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De’Asian Richardson Chooses West Virginia

Defensive  tackle De’Asian Richardson from Orange Park (Fla.) High School announced his commitment to West Virginia on Monday.

Richardson, who previously committed to Florida State, had also considered Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

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A Request For Radio “Requesters”

A brief aside to all the folks out there who are kind enough to invite me onto your radio shows each week…

Last year I wound up doing 15-20 radio interviews per week during football and basketball seasons.  At about 12-15 minutes a pop, that took up a lot of time.  So rather than set up regularly-scheduled hits, I’m going to pull back a bit this season.

That said, if you’re interested in having me join you on occasion — and I’m always happy to do so when I’m available — the best way to contact me is via email at john@mrsec.com.  Also, it’s always best that you try to email me at least a couple of days in advance.

It’s first come, first serve, so I might have to accept an invite at a later date, but if you contact me, I’ll do my best to accommodate you at some point.

Many thanks to all the folks across the SEC region and beyond who’ve asked for someone at MrSEC.com to join them.  I’ve done hits from West Virginia to North Dakota to New Zealand (yes, really) to talk SEC sports and I look forward to chatting with more of you in the future.

Now, back to the news o’ the day…

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Florida Corner Picks LSU

LSU has received a commitment from cornerback Rashard Robinson from Blance Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Fla.

“I watched the (current LSU) team in the weight room and then on the turf and everything is just so wound up and they have such a high intensity,” Robinson told Rivals.com. “I was just impressed by the emotion and how everybody is competing and fighting for positions. That is what I really liked there.”

Robinson, LSU’s 22nd commitment for the class of 2013, considered Florida State and Miami along with offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss and West Virginia.

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New Feature: Lookin’ For Insults

I’ve decided to start a brand new feature here at MrSEC.com that we’ll call “Lookin’ For Insults.”  Whenever we get a particularly daft comment or email that claims I or another of our writers insulted some school or some coach when we actually haven’t done any such thing, I’m going to post it on the homepage for all to read.

We’ll start with a pair of fans who took offense to a piece written on Monday regarding the SEC’s decision to add Missouri and Texas A&M.  Those folks read that post and found insults toward their favy-wavy schools… even though there was nothing actually offensive, insulting or derogatory about their schools in the story itself.

First, someone calling himself “redscribe66″ in our comment area claimed that I had attacked West Virginia University.  His comment:

 

“Once again.  Mr. SEC takes a shot at WVU.  The national media has stated the Big 12 improved themselves vastly as they picked up three top 75 television markets (#24 Pittsburgh) (#9 Washington DC) and #64 Charleston Huntington.  I fail to understand with the huge amounts of fans WVU has in the South (Charlotte, Atlanta, Nashville and Florida) why Mr. SEC has so many issues with them.  Three quick thoughts: 1. Did SEC fans check out the Orange Bowl score, 2. Did SEC fans know WVU has been to the final four twice and 3. Do SEC fans know WVU is full of Rhodes Scholars, Truman Scholars and garners millions in research each year.  They know it in Dallas and we are proud to be in the Big 12 as we found a family.  Please Mr, SEC wish WVU the best as we do your conference.”

 

Wow.  I really must’ve crapped all over West Virginia, huh?

Or maybe I simply stated that Missouri was chosen over West Virginia for SEC inclusion because one school is located in a bigger state with more eyeballs.  Yeah, actually that is all that I wrote.  (Oh, and for the record, the site is MrSEC.com and we have three regular writers.  No one person calls himself Mr. SEC around here).  Here’s WHAT I ACTUALLY WROTE that “redscribe66″ reacted to:

 

“Why these two schools? 

Last summer, West Virginia officials made it known to the SEC (and the ACC, too) that their school was looking to make a move from the Big East.  But WVU never got the nod from Slive and company.  Missouri got the final slot in the league instead. 

Why?  Eyeballs.

As we told you at the time, Missouri is simply a much bigger state than West Virginia.  More cable households and more eyeballs should increase the potential value of ‘Project X,’ mentioned above.  Those eyeballs and two large markets in Kansas City and St. Louis could help CBS and ESPN’s SEC ratings in that state.  That will be good for those networks’ ad sales and it will please the CBS’ affiliates in the Show-Me-State as well.”

 

“Project X” is the SEC Network, of course.  But that’s it.  That was our entire mention of West Virginia.  Damn mean of us, no?

Well, once I responded to the reader’s comment he posted a sorta/kinda apology for coming on “a little strong.”  He also said, “Many WVU fans took it as Mr. SEC was against WVU’s SEC petition because it was a second-rate school.”

Then that’s because many WVU fans were simply looking to be insulted.  This site never suggested during Expansionpalooza 2011 that WVU should be passed over because of academics.  We did, however, state that academics would be a factor and WVU’s reputation would hurt their chances of inclusion.  That’s not being “anti-WVU,” that’s stating facts.  Facts that turned out to be, uh, facts.

But speaking of folks looking for insults, here’s an email I got today from a “Roger P.” (last name withheld because I’m a nicer guy than some of you think).  In it, he makes it clear that in the same piece linked to above I also insulted Arkansas (the quote is verbatim, typos and all):

 

“I usually enjoy your articles.  For some reason you do not give the State of Arkansas credit for being a southeastern state.  Have you ever been to our state?  Historically, geographically, culturally we are quite Southern.

I have family in Georgia.  For some reason the people there think we are out West ,and that we ski here.  Actually, Arkansas joined the Confederacy before Tennessee, North Carolina or Virginia did.  We are celebrating our entry into the Civil War this year.  There were over 750 battles fought here.  Our people fought gallantly for the South.  Football wise–we have been playing LSU and Ole Miss ,off and on , for well over a hundred years.

You once said that having Arkansas in the SEC was a bone head idea.  Shame.  You do not seem to question Kentucky that was aligned with the Yankees and is bordered by Northern States.  Anyway, for the Razorbacks to be properly situated in the SEC was a long time wish of mine.  We were never a smooth fit in the SWC.Granted, Fayetteville is in a remote corner of our state; but, there is not another state that is more loyal to the SEC than the Arkansas people.  We find it quite off here when someone  thinks we are not part of the South —especially “midwestern”.

Give us a break ,John.”

 

First, someone let Roger P. know that Lee gallantly surrendered to those damn Yankees just a short while ago.  Second, I have been to Arkansas and liked the state very much.  Third, never in frickin’ history have I ever “once said that having Arkansas in the SEC was a bone head idea.”  Never thought, never said it, never wrote it.  That’s a lie.  Pure and simple an complete fabrication.  A canard.  BS.  Probably taken from a made-up quote attributed to me on a messageboard.

But let’s look at WHAT I ACTUALLY WROTE about Arkansas:

 

“A&M and Mizzou will help create new traditions and new rivalries just as Arkansas and South Carolina have over the past 20 years…”

 

Nope, that must not have been what Roger P. found offensive.  In fact, the typical insult-looker will skip right over anything that might be seen as positive in order to perceive a negative.

So maybe this was the part Roger was bothered by:

 

“From a passion perspective, Mizzou fans will no doubt strike up immediate rivalries with neighboring Arkansas and Kentucky.”

 

Couldn’t have been that one, either.  So it must’ve been the only other mention of Arkansas in the story:

 

“Will A&M and Mizzou ‘fit’ in the SEC?

Much has been made of the Southeastern Conference going outside its footprint — which was the actual goal, of course — and adding one school from the Midwest and another from the Southwest.  That’s talk from people who were anti-SEC expansion from the start.  In reality, this isn’t akin to San Diego State joining the Big East.

Missouri and Texas A&M both fit the SEC mold.  They are both large state schools.  They are located in smaller towns where life revolves around their respective athletic fortunes (just like every SEC school not named Vanderbilt).  Both are already planning multi-million dollar upgrades of facilities.  And both are equal to or better in football than South Carolina and Arkansas were upon their entry into the SEC.

If messageboards and talk radio had been as big in 1992 as they are today, you’d have heard the ‘they won’t fit’ argument thrown out about the Gamecocks and Razorbacks, too.  Especially ‘Midwestern’ Arkansas.  Do you realize that Columbia, Missouri is farther east than Fayetteville, Arkansas?

Meanwhile, Texas A&M could very well have been an SEC school from the outset.  The passion, tradition, facilities and ‘feel’ of A&M and College Station all scream ‘Southeastern Conference.’

So, yes, both will eventually come to feel like fits.  Just as Arkansas and South Carolina have.”

 

If you can read the above section of our story without understanding that I was stating Missouri and Texas A&M will be just as good a fit as Arkansas — and that Arkansas has been a good fit — well, then you’re lookin’ for insults.  Or you’re a nitwit.  One or the other, perhaps both.  Sorry, Roger P.

The whole quotation marks around “Midwestern” when referring to Arkansas should’ve given it away that that’s what others would have said back… oh, hell, why am I explaining this?  I wrote it plain as day the first time.  People in ’92 would have called Arkansas “Midwest” or “Southwest” because they were from outside the SEC’s geographic footprint.  Heck, they did say that.  Even the writer admits his own family still says that.

But we don’t agree with it.  And we don’t agree when folks say it about Missouri, either.

 

My father told me long ago: “There’s what you say and there’s what they hear.”  That goes for writing as well.  I can write one thing, but a few folks so driven by fan passion will see something completely different.

Or something that isn’t even there in the first place.

Rhodes scholars and civil war battles.  That’s the response we got to a piece about Missouri and Texas A&M joining the SEC.

Thank the Lord for the 99.99% of you who don’t read every story in the hopes of finding some hidden slight aimed at your coach, school or state.  As for the few of you who are lookin’ for insults, we’ll now enjoy pointing you out from time to time just for laughs.

Rhodes scholars and civil war battles.  Wow.

When I intend to insult you, trust me, I’ll make it obvious.

(Oh, and if you intend to claim I’m attacking MrSEC.com’s readers with this post, please note the whole “Thank the Lord for the 99.99% of you…” part.  Thought I’d point that one out before our very first “Lookin’ For Insults” piece, ya know, drew in people lookin’ for insults.)

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Orlando Lineman Chooses Vanderbilt

Defensive end Landon Stokes from Lake Highland High School in Orlando, Fla., committed to Vanderbilt on Tuesday.

Stokes gave his commitment to the Commodores during a visit to Vanderbilt’s campus on Tuesday.

“I talked to coach (James) Franklin for a while and had some one on one time,” Stokes told 247Sports. “After that I told him I wanted to commit to Vanderbilt. We were both really excited.”

Stokes chose the Commodores over Clemson, along with offers from such schools as Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina State and West Virginia.

Stokes, who’s Vanderbilt’s 14th commitment for the class of 2013, said he believes the Commodores will continue to recruit at a high level.

“They told me I was a really big piece,” Stokes said. “This class is really starting to turn some heads. People are really starting to see what Vandy has to offer.”

Franklin offered his appreciation to Stokes via twitter after he committed to Vanderbilt on Tuesday afternoon. Franklin made it clear that finding defensive linemen is a priority in Nashville.

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Linebacker Wade Commits To Texas A&M

Texas A&M received its 16th commitment for the class of 2013 on Wednesday when linebacker Brett Wade from Kennedale (Texas) High School gave his pledge to the Aggies.

“They just had everything I have been looking for,” Wade told AggieYell.com. “They play a 4-3 defense, they are going to the SEC, I like the coaches there a lot, and I want to study engineering.”

Wade’s offer list included Ole Miss, Clemson, North Carolina, Texas Tech and West Virginia.

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Bama To Face WVU in 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

A little less than two week ago, Alabama’s Nick Saban was asked about his schools success recruiting the state of Georgia.  He joked that he still had a lake house in the Peach State (though it’s for sale).

We pointed to two factors that we believe have played a role in Bama inking 20 Georgia natives in the past four classes:

 

1.  Georgia produces too much talent for UGA and Georgia Tech — until this year the only FBS-level programs in the state — to be able to keep it all at home.

2.  Saban has repeatedly played games in the Georgia Dome, smack in the heart of Atlanta.

 

In 2008, Bama faced Clemson in the first Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome.  A year later, Virginia Tech served as the Tide’s opener in that same game.

Next year, Alabama will once again face the Hokies in Atlanta.  And yesterday we learned that the Tide’s 2014 opponent in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is expected to be West Virginia.  Nick Saban told a Bama booster group yesterday that a game against his home state’s top university was on the docket.  The Charleston (WV) Daily Mail reports today that a West Virginia official has confirmed that a UA-WVU game “is in the works.”

For Georgia fans tired of seeing Alabama play a primetime game on the opening weekend of the season in their home state year-in and year-out, get used to it.  Saban’s done it twice before and now two more are officially lined up for future dates.  Expect more of the same moving forward.

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Big 12 Extends Media Rights Deal; Begins To Fix Itself

In an effort to stave off total annihilation in 2011, the eight remaining Big 12 schools decided to grant the league office their media rights for a six-year period.  Such a move meant that if a school left the league, the Big 12 would still own that institution’s media rights… making it virtually impossible for any school to bolt.

Yesterday, it was reported that the rumored $2.6 billion television deals with ESPN and Fox first acknowledged in March are indeed good to go.  While still unsigned, the Big 12′s presidents — there are now 10, by the way — have agreed verbally to those contracts.  More importantly, the league has also agreed to extend the league’s grant of rights for an additional seven years. 

The takeaway: The Big 12 looked safe for at least six years before yesterday.  When these new pacts are signed and the grant of rights extended, it will look safe for 13 years.  That’s big.

Last week, the league announced the hire of new commissioner Bob Bowlsby.  Armed with a new, rich set of TV deals and 13 years worth of safety net, his next mission will be to grow the conference.  Doing so should now be easier.

Despite wild rumors that Florida State and Clemson officials are holding super-secret talks with the Big 12 conference, we continue to believe it’s far, far more likely that Louisville will be the first school to move.  While the Big 12 is starting to get steady on its feet again — after losing major brands like Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M the past couple of summers — the Big East is wobbling like the top at the end of “Inception.”  (Yeah, it wobbled.)

Just as Bowlsby was brought in to fix the Big 12, Big East commissioner John Marinatto was given the heave-ho by — it’s believed — a bloc of presidents from his league’s non-football schools.  Louisville is an all-sports Big East school.  Reportedly, Cardinal officials weren’t thrilled with yesterday’s power play by the league’s old guard.

Additionally, political ties between Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell and Oklahoma president (and former senator) David Boren almost landed Louisville in the Big 12 last fall, at West Virginia’s expense.  So some amount of groundwork has already been laid for Louisville to join the Big 12 at some point.

Adding U of L would bring the league back up to 11 members.  Even though Big 12 power brokers have said publicly that they don’t feel there’s a need to hold a Big 12 Championship Game in football, you can be sure the money such a game would generate is indeed viewed as a need privately.  So who would become school #12, allowing the league to hold a title game?

The obvious target is Notre Dame.  Texas AD DeLoss Dodds has told everyone who’ll listen that he and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick might just be able to swing a deal to bring the Irish to the Midwestern league.  Maybe, maybe not.  Notre Dame won’t move unless it believes its options as an independent have run out.  And even then, it’s more likely the administration in South Bend would rather partner academically and financially with the more academically-respected schools of the Big Ten or even the ACC.

For that reason, we think Cincinnati is a much more likely fallback option for the Big 12.  As we showed here, the Big 12 is currently a five-state league that produces very few NFL-caliber players from within its own geographic footprint.  Expanding into Ohio and the Kentuckiana region would help on that front.  Such moves would also give the Big 12 broader television appeal, even better basketball, and some much more natural rivals for new member West Virginia.

But the bottom line is this — The Big 12 is stronger today and the Big East is weaker.  That should make it easier for the Big 12 to raid the Big East for two more schools (Louisville or Cincinnati or Notre Dame) and get back to, you know, actually having 12 schools to matchup with its name and logo.

 

UPDATE — Judging from comments elsewhere on the site and emails received by yours truly, I thought it might be wise to clarify what it is exactly that makes the Big 12 more stable today than yesterday.  So for those still not clear on what was written above, it’s not the big money contracts that the Big 12 has lined up with Fox and ESPN that secure its future.  Schools have been coming and going from leagues despite previous enormous TV deals.  Those are good pacts for the Big 12, no doubt, but what actually makes the league more stable is the extension of the grant of rights.  That act binds those schools together in a much tighter way.  If a school now leaves the Big 12, the league still owns that school’s media rights for 13 years.  That is what has made the Big 12 more stable, not the mondo TV contracts.  Now, you could also argue that some leagues — like the SEC — don’t have to go that route (or even have exit fees, for that matter).  But that doesn’t change the fact that the extension of the grant of rights is a big step forward for a league that had been moving backward for the previous two offseasons.

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Stanford AD To Take Over As Big 12 Commish; What’s He Gonna Do?

Meet Bob Bowlsby.  He’s the current Stanford athletic director who is about to named the new commissioner of the Big 12.  Upon taking that job, he’ll inherit more problems than an MIT math book.

Will he be the next Larry Scott or Mike Slive — a trend-setter among conference leaders?  Or will he be the next Dan Beebe — a Jefferson Davis type cursed with trying to hold together a “nation” of schools that would prefer to exist as independent states rather than as an actual, you know, nation?

The problems the 60-year-old Bowlsby inherits are obvious.  Texas views itself as the flagship university of the solar system.  Oklahoma and Oklahoma State seem bound together, but both have flirted and played footsie with other conferences the past few summers.  Schools like Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas Tech and now TCU hope only for silence and stability, scared witless that UT and/or OU and OSU might bolt and leave them for dead, like a cattle’s skull in the dusts of the Texas panhandle.  And then there’s West Virginia.  The Mountaineers bring very few cable households to the league and they’re about 900 miles from their nearest Big 12 “natural” rival, Iowa State.

On the positive side, the league has glued and pasted its media rights together for six years in an attempt to hang on long enough for the ground beneath it to settle.  That’s a plus… at least for six years.  Television revenue from ESPN and Fox — two networks who don’t want to see the league blown to bits (as the repercussions from such an event would force contracts with other leagues to open up elsewhere all at the same time) — will be good as well.  In addition, there’s been  some talk of a new Big 12 television network though it seems no two schools have a single shared idea on how to get such a channel off the ground.

Speaking of networks, that just leads back to more problems.  The Longhorn Network remains a burr in the saddle for all the Big 12 schools not located in Austin.  And now fielding teams in just five states, the league’s appeal to viewers and recruits across America will most surely begin to dwindle.  For that matter, the league’s pool of talent to draw from is shrinking as people leave the North and Midwest for the South and West.  The Big 12 may sit on vast oil reserves but it no longer sits on a deep well of NFL-caliber prospects.

So what’s a man like Bowlsby to do?  First, he needs to get the league’s presidents to sing a verse or two of “Kumbaya.”  The remaining Big 12 presidents, ADs and coaches have shared more suspicious looks and stink-eyes over the years than the Cowboys and the Earps in “Tombstone.”  A cooling off period is necessary first and foremost.

Once Bowlsby realizes that can’t actually be attained when Texas brass are involved, he’ll need to set out on Mission #2 — growing the league’s footprint.

In typical Big 12 fashion, West Virginia’s entry into the league last fall was almost undone by conference politics.  Backroom deals between Oklahoma officials and Kentucky politicians almost pushed Louisville in and West Virginia out of the league.  In the end, WVU won out, but Louisville remains a likely dance partner for the league at some point.  It opens up another television market, albeit a small one.  It opens up the Kentuckiana region for recruiting purposes.  Louisville would also give West Virginia a rival just a tad bit closer than Ames, Iowa.

If the Big 12 adds Louisville, the Big East will take a further hit, but we wouldn’t expect any of the other big four conferences — ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC — to react.  The Big 12 and the Big East are beneath the others now on the food chain.  Only major moves by those lesser leagues could lead to changes higher up on said chain.

Like, say, adding Notre Dame.

As we noted yesterday, we believe that conference commissioners hoping to avoid future shake-ups and further realignment will eventually yield to Notre Dame, give them some more special treatment, and pray that they stay just as they are — an independent in football.  The Big Ten and the Big 12 — two leagues that covet the Irish — might be the only two conferences willing to play rough with Notre Dame in the hopes of forcing them to join one league or the other.

If that happens and Notre Dame enters the Big 12 or the Big Ten, then you might see some more major shifting across the college landscape.  If the Irish settle on the Big Ten, that league would surely look elsewhere for a 14th member and that could mean a raid on the ACC (Maryland) or Big East (Rutgers or UConn).  If it’s the ACC, bigger changes could result.  If it’s the Big East?  Meh.

If the Notre Dame and Louisville both join the Big 12 and bring that conference’s tally of schools back up to its actual title we do not believe that would set off mass hysteria, mass expansion and mass realignment.  It could, but we don’t think it would.

More likely, here’s guessing the Big 12 will add Louisville and Cincinnati to its mix.  That would give the league a bit more stability and it would further destabilize the Big East.  Such a move by Bowlsby would make it clear that what was once the “big six” conferences had become the “big five” and his league would be part of the “in” crowd.  That would be a solid start for the Big 12′s new commissioner.  It would have little impact on the SEC.

Landing Notre Dame, however, would suggest that the Big 12 has picked a go-getter as its new high sheriff.  Such a move may or may not impact Mike Slive’s league (again, we think probably not).  But the goals for Bolwsby are clear — unify the base and grow his league’s footprint.

How he goes about that will tell us a lot about a man most casual fans had never heard of before yesterday.

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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 MrSEC.com 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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