Missouri, football, SEC championship, bowl game — all in the same sentence!

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Photo courtesy of Mizzou Alumni Association

Guest post by Lee

One thing I never thought I would be doing: trying to determine the best way to reach a Mizzou bowl game.

This would be quite a crowning achievement at the Schnyder household for our sports teams. Wichita State’s basketball team made it to the Final Four earlier this year and the Shockers are currently ranked No. 10 in the country. Missouri’s football team has jumped from bottom-feeder of the Southeast Conference to being one win away from playing for the national championship (sorry, Florida State you don’t play for a championship when you have had a felon as your starting QB all year).

I spent last night putting together a spreadsheet with all the possible locations where Missouri could end up, depending on a loss or a win. MeLinda assumes they are going to get screwed even if they win. When I see ESPN forecasting Missouri vs. Iowa in the Outback Bowl, I would agree with her for once.

The magnitude of me agreeing with MeLinda on anything Missouri-related is mind-boggling and on the level of Glasnost. In 2007 our marriage was fractured by the Mizzou-Kansas debate as both football teams approached their best years ever. Many conversations began with “I can’t believe you won’t admit Mizzou is better than KU” after the Tigers’ win over the Jayhawks at Arrowhead Stadium. At that point, Mizzou could have won 56-0 and I would STILL have come up with a good argument on how Kansas was a better team. I have mellowed a bit with the departure of Mizzou from the Big 12, though I think most Mizzou fans need to let their hatred of Kansas go and worry about what is happening in their own backyard. Just saying.

If Missouri wins the SEC Championship against Auburn this weekend, a trip to New Orleans is in the bag and possibly a trip to Pasadena for the national title. Either one of those locations wouldn’t be that bad to get to from Wichita, Kan. Just one stop in Dallas and you’re in New Orleans for a little more than $500 or even better is flying United to get to Pasadena on a non-stop flight.

With a loss this weekend, the options on where Missouri goes will multiply. Orlando, Tampa, Dallas, Atlanta … I’m surprised they aren’t in the running to go to the Franklin American Mortgage Music Bowl in Nashville.

Florida is a great place to go during winter but getting there can be a daunting task. Flights from Wichita are in the $1,000 range and even at that price the routes take a whole day to get there. I have always told MeLinda she could leave me for a rich dude who has a private jet, as long as they will fly me to sporting events. Hey, it could happen … he would owe me since he’s sleeping with my wife.

Back to reality … in researching possible bowl trips I have found out about airlines that I never knew existed, like Vision, Sun Country and Silver Airways. I explored flying to Jackson, Miss.; Panama City, Fla.; or even north to Chicago and then going back south or flying into Dallas’ Love Field and having someone take us over to DFW airport and then catching a flight on Spirit Airlines (this happened to be the best price option). Are four stops too many if you are able to save a few bucks?

I also checked every airport you could fly into in Florida that we could then drive from to get to Orlando or Tampa. There just aren’t any good options. While I’m discussing this issue of getting to Orlando let me rant: why in the world does Wichita not have a direct flight to Orlando anymore? How could that not make money? I heard China is building jetliners; maybe they would use Wichita as a test market.

There’s the possibility that Mizzou could go the Cotton Bowl and my life would be easy with an hour flight to Dallas for less than $200 round-trip or a quick five-hour drive south on I-35.

On Sunday evening the question of what bowl will be answered, and I will be furiously surfing the net to find the best and most affordable way to watch Mizzou football (though I still will only go as far as wearing Wichita State black-and-gold gear to the game).

This entry was posted in Lee, Sports, travel.

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