Webb: Missouri needs to move on from good guy/bad hire

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Missouri’s loss to Eastern Illinois was the latest in a string of embarrassing losses under third-year coach Kim Anderson, who has lost 49 games in two-and-a-half seasons.

“I feel bad for Kim Anderson. I really want this to work for him. I want him to win big at Missouri.”

That or some variation of if has been posted on Twitter, Facebook and message boards across the Internet. If you’re a Missouri fan, you want Anderson succeed.

It’s not happening.

If back-to-back 20-loss seasons weren’t enough to prove that, Saturday’s embarrassing home loss to another directional school, Eastern Illinois, should be plenty of evidence.

Two-and-a-half years into his tenure, Anderson is 24-49. Twenty-four and forty-nine. He’s winning less than one-third of his games, and he’s doing it in front of some of the smallest crowds in school history.

Anderson inherited a mess. Former director Mike Alden lit the atomic bomb by meddling with a successful coach (Mike Anderson) and hiring a career con man (Frank Haith). The latter nuked the program in just three years, leaving behind a slew of NCAA infractions and a depleted roster.

Alden ended up settling for Anderson, a True Son, national champion at the University of Central Missouri and a great man. Unfortunately, despite those enviable qualities, it was the worst hire Alden could have made.

It was obvious early on that Anderson was in over his head. In his first game, he lost to UMKC 69-61 at home. In less than three years, Anderson has lost to several mid-majors, including two this season in North Carolina Central and Eastern Illinois. Against power conference opponents, he is 6-44. Six and forty-four.

After two miserable seasons in which he went a combined 19-44, Anderson finally did what he should have in his first season with a complete overhaul, resulting in a roster that consists of 11 freshmen and sophomores.

With one of the youngest teams in the country, growing pains were and are expected. But Missouri should not lose to MEAC and Ohio Valley Conference teams at home. That points to a lack of talent and a lack of coaching said talent.

Anderson can no longer say he isn’t coaching his players. This roster is his. It’s also one of the reasons he needs to be replaced. If he can’t recruit high-major talent, he shouldn’t be coaching in a major conference.

At the very least, after two years, the program should show signs of progress. The most depressing thing about Missouri basketball is that the players are regressing. Whatever confidence they had after pushing national power Xavier a month ago is long gone.

Anderson came to Missouri needing a backhoe to clean up the mess. Unfortunately, he brought a spoon.

Faith in Missouri’s Haith: It could be better … and worse

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Faith in Haith. Let’s hope that works out for Missouri fans, who’ve been put through the ringer (again) during the search for new basketball coach Frank Haith.

Never before has a fan base been more united in its disdain for the decision athletics director Mike Alden made to hire the former Miami coach.

But, Haith had a great opening press conference, and I expect him to do much better than most predict.

Enough of the seriousness. Here’s a look at five hires that would have been better, and five that would have been worse for the Tigers:

FIVE BETTER HIRES

JESUS

A common belief among Missouri fans is that god hates the Tigers. What better way to get on the big guy’s side than to hire his son? Plus, he did have a long NBA career …

http://www.theonion.com/articles/christ-returns-to-nba,1996/

NORMAN DALE

Yes, I realize he’s 109 years old (not to mention fictitious), but he does share a name with the best coach in the school’s history …

PATCHES O’HOULIHAN

Hey, he got a group of losers to beat White Goldman …

PHIL WESTON

But only if he brings his assistant, Juice Box …

MR. MIYAGI

Anybody who convinces a guy that the crane kick can’t be defended is a genius (And “Get him a body bag” is a wildly underrated movie quote) …

FIVE WORSE HIRES

MEPHISTOPHELES (THE DEVIL)

Some Missouri fans say the Tigers sold their soul to the guy (still waiting on the return, too). And let’s be honest, Satan has a long track record of losing …

CHARLIE SHEEN

Yeah, he talks a lot about how he’s wiiiinnnninnngg, but after watching this, I beg to differ …

QUIN SNYDER

“Don’t worry about the score …” You can’t make this stuff up, folks …

DAVE BLISS

It doesn’t get much worse than organizing a smear campaign against a homicide victim who happened to play on your basketball team …

MIKE ANDERSON 

Let’s see: His team completely regressed the last two months of his final year at Mizzou, he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) recruit St. Louis, one of his star players and a great ambassador for the school (Kim English) was considering transferring if Anderson came back next season, and he couldn’t have left in a worse way. Missouri is better off without him …



Mike Anderson: The Missouri tenure remix

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Snake. Traitor. Turncoat. A friend even asked how many times I’d refer to former Missouri coach Mike Anderson as a scumbag in this blog.

But here’s the deal: College sports is business. It’s about money. If you’re a coach, it’s all about that “destination job.” Arkansas, while no better than Missouri (especially in its current state), is Anderson’s dream job.

That he left Missouri after five seasons isn’t the issue. How he left is. Regarded by many, including myself, as a stand-up guy, Mike Anderson was a coward last week when he left Missouri.

He also lied. Lied about retiring at Missouri. Lied to his players about his intentions. Lied again Saturday when asked why he had nothing to say to his former employers and fans in Missouri.

Again, it’s a business. Mike Anderson has every right to do what he wants. He got more money to coach at a place where he cut his teeth. Good for him. But shame on him for the way he snuck out of Missouri and treated players he recruited to play for him in Columbia, Mo.

Ironically, Missouri could be better off in the long run with his departure. But I’ll get to that in another blog. Enough of the seriousness, let’s take a look at the Mike Anderson era in music videos:

FEBRUARY 2006: Missouri loses by 26 to a Baylor team that not only didn’t play a nonconference schedule, but also hadn’t won a game. His tenure is over within days. The reaction of Missouri fans …

MARCH 25, 2006: The day before Anderson is hired at Mizzou, rumors swirl that the board of curators might fire athletic director Mike Alden. In a shrewd move, Alden has secured Anderson. Still, it was a lot like this …

MARCH 26, 2006 TO DECEMBER 2006: The Anderson era begins. With a  great introduction press conference, followed by a 9-0 start, including, ironically, a blowout of Arkansas, Tiger fans welcome the coach with …

JULY 2007 TO MARCH 2008: That July senior forward Kalen Grimes is kicked off the team after hitting somebody in the face with a shotgun (seriously). Six months later, senior point guard Stefhon Hannah gets the boot after suffering a broken jaw in a fight outside of a bar. Several other Tigers are suspended. Missouri finished 16-16 …

2008-09 SEASON: Missouri goes 28-6 in the regular season, knocking off Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma before winning the Big 12 Tournament. The Tigers then stun Memphis in the Sweet 16 and push top-seeded UConn in the Elite Eight while falling just short of a trip to the Final Four. The 31 wins represent a school record. To Anderson, all Missouri fans say …

2009-10 SEASON: Missouri goes 23-11 despite the loss of 1,000-point career scorers DeMarre Carroll, Leo Lyons and Matt Lawrence. The Tigers make the second round of the NCAA Tournament, pushing eventual Final Four squad West Virginia. Anderson also signs his first two top-50 recruits (Tony Mitchell and Phil Pressey) and the country’s top-ranked junior college player (Ricardo Ratliffe). So, at this point, he’s …

2010-2011 SEASON: Despite a 14-1 start and the emergence of Marcus Denmon, the Tigers slump to 8-8 in the Big 12, get thumped by Texas A&M in the Big 12 tourney and lose in the opening round of the NCAAs. They also lose Mitchell, who never plays a game at Mizzou after being declared ineligible by the always fair and reasonable NCAA. Despite all of this, Anderson flirts with another school for the third straight year and appears to be in line for another raise, leaving a lot of Missouri fans to say …

MARCH 2011: Just a few days after saying he planned on retiring at Missouri, it becomes clear Anderson is going to Arkansas …

MARCH 2011: Anderson hides from the media upon his return to Columbia, going to great lengths to avoid questions and being seen. Not until Saturday did he offer an explanation for his actions during the departure or thank anybody at Mizzou publicly, to which many Tigers say …

MARCH 2011: Anderson does deserve credit for recruiting a classy group of rising seniors who should help the transition to a new coach go smoothly. Despite clearly being angered and hurt, Laurence Bowers, Marcus Denmon and Kim English took the high road in a press conference the day their coach bailed. A great reason to take this in a group of solid young men …

Big 12 scandals and controversies: The books that should be written

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The Big 12 as we know lasted just 16 seasons, but the conference had its share of scandals and controversies over the years. As the Big 12-2 winds down, here’s a look at 12 books that should be written …

KANSAS: “2+2=5: The Darrell Arthur story,” by Darrell “Shady” Arthur

Hey, there’s evidence the guy didn’t pass a math class in high school (his grade was allegedly changed from 45 percent to 70 percent) and shouldn’t have been eligible to play basketball at Kansas, which likely means the Jayhawks don’t win a national title in 2008.

Shady math? Eh, it was only 25 percentage points.

MISSOURI: “How to make Saltines shake,” by Ed and Amy Stewart, foreword by Rickey Clemons

Aside from Baylor’s disaster in the early 2000s, it doesn’t get much more embarrassing than the jailhouse tapes that helped derail Quin Snyder’s run at Missouri. A lot of people think Clemons was the one who said, “Them crackas be shakin’,” but it was actually Missouri assistant athletic director Ed Stewart who relayed that message to his wife Amy about Missouri’s crackas, I mean, athletic department officials.

Apparently you can get suckers, but not razors in Boone County jail.

NEBRASKA: “Anger management,” by Nebraska coach Bo Pelini. Odds Pelini delivers a Chuck Norris roundhouse to Taylor Martinez in 2011? 3:2

KANSAS STATE: “Big Purple Pimpin’,” by former K-State coach Ron Prince

Seriously, this guy got how much money for running the Wildcats into the ground? Not only did he get a buyout of more than $1 million when he was fired in 2009, but also up to $3.2 million more because of a secret agreement with former AD Bob Krause. The sides are in a legal battle over said money. Still, Prince is the Million Dollar Man …

IOWA STATE: “How Natty Light ruined by career,” by former Iowa State coach Larry Eustachy

This story is well-documented. How a Division I college basketball coach can go to a dorm, slam skunky beer, pose for photos and not expect it to show up on the Internet is the stuff of legend. Funny thing is, those photos of Eustachy drinking with co-eds at Mizzou were on tigerboard.com months before the scandal broke.

Why is a coach making $1 million a year drinking Natty Light?

COLORADO: “Tact,” by former football coach Gary Barnett

Remember these quotes about former female kicker Katie Hnida: “It was obvious Katie was not very good. She was awful. … Katie was not only a girl, she was terrible. OK?” Barnett was responding to a question about Hnida, cut several years earlier. Of course, it came on the heels of accusations by several, including Hnida, of sexual harassment and rape in Colorado’s program.

Anyone notice Colorado hasn't done a thing since it bounced Gary Barnett?

OKLAHOMA: “Picking the best cell phone plan for dummies,” by Kelvin Sampson

Sampson’s philosophy: “If you’re going to cheat, make it worthwhile.” He had a great run at Oklahoma, possibly aided by the 500-plus illegal phone calls to 17 recruits during his tenure, according to findings during an NCAA investigation. Sampson went to Indiana, changed his cell phone carrier and promptly made a plethora of illegal calls there, too.

"Nobody can track cell phone calls. Trust me."

OKLAHOMA STATE: “Keeping your cool in an interview,” by Dez Bryant

Remember that “Seinfeld” in which Kramer is coaching Miss Rhode Island? In preparation for the interview, Kramer asks her if she would sleep with the enemy to end a conflict ….. Bryant was merely asked my Miami GM Jeff Ireland if his mother was a prostitute.

TEXAS: “How to join a conference, then overthrow it,” by DeLoss Dodds

Texas is Walter Sobchak, and the rest of the Big 12 is Donny Kerabatsos.

TEXAS A&M: “Karma’s a bitch,” by Dennis Franchione

Remember when Franchione, a Kansas native, bolted from Alabama for Texas A&M without telling his team? That was 2002. Five mostly forgetful seasons later, Franchione was done in College Station with a 32-28 record … and a few extra dollars raised by selling insider info to Aggie boosters through a newsletter.

Seriously? A secrect newsletter that boosters have to pay for when you're making over $1 million per year?

TEXAS TECH: “The closet,” by Mike Leach. Foreword by Craig James

If you’re going to chose a player to lock in a closet/shed, the son (Adam James) of a famous ESPN personality probably isn’t the best option. The Red Raiders paid the price for firing Leach, though, namely a lackluster/boring 8-5 season.

Timeouts might work during a game, but not a good idea to give a player a time out during practice.

BAYLOR: “Shame,” By Dave Bliss

The scandal in Baylor’s basketball program just isn’t something to poke fun at. Not many college athletic scandals include the death of a player. The “Godfather” of scandals had everything from drugs to paying players to death to Bliss trying to cover the latter up.

Note: My apologies for the Seinfeld and Godfather links not working. Youtube is a massive pain in the ass. Blame them.

Big 12 basketball preview: The good, bad and utterly ridiculous

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After a monthlong hiatus, the blog returns just in time for the Big 12 basketball season. What better way to kick it off with a preview, plus some ridiculous predictions and team theme songs.

Predictions (CliffsNotes version)

1. Kansas (29-2, 14-2)

2. Texas (24-7, 11-5)

3. Missouri (25-6, 11-5)

4. Texas A&M (23-7, 10-6)

5. Kansas State (22-9, 10-6)

6. Oklahoma State (21-9, 9-7)

7. Baylor (18-11, 8-8)

8. Iowa State (19-12, 6-10)

9. Colorado (17-14, 6-10)

10. Nebraska (17-13, 5-11)

11. Texas Tech (11-20, 3-13)

12. Oklahoma (11-19, 3-13)

All-Big 12

G Jacob Pullen, Senior, Kansas State

G Marcus Denmon, Junior, Missouri

G LaceDarius Dunn, Senior, Baylor

F Marcus Morris, Junior, Kansas

F Jordan Hamilton, Sophomore, Texas

1. KANSAS JAYHAWKS

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 29-2, 14-2. Until somebody knocks the Jayhawks off, this is the team to beat. With guard Josh Selby on the roster, Kansas is a legitimate national title contender.

TWO TO WATCH: F Marcus Morris (15.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Selby (15 ppg).

IN FANTASY LAND: Realizing they have no shot at winning the Big 12, the other 11 teams cancel their seasons. The NCAA Tournament field follows suit, and KU wins another national title. The Jayhawks then play Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson (all in their primes), LeBron James and Jesus, pulling away in the second half for a 15-point win.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Selby gets lost before the first round of the NCAA Tournament and can’t find his way back to school, failing to locate the City of Kansas on a map drawn by his mother. Along with Morris, suspended for shooting the basketball manager he’s dating with a pellet gun, Selby doesn’t play during a first-round loss to Oxnard Trucking School.

Jayhawks’ theme song …

2. TEXAS LONGHORNS

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 24-7, 11-5. No Big 12 team has been more impressive in the nonconference than the Longhorns. But a brutal schedule against the South, plus a road game against Kansas, will prevent Texas from taking the top spot.

TWO TO WATCH: F Jordan Hamilton (19.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg), G Cory Joseph (11.2 ppg, 3.1 apg)

IN FANTASY LAND: The Longhorns finally live up to/exceed expectations, making a run at the national title. Fearing it has a legitimate foil, Kansas leaves for the MIAA, and Texas takes over as the conference basketball power.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Rick Barnes loses his mind, making guard Dogus Balbay (Doug Gottlieb-Lite) the focal point of the offense. The Longhorns proceed to finish 3-13 in the Big 12.

Longhorns’ theme song …

3. MISSOURI TIGERS

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 25-6, 11-5. Mike Anderson has done an amazing job in Columbia considering what he walked into. Anchored by guard Marcus Denmon, a surprise contender for Big 12 player of the year, this could end up being Anderson’s best team.

TWO TO WATCH: Denmon (17.6 ppg, 50% 3’s, 87% FTs), F Laurence Bowers (12.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg)

IN FANTASY LAND: The NCAA stops boning Tony Mitchell, declaring the five-star recruit eligible, and the Tigers make a run at the school’s first national title. Anderson signs a 20-year extension after the season, adding Norm Stewart as an assistant.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Anderson resigns midway through the conference race to coach at Arkansas and Mike Alden hires Quin Snyder to finish the season.

Tigers’ theme song …

4. TEXAS A&M AGGIES

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 23-7, 10-6. Mark Turgeon doesn’t get enough credit for what he’s done in College Station. Forward Khris Middleton leads a strong frontline that makes the Aggies contenders.

TWO TO WATCH: Middleton (15.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg), F David Loubeau (11.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg)

IN FANTASY LAND: As a favor to a former Jayhawk, Bill Self loans Selby to the Aggies for half the conference season, helping Texas A&M tie KU for the conference title.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Self leaves to coach the Los Angeles Lakers, and Turgeon takes over at his alma mater. The Aggies rehire Billy Gillispie, whose staff includes Melvin Watkins, he of the 0-16 Big 12 campaign, and Tony Barone.

Aggies’ theme song …

5. KANSAS STATE WILDCATS

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 22-9, 10-6. Not comfortable with this pick. The Wildcats have some issues, but they’re still extremely talented. Ultimately, however, they’re asking too much of Jacob Pullen.

TWO TO WATCH: PG Pullen (17.2 ppg, 3.9 apg, 3.7 rpg), F Curtis Kelly (10.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

IN FANTASY LAND: The NCAA grants Denis Clemente another year of eligibility, the Wildcats sweep Kansas and advance to the Final Four. In the offseason, Frank Martin signs a contract with HBO to play Tony’s long-lost brother Vito in “The Return of the Sopranos.”

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Martin finally explodes, going Hulk Hogan on his starting five, drawing a 20-game suspension and injuring half his roster. The Wildcats finish the season losing to Butler in the CBI.

Wildcats’ theme song …

6. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 21-9, 9-7. This team’s still a bit of a mystery and doesn’t own a signature win. The Cowboys lost by 21 at Gonzaga and by five at Virginia Tech. Still, Travis Ford is a rising star in the coaching biz.

TWO TO WATCH: F Marshall Moses (17.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg), G Keiton Page (13.9 ppg)

IN FANTASY LAND: The NCAA allows Bryant Reeves to return for another season, giving the Cowboys a needed boost inside. The 37-year-old Reeves rediscovers his youth, leading OSU to another Final Four.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Struggling due to a lack of depth, the 5-foot-1 Ford (OK, he’s 5-10), puts himself on the roster and also adds Skee-Lo, who still wishes he was a little bit taller. The Cowboys start four borderline midgets and are outrebounded by an average of 50 while finishing under .500.

Cowboys’ theme song …

7. BAYLOR BEARS

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 18-11, 8-8. Wildly talented, but there’s something missing. Scott Drew did a great job bringing Baylor back, but can he take the Bears to the next level? Just don’t see it. Baylor has no notable wins and losses in its only games against good competition (Florida State, Gonzaga and Washington State).

TWO TO WATCH: G LaceDarius Dunn (23.4 ppg, 42% 3’s), F-C Perry Jones (11.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg)

IN FANTASY LAND: Dunn sets an NCAA record for 3-pointers in a season with 400 (never mind that it takes him 1,200 attempts), Drew relaxes and doesn’t act like a professional wrestling manager on the sideline, and Baylor lives up to its potential while winning the Big 12.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Drew tears an ACL while jumping around on the bench and coaches the rest of the season from a Little Rascal, Dunn inadvertently punches somebody on the court and is suspended, and Baylor fails to make the NIT.

Bears’ theme song …

8. IOWA STATE CYCLONES

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION:  19-12, 6-10. Iowa State welcomed back Fred Hoiberg with open arms (see video below), and he’s rewarded them with a strong start, though the only notable win is against Virginia. Still, expect ISU to be a tougher out this season.

TWO TO WATCH: G Diante Garrett (17 ppg, 6 apg), G Scott Christopherson (15.1 ppg, 52% 3’s)

IN FANTASY LAND: The Cyclones channel Marcus Fizer, Jamaal Tinsley and Julius Michalik, finishing above .500 in the Big 12 while advancing to the NCAA Tournament, where they beat Larry “Natty Lite” Eustachy and Southern Mississippi in the first round.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Hoiberg resigns to coach at Iowa, the Cyclones bring back Greg McDermott, half the roster immediately transfers and ISU finishes 0-16.

Cyclones’ theme song …

9. COLORADO BUFFALOES

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 17-14, 6-10. Some expected the Buffaloes to take a big step forward in their last season in the Big 12, but they already have four losses and no signature wins. A good start would be winning their opener Saturday against Missouri.

TWO TO WATCH: G Alec Burks (19.1 ppg), G Cory Higgins (16.6 ppg)

IN FANTASY LAND: Told by school officials he’s related to Cam Newton, the NCAA allows Chauncey Billups to return for his senior season. Billups joins Burks and Higgins to form the nation’s best backcourt as Colorado dominates the Big 12.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Colorado announces that Dan Hawkins will serve as co-head coach the remainder of the season. Thinking he’s coaching intramurals, where there are no fouls, Hawkins neglects to substitute and Burks and Higgins foul out in the first half of every league game.

Buffaloes’ theme song (you picked a fine time to leave us, Colorado)…

10. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 17-13, 5-11. Some might be excited by the Cornhuskers’ 12-2 start, but Nebraska’s schedule looks like Bill Snyder put it together. Doc Sadler’s a decent coach, but Nebraska and basketball just don’t mesh.

TWO TO WATCH: C Jorge Brian Diaz (10.9 ppg, 62% FG), G Lance Jeter (10.1 ppg, 3.9 apg)

IN FANTASY LAND: With a year of eligibility left, Ndamukong Suh returns to play basketball, dominating in the paint. Led by Suh’s 10 points, 15 rebounds and 19 personal fouls (four called) per game, the Cornhuskers earn a bid to the Big Dance.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Sadler hires Bo Pelini as an assistant. Pelini becomes the first coach to punch all three officials in a game, plus seven of his own players, leaving the turmoil-plagued Cornhuskers in ruins. NU fans still make excuses for their overrated, volatile, bully football coach.

Cornhuskers’ theme song …

11. TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 11-20, 3-13. I admire Pat Knight for saying he should be fired if Tech has another mediocre season. Call it foreshadowing. This team isn’t good. Tech already has seven losses and its best win is against … Oral Roberts.

TWO TO WATCH: F Mike Singletary (13.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg), G Brad Reese (13.3 ppg, 50% 3’s)

IN FANTASY LAND: Mike Leach takes over, locks both Knights in a closet and leads the Red Raiders to the NIT.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Broadcasting a game coached by his son, Bobby Knight chokes Pat for playing a 2-3 zone, throws a chair (with Dick Vitale still in it) onto the court, and Craig James is hired as the Red Raiders director of basketball operations.

Red Raiders’ theme song (watching this team any time is punishing) …

12. OKLAHOMA SOONERS

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PREDICTION: 11-19, 3-13. Prediction? Pain. And lots of it. Talk about rapid falls from grace. Just two years ago the Sooners were in the Elite Eight. Now they’ll be lucky to hit double digits in wins.

TWO TO WATCH: F Andrew Fitzgerald (13.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg), G Cade Davis (13.1 ppg, 41% 3’s)

IN FANTASY LAND: The Thunder loans Kevin Durant to OU, the Sooners win the Big 12 and Barry Switzer is hired as AD.

RIDICULOUS WORST-CASE SCENARIO: Jeff Capel changes cell phone plans, unwittingly picking the “Kelvin Sampson” deluxe deal. The NCAA hands OU the death penalty, demanding that every phone in Norman be destroyed.

Sooners’ theme song …

Coming to a theater near you: “Resurrection (how the Big 12 was saved … for now)”

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Thousands of columns, stories and blogs have been written about conference expansion lately, particularly how the seemingly dead Big 12 (minus-2, or does Texas count for three?) was saved. The story had so many twists and turns, there should be a movie. So who’s going to play who in this epic? Here are a few ideas …

Jesus or Jack Nicholson’s Joker in the role of Texas AD DeLoss Dodds …

From most of what you read, this guy had a lot to do with saving the conference. The K-State grad (that’s got to hurt Wildcat fans) could have taken the Longhorns to the Pac-10 (allegedly), Big Ten (allegedly) or to the AFC South. Hey, if he’s a savior, Jesus fits. Why Jack Nicholson as the Joker? Because Dodds is laughing all the way to the bank after the Little Five (Kansas, K-State, Missouri, Iowa State and Baylor) gave Texas more money, more power and custody of the future children of student-athletes at their respective schools.

Mickey Rourke/a puppet as Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe …

Give Beebe credit for his role in helping to salvage the conference. He breathed life into his rep, sort of like Mickey Rourke did in “The Wrestler.” At the same time, he’s still seen by many as he was before: A puppet for Texas.

The Death Star as the University of Texas …

You’d think the school and state could destroy the planet. Not quite, but UT could easily change the landscape of college athletics with a snap of its fingers. It’s that powerful.

The Three Stooges as Missouri administrators/Gov. Jay Nixon …

It’d be hard to be played more than Missouri AD Mike Alden, Chancellor Brady Deaton and Gov. Jay Nixon were during this process. Nixon bad-mouthed academics in the Big 12, insulting teams MU ended up standing beside, and practically begged the Big Ten to invite the Tigers. Alden, while he wasn’t on vacation, looked clueless, saying nothing, knowing nothing, then revealing nothing when the Kansas City Star’s Mike DeArmond pressed him on details about an invitation/unvitation/flirtation with Commissioner Jim Delany and the Big Ten. Alden, the same guy who may or may not have sent basketball color man Gary Link to fire Quin Snyder, ended up looking like Mike in “Swingers” during the infamous phone call scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0PUrNwvvBk. Deaton said “we’re proud members of the Big 12” 1,548 times in a one-week period and appeared weak.

So these guys overplayed their hand (which equated to 3-8 offsuit) with the Big Ten, pissed off everybody else in the Big 12, then got pantsed by Nebraska in a press conference in which AD Tom Osborne and Chancellor Harvey Perlman blamed them and Texas for their departure, the potential fall of the Big 12, global warming and vuvuzelas at the World Cup.

Clint Eastwood as Nebraska’s Tom Osborne …

We’ll probably never know the details of Nebraska leaving for the Big Ten. Was Missouri an option before and the Huskers smartly swooped in to take the Tigers’ spot? Whatever happened, it’s never been a secret that Osborne and the Huskers weren’t thrilled with the Big 12, in particular Texas’ dominance on and off the field. In rather classless, yet telling remarks, Osborne and company placed blame for their departure on Texas and Missouri, the latter for its flirtation with the Big Ten and openness to leaving the conference.

Nebraska got what it wanted … to get away from big, bad Texas. Congratulations, Huskers. Good luck with pushovers Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, etc., up north. And the Longhorns thank you for their cut of that $10 million penalty you’ll be paying for leaving.

Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko and Terence Stamp’s Larry Wildman as Pac-10 commish Larry Scott and Big Ten commish Jim Delany …

The corporate raiders from 1987’s “Wall Street” are perfect for these roles. Gekko as Scott, who nearly lured five or six Big 12 schools to his conference, which might have triggered a megaconference setup in college athletics. And Stamp as DeLany, who may have gone after Notre Dame, which also would have triggered a 16-team megaconference. Fittingly, there will be a sequel to “Wall Street” later this year. And expect a sequel to the conference expansion story in the near future, with Scott and Delany likely involved. Why, well, as Gekko said, greed is good … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7upG01-XWbY.

Yoda/Abe Vigoda as Kansas AD Lew Perkins …

Perkins doesn’t have much to do with saving the Big 12 or expansion, and he’d probably work better in a movie about raising a ton of money, ticket scandals, blackmail, talking Orange Bowl officials into screwing another team out of a deserved bid, firing an “abusive” coach or bullying female TV reporters, but he does look like a cross between the “Star Wars” jedi and “The Godfather” star.

Please, ESPN, Youtube, et al, stop showing severe injury clips; More on Big Ten expansion

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We live in a strange society. People slow down to see the carnage in wrecks, others can’t look away at awkward scenes in movies (Am I the only person who changes the channel when I know somebody is about to be embarrassed?), some listen to crap like Marilyn Manson. A lot of morbid stuff out there.

One train wreck I’ll never understand people watching is severe injuries in sports. Remember Shaun Livingston’s grisly knee injury? The former NBA star tore nearly ever tendon in his leg and broke several bones a few years ago during  a game. Many consider it the worst injury in NBA history. Total hits on youtube: More than 100,000.

Joe Theismann’s broken leg in 1985 may be the most infamous injury in sports history. It was so gruesome that Lawrence Taylor was screaming and waving frantically for help from the Redskins sideline. It also ended Theismann’s Hall of Fame career. Total number of hits on youtube: More than 2,000,000.

There have been dozens of others nasty injuries that people just can’t seem to take their eyes off. Napoleon McCallum’s dislocated knee in 1994 (an injury that resulted in a ruptured artery and torn calf), Robin Ventura’s broken and dislocated right ankle in 1997, Freddie Mitchell’s broken leg, DeAndre Brown’s broken leg last year, etc.

The latest gruesome injury was suffered by Texas A&M guard Derrick Roland (pictured above), who suffered a broken leg in last night’s loss to Washington. That injury is already up on youtube.

I’ll be honest. I’ve seen some of these. But I’ve rarely gone looking for them just to watch. In fact, I’ve had enough. It’d be great if ESPN and the other networks would stop replaying them over and over. And it’s not enough to warn viewers that the footage isn’t for those with weak stomachs. Just don’t show it. And why does youtube allow this stuff? The only things youtube doesn’t seem to allow are porn (not that I’ve searched), death and copyrighted material (thanks a lot RIAA for Nazi-banning all the Hootie and the Blowfish videos).

Every time one of these injuries occurs, the earlier ones get a lot of run. And the hits go up on youtube. Hell, I’ll bet several people who clicked on this blog did so to find links to clips. Suckers. Thanks for the blog hits, though.

Alden tees off on Big 12, Big Ten

Missouri athletic director Mike Alden (above) is a buttoned-down guy. He rarely says anything controversial and rarely strays from walking a straight line (the latter might have cost Missouri an Orange Bowl bid in 2007, but that’s a blog for another day). But he loosened up considerably in a Q&A with the Columbia Daily Tribune’s Joe Walljasper (a hell of a columnist) on Sunday. Here’s the link to that interview, well worth a read: http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2009/dec/20/frustration-and-temptation/

The most intriguing comment in that interview:

Walljasper: Is there some sort of concern about alienating Texas to the point it would leave the conference?

Alden: You know what, I don’t know the answer to that question. There are a couple of schools — Texas, Oklahoma, maybe Nebraska — that aren’t in favor of sharing things equally. But whether that means people are worried about alienating Texas, I don’t know.

It speaks volumes. I gotta think Missouri is gone if the Big Ten extends an invite.

Another item that stands out in that interview: Alden points out that Missouri will make $9 million in TV revenue this year, that’s $3 million less than Texas and about $1.5 million more than Baylor. But here’s the kicker … Illinois, yes 3-9 god-awful Illinois, will make $21 million.

Stay or go?

As I’ve stated before, Missouri would be foolish not to leave if the Big Ten offered. The Big 12 simply can’t match the conference academically or financially. However, the best-case scenario might be Missouri using all of this as leverage to level the playing field for the likes of MU, KU, K-State, Colorado and Iowa State. Dan Beebe and company should be nervous about the Missouri/Big Ten flirtation. Then again, this is the same guy who said the Tigers’ big rivals were Texas and Texas Tech. Sort of like Darth Vader’s big rival was the Tusken Raiders. More of Beebe’s brilliance on Tim Griffin’s ESPN blog http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4755750 (Denial ain’t just a river in Texas, er Egypt, commish).

Other expansion links to click: http://www.big10mizzou.com/, http://www.810whb.com/podcasts (Frank Boal podcast) and the KC Star’s “Mad” Mike DeArmond with another solid take http://videos.kansascity.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=8141194