Missouri BJ 73
Mizzou lost to Alabama and Georgia -- but who didn't? Mizzou's other two losses were last minute heartbreakers to UK and SC. Mizzou killed Florida and may be the hottest team in the SEC that's not a Playoff contender. (Although you could make a case for Vandy!) Some of these Bowl games are going to be duds (UCF without their QB, e.g.). Others will be traps. If Georgia wins a close game against Bama does the Tide still roll into the Playoffs? Yes. If Georgia loses a tight game against Bama can they still get in? Maybe. Do Ohio State and Oklahoma need to run up the scoring margins in their game? You bet. Does Notre Dame take the worst beating in the Playoffs? Yes, I believe they do.
Hmmm... Then Mizzou would have to be ranked ahead of Florida after the whipping they gave them on their home field. But then that woul mean South Carolina would have to rated higher than that? LOL There are a lot of semi-good teams in the SEC. Heck, Missouri beat Purdue, who badly beat Ohio State, and lost to Alabama and Georgia, plus one-point losses to SC and KY. Had Mizzou won the latter two, where would they be ranked right now? Their two loss resume would be better than LSU's. Only Alabama has played consistently well. Georgia may give them a game in the SEC Championship -- or maybe not. If not, Alabama will be at least a two touchdown favorite over any team they play in the playoffs.
One: Throw the damn ball. The odds against stopping Lock and his receivers three times in a row are remote. Two: Mizzou looked like they were in a prevent defense most of the game. If you can't defens in the secondary straight up, and you can't put pressure on the quarterback, come up with some stunts and mix things up to keep them off balance.
I love the SEC. 14 teams, and 10 of them have fans and boosters that demand a winning conference season every year. I wasn't a math major, but I know that's impossible. Not being steeped in this SEC tradition, when Missouri won two division titles in a row their fans were ecstatic. At Florida, it gets you fired. Three more points and Florida would be 6 and 2 with their only losses to Michigan and Georgia. The coach Florida just fired would be a HUGE upgrade for a lot of other SEC teams.
If Auburn can't get their offense untracked against Mizzou -- it'll be a long season for them! In fact, if Mizzou can't get straightened out, they might not win a game in conference. Lock does a great job against FCS teams -- not so good against the big boys. Mizzou doesn't have the talent most of the other SEC teams have -- so they have no chance when their coaching is mediocre, at best. Not sure what LSU's excuse is, though. Or why the SEC as a whole is down. There may be more embarassments ahead. The SEC pattern is becoming predictable. Big expectations for lots of teams -- big letdowns for most of them. Somebody has to win the East -- and then get slaughtered by Alabama. (Maybe Miss St can challenge?) The SEC is starting to look like the old Big 8 -- Nebraska, Oklahoma -- and a lot of wanna be's.
Kiffin probably doesn't get the credit nationally that he deserves for what he's done at Alabama. A lot of folks figure that 'Bama would be the best team in the country without him. The talent is going to be there at LSU... and a head coach that might let him run things his way (an option not available under Saban). If he takes LSU to new offensive heights (shouldn't be too hard to do!) and maybe to an SEC championship he'd get some lucrative head coaching offers a year or two down the road. His ambition might be better served by taking the OC spot at LSU rather than the Houston HC job.
Mizzou's offense looked better against weak competition... but the defense seems to be only a shadow of last year's. The new hurry up, no-huddle offense puts a lot of pressure on the defense because they get a lot less rest. The Tigers' play calling seems less than optimal, both on offense and defense. The veterans are having to adjust to whole new schemes and strategies. But I guess the same is true for Georgia. The SEC East may be overrated from top to bottom this year -- and outside of Kentucky we don't know for sure who the top and bottom are -- so we may see some surprising results this season. A Mizzou upset win could be one of them, but I still worry that Georgia will just wear Mizzou out.
Look at the gun in his hand. Can you tell for sure it's a bb gun just by looking quickly? Supposing a security officer, or a policeman or even an armed civilian had drawn their gun and fired? We'd have an incident that could set off an ugly chain reaction. A bb gun is also capable of producing permanent injury in the right circumstances. This poor judgment needs to be punished adequately. What would the punishment be if this was a non-athlete freshman? Expulsion? One-semester suspension? If football players are not held to the same standard this kind of behavior will continue.
It was the events and national news coverage of the incidents in Ferguson, MO that is mainly responsible for the falloff in out-of-state enrollment. And the fact that those events spilled over onto the campus and got additional coverage.
Bama won.... but they didn't cover!
Richt would be a good fit at Mizzou if he's ready to coach another decade or so. His demeanor is perfect and Mizzou fans are not insanely demanding like so many other SEC schools.
If Odom was named coach he might make use of the extra practices. This decision by Rhoades might be an indication that the Tigers will be making a different head coach choice. (Or it might just be that no one was excited about going to Shreveport!)
Slow receivers who can't get open and can't catch when they do, no running backs better than mediocre now that injury has limited Hansborough, unimaginative OC who keeps running a predictable order of plays that won't work without above-average receivers and RB's like we had the previous two seasons, no Mauk for four games, and a green replacement quarterback that is either afraid to take a hit or has been told not to.
You are right on target.
My observations: We’ve got running backs who can’t cut through holes unless they’re huge – and you won’t get huge holes against the better SEC teams. Watch the replays… they stop and double clutch when they have to change direction… either their reads are too slow, or they are. Abbington and Hunt need to get the ball more. A lot more. And more to the TE’s. Receivers are giving up on their routes… no creativity in getting open. Maulk is a gutsy performer… but without backfield options and receivers who can create separation and make difficult catches he’s very limited. He seems to have lost a little confidence and can’t pull the trigger quickly when the receivers do get momentarily open. (Maybe he realizes that if he doesn’t fumble or get intercepted that his defense can almost assure a victory.) Lock has a different skill set…. He seems to read and react quicker and fires a more precise pass a little more consistently. With both the receivers and running backs being sub par, his skills might generate more offense. It’s a tough spot for Pinkel to be in… Offensive play calling has been less than stellar. If I can predict 90% of the plays I’m sure the opponents can. But when the defense is the team’s strength, we might have to get used to very conservative offensive play. Pinkel is a smart coach. He knows what he’s got. This team is capable of eking out some close wins in the SEC East – SC, UK, Vandy and Florida are NOT world beaters. But if it loses the tight games this could be a long season for fans getting used to championship contention and top bowl games.
Actually, the biggest difference between Missouri and the other SEC teams are our fans. We don't feel like the season is a disaster if we don't win a championship. We don't get suicidal when we lose to a team we should have beat, or get beat badly by a better team, or fail to run up a big score against a weaker team (which we almost NEVER do!). Eight wins and a decent bowl game keeps us happy. Nine or ten wins and a top bowl game and we're ecstatic. We also don't get offended when somebody says that the SEC is overrated because... well, because it probably is. This is a rebuilding year at Mizzou -- yet we're still probably just about as good as any team in the SEC East. We have mostly players who were underrated coming out of high school, led by an underrated coach and his underrated staff. So it's no surprise that we're usually underrated by the prognosticators, pollsters, and other SEC team fans. In our three years in the SEC we have two Conference Division championships and one of the best won-loss Conference records. If we lose a game we'll be out of the Top 25... but they have to keep us in if we win - no matter how humbly - because it would be embarrassing to say that the best team in the SEC East wasn't one of the Top25 teams in the country... wouldn't it? Besides, it will be better for you Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky and Mississippi State fans for us to still be ranked when you beat us..... IF you beat us.
Biggest concern would be the running game. Who backs up Hansborough? Can the O-line create some holes that the less talented backs can manage to run through? The short passing and pitch-out plays need to be sharpened up. This team is going to have to grind out some drives with a lot of first downs. The long passing game will be a lot more difficult against the better SEC teams – both the pass rush and the downfield coverage will be a lot stiffer. An easy front-end on the schedule could give a false sense of security that could cost us later when it would be hard to correct. If GP handles it right, having two quarterbacks could be a big plus. It would give opponents two different looks to prep for. Mauk is a mature team player – I think he can handle it. I wouldn’t hand Lock the 2017 Heisman yet based on a few series later in the game against a relatively weak opponent… (I could have thrown that TD pass to Hunt, LOL!) but he sure does look like the real thing. Rookie receivers need to learn the importance of running their routes… one of Mauk’s interceptions was definitely on his receiver. Defense looked good – better than most of the other SEC East teams defenses that I was able to watch. But the level of competition has to be considered. Lateral speed may be an issue, but they looked solid up the middle. Ark St and UConn games should be fun and a good chance to work on stuff. Then we’ll see how we measure up against UK and SC, neither of which figure to challenge for the SEC East. I can’t remember ever watching an ESPN SEC game with a female play-by-play announcer. I thought Mowins did a pretty good job.
Only thing that bothers me is that they keep saying that the "SEC East is down" for the last two years. Why? Because newcomer Missouri won the division, LOL? At least the East teams can win their bowl games. Yeah, Alabama is in the West... I get it. But SC and GA weren't that bad the last two years.... just not as good as Mizzou. And since the Conference hasn't won a NC the last two years maybe it's more accurate to say that the whole SEC has had "down" years.
My God, we'll all be stoned before the pre-game show is over!
Great. He'll fit right in. He must have watched OK's loss to Clemson and decided to forgo a year of Soonerdom.
TCU would definitely have beat Mizzou -- but I doubt the score would have been so lopsided. And Minnesota would have been no pushover for Ole Miss who was unbeatable at home but a little iffy on the road.
Based on recent history, if Mizzou loses badly on Saturday they will be passed over for other SEC teams (Georgia, Miss St, Miss, Auburn) and be lucky to get the Citrus or Outback, much less the peach of Orange.
Biggest issue for Mizzou may be Alabama's depth. Mizzou has been strong in the fourth quarter the last five weeks for a reason -- we wear out our opponents starters on both offense and defense. With Bama, their second and third line are nearly as good as their first -- they are the ones who usually wear out the other team. No, if Mizzou is to win this game they best be ahead going in to the fourth quarter, so the offense will have to make some plays early while our defense tries to limit the damage inflicted by Amari and Company. I actually think the two touchdown line is fair -- it's an average of the two most probable outcomes -- a blowout Alabama win or a hard-fought close win by the Tide. But if Mizzou CAN keep it close, well, you never know.
Two problems with all this. Problem #1: Like many others have said from Day One there should be eight teams in the Playoffs. Sure, there would still be arguments. But it would be fairer and most likely no team tr;y capable of winning it all would be left out. Problem #2: I know they do it to build up the hype, but the weekly rankings are counter-productive to picking the best teams at the end of the year. Once a team is low-ranked it is extremely difficult to move up. Similarly, a team that starts high can stay high even without big wins, and can survive a loss much easier. The trend of a team SHOULD matter. An early season loss should be counted less heavily than a late-season loss. Also, the Committee went on record as saying that head-to-head results and conference championships would matter. But now the Big 12's "one true champion," Baylor (if they win on Saturday) will be usurped by the conference runner up (forget the Big 12's mullarkey about letting the Committee pick) that they defeated head to head. And if Missouri, Wisconsin, Arizona, and or Georgia Tech win their conferences the same thing will happen to most of them. In an eight team playoff scenario the five power conference champs would be in, and then three chosen by the Committee. Can you imagine if Major League Baseball had a committee to choose who would go to the playoffs and elected NOT to include a Division winner or two? I'm a Mizzou fan, and we do deserve more respect. (We probably won't get the bowl game we deserve, win or lose on Saturday.)But we DID lose to Indiana, and got blown out by Georgia, both at home. Are we better now? Yes. Are we Top Four? No. But if we beat Alabama -- a big if -- then perhaps we've gotten that much better (or perhaps we're just inconsistent and don't deserve a playoff spot.) But I'll save any possible bragging on my team until Sunday, LOL! I agree with the poster who indicated that the Committee moved things around this week to cover their backside if there are some upsets. They moved Ga Tech and Arizona up so if they win their conferences it won't be too much of a stretch to put them in the Top Four. The fact that Mizzou barely budged is a solid indication that they could wallop Bama and still be lucky to get in the Orange Bowl. The best thing about there being NO SEC team in the Playoffs this year would be that it would hasten immeasurably the coming of the eight team playoff. Maybe even next year or the year after. The weakness in the current Playoff selection procedure can easily be illustrated by one hypothetical: Oregon and Alabama lose this weekend, and everyone else wins and moves up in their respective order. That would put TCU, Florida State, Ohio State and Baylor in the Playoffs and leave out the conference champs from the two conferences that together account for 13 of the 25 best teams in the country.
Great article and much appreciated. And I'll be rooting hard for my Tigers to make it a good game -- and I believe they can. One thing that worked for Mizzou against Tenn and Arkansas, though, won't work against the Tide. You can't wear 'em out... they are the deepest team talent-wise in the SEC, probably the nation. Get behind by more than a touchdown and it's lights out. Mizzou's paths to victory are very slender.... everything will have to go right... and we may need a Bama mistake or two so I hope Sims save a couple of ints for this Saturday. Turnovers or defensive lapses by Mizzou could make this game ugly. But one thing every Mizzou fan has known for a long time, even from Big 8 days, is that you can't beat 'em if you don't get to play 'em. (And I think Georgia and South Carolina would have to agree with that.) I hope a good showing in this game gets Mizzou the bowl bid they deserve. Go Tigers!
I graduated in 1970. What I love about Mizzou is the upsets they pull... even in down years. I was there when we lost to Nebraska 69 to 0 and then the next game we upset an unbeaten Notre Dame team in south Bend. Many years later I had a chance to talk to Ara Parseighian about that game, and he said he still had nightmares over it. (As I remember, ND had four fumbled punts and Mizzou converted on fourth down four or five times.) Mizzou fans aren't as arrogant as Bama or ND fans... we don't believe that any year without a championship is a disappointment. Just give us an upset and get to a bowl game and we're pretty happy. At least I am. (But hey, an SEC Championship in our third year would be SWEET!)
So let me get this straight... Bama ISN'T the same team that only beat Arkansas by a point... but Mizzou IS the same team that lost to Indiana? Bama may beat Mizzou soundly... or they may not. But Mizzou is a much improved team, MUCH! And only Bama has a better SEC record than Mizzou over the last two years. Mizzou doesn't intimidate anyone... they can't throw their helmet out on the field and expect to win. They need to play near their optimum level and hope they get a break or two. A couple of turnovers or defensive lapses and it could be over early. But if Mizzou is still in the SEC Championship game at the start of the fourth quarter, they've got a chance.
Over the last two years only Alabama has more SEC wins than Mizzou. And, I believe that Mizzou has an overall better head-to-head percentage of wins against Alabama than any other SEC team. Bama and Mizzou had four common opponents this year -- each beat them all. Each had a bigger margin of victory in two of the four victories. Mizzou won each game by at least a touchdown. Bama had a huge beat-down of A&M, but only beat Arkansas by a single point. What happens if Mizzou beats Alabama for the SEC Championship? Does any SEC team go to the Playoffs? Can they still put Bama and Miss St in the playoffs and leave the SEC Champ out? Would they at least give Mizzou the Orange Bowl? Let's see what happens.
You're so right. The Bowl folks have short memories..... better to go out on a win, for sure. problem for Mizzou is that they CAN'T go out on a win unless they beat Arkansas and then win the SEC Championship. Pretty tall order. I'll be rooting for the East team, be it Georgia or Mizzou. I hate all this "West is best" nonesense. I'll be footing for Florida to pull the upset, as well. And I'll be rooting for Auburn and Ole Miss, as well. Hey, at least ONE underdog has to win!
Yes, Kansas would be a great non-conference rival for Mizzou. But, failing that, I'd like to see Nebraska or Illinois.