the dedication by Mizzou fans and our culture when time comes. You all will be happy it was us and not Morgantown in the end. Remember Mizzou started a great tradition for football and that was the first Homecoming. I am ready and am going to be one of the first people to buy tickets to VANDY, and TENN games when it happens. I am now not only a Die Hard Mizzou fan but a Die Hard SEC FAN.

Paul Brittain
Paul Brittain

Going back to the Civil War, save for Virginia and Tennessee, more battles were fought in Missouri than any other state. There are a good many Missourians, myself included, who identify themselves with the South and consider themselves Southerners and have the family tree to prove it. Joining the SEC is a dream come true for me and a lot of other Mizzou fans, I think.

Bottom line, as a cultural fit, much more has been made of perceived differences than really exist. It's not like it was Rutgers or Minnesota that's coming on board.

PaulHarvey
PaulHarvey

The stars on the flag argument might work but Missouri had its star on the Union flag also.

MissouriGuy
MissouriGuy

The 13 states with stars on the Confederate flag are the "southern states"

Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, and Missouri

All this stuff about Missouri not belonging is dumb, Missouri south of the Missouri River is basically Arkansas, while Missouri north of the river is basically Iowa (culturally speaking).

Josh
Josh

Lets add Oklahoma and Illinois next. After all, they border Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, & Kentucky.

Willie!T
Willie!T

Who really cares. I mean really, the "SEC" is a brand. It has been built upon years of tradition and success. It has been built upon powerful defenses and smashmouth football. It has grown and expanded by producing a quality product in football, baseball, softball, & gymnastics. It has been working to upgrade quality in basketball (men's & women's), and volleyball.

Growing the brand is what we are seeing. Expanding the reaches of the brand into new markets. You don't grow a brand like Mercedes by adding a brand like Chrysler (yes, I know they tried & history shows it didn't work) - Sorry WVA, Clemson, GaTech, L'Ville, Memphis, Miami, & Houston.

I remember thinking Arkansas & USC??? I get Arky, they are prolific winners in the SWC, but USC? Who knew they had a football team? But that add worked out OK didn't it? TxAM & Mizzou? both have been solid winners in football over the last dozen years. Both have some decent roundball chops. Beyond that, I really don't know anything regarding the "non revenue" sports so let's assume they are at least as run-of-the-mill as the current SEC twelve.

Regional? who cares.

LSUfan
LSUfan

"there isn't an official set of states that make up the Southeastern United States. However, most publications and the general population of the Southern United States generally agree that the region comprises Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and West Virginia" - Allstates.asp

Will
Will

Half of all Mizzou fans are die-hards from Southern Missouri like myself. (Might as well be Arkansas) I think you will be surprised as to how similar Missouri is to Tennessee or Kentucky or Arkansas as far as fanship and culture. I think we may have trouble competing early on, but personally I think it is a good fit. I've always thought that Missouri could easily be considered Mid-south and as far as football goes could be a fit for other conferences than the Big 12. Forget the Big Ten rumors, I'm happy we found a home in the SEC.

Some Yahoo
Some Yahoo

Doesnt matter where Louisiana actually is, its considered southern and perception is everything. Likewise for Kentucky.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Well, If you are going to go by a strict definition of "regional", Louisiana is in the southwest, not the southeast, as the dividing line between southwest and southeast is the Mississippi River, which Louisiana is west of. Being below Arkansas, bordering Texas, not far from Oklahoma ... SEC affiliation might be the only reason why Louisiana is even considered to be in the southeast in the first place. Ditto Kentucky ... they're more midwestern/Appalachian than southeastern, the culture and even the terrain is different, and were they in the Big 10 instead of the SEC, it is debatable whether they'd be seen as "southern" either.

I say the benefits of adding A&M and Mizzou will be how the SEC is perceived nationally. There are some exceptions (i.e. the Gators and Alabama) but for the most part, the way that the national media views the SEC causes them to dismiss its teams if you give them half a chance. Please remember how ugly - and harmful - it got in 2003 and 2004 with LSU and Auburn and the BCS, and it also cost the SEC a title or three in the 1980s also. For the most part, the SEC is a collection of schools that few members of the national media attended - or would send their kids to - and that gives (or gave) the Big 10, the Pac-12, the ACC, the Big 12 (before it imploded that is) and even the Big East (again, before implosion) a huge advantage in how those conferences and their schools were covered and perceived. But now, having the #2 school in Texas and the flagship school of Missouri in the fold makes it a lot harder. Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (and remember, Atlanta is actually ACC territory despite the SEC title game being played there) wrote an excellent column to that effect on October 5. Read that and understand why Mizzou versus WVU was "no contest" even if WVU is better on the football field (an idea that I still somewhat dispute).

SKBlank
SKBlank

P.S. To those SEC faithful who are giving us a warm welcome.... Thank you! We won't let you down and hope to continue the storied traditions of the SEC. It feels fantastic to not be under the overwhelming shadow of Bevo—replete with greed, arrogance, and obliviousness to anyone but Bevo Nation. I think I speak for all the Black n' Gold faithful when I say we are truly honored to be a part of the SEC and look forward to welcoming you all to your first visit to Columbia, MO (CoMo) <--- Distinguishable from Cola of South Carolina.

While you are up, don't forget to take a trip to the legendary Shakespeare's Pizza.... You won't regret it.

JRUGA
JRUGA

Exactly. Who cares about the yada yada yada. Their in and its going to be great. Missouri is southern enough every time I have been through there and Texas is southern enough everytime I have gone through there. Quit being a bunch of crybabies and wipe those tears from your eyes. The SEC has just hit a home run and for you naysayers, just wait until the SEC Network becomes available. This is going to be awesome. Welcome Mizzou and Texas A&M. Don't let a few crybabies and narrow minded ninnies bring you down. Its all they have is the dome and gloom of their so called life. Real Sec fans are estatic andexcited about having 2 great schools coming aboard. As a Dawg fan, just promise to bring your "A" game, your going to need it.

deltaboy
deltaboy

...& neither are Virginia & North Carolina, but culturally they are a part of the Upper South.

One of the most complete explanations of regional differences within the United States can be found in David Hackett Fisher's "Albion's Seed". Fisher attributes differences between New England, the Mid-Atlantic States & the Upper & Lower South to four distinct British "folkways" that "seeded" those regions from specific localities in Great Britain. Distinct migration patterns carried these folkways westward in such a way that helps explain regional differences even today. Based on Fisher's criteria, southern Missouri can easily be considered a part of the Upper South & a reasonably good SEC fit with their cousins in Kentucky & Tennessee.

MizzouTiger
MizzouTiger

You may identify with the south, but I definitely do not. Most Missourians, like myself, identify with the midwest, not the south. Yes Missouri was divided during the Civil War and there were confederate sympathizers throughout the state, but Missouri remained a northern state. It is also interesting to note the Mizzou's mascot was adopted from the militia that the Columbia townspeople formed to guard against confederates.

TexReb
TexReb

Well, actually, the 13 Confederate states were also represented on the US flags during the War.

wouldntuliketoknow
wouldntuliketoknow

If that's the case, Kansas City and St. Louis should be more like Little Rock than Des Moines. And the Ozarks are primarily unique to Missouri...most of Arkansas is not in the Ozarks. The southern dialect and culture do not really dominate most of Missouri, even south of the Missouri River, and the Osage Plains have a primarily Midwestern feel to them. Even Joplin, Springfield, and Cape Girardeau are not anywhere near Paducah, Kentucky or Louisville in terms of being southern (other than latitude).

CoMO Tiger
CoMO Tiger

Having grown up in Missouri (13 yrs St. Louis), then 5 years Chicago, IL, 3 years Iowa, and finally 35-years in Columbia - Missouri is not mid-western or northern by Illinois or Iowa standards, they consider us hicks or southerners.

By the "real south's" standards, we are probably more westerners. Our major cities are melting pots, no different than many large southern cities. But our history, and our roots are primarily from the south, assuming you still consider Tennessee and Kentucky southern (that's where our settlers mostly came from at the time of the civil war).

Geographically, Missouri was mostly a slave state (except much of St. Louis that was our major metro area of the 1860s). Columbia had plantations, our state's guard fought for the south, the capital of Jefferson City was southern - yes it was taken by an army from St. Louis.

Are we southern enough to fit with the SEC, being a MO Tiger with a Hog son I assure you we fit fine with Arkansas. We will find out about the rest. For one, I am happy to get away from the petty, childish politics of the Big 12 and look forward to joining the SEC.

mith242
mith242

Missouri was one of those 'gray area' states. As you said the northern part of the state is certainly not southern in culture. But the southern part of the state does contain some elements of southern culture. There were areas of Missouri that were pro Confederacy. A lot of it is just perspective. Take someone from the Missouri Ozarks to the northwest or northeast part of the country and they'll probably think they're pretty 'Southern' in nature. But of course to people in the extreme Southeast part of the country they may not seem very 'Southern'.

billybib
billybib

Outside of the boot in Missouri, I don't hear Southern accents when I speak with people. DId Missouri get a flag on the star for what comprises one tenth of an area, if even that?

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

Missour is a state that really could've been two. South Missouri and North Missouri. And if you ever go to the state, the culture is very divided as well. Southern Missouri is very southern. Northern Missouri is very much midwestern. That's why even on the st.louis dispatch paper poll taken in columbia, the student body was very split about the Tigers joining the SEC. But what are you going to do? The sec needed number 14.

beetiger
beetiger

I don't know about the rest of you but in Southeast Missouri we have a delta, and COTTON is king. We have the same lineage as the rest of you, and are proud to be in the SEC!

wouldntuliketoknow
wouldntuliketoknow

Mid-South??? That would make Iowa southern. As far as you being happy about the SEC, good for you. I've never noticed that much similarity in terms of fanbase in Mizzou to the other states that you mention...Mizzou's fan base and culture reminds me more of Illinois and Ohio than the other states you mention. Especially outside of Southern Missouri, which I view to be split between Midwestern and Southern ideals depending on where you are in that part of the state.

AustinIdol
AustinIdol

As a lifelong Kentucky whose wife is from Iowa and who has travelled extensively over the years, let me assure you that there is nothing "midwestern" about Kentucky. Culturally, Kentucky is virtually identical to Tennessee, with the exception on the Memphis area. As soon as I cross the Ohio River I feel as if I'm on another planet...

mith242
mith242

I'd consider Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas as Mid-South. All of them have some aspects of 'Southern' culture you find in the Southeast, but yet it's a bit different as well.

Speedy98
Speedy98

Only disagree with one point. Last time I drove thru Baton Rouge, Death Valley, and the LSU campus sat on the Eastern Bank of the Mississippi.

Tommeey
Tommeey

"In the Civil War, Missouri was a border state that sent men, armies, generals, and supplies to both opposing sides, had its star on both flags, had separate governments representing each side, and endured a neighbor-against-neighbor intrastate war within the larger national war." - Wikipedia

wouldntuliketoknow
wouldntuliketoknow

People from those parts of those states tend to believe that they are the beginning and end of the Midwest...and my experience personally contradicts yours. Those with an education recognize that while we may have southern influences, we are still the Midwest. Geographically, how was Missouri a slave state? Its economy didn't depend on slavery, and southern crops were exiled to the far s/e part of the state. Jefferson City was not taken by an army from St. Louis....it was occupied after the elected state government dispersed on its own. You can group the far southern parts of the state in, but to include the whole state is far-fetched to say the least. Kansas City and St. Louis have virtually nothing in common with other southern cities culturally, demographically, or linguistically. Missouri's roots and history are not primarily from the south...it existed only 40 years before the Civil War...after that, it became a dramatically altered state. Many of the Southern settlers no longer resided in the state after the Civil War. That said, I'm not going to say Missouri is entirely a misfit because it does have a few ties to the south...virtually all of it is pre-Civil War though.

Ozark
Ozark

I am from the Missouri Ozarks, and I never thought of myself as Southern. Most Missourians think of themselves as midwesterners. I personally believe that Mizzou's marriage with the SEC is a bad match culturally. There appear to be many factors that contributed to their decision: BIG XII instability and the continuing threat of inevitable collapsed that is buttressed only by Texas and Oklahoma, money, the six-year TV-rights lock that the BIG XII is considering (basically chaining all members to the conference), the fact that MIZZOU's dean is from Kentucky and was a professor at Tennessee, and the strong football reputation in the SEC. There are people in Missouri who have an affinity towards the south, and the Bootheel of Missouri is undoubtable Southern in every way (the fact that the Bootheel is distinctly different than the rest of Missouri is telling in itself), but we are cuturally and geographically closer to the Big XII and Big Ten.

wouldntuliketoknow
wouldntuliketoknow

I disagree about southern Missouri being very southern...none of it is deep south-southern. Most of the southern half of the state today is a mix of southern and midwestern, with the far southern parts being the only definitively southern portions left. And mostly, I believe the student body was split because the Big Ten was the first choice, the Big 12 had essentially rejected us, and the SEC was our last option.

JRUGA
JRUGA

Forget about it people. As a lifelong UGA fan and SEC, I welcome Mizzou and the Aggies into the SEC. Its a done deal and we fans in the SEC will be better for this round of expansion just as we were in the last expansion. Grow up and try to keep up. The SEC has hit a home run in this expansion. Slive and the SEC Presidents have done a good job in bringing in solid overall Universities. Not only solid sports schools with solid sports programs, but excellant academic schools that boost the academic reputation of the SEC. Out of the existing schools that were truely available, the SEC has expanded with the best additions. Take off the blinders and get caught up in the real world.

billybib
billybib

www.escapetothesoutheast.com. Go there and see for yourself. It's the official travel site of the SOUTHEAST states. If you're looking for Missouri, you will have to go to www.travelthemidwest.com . That state is rightfully lumped with OTHER Midwestern states.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Well, my map-reading is a bit off I guess ... the one that I checked before writing this comment (can't give outside links, but I googled "Mississippi River" and clicked on the second image result) showed the Mississippi River cutting between Mississippi and Louisiana. Oh well, guess I need to go retake grade school geography! Thanks!

wouldntuliketoknow
wouldntuliketoknow

Most of the stuff I've read from Southern Living is a pretty poor attempt at linking Missouri to the south.

Old St. Louis
Old St. Louis

Or go to Southern Living magazine which DOES include Missouri. You can find that magazine all over Missouri and anywhere in the St. Louis area especially.

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