By Evan Pfaff, Big12Hoops.com Missouri Beat Writer
Football season hasn't even begun, yet diehard Mizzou basketball fans are ramped up for basketball season, now that the athletic department has finally released the 2009-2010 schedule.
On the heels of the graduation of Mizzou's most prolific quarterback I thought that instead of predicting games that won't begin for 3 months, it'd be fitting to go through the basketball schedule and cite the most famous alumni for each school Mizzou is playing this basketball season. All alumni were taken from their respective school's Wikipedia page based on criteria I made up on the fly.
There were some difficult ones, like choosing between a Playboy centerfold, an actor from West Wing or the COO of a major telecommunications company (Fairleigh Dickinson), but generally the decisions were easy to make.
And since my competitive nature came out while compiling this list, I also decided to pit each school's most famous alumni with a comparable Mizzou alumnus to see who has the advantage. I am not sure, yet, how each basketball game will turn out, but if March Madness selections were based in terms of alumni, Mizzou would be a lock for a number one seed.
NOV. 6 - TRUMAN STATE (Exhibition) Mike Morris - Former long snapper for the Minnesota Vikings.
Mizzou counterpart: Brock Olivo - Former NFL special teamer extraordinaire.
Better Alumnus: I could have chosen any one of the umpteen former Tigers to suit up in the NFL and all would be better than a long snapper, but for this, I will take Brocky 4.
NOV. 13 - NW MISSOURI STATE (Exhibition) Steve King - Congressman from Iowa's 5th District
Mizzou counterpart: Martin Frost - Former U.S. Congressman.
Better alumnus: Question, who has more power, a State Congressman or a US Congressman. Advantage, Frost.
NOV. 17 - TENNESSEE-MARTIN Pat Summitt - Tennessee Lady Vols head basketball coach.
Mizzou counterpart: Norm Stewart - Mizzou head basketball coach for 32 years.
Better alumnus: In a surprisingly close battle on testosterone levels, Norm edges out Summitt.
NOV. 22 - TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN None listed.
Mizzou counterpart: Me.
Better alumnus: Although many ex-girlfriends will disagree, I am better than nothing.
NOV. 24 - CHATTANOOGA Terrell Owens - "me first" wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills.
Mizzou counterpart: Ian Kinsler - Major League Baseball 2B for the Texas Rangers.
Better alumnus: Both are all-pros. Both are considered amongst the top of their respective positions. Both team's colors are Red and Blue. Neither has won a championship. Kinsler has never done sit-ups in his driveway. Game. Set. Match.
NOV. 27 - OLD DOMINION Ben Bailey - Cash Cab host.
Mizzou counterpart: Charles Cooper - Three-time world Bear Wrestling champion.
Better alumnus: Cash Cab is a fun TV show to watch. You know what else is fun to watch? HUMANS WRESTLING BEARS! Put that in your cab and smoke it.
NOV. 28 - MISSISSIPPI STATE Arthur L. Williams, Jr. - Insurance Magnate, #583 on the Forbes list of the World's Billionaires.
Mizzou counterpart: E. Stanley Kroenke - Real estate mogul. Owner of NBA's Denver Nuggets, NHL's Colorado Avalanche, co-owner NFL's St. Louis Rams, majority shareholder Arsenal FC.
Better alumnus: You know what is better than being worth $1.4B? Being worth $3.5B. Advantage, Kroenke by a close $2.1B
DEC. 2 - AT VANDERBILT Amy Grant - Contemporary Christian music artist.
Mizzou counterpart: Sheryl Crow - Musician
Better alumnus: 6 Grammy Awards is good, but if my math is correct 9 is just a little better. Advantage, Crow.
DEC. 5 - OREGON Phil Knight - Co-founder and former CEO of Nike, Inc.
Mizzou counterpart: Mike Hall - the first winner of the ESPN "Dream Job" series.
Better alumnus: Without SportsCenter highlights, athletes wouldn't be the household names they are today. Therefore names Nike uses to endorse products wouldn't be as commonplace. For that, Phil Knight owes his entire enterprise to SportsCenter. Advantage, Hall.
DEC. 9 - AT ORAL ROBERTS Ted Haggard - Former Pastor.
Mizzou counterpart: Anyone who has driven through Columbia.
Better alumnus: If you don't know about Ted Haggard, look him up then tell me that I couldn't insert literally anyone in here and give Mizzou the advantage.
DEC. 12 - FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON Stephanie Adams - Playboy centerfold and author.
Mizzou counterpart: Debbye Turner - 1990 Miss America.
Better alumnus: Although I would love to "read" Adams' "book," Turner had to exhibit talent along with having an amazing body. Adams just had to forget her underwear. Advantage, Turner.
DEC. 19 - ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF Martha S. Lewis - Government official in New York City.
Mizzou counterpart: Gen. Donald Dawson - Former aide to President Truman, Curator of the Truman Presidential Library.
Better alumnus: What's a better pick up line at a bar: "Hi, my name is (insert name) and I am a government official in New York City." Or "Hi, my name is (insert name) and I work for the freakin' PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES."
DEC. 23 - ILLINOIS Jim Cantalupo - Chairman and CEO of McDonald's.
Mizzou counterpart: David C. Novak - Chairman, CEO, and President, Yum! Brands, Inc.
Better alumnus: Yum Brands owns, A&W, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and WingStreet. Novak is thinking outside the bun.
DEC. 27 - AUSTIN PEAY Steven Lassan - Senior College Fantasy Football Editor with Athlon Sports.
Mizzou counterpart: Chase Daniel - College reality football player
Better alumnus: Chase reads defenses. Lassan reads box scores. Reality trumps fantasy on this one.
DEC. 30 - UMKC John D. Carmack - Video game programmer.
Mizzou counterpart: Robert Loggia - Actor.
Better alumnus: Logia played MacMillian in Big. In Big Tom Hanks talks to the Zoltar machine, which essentially is a computer program. Zoltar makes all your wishes come true, something that a video game cannot do. Advantage, Loggia.
JAN. 2 - GEORGIA Ryan Seacrest - American Idol host.
Mizzou counterpart: Brad Pitt - Actor
Better alumnus: Know who is an American idol? BRAD FREAKING PITT!
JAN. 6 - SAVANNAH STATE Shannon Sharpe - Former National Football League Tight End.
Mizzou counterpart: Kellen Winslow - Former National Football League Tight End.
Better alumnus: Not only is Winslow in the College and Pro football Halls of Fame, but he also had, arguably, the greatest single game performance in the history of the NFL when he blocked a game winning field goal and recorded an NFL playoff record 13 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown in an epic win over the Miami Dolphins in the 1982 NFL playoffs.
JAN. 9 - KANSAS STATE Velina Houston - Playwright.
Mizzou counterpart: Tennessee Williams - Playwright.
Better alumnus: A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie and The Night of the Iguana. Advantage, Williams.
JAN. 13 - AT TEXAS TECH Robert Marting - Fitness trainer.
Mizzou counterpart: Sam Walton - Founder Wal-Mart.
Better alumnus: Ever been to a Wal-Mart? Lots of fat people there. Fat people need trainers. So without Walton, Marting would be out of a job.
JAN. 16 - AT OKLAHOMA Lawrence G. Rawl - Former Chairman and CEO of Exxon.
Mizzou counterpart: Ken Lay - Former CEO of Enron.
Better alumnus: One was in charge during the greatest oil spill in the history of man. One was in charge during the greatest corporate accounting fraud in the history of business. Neither should be applauded, however to Lay's credit he was the mastermind, Rawl just happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. For his ingenious cover-up, advantage Lay.
JAN. 23 - NEBRASKA Willa Cather - Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for her wartime novel, One of Ours.
Mizzou counterpart: George C Scott - Actor.
Better alumnus: Cather wrote about the war. Scott brought the war to the silver screen as the lead in Patton. Since nobody reads anymore, advantage Scott.
JAN. 25 - AT KANSAS Joe Engle - Former NASA astronaut
Mizzou counterpart: Derrick Peterson - 2004 U.S. Olympian in Track and Field
Better alumnus: Why is it that so many astronauts come out of KU? Well, if you lived in Kansas wouldn't you get out as fast and as far as possible? Speaking of fast, while Peterson was at Mizzou he swept all 8 Big 12 800-meter conference championships he competed in. Advantage, Peterson.
JAN. 30 - OKLAHOMA STATE Steve Ripley - Guitarist for country-rock band The Tractors.
Mizzou counterpart: Matthew C. Dudenhoeffer - Guitarist for rock band Gravity Kills.
Better alumnus: I have never heard of either of these bands, but based on where they went to school, advantage, Dudenhoeffer.
FEB. 3 - TEXAS A&M Orelon Sidney - Former CNN anchor
Mizzou counterpart: Chuck Roberts - Current CNN anchor
Better alumnus: Current vs. former. You make the call. Advantage, Roberts.
FEB. 6 - AT COLORADO Larry Esposito - Discoverer of Saturn's fourth ring.
Mizzou counterpart: William Schwartz - LASER pioneer.
Better alumnus: Let me get this straight, Esposito didn't actually invent anything. He just noticed there was another ring around Saturn. What kind of accomplishment is that? I found a bug crawling on a pile of dirt this morning. Should I call CNN about this discovery? Schwartz was a pioneer of the LASER. Repeat, THE LASER. Advantage, Schwartz.
FEB. 10 - IOWA STATE Sawsan Al-Sharifi - Iraqi Minister of Agriculture
Mizzou counterpart: Tom Berenger - Actor
Better alumnus: Uhhh, agriculture.... in Iraq? So essentially Al-Sharifi is the minister of sand. Not that exciting. Berenger, on the other hand, was in Major League. If you play softball, like I do, and don't quote Major League at least once a game, you are missing out. Too high... too high.
FEB. 13 - AT BAYLOR Leonard E. Davis - U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas
Mizzou counterpart: Hon. John R. Gibson - Senior Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Better alumnus: Eastern Texas (BORING!) or U.S.? Advantage, Gibson.
FEB. 17 - TEXAS Chris Ware - Cartoonist
Mizzou counterpart: Mort Walker - Cartoonist
Better alumnus: Ware produces cartoons I have never heard of. Walker produces Beatle Bailey, one of the longest running nationally syndicated cartoons still produced by the original author. Advantage, Walker.
As to not add insult to injury, I am not going to pound the other Big 12 North schools that Mizzou plays twice into any more submission. Below is the remainder of the schedule, so enjoy.
FEB. 20 - AT NEBRASKA
FEB. 24 - COLORADO
FEB. 27 - AT KANSAS STATE
MARCH 2 - AT IOWA STATE
MARCH 6 - KANSAS