Can't realize your potential benchmarking oneself
Posted on: May 3, 2012 at 11:00:48 CT
against a program like ku. Its a necessary dis-association if we hope to successfully step up and compete in the SEC long term. Taking satisfaction from dominating the Border Showdown is inherantly accepting mediocrity. Of course MU should dominate such a head to head competition.
That said, another unfortunate bi-product of the rivalry as you point out is their myopic importance on their men's basketball program and their willingness to put aside any cost for on the court success. Its not a fair and sustainable position to put your coaching staff in to judge them via benchmarking against someone who operates outside the scope of rules and oversight, and will cut any and all corners without the fear of punishment to achieve those results. It is only encouraging MU staffs to cut similar corners to level the playing field in an enviroment like Columbia where that isn't feasable. While we fielded a better men's basketball team than ku 2 of the last 4 years, in the big picture this prolonged period of being outside the scope of NCAA punishment overlapping a period when MU's program was absolutely trainwrecked by NCAA punishment has caused a large gap between the programs as a whole. Whereas for the better part of 15 years prior MU fielded a substantially better basketball program than ku, once ku changed its model to purposely circumvent compliance and the NCAA demonstrated an unwillingness to meaningfully punish them that balanced shifted in the other direction.
Bill Self said it best:
"Hey, they're going on to their bigger and better things, but when they chose to do that, that means they're leaving behind Kansas," Self said.
MU is moving on to bigger and better things, and rivals who can bring out the best we have to offer. And as he accurately points out, ku is being left behind.