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Mizzou Unveils New Ticket Policy

The University of Missouri is expecting an increased demand for tickets this fall thanks to the school’s move to the SEC.  That’s not surprising.  At Texas A&M they’re already talking about improving, renovating or replacing Kyle Field due in part to new, stronger ticket demands.

At Mizzou, the school unveiled a new policy yesterday that will require new season-ticket buyers to put their names on a waiting list.  The cost of signing up for the list?  That would be 100 bucks, but that would be deducted from the coast of season tickets if they do become available.

The school sold 40,000 season tickets last year and MU officials are hoping to move 45,000 this season.

Proving that the Mizzou administration already has a mind for SEC-style business, spokesperson Chad Moller admitted that the school thinks a few Alabama and Georgia fans might plunk down cash for an entire season-ticket package in order to insure they get in to see their favorite school’s first foray into Faurot Field:

“That’s absolutely part of our thought process.  I supposed if Alabama fans want to become donors and buy season tickets, more power to them, but we feel like going to this waiting list will help give preference to Mizzou fans, people who want to donate to the (Tiger Scholarship Fund) and come to all seven games.”

Several SEC schools have learned to package tickets — especially Kentucky tickets in basketball — in such a way that visiting fans have to buy tickets for more than just the game of their choosing.

Not to hurt Mizzou’s biz-nass, but I find it hard to believe most folks haven’t figured out by now that online ticket brokers are the way to go when looking for seats for one particular game.

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Aggies “Gigged” Over T-Shirt Screw-Up

Stuff happens.  You’re in a rush.  You’re not thinking.  You get ahead of yourself… and boom.  You’ve messed up.

Well in today’s world anything from a misspelled word to a bungled map on a t-shirt will be caught, tweeted and mocked.  For proof, click the headline above and take a closer gander at the Texas A&M t-shirt CNBC’s Darren Rovell tracked down and linked to today.

A company called Aggieland Outfitters has already apologized for selling the shirt which says:


… along with an SEC logo above the outline of 10 states.

Unfortunately, new SEC states Missouri and Texas — that’s right, the home of the Aggies — aren’t included in the design while North Carolina is.


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Mizzou’s New Nike Duds Not As Bad As they Might Have Been

First, let me just say that after last week’s short nugget about what Missouri insiders were saying about the school’s soon-to-be-released new Nike uniforms, it’s clear that Mizzou and its fans will have no problem fitting in with their new SEC brethren.

Under our post, many Tiger fans jumped into our comment boxes to claim that we were attacking their school, should keep our mouths shut, etc, etc.  Some comments were so nasty that they had to be deleted after some claimed they were offensive.  That’s A-1, standard, paranoid SEC overreaction.  Reading something into a story — “obviously we’re the redheaded stepchild of the SEC” type of jibber-jabber for instance — that isn’t even hinted at in the actual story?  Why that’s real SEC passion right there.

Anyone who doubted that Mizzou fans had the passion necessary to be overly sensitive or too easily angered by throwaway blurbs need only study the drama unleashed by our quick “ugh” remark regarding… a uniform.  Some readers even ignored the fact that we included a quote that made it clear these unis were designed to attract recruits first and foremost.  They ignored the fact that we also took a shot at Georgia’s garish, laughable 2011 Power Ranger uniform.  And that we ended by saying we hoped the uniforms “wouldn’t be as bad as feared” when finally released to the public.  Instead of grasping all that, some saw only our clear haaaaaaate for MU.

That type of buffet reading — “I’ll read this, misinterpret that, and totally ignore that” — is pure SEC gold.

And speaking of gold, now that that uniforms have been unveiled, I’ll still say that I’m not a fan.  I prefer old, shiny, metallic gold to yellow.  That’s a personal preference and I’m sure you have your own take on that one.  I’ll try not to be offended if you prefer yellow to gold as it’s really not that big of a deal and won’t cost me any sleep tonight.

The main unis — complete with the oval Tiger-head logo on a black helmet — aren’t nearly as Oregon-esque as some Mizzou officials had hinted.  We at see that as a positive, you may not.

The alternate football uniform — the one with the yellow jersey and the big yellow Tiger head on a matte-finish black helmet that looks like its been splattered by a paintball — is rather CFLish, if you ask this scribe.  That’s the alternate uni at left.  Ick.  Sue me.

A few Tiger fans aren’t happy that grey — I’m sorry, “anthracite” — has been added to some of the uniforms, but I don’t think it looks too bad on the road white unis.  Of course, “anthracite” was first introduced by Nike as part of its Pro Combat design for West Virginia a couple of years ago.  Not sure how much coal mining is done in Missouri, but anthracite’s now part of the Tiger brand for better or worse.

The basketball uniforms are — in my opinion — worse than the football unis.  The grey-on-black-on-grey Tiger stripe patterns are just too funky for an old-timer like me and I’m not big on uniform numbers that are the same color as the uniform itself, either.  Again, just my take.

But these jerseys and pants and helmets weren’t designed for impartial critics like yours truly.  They weren’t designed for Mizzou fans, for that matter.  They were designed to appeal to 17- and 18-year-old kids who are actually wowed by abominations like this.  So again, things could have been much, much worse.

The biggest drawback to this non-MU guy is the loss of the big block M on the helmet.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Supposedly people confused Missouri with Michigan.  Is it just me or does anyone else think that’s a total crock?  Michigan has one of the most iconic helmets in the country and it’s got nothing close to a block M on it.  So we’re not going to buy the “they confuse us with Michigan” line even if Mizzou and Nike officials want to keep pitching it.

We liked the previous Tiger uniforms and thought they looked more traditional.  These unis are more modern and that’s part of the school’s new branding efforts.  So be it.

If recruits like Dorial Green-Beckham sign after seeing them and if the Tigers win games while wearing them, they’ll end up being a huge success.  Regardless of what fans or fashion critics or independent sites like this one are saying today.

So much for our sartorial review.

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Mizzou OC Yost Ready To Challenge SEC Defenses

When Missouri and the SEC announced their marriage, many current fans of Mike Slive’s league wondered if the Tigers could adjust to the demands of the nation’s toughest conference.  But Mizzou offensive coordinator David Yost has a different spin on things.

He’s told that it might be the SEC that has to adjust to the Tigers:

“We will be a spread team and we will try to give people fits in different ways than how other people do it.  There’s not a lot of what we do happening in that league right now.  It’s also a change for them for what they’re going to see because we’re different and we’re different in how we do it.”

Since MU climbed onboard we’ve written more than once that head coach Gary Pinkel could have success in the SEC even without Top 10 recruiting classes.  (Of course, landing #1 player in the country Dorial Green-Beckham this past February helped on that front, too.)

Like Bobby Petrino prior to his dismissal, Gary Pinkel has rolled up a lot of wins in Columbia — and a #1 national ranking in late 2007 — without the benefit of highly-ranked signing classes.  He’s done that in the Big 12, yes, but Petrino’s offensive system was a success in the SEC.  So it’s already been proven that a unique scheme and good playcalling can equal wins even without the nation’s tip-top talent.

If Tiger quarterback James Franklin’s shoulder is ready to go by fall, it will be fun to see just how much success the offense of Pinkel and Yost can have in a league that’s traditionally featured defense-first teams.

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Mizzou “Wants To Grab A Little Piece Of What Oregon Has Done” Uniform-wise… Ugh

For those Missouri — and SEC — fans scared to death that Nike is about to Oregon-up Mizzou’s uniforms, you probably won’t like what you’re about to read.  In today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri recruiting coordinator David Yost is quoted as saying, “Everyone kind of wants to grab a little piece of what Oregon has done.”


As we told you last month, Mizzou officials are letting Nike give the school a makeover.  Judging by a blurry screengrab, it looks like that makeover can best be described as West Virginia-meets-Oregon… as opposed to the classy, traditional, old gold and black uniforms the Tigers have sported in recent years.

More worrisome from a fashion perspective, MU equipment manager Don Barnes said, “All the recruits this year have seen these new uniforms, and they love this stuff.”  That’ll likely be good for recruiting, but bad for the eyes.  Remember, it’s 18-year-olds who love Oregon’s flashy, bizarro football unis and Baylor’s highlighter-green hoops get-ups.

Barnes continued: “… do I please you, the fan who’s been watching for 30 years, or do I go after and do everything I can to make that 18-to-21-year-old kid love it?  Love it so much that they want to wear it.  And now you get that 6-star recruit.  And the more of those guys you get, the more you win, the happier you are.”

And if you’re Oregon, the uglier you are.

It’s good business to tailor a school’s uniforms to the desires of recruits, but where’s the limit?  How long before some team starts wearing pants so low-hanging that players must keep one hand on them at all times in order just to hold them up?

Missouri will have 24 — yes, 24 — different uniform combinations available this fall.  Sorry, but that’s not a selling point around

There are 12 fanbases in the SEC that scratched their collective noggins when Mizzou was invited into the league.  Will they fit, many asked.  Personally, I’m not sure the Tigers will be doing themselves any favors on that front by entering the nation’s most tradition-rich league while wearing uniforms that — from what it sounds like — could have been worn by Gil Gerard in his circa-1980 “Buck Rogers” television show.

Georgia went with a Power Rangers uni for one game this past season and were darn near laughed out of the league for it.

Missouri will unveil their new collection of uniforms at halftime of Saturday’s spring game.  Here’s hoping they won’t be as bad as feared.

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A&M Might Build A New Stadium Due To SEC Move

Kyle Field is considered one of the best places to watch a college football game in America.  But it might be on the way out.

Aggie president R. Bowen Loftin has announced that the school’s move to the SEC “has created a tremendous amount of excitement around Texas A&M, and we are seeing an unprecedented demand for football season tickets.”  That has led A&M to begin a study of ways to expand, improve or perhaps even replace Kyle Field. 

According to a university press release:

“The design study phase will explore various design options for Kyle Field, including plans for both a renovated stadium and a new stadium.  The result of the study will provide Texas A&M and 12th Man Foundation officials with multiple design options for the future of the 83,002-seat stadium and will address stating of construction, preliminary cost estimating and construction timelines.”

Whoa, pardner.  A&M might be wise to slow down the expansion train for just a second.

First — like a restaurant just opening its doors — A&M should expect early response to its SEC move to be good.  The trick is getting people to come back again and again.  If Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies have success, that should happen.  If A&M fans see they can succeed in the SEC, that should happen.  But there are no guarantees that either of those things will indeed happen.  If the Aggies struggle upon entering the SEC, there could be a lot more empty seats at Kyle Field (or “New” Kyle Field).

Second — at a time when most people are talking about declining attendance at sporting events across the country, it’s probably not the best moment to be looking to expand a facility that already seats 82,000.  We’re not talking about Missouri’s Faurot Field here.  Kyle Field is big.  In the future, HDTV could cut into the number of fans rushing through the building’s gates… just as it has at other schools.

Texas A&M’s enthusiasm is big, both from a ticket-demand perspective and from a let’s-improve-the-stadium perspective.  But before Aggie brass get too far down the stadium expansion road, they should probably consider what would happen if their team falters and home entertainment systems continue to improve.

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Georgia Lands In-State Prospect For ’14 Class

Defensive back Nick Glass from St. Pius X Catholic High School became Georgia’s second commitment for the 2014 class on Wednesday.

“It felt like home … why not help out the home school?” Glass said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Glass chose Georgia over an impressive offer list, which includes Auburn, Tennessee, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Ohio State and others. Alabama, which signed St. Pius cornerback Geno Smith in February, was close to offering Glass, he said.

Of course, there will be plenty of time for other schools to recruit Glass and try to persuade him to look elsewhere. But for now, Georgia will be happy to hold the lead for his services.

Glass joins running back Stanley Williams from Bethleham, Ga., on Georgia’s commitment list for 2013.

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Good News, Bad News For Mizzou Football

Missouri football fans got good news and bad news this morning.

The good news: Tiger coach Gary Pinkel says the surgery on quarterback James Franklin’s surgery was “a very good repair” and that he’s optimistic about his player’s recovery.

“He’s a pretty special guy; he’ll heal quick.  He works tremendously had in the training room.  And so much of it is having a great attitude.”

Franklin is expected to miss the remainder of spring practice and then be ready to return in the fall.  But Pinkel did caution: “We’re expecting that he won’t (miss time), but to say that that can’t happen, I can’t say that.”

The junior — thrown into the fire unexpectedly last year — led Mizzou as much with his legs as he did his arm in Pinkel’s usually pass-first system.  He accounted for 2,865 yards passing (63.3%) with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.  He also rushed for 981 yards and 15 more TDs on 217 carries.

The bad news: Tailback Henry Josey still hasn’t had surgery to repair a torn ACL.  Josey suffered “a one-in-a-million” terrible knee injury against Texas last November.  He underwent a five-hour procedure at the time to repair a patellar tendon rupture, a torn meniscus and a torn MCL.

Pinkel said that Josey should be ready to have the ACL repaired “in the next two or three weeks” but he wouldn’t say whether or not his tailback will play at all this fall.

In 10 games last season Josey rushed for 1,168 yards and 9 touchdowns.

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A&M Sells Out Season Tickets

First things first — Yes, we’ll soon be adding team pages for Missouri and Texas A&M.  Technically, the schools won’t join the SEC until this summer, but we should have their pages and buttons up sometime in the next few weeks.

And now, on with the story… which is that Texas A&M has sold out its supply of season tickets for 2012.  According to The Bryan-College Station Eagle, this “likely means the Aggies will fill Kyle Field with season ticket holders for the first time since the stadium was expanded in the late 1990s.”

A&M’s VP of marketing and communications says: “Since the discussions began with the SEC, the fan interest has increased substantially to where we are not only looking at renovation but also how we can expand the stadium to accommodate the increased interest from our fan and the increase in SEC fans that will be coming to Kyle Field each fall.”

As we noted way back in May of 2010, Texas A&M is a perfect SEC fit.  The school is a big state school located in a rural area.  The local college sports teams are the main draw in the area.  With the exception of Vanderbilt, that pretty much sums up every other SEC school except new addition Missouri — which will always due battle with the St. Louis Cardinals in their baseball-crazy state.

A&M’s ticket sales just further prove that both the SEC and the school made a smart move in marrying.

This fall, the Aggies will host Florida, Arkansas, LSU and Missouri from inside its new conference.

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Georgia Tailback Thomas To Transfer

Georgia tailback Carlton Thomas announced on Tuesday he plans to transfer and will look to play at another school next season.

Thomas, who rushed for 361 yards and and two touchdowns as a junior in 2011, has one season of eligibility remaining. Thomas said in a statement:

“This decision was based solely on the fact that this is my last year to play, and my parents and I felt like it was the right move to make. I want to make more of an impact on the field.  I didn’t want to disrupt Georgia’s team and preparation for next season so I made the final decision to leave earlier rather than later in the year.”

It’s certainly questionable how much of an impact Thomas would have been able to make at Georgia in 2012. The Bulldogs return standout sophomore Isaiah Crowell and welcome highly-touted freshmen Keith Marshall, who enrolled in school in January, and Todd Gurley.

Ken Malcome, Richard Samuel and Brandon Horton will also return and compete for playing time in a crowded Georgia backfield.

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