I did not attend the University of Missouri at Columbia. I received my bachelor’s degree in English with emphasis on journalism and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. But if there’s anybody on the planet who didn’t attend Mizzou that sure should have, I can’t think of anyone who fits the bill more than yours truly. If you have read this column for any length of time, you already know this. But I’m going to say it anyway. My Dad brought me up to root for three teams: Mizzou, the Royals and the Chiefs. While I love them all, one stands above the others. M-I-Z! I bleed black and gold and I don’t mind telling anyone that Tiger Blood courses through my veins — eat your heart out, Charlie Sheen. No doubt Mizzou gets the nod over the Chiefs and Royals in large part because The State That Shall Not Be Mentioned is part of their names. The University of Missouri has no such affliction. Of course, there is danger in my unconditional love for Mizzou. I’m not very objective when it comes to the Tigers and I’m the first one to admit. No matter what the sport, I want the Tigers to win 100-0 or I’m not satisfied. Because Mizzou has yet to win any sporting contest 100-0 that I’m aware of, this means that most times I’m not very good company when I’m watching the Tigers play. I yell, scream and curse. At anybody. At everybody. At anything that I deem detrimental to Mizzou's chances of winning. So, given all that, those of you who are MU fans will no doubt agree with me that it’s a tough job. You have to have thick skin to be a Mizzou fan and you pretty much have to subscribe to the theory that the great college sports gods in the sky —or in Duke, or USC or Alabama, or wherever they live — just flat out don’t like MU. I don’t know why that’s the case, I just know. I’ve seen living proof. The Fifth Down Game against Colorado. The Immaculate Kick or Flea-Kicker or whatever you want to call it against Nebraska. Tyus Edney. And now, we can add the Auburn Avalanche, which is kind of lame but the cleanest moniker I can come up with for what happened last Saturday in the SEC football title game. Auburn 59, Mizzou 42. Auburn, 545 yards rushing. Just so we’re clear, let’s acknowledge the fact that had Mizzou won that game, they would be playing Florida State in the BCS Championship game on Jan. 6. But of course, they lost and for the second time in six years, the Tigers came within one excruciating, scratch-your-eyeballs-out win of playing for the mythical NCAA football title. In both cases, it was the Missouri defense which let Mizzou Nation down. Now, it must also be acknowledged that against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game in 2007 — when the Tigers were ranked No. 1 after that glorious win over The State That Shall Not Be Mentioned at Arrowhead Stadium — MU only mustered 17 points. But the Tigers’ defense gave up a ton of yards to the Sooners in the second half of that game, enabling OU to pull away for a 35-17 win. But there is no such asterisk that we denote to last Saturday’s mind-numbing Mizzou defensive effort. How can one team run for 545 yards in one game and how can another allow it to happen? On national television, no less. If Mizzou thought they weren’t getting any respect prior to the game, I wonder what kind of respect they thought they should get afterwards. The only good news is that Mizzou’s high-powered offense matched Auburn score for score for much of the game, so the average fan that didn’t care who won probably thought the game was entertaining as heck. I didn’t. Because, you know, MU wasn’t winning 100-0. I enjoyed watching the game with friends at a local sports bar, but that was tempered by my anguish at watching the MU defense get shredded. That matador-waving-the-bull-on-by effort likely made even the football team of The State That Shall Not Be Mentioned, one of the most wretched teams in the nation and one conditioned to getting pummeled mercilessly, wince. After the game, I asked on Twitter whether or not Mizzou defensive coordinator Dave Steckel still had a seat on the plane home from Atlanta. That was kind of mean and I’ve heard Steck is a great guy and ex-Marine and all, but he obviously does not know what the word adjustment means. Either that, or he had Stevie Wonder analyzing Auburn’s offensive formations up in the press box. I mean, good grief — put eight or nine or 10 or 11 guys on the line and make Auburn throw the ball. As the old saying goes — do something, even if it’s bad. Look, MU had a fabulous season. If anyone truly believed at the start of the season the Tigers were going to climb to No. 5 in the nation with a chance to land a spot in the BCS title game, I hope they made a trip to Vegas and put some money on it. I sure didn’t — I had them pegged for 8-4, maybe 9-3 and enjoyed the thrill ride they took me on the past three-plus months. But that still doesn’t soothe the sting of one more kick in the gut, resulting in another almost, coulda-been magical season. I should have known better. That said, I can’t help it. That’s what being an MU fan is all about — we sign up for more, hoping the next time will be different. That’s why I’ve already got my tickets bought, plane fare booked and hotel room reserved in Dallas for the Cotton Bowl Jan. 3. The Tiger Blood is burning hot again. Thanks for reading.