Mizzou needs to take care of business on the field and let the BCS take care of itself

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From here on out, kiddies, the

Z-O-U is partying with house money. Gary Pinkel wouldn’t dare say this,

and Missouri’s Tigers won’t dare think this, but Saturday is a no-lose

kind of deal.

Scenario A: Mizzou loses the

SEC Championship game. Congratulations! Worst-case, the

consolation prize is a swanky New Year’s Day bowl, most likely the

Capital One or the Cotton, and neither is a crappy trip. (Although if

you’re parking near the Citrus Bowl, a little sage advice: Make sure

your car is locked and your valuables are in

Kissimmee.)

Scenario B: Mizzou wins the SEC

Championship game, and Ohio State and Florida State also win

Saturday. Congratulations! So you’re heading to the Sugar

Bowl. And if you can’t figure out a way to have a good time in New

Orleans for a few days, well, we can’t help

you.

Scenario C: Mizzou wins the SEC

Championship game, and either Ohio State or Florida State is upset

Saturday. Congratulations! You’re playing for the National

Championship, boys and girls. Cocktails and tailgating as sunset falls

over the Arroyo Seco. Simple as

that.

Scenario D: Mizzou wins the SEC

Championship game, and Ohio State and Florida State BOTH somehow

lose. Congratulations! You’re PROBABLY in the National

Championship game, although with a handful of teams now sitting out

there with one loss, anything could happen. And we mean anything:

Alabama-Mizzou, Alabama-Florida State, Alabama-Auburn, Alabama-Ohio

State, Alabama-Oklahoma State, Alabama-Stanford, Alabama-Baylor,

Alabama-Michigan State, plague, locusts, famine, ANYTHING.

Most likely,

the BCS implodes (and just a few months before it was due to be killed

off anyway), and chaos ensues.

Which, you gotta

admit, is probably the only way this damn thing deserves to go

out.

At any rate, we’ve done the math. (Well, OK, we

had help with the math, but we paid good money for the tutoring.) And

the math says if The Fighting Pinkels win, they are, indeed, knocking on

the door for The Big One.

That’s one of the fringe

benefits of joining the SEC, of course: In theory, your one loss has

more cache than the one loss suffered by the biggest stick in the Big

Ten or the ACC.

Ah, but there’s the trick: One of

those aforementioned teams — the Buckeyes and Seminoles, in this case

— has to pick up that one loss first.

In other

words, Go Green, Go White, or go home.

On paper,

Sparty has the best chance to shock the world, and given their defense

— No. 1 in the FBS — you’d be a fool (or a Buckeye) not to give them a

puncher’s chance.

Although Michigan State’s Connor

Cook is a sophomore quarterback on the biggest stage of his young

life.

And Mark Dantonio is 1-3 against Ohio State,

lifetime, as coach of the Spartans. And Bucks coach Urban Meyer is 2-1,

lifetime, in conference championship

tilts.

Hmm.

On second thought, Go

Dookies.

“I think that there’s a fine line between

politicking and knowing that you deserve (to be) there,” was how former

Mizzou quarterback Chase Daniel put it. “I think that if we win on

Saturday, I think everything else will take care of

itself.”

You’d hope. This is college football,

though, where logic gives way to provincial biases, decades of grudges,

closed-mindedness, narrow-mindedness, simple-mindedness, good ol’ boys,

and backroom handshakes.

Oh, and non-stop

stumping. 

“I’m not very good at beating

the drum,” Pinkel told reporters earlier this

week.

Mind you, Saturday might be a fine time to

start.

This is the SEC, Gary, where

saying you’re the best carries almost as much weight

as going out and proving it.

My

gosh, look at Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, who told reporters it

would be “un-American” to leave the SEC champion out of the national

title game, regardless of what happens in the Big Ten or the

ACC.

“This is not just about beating Alabama,” Jacobs

continued. “It’s about where this team has come

from.”

See? Now, that’s how you do it. If all else

fails, question the patriotism of every voter out

there.

And if that fails, question their respective

manhoods.

And when that fails, pour Diet Sunkist onto

the computers. That’ll show ‘em.

Jacobs’

contemporary, Mizzou AD Mike Alden, was a bit less melodramatic when

appearing on the “Tiger Talk” radio show earlier this week — in his

defense, it’d be hard to be melodramatic — saying only that “we believe

the SEC, and I think we can all speak to that, is the toughest

conference in America.

“You have to be able to take a

look at the entire body of work. The BCS is what it is. For the last

year, they’re going to decide who the No. 1 and the No. 2 is. Whoever

that ends up being, it’s great that Mizzou is in the conversation. We’ve

got all the chips out there.”

Now it’s time to cash

them in.

You can follow Sean Keeler

on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at

seanmkeeler@gmail.com.