(Missouri Football App) - Sports people have a tendency to overstate the value of one game. How many times do you hear on Sportscenter this is a game for the ages? Or it is the game of the century, the play of the year etc.
We live in a society that likes to overstate the importance of a single moment or a single play. That being said you cannot overstate the importance of the SEC Championship for the University of Missouri today and you cannot say anything other than this is the game of a lifetime for Missouri fans.
You know the back-story. The football program a national joke for the better part of three decades. Gary Pinkel gets the Tigers to respectability and close to a national title game in 2007, and then the program falls back a little. The Tigers then come off of a horrible 2012 season and come back with a monster season in 2013. The Tigers sit at 11-1, winning the SEC East title and stand with the opportunity of winning the first SEC title in school history. They also have the opportunity to play in their first BCS Bowl AND have an outside shot at a national championship.
While the game has extraordinary implications for the 2013 season, the importance of this game is what happens in the decades moving forward if the Tigers win.
The first immediate benefit is that Missouri is now considered among the elite in the SEC. That means you are among the top football programs in the country, period. It means huge money for the program and university. It means you get the best athletes wanting to play at Mizzou. This in turn continues the cycle of winning and money funneling into the school.
You could make the case today that if the cards fall right, a win for the Tigers today and a loss by Ohio State, could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the long term for the university. If that national power cycle begins today, Mizzou can continue to see the benefits for a long time to come.
Writing things like that is almost comical to a long time Missouri fan like me. I have been a witness to Woody’s Wagon and Bob Stull. I sat in those stands at Faurot Field with about 20,000 people and watched the Tigers get trounced many times. I have seen the awful and I have seen the great. Which makes me appreciate, and should make every other Missouri fan appreciate, the specialness of this day.
These days and these games do not come around very often. The Tigers had this opportunity once before in 2007 and promptly were blown out. That loss sent the program back into an after-thought for most of the country.
Today represents a chance to change the outlook of the Missouri program forever. This is the day Gary Pinkel envisioned walking on that campus over a decade ago. This is the vision that every Missouri fan has dreamt about for years. A chance to win a conference title and an opportunity to win a national championship is at hand.
You don’t want to be one of those people that says today is the game of a lifetime; but with everything at stake for the Tigers it is hard to say otherwise. Today is the most important game in Missouri football history……At least until the national championship.