Missouri’s arrival on SEC’s big stage is vindication for Alden

Almost from the instant Missouri’s move to the Southeastern Conference became official 25 months ago, MU athletic director Mike Alden cautioned that a 30-month orientation period lay ahead. That all seems like distant history now after Missouri secured the SEC East title and will play for the conference championship Saturday in Atlanta against Auburn with an outside-but-legitimate chance for the national title.

Chiefs must show that three-game skid is anomaly, not new norm

It may still be mathematically more difficult for the Chiefs to miss the playoffs than make them, but how they’re perched won’t matter much if this team has already peaked. The burden of proof now is on the Chiefs to demonstrate that those first nine games weren’t fool’s gold forged on a favorable schedule.

Chiefs can’t go into panic mode with what lies ahead

Is this second straight loss a blip? Or is it a regression in a new direction? The answer, really, is neither. Or both. Because it hasn’t been determined yet. But one way or another, we know this about the Chiefs: They almost always will be in close games that could go either way.

Sporting Kansas City gets ‘storybook ending’

A 2-1 victory clinches Eastern Conference title on a chilly night at Sporting Park. And for all the remarkable breakthroughs the organization has cultivated and enjoyed the last few years, this magnificent stadium, the clever merchandising, the connection it’s created with fans, this moment still was a necessary validation.

Loss to Denver hurts, but the Chiefs remain strong

Yes, the Denver Broncos beat the Chiefs 27-17 on Sunday night, and, yes, Denver’s offensive strengths trumped the Chiefs’ defensive assets. But despite all that, this was no romp for the Broncos, who actually were matched in first downs (24) by the Chiefs. The Chiefs might be flawed, but they’re not a fraud.

Chiefs G.M. John Dorsey has a team that’s built to handle adversity

With the Chiefs in Denver for tonight’s showdown, there is an unmistakable serenity around the franchise. It doesn’t mean they will win, but even the flap over Dwayne Bowe shouldn’t distract a voraciously hungry core of players that less than a year ago suffered true tragedy off the field and has absorbed chaos seemingly all around it for the last few years.

When Bill Snyder decides to step aside, here’s a name worth considering

Ageless marvel that he may be at 74 years old, one day before too very long Kansas State coach Bill Snyder will retire again. And if athletic director John Currie were to entertain the idea of a rising younger candidate with deep K-State roots, here’s one surging a little below the radar: Youngstown State coach Eric Wolford, 41, who was among Snyder’s first recruits on campus in 1989.

In big week for Chiefs, Dwayne Bowe drops the ball

The allegation by Riverside police that Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe was in possession late Sunday of more than 10 grams of marijuana implies that Bowe was brazenly oblivious to his responsibility to his teammates and the Chiefs organization, just as the team has surged back to life at 9-0 and prepares for its highest-profile game in years on Sunday at Denver.

Sporting KC's Graham Zusi is in rarefied air

While the Sporting Kansas City midfielder has ascended to the upper echelon of U.S. soccer, he has remained grounded. That mind-set still is showing up now as Zusi prepares to lead Sporting into the MLS playoffs Saturday with no sense of being any better than anyone else.

Chiefs make their own luck by preparing for opportunities

So the Chiefs are 8-0, but boy, they sure are lucky, some are grousing. As if that diminishes the fact they’re the only undefeated team in the NFL. Or suggests that it’s all a whim of fate or mere smoke and mirrors. But if you want to understand how luck and the Chiefs really have melded this season, indulge us in a cliche about the dynamic: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

A lot of gray matter in NCAA’s ruling on Frank Haith

There are shades of gray to the NCAA’s case against Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith, who will serve a five-game suspension. You could argue, that the NCAA endured too much controversy and invested too much in this to exonerate Haith. But, certainly, some of what’s attributed to Haith in the NCAA’s report, including inconsistent answers given to investigators, is undoubtedly candid.

MU’s Gary Pinkel proud to be ‘Don James' disciple’

Maybe you’ve been blessed to have someone in your life like this: A teacher, coach or mentor, perhaps all of those things at once, who believed in you before you knew who you were or believed in yourself. That’s who Don James was to Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel.

Tamba Hali leaves it all out on the field for Chiefs

Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali’s relentless way is contagious and helps galvanize and energize a dynamic defense, a defense that is the most substantial reason why the Chiefs have morphed from the worst team in the NFL in 2012 to the only remaining undefeated team.

Missouri shows why it belongs at the top of SEC East

After beating a ranked team for a second straight week for the first time since 1973, after becoming the first team to beat Georgia and Florida consecutively since 1992, Missouri is 7-0 and likely to ascend from No. 14 well into the top 10. Most meaningfully, MU is alone — quite alone — atop the SEC East Division standings at 3-0. Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are 3-2.

Chase Daniel offers advice to freshman Maty Mauk as Missouri goes for 7-0

Even five seasons after playing his last game at Missouri, Chase Daniel remains intensely invested in the program he helped redefine and propel in 2007 to a No. 1 ranking for the first time in nearly half a century. That’s why after Mizzou’s historic win at Georgia, Daniel sent an encouraging text message to freshman quarterback Maty Mauk (pictured), who will start Saturday against Florida.

Tigers have full faith in Maty Mauk

Missouri believes the quarterback is more than capable of stepping up and replacing the injured James Franklin. So, as sad as it is that Franklin will be out for an estimated three to five weeks, that needn’t mean what had been shaping up as a special season for Mizzou simply is snuffed out.