Rock M Roundtable!

Atch is out today...he sent in his contribution below...

1 - Three teams remain in the running for the Big 12 South--Texas, OU, and Texas Tech.  Of the three, who would you most rather face in title game, and who would you least rather face?

2 - Wants aside, who do you think we will face?  (And since your answer will be directly impacted by this game, who wins OU-TT this weekend?)

3 - Favorite moment from the 2008 season thus far?

4 - A week later, I'll ask it again: Any thoughts about your local basketball club yet?

5 - Both Missouri and Kansas have ridiculous numbers of freshmen on this year's basketball team...just a week into their respective careers, who's your favorite to this point?

Michael Atchison (comments submitted last night):

Football

Last week, I lamented that William Moore hadn't made a big play all season, and then he returned an interception for a touchdown.  Anything else you'd like me to complain about?  Perhaps that we've never beaten Kansas by 70?

I am heartened by Andrew Jones's play.  He'll never be Chase Coffman (how's that for an impossible measuring stick?), but he looks like a future pro to me.  He should be Blaine Gabbert's security blanket next year.

This season hasn't quite been the thrill-a-minute joyride that last year was, but hit me upside the head with something heavy if I ever get blasé about winning.  Winning is fun.

I like that our two most plausible bowl destinations are Tempe and San Diego.  Those are quality trips.

Basketball

The first ten minutes of the second half against Chattanooga was the Platonic ideal of Mike Anderson basketball.  That was stupid.  And contagious.

When Mizzou signed Leo Lyons way back when, Eric Bossi told me what a great player we got.  It has been up and down since then, but now it's easy to see what Eric was talking about.  The kid has some of the best skills we've ever seen from a guy that size around here, and it looks like he has finally grown into them.  He has been all but unstoppable.

I've heard Miguel Paul described as a "pass-first" point guard.  In Miguel's world, there must be something that comes before "first."

Over/Under:  1300 career points for Marcus Denmon.

I've been impressed with the freshman guard trio of Demon, Paul and English.  With Mike Dixon coming on board next year, the backcourt should be pretty stable for the next few seasons.

Anyone else notice the multiple looks Anderson is putting on the floor?  He typically has some combination of three guards out there, but he has been experimenting with going big.  At times, he has had three of his four big forwards (Lyons, Carroll, Bowers, Ramsey) on the floor together, and it seems to work.  The only matchup problem we should face all year is if and when we meet up with a very big and skilled center (see, e.g., Aldrich, Cole).

The Beef: 1 - I would most rather see Ttech in the game for a myriad of reasons. They would likely still be undefeated…ratcheting up the pressure. Their fans do not travel as well as UT/OU fans, so with a game in KC, that will be to our advantage. It will be COLD, which I think plays into our hands. We will have just played in KC, where as I am not sure they have ever stepped foot in that stadium. They have not been there before. And….for whatever reason (especially with our signature bend, sometimes break defense), Eberflus has had this their number in almost all match-ups.

2 - I really do think it will be Tech. For as good as the OU offense has been, I think their D is banged up just enough that I think Tech can hold them to the occasional FG whereas I think OU is going to struggle to keep Tech from scoring.

3 - {Insert any Coffman catch here}

4 - Heartened a bit by what I have seen….now ready to see it against some real competition. And Atch’s comments about Paul are dead-on and comic gold. GOLD JERRY! (I think that is a quote…and yes…don’t ask me how the resident Jew never really watched Seinfeld but I never really did).

5 - Um…kansas started playing basketball? Since when?

I too am heartened by the way with Andrew Jones played, and I think there was a bigger story with his six catches this past week. Though I have nothing to base this on, I think the offense sputtered against kSU two weeks ago because we really thought Coffman would play on Senior Day. When he did not, we did not have other options properly installed and you could tell it hurt us a bit (just like the Big XII game last season). But, this week, even though we were paying lip service to his "availability", I think the coaches knew damn well he was not going to play and worked extra hard with Jones. For that reason, I really hope Coffman does not play against kU. First, we don’t need him to beat kU in my opinion, and second…two weeks for Jones getting first team reps is just going to make him that much better and more prepared for next season when I agree with Atch that he will become safety blanket option #1. And…we need Coffman absolutely 100 percent (or as close as possible) for the game three weeks from now.

rptgwb: 1. In order, I'd want Texas Tech, then Oklahoma, then Texas. This is meant as no slight to the Red Raiders, who are a damn good football team. But Missouri has mental hurdles and hangups with the other two teams that they clearly don't have with Tech. Pinkel has historically coached very well against Leach, and Eberflus' "hit the hell out of the receivers at all costs" philosophy against Tech seems well-suited for success on a cold night at Arrowhead. If it's OU, I think Mizzou can put up points, but I'd be very, very concerned about stopping that offense. And, although the players say they want another shot at Texas, I want no part of a rematch. Seeing Mizzou get absolutely dominated in every aspect of the game in Austin was too much for me to want to relive.

2. If you asked earlier in the week, I would have said OU. But for some reason with absolutely no logic behind it, my gut is saying Texas Tech.

3. I'm going to cheat and start bullet pointing:
- Spoon's "give me the damn ball" INT return against Illinois
- Maclin's early TD vs. Nebraska
- Dez Bryant getting destroyed
- Every Coffman hurdle and every Coffman TD catch
- Patton's first career TD pass

4. Yep, and you got most of them in our Basketball Preview Part Two.

5. Kansas, because they're Kansas.

The Boy: 1 - I think Tech is the obvious "want to play" choice, simply because we've won three in a row against them and haven't beaten either OU or Texas since 1998.  As for the "don't want to play"...sign me up for not playing the Sooners.  I think folks are severely underestimating them at this point, and I'd rather take my chances with a Texas rematch (assuming Texas isn't clicking on all cylinders like they were a month ago).  Another loss to Texas wouldn't drive me nearly as insane as another loss to OU.

2 - While I think Tech has a decent chance on Saturday night, I think OU wins that one by 10-14, beats OSU, and creeps by UT in the BCS standings, giving us the exact matchup I didn't want.

3 - Coffman's nunchuk thrusts get, like, the top 5 spots.  I think my favorite one was the Colorado one...simply because the guy remembered to stand upright and take him on, and Coffman hurdled him anyway.

Beyond that...yeah, I'm almost getting too used to Maclin's long TDs.  The kick return against Illinois was the perfect "Shut up, Illinois fans" move.  The one against Nevada was the most awe-inspiring, and the one against Nebraska pretty much ended the game one minute in.

4 - I was very encouraged by the last 25 minutes of the Chattanooga game.  But it was Chattanooga.  Obviously Xavier will tell us more.

5 - Denmon from a "likely the best of the bunch" perspective, but I've got to say...Kim English's charisma and excitement level might have me most encouraged about the next four years...

Doug: 1 - Yeah... I think I'd pick all three to NOT face, given what they all did to Kansas this year. Good luck with that.

2 - I think this could very well be Tech's year and Mike Leach's chance to establish the Red Raiders as the third best program in the South, supplanting aTm for the time being.

3 - I'll go with Jake Sharp shredding Kansas State a few weeks ago. That was the game Ron Prince had to win to save his job... and they allowed a 3-and-1 option play to go 40 yards for a touchdown.

4 - Well, as shaky as they looked against UMKC two nights ago, KU looked incredibly dominate against Florida Gulf Coast... although I'm sure the name of the school had just as much to do with the mis-match as anything else. The most noticeable fact about both games, with Cole Aldrich on the bench, KU was not good. With Aldrich and Collins in the game together, they can make up for a lot of the growing pains KU fans will see with the freshman.

5 - I'd have to go with Markieff Morris. His rebounds in the UMKC game actually help key that victory, plus he had a tremendous fast-break pass to Cole Aldrich. Bill Self has to break in 5 freshmen and 2 jucos. It's going to be a long non-con season, but hopefully the pay-off is there come March.

Ridiculous Matt: 1. Tech. They're playing the best right now, but they're the only team we either haven't been beaten by or haven't had a terrible history of getting our asses kicked by. All three of these teams have been super hot at one point or another and then cooled. I'm hoping Tech peaks this weekend versus Oklahoma then cools off against us. I'd least want to face Texas because OU has inconsistency in a lot of spots. Texas is just solid all over. I want no more of Brian Arakpo.

2. Texas. None of the Big 12 South teams have performed well on the road. Texas' amazing streak was done entirely either at home or 3 hours away from home on neutral field (while still in the same state!). The big Tech win over OSU and Texas were both in Lubbock. So now how will they do in Norman? Meanwhile, though I think it'll be close and OU might even jump Texas in the polls, I don't think it'll be enough to get them over in the BCS, meaning Texas advances to the title game. Yikes.

3. Watching tons and tons of Nebraska fans exit the stadium. In the 2nd.

4. One more week and I'll have some thoughts.

5. Denmon, but it's close.

The Beef: So I was looking at kU’s boxscore from the previous game…where they played all 15 people. ESPN has them with three centers (two starting), TWO forwards and TEN guards…seems a little uneven to me…granted I am sure the walk-ons are guards, but still…

Doug: Actually, it's not all that far off, here's how the Journal World breaks them down by position:

Centers: Aldrich, Mk. Morris, Kliennman*; Forwards: Little, Mc. Morris, Thomas; Guards: Collins, Appleton, Releford, Reed, Moringstar, Taylor, Teahen (bear in mind, that's the group most likely to see meaningful minutes at guard) AND, Buford*, Bechard*, Juenemann*

Asterisks denote walk-ins, so those guys don't really factor in too much. And, Mario Little is still out with the stress fracture, so that's why you're not seeing the third forward at the moment. I think if you were to be a little more subjective, Mk. Morris is probably more of a forward, but will play center and Releford, at 6'5", could wind up working the 3 and the 4 depending on personnel

Not that anyone here actually gives a flying crap.

The Beef: Hey…the fact that it was ME of all people noticing something like that has to count for something. I am sure The Boy would have noticed it when football season ended and ZouDave would have hated them even more for it

The Boy: Yeah, that probably would have come across my radar screen in January, when basketball season actually starts for me (it's all exhibition until football's over), but...yes, Beef, nice eagle eye...

ZouDave: for the record, meetings are the most collective waste of company money that I'm aware of. 20+ people in a room for 3 hours and at the end of that you end up needing to have smaller meetings to discuss what happened in the larger meeting......

can't we just email each other what we need? And can we please not schedule meetings at Wednesday mornings? I have derailings to lead, dammit!

1 - I would definitely most rather face Texas Tech, and if this isn't unanimous I'm going to be shocked. #1, we've seen what Texas is made of and while they probably wouldn't play as perfectly in the first half like they did before they're still just physically better than we are. #2, Oklahoma is a lot like Texas. So that leaves Tech, who is a different team this year but is still a team we beat by 30+ just a year ago, and by 17 in their stadium the year before that. Tech does NOT have the physical defense that OU and Texas have, which means they wouldn't be able to push us around. They would score on us at will, we would score on them at will, and it comes down to mistakes. I know Daniel has thrown far more picks this year than Harrell, but about half of Harrell's career turnovers have come in 2 games against Mizzou so I'd expect us to be in his head. Plus, the wildcard would be the ability to run the football and Derrick Washington is better than anyone Texas Tech has. We would be able to run on them, which would make it that much easier to pass against them, which would cut down our turnover chances. If we could force an early INT, we could keep our foot on their throat the entire game. I can't even begin to describe how much I would rather face Tech. I would least like to face OU, because for all the reasons I think we're in Tech's head I believe OU is in ours.

2 - Oklahoma. And it makes me very sad.

3 - 52-17 at Nebraska. And individually from that game, the 3rd play from scrimmage when I knew the game was over. 3rd and 6, we run a slant to Maclin and he's gone. He outran everyone except the camera man, and even that was close. I leapt from the couch, screamed at the TV for there to be no flags, turned around and gave dad a handshake TD and said "This game is fucking over." I sat there the remainder of the game, cool and collected thinking about how great this team was watching us destroy a team that used us as lubricant for so many years. It was wonderful.

I didn't feel quite as good a week later.

4 - Still haven't watched a single second of the team, though I did see our score flash on the screen right as the ISU game was starting. Go Tigers!

5 - I'll have to say Denmon, and I don't necessarily know why. I also know that I hope all of ku's freshman get herpes from each other.

And now my collective responses to all of the emails I've missed so far this morning.

Andrew Jones looked great against ISU, and that is wonderful to see. I was beginning to think all of our frosh skill players on offense were getting their shirts burned for no measurable reason but Jones proved exactly why you do it in a single game. We may not be the same offense without Coffman, but we're not lost without him. Imagine if Perry and Danario can't go against kansas for some crazy reason (randomly picking on both of them because Saunders doesn't miss games and Maclin doesn't get hurt). Well, we know that Jackson, Egnew and Kemp have been prepping with the first team all year and have at least seen the field so they won't be lost. It's like Dave Matter said about Gabbert...not redshirting him isn't about Saturday, it's about Sunday-Friday. It's all going to pay off next year, and possibly even against ku, against the South team or in our bowl game.

I do hope Coffman plays against kansas, because I want him to beat them again. I don't think we need him to beat kansas, but that doesn't mean I don't want Coffman out there getting his stats and breaking ku's linebackers over his knee.

You're right, Doug, NOBODY here gives a flying crap. Or even a flying carp.

I can't hate kansas more than I do for anything they do or are, btw.

Doug: I'm glad we covered all that.

Ridiculous Matt: NAILED IT.

The Boy: So who wins in a fight: Professor Chaos Daniel or TruFlair?  I say TruFlair, because he would fight dirty.

Rptgwb: Ah, but TruFlair's air supply could be harmed, thanks to Professor Chaos' commitment to destroying the atmosphere.

Doug: If only the water company hadn't intervened... the entire earth would already be flooded.

The Boy: Yes, but TruFlair would get on his knees and beg for mercy, then crack Professor Chaos right in the junk.

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