Best Of 2007: Grace Leads to Mizzou's Historic Win

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Best Of 2007: Grace Leads to Mizzou's Historic Win

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While people in the Big 12 are going bananas over the Kansas Jayhawks' historic season, let it be known that they didn't have the grace of Grace Walker on their side.

Growing up, I had a friend who was a huge Missouri fan. He always bragged about how good the Tigers were, and talked about Columbia, Missouri as if it were New York City.

What I didn't realize at the time was that Missouri had a history of being on the wrong side of history—most notably the 1990 "Fifth Down" game against Colorado and the 1997 game against Nebraska, when Scott Davidson tripped over his own teammate to get into the end zone.

It had been almost 40 years since Missouri won a conference title of any kind, the last one coming in 1969.

When it came time for the biggest Border War showdown in the series' history, I wrote on my friend's Facebook wall begging for grace to be with Missouri as they inched closer and closer to a No. 1 ranking and a BCS title shot.

Behind the strong arm of Chase Daniel on a cold Kansas City night, Mizzou defeated Kansas to earn a right to play for the Big 12 Championship and a shot at the national championship against an Oklahoma team that beat them in October in Norman.

Although grace was on Mizzou's side against the Jayhawks, grace wasn't on their side in the Big 12 Championship.

Maybe the Tigers forgot the most important thing about being on top—be wary of your opponent and don't worry about the hype surrounding them.

Or maybe Oklahoma, a nine-point favorite coming into the game, was simply the better team.

But the big theme from Missouri's dream season isn't how they self-destructed—it's how they received probably the biggest snub in BCS history when Illinois, a team that lost three games, got the nod for the Rose Bowl...and Kansas got invited to the Orange Bowl, despite losing to Missouri and playing a cheesecake schedule in September and October.

While Mizzou made a New Year's Day bowl too, the disrespect put a damper on the celebration.

Hopefully grace will be with the Tigers against Arkansas a week from Tuesday.

But I don't think divine intervention has anything to do with Missouri football.

Then again, I could be wrong.

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