It's the Buffalo Week edition!!!
1 - Obviously we're not going to go into a huge discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the Buffalo Bulls. Methinks that would be rather pointless. So I'll ask this instead: should Nebraska have hired Bo Pelini or current UB coach (and former NU great) Turner Gill instead?
2 - Okay, okay...give me one interesting storyline for this game. And a prediction.
3 - Which of the following people/things most represents your view of Buffalo: Scott Norwood, the Sabres, Tim Russert, or (of course) the wings?
4 - To basketball for a sec...the deadline for withdrawing from the NBA Draft was this week...all of KU's players who stuck their names in the hate kept them there, meaning they're going to be built around Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins (ahem), and a bunch of freshmen. KSU loses Walker and (obviously) Beasley, so they're going to take a step back. Everybody in the Big 12 North lost major contributors except Mizzou. In that rebuilding environment, what can be expected of Mizzou next season?
5 - Back to football...I've been digesting Phil Steele's mag over the last week and a half or so...to me, it's as good as it gets. In general, which of the major mags--Steele, TSN, Athlon, Lindy's, Street & Smith, etc.--does it best for your tastes?
ZouDave: 1 - Damn, and I was all prepared to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Buffalo Bulls. Seconds of research down the drain!
Nebraska didn't have really any great options when hiring their current coach. It's not a glamorous job opportunity. That said, I think I would take the defensive coordinator off of the defending National Champions as opposed to a 5-7 coach of a mid-major.
2 - Yet another former Nebraska guy comes in with an overmatched mid-major that our fans will somehow find a way to worry about (Ohio Bobcats, 2006). Yawn. Mizzou wins in a walk 44-10.
3 - A tie between Norwood and wings. Norwings.
4 - Mizzou will also be relying heavily on incoming freshman. I won't expect much of them in 2008-09, but I think this will aid in the growth of our own freshman because they'll be on a (more) level playing field with our rivals rather than having to face upper classmen and/or stars right off the bat. I still don't think we're a threat to break into the top 4 of the conference yet.
5 - I bought Lindy's last weekend and I'm enjoying it, but I bought it simply because my dad already had Steele's and we're going to trade once we're done reading the ones we each bought. Definitely think Steele's is the best, but I do like the orgy of data in Lindy's.
The Beef: 1 - I think that is going to be a tough question to answer this soon…my answer honestly would have been neither. I think Gill has the greater potential at this point, but I don’t think either is ready for that position, and for as much as Callahan knocked that program down, they are still Nebraska and they still have Nebraska money. I think they could have made a much splashier and higher profile hire and done better. I don’t perceive Bo to be wowing them on the recruiting trail, and that is where they need the most help right now. Let’s face it…this is Nebraska..no matter how bad Callahan and the AD were, these fans are still going to show. The splash needed to be made on the trail to get NU back competing with the big boys (and even some of the medium boys) and I don’t see that happening right now.
2 - How many times people in the national media will refer to Mizzou have 2 byes leading up to the road opener of Big XII play at NU.
Prediction….pain….oh wait…has someone made that joke before? I say…eh…Mizzou 48 Buffalo 10
3 - I would say the Wings, followed by Pat Lafontaine at the Old Aud and then Hasek standing on his head in the epic 1-0 4OT playoff game against New Jersey where he and Brodeur combined to stop 130 of 131 shots
4 - I have heard/read some mixed reviews about the new people, but as I have said before…the fact that we are returning all these players is not THAT exciting to me. I really do believe that we will need starter-like contributions from close to two new people for this team to make a jump. Now, if we get that, given where the league is, I think it may make our jump a little more pronounced. I think NU will be decent in there…and I like the coaches at CU and ISU (though I don’t know those teams and their players in the least) I think Mizzou needs to be more focused on keeping Lyons interested, drawing a map to the basket for Matt Lawrence and making Keon become the leader of the team.
5 - Used to be Street and Smith for me, hands down. I still pick it up each year, more so out of habit. I do not read Steele cover to cover like some might, I may barely even read the team page of each of our opponents. However, anything I WANT to find out, I pretty much know it is either in there or in that LARGE head on top of The Boy’s skinny neck.
rptgwb: 1 - I think that given those two options, they were right to stick with Pelini instead of Gill. Pelini, while having never served as a head coach, has enough experience at big time programs to be able to translate that into a well-run program at NU. Plus, I don't think you seamlessly make a jump from Buffalo to Nebraska. Gill might need to take another step up the coaching ladder before that move becomes viable. Think of it this way - if Gill hadn't been an NU great, would his coaching performance have warranted any consideration for a job of NU's stature?
2 - I'm at a loss. I'll say 55-17.
3 - I most closely associate Buffalo with the three championships that they surrendered to my two favorite professional franchises. Watching Aikman and Co. thrash the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII (minus the Leon Lett-Don Beebe play) was one of my earliest sports memories. Oddly enough, I don't remember much from Super Bowl XXVIII other than one of Emmitt's TD runs and the turnovers by James Washington. And then, of course, there was the greatest moment in my sports watching life in 1999 (JUST beating out MU/KU from last year by a miniscule fraction of a margin), seeing Brett Hull (skate in the crease and all) finish off the Sabres in the third overtime of Game 6 at Marine Midland Area to bring the Stanley Cup to Dallas.
On a side note, it was incredibly rocked by the passing of Tim Russert. That was a huge loss not just for journalism, but for the state of American politics. The business just doesn't make guys like that anymore.
4 - I'm not going to claim that I really know what I'm talking about here. I'll expect Mizzou to be around .500 in conference play - anything less is a disappointment, anything more is a nice surprise.
5 - This was the first year I made it a point to seek out Phil Steele, and I won't lie, I've been absolutely blown away. I will whole heartedly back you up when you say it's as good as it gets. There's a large gap between No. 1 and Nos. 2-5, but if I was to power rank it, here's how I'd see it: 1. Steele 2. TSN 3. Street & Smith 4. Lindy's 5. Athlon
The Boy: For the record, I like to think I have a very sexy, normal-sized neck.
1 - Honestly, I'd have gone with Gill. I just don't think much of Pelini. I think he's a great 'motivation' coach (yell real loud and get everybody fired up and ready to rip somebody's head off), and that works well when you've got talent and athleticism (just ask Doc Rivers...or for that matter, Bo Pelini at LSU), but...well, he doesn't have all that much talent and athleticism at his disposal (as Mike Stoops how 'firing the troops up' works when the troops are overmatched), and recruiting's never been known as his forte (as far as I know, anyway). Motivation was certainly a problem at NU last year, and Pelini will improve that (and therefore improve the team), but I think his ceiling's pretty low. As for Gill...making Buffalo a 5-7 team was a minor miracle. Buffalo will probably have their best team ever this year, and they'll probably go about 6-6. He hasn't proven a ton, but a) he's truly a member of the "Husker family", unlike Bo "One Year" Pelini, and b) he's proven more as a head coach than Pelini has. Neither was a great option, but I'd have gone with Gill.
2 - Buffalo's relatively well-rounded and balanced, but they're not particularly good at anything. You need to be truly good at something to compete with Mizzou this year. I'll stray from the "mid-40s to 10" route by saying 51-6.
3 - I almost kept 'wings' out of the conversation because they're so obviously #1 (to me). Beyond that, and unfortunately for Buffalo, I'd probably go with Scott Norwood.
4 - Mizzou will be working the interesting "relying on a bunch of freshmen while returning all major contributors" balance next year, and the optimistic side of me says that a) Leo Lyons will have less trouble with motivation knowing his draft status is at stake all season, and b) Matt Lawrence's shot is too pretty not to go in at a higher rate this season--even Brian Grawer had an off-year one season--and he should be getting more open looks with quicker point guards at play. To me, if one freshman (and, hopefully, Keith Ramsey) is ready to be a strong contributor, then a Top 6 finish in conference is possible, simply because of the rebuilding going on in the conference. If two freshmen make their marks pretty early on, then suddenly Mizzou's a deep team, and the goal (attainable or not) has to be Top 4. We'll see. The pessimistic side of me has, shall we say, a slightly different view than that.
5 - 1) Steele, 2) Steele, 3) Steele, 4) Lindy's. As Beefy pointed out, while I do read quite a bit of Steele's mag when I get it, its services as a reference point are what make it stand out so much. I always end up buying Lindy's because it and Athlon tend to be out first, and Athlon generally blows. TSN's layout is pretty, and they have a lot of information, but their predictions are horrendous, and the fact that they tend to have 120 different people writing 120 different previews (plus a few more folks writing other things) always results in really, really bad inconsistencies throughout the mag. On one page, you see that (Random Team) is going to have a major breakthrough this season; on the next, they're predicted to go 3-9. I finally had to give up on TSN after two decades of buying it a couple years ago.
Michael Atchison: 1 - Are those really the two options? I think they hemmed themselves in with their thinking. Pelini has always struck me as the kind of volatile entity that strives as a defensive coordinator, but implodes as a head coach, and there’s simply no way that Gill would have been considered were he not an alum. I just don’t think that’s a good enough reason. Surely there were better choices available.
2 - There are no interesting storylines for this game beyond how many TDs Chase can throw for. Mizzou 45 Buffalo 13.
3 - In light of the past week’s wall-to-wall coverage, and without the slightest bit of irreverence, it’s hard not to go with Russert. But for me, O.J. put Buffalo on the map.
4 - This is a huge year for Mike Anderson. He didn’t get the normal honeymoon bounce because he had so few scholarships to give in his first couple of years. He has all but rolled over the entire roster now, and with all the losses that the other schools in the north suffered, the Tigers can – and need to – compete for the division title. Kansas, despite the losses, will still dwarf everyone else in raw talent, but there’s really no way to know how that team is going to come together. I suspect, however, they will be good. Collins and Aldrich are awfully good pieces to start with, and then there are two juco studs – Tyrone Appleton and Mario Little – to fill the other perimeter spots. Add one of the freshman Morris twins at the four spot, and that’s a pretty good starting lineup. The question will be the bench. Four of the first five guys off of it will be freshmen, and while they all appear to be talented, there’s no obvious superstar caliber player there. This is a huge opportunity year for Mizzou.
5 - I’m just reading over your shoulder. Whichever one you like, that’s the one.
ZouDave: I heard this guy dressed up as you for Halloween
The Beef: That was water-spitting funny right there…my computer monitor hates you
The Boy: hat's funny, because I too hate Dave.
The Beef: Skinniest...neck...ever
ZouDave: Skinniest. Neck. Ever.
Doug: Yes, Seth, please see the appropriate section in the Rock M Nation Style Book on how to properly imitate Stu.
1 - Gah... I don't know that I'd have gone with either one. I understand the desire to have someone from the "family" come in after what Callahan managed to do there, but neither one of those guys is a big-time name. Consider that Michigan had a job opening as well... and I don't think Bo Pelini's name ever came up. Like Dave said, it's not a glamorous job at the moment and the applicant pool certainly indicated that.
2 - I think the storyline is fairly obvious: When does Buffalo quit jacking around and just move the team to Toronto? I'm sorry... are we talking about a different Buffalo?
3 - Did someone say "wings"? Who's buying?
4 - I have faith in Bill Self... plus, I can't say anything for another 5 years. So... KU number one!
5 - Eh... the only football magazine I buy is a Fantasy Football tome sometime in August. And, we all know how well that's worked out for me.
The Beef: My bad…I can get a little crazy with the ellipses…what can I tell you…bad habit
The Boy: I'm going to start a completely different roundtable group. That'll. Show. You.