1 - We'll start with...A MAILBAG QUESTION!!!
We got the following e-mail yesterday: "Hi, I was wondering what you expect out of Derrick Washington and the Mizzou backfield, both this year and in the future? Thank you for any insight."
(For the record, we'll gladly answer any e-mails in the roundtable or at any other time, so e-mail us about whatever.*)
2 - Okay, fine...Baylor. Discuss.
3 - Baylor vs Mizzou. Score, please.
4 - Baylor's schedule:
8/28: Wake Forest
9/6: Northwestern State
9/13: Washington State
9/19: at UConn
10/11: Iowa State
10/18: at Oklahoma State
10/25: at Nebraska
11/8: at Texas
11/15: Texas A&M
11/29: at Texas Tech
Give me a record, and tell me which team they're most likely to upset (Iowa State and NW'ern State do not count...and Wazzu probably shouldn't either).
5 - Tell me something good that's come out of Waco. And no, "I-35 South" doesn't count.
* = 'Whatever' doesn't really mean WHATEVER...preferrably it stays Mizzou-related**...
** = Okay, whatever means whatever...music...relationship advice...restaurant recommendations...
The Boy: I'll get things started.
1 - I'm excited about every aspect of the Derrick Washington Era aside from one thing: he appears to be a nervous fumbler. He only fumbled twice last year, so that's not enough of a sample size to truly worry about fumbleitis yet, but they came in 1) his first career carry and 2) his first career bowl game carry. I'd say the odds of him fumbling his first carry against Illinois are about 50/50. After that, I expect big things. Tony Temple's best ability was stalling until a hole developed, then darting through it. Of course, that was also his biggest liability, as when a hole didn't develop, he was caught waiting 4 yards in the backfield. Washington seems to be a lot more aggressive and powerful than Tony, but we haven't seen whether he has the same ability to go from 0 to full speed in 0.5 seconds. Either way, for the Mizzou offense to be truly effective, all we really need is that the RBs take the yards given to them when the defense rushes two and drops 9 into pass coverage. I think Washington can do that, and I know Jimmy Jackson can do that. JJ may never break off more than about 10 yards at a time, while DW appears to have breakaway potential, plus a receiving potential we haven't seen from our RBs yet (which is why I like DW starting and JJ filling in), so I think the future is bright here. And I haven't even mentioned De'Vion Moore yet.
Now...you can't have a guy set a Bowl rushing record in his final game, then predict without any doubt that he's extremely replaceable--Washington, Jackson, and Moore still have to prove themselves against Illinois to alleviate the bit of lingering doubt--but I'm optimistic.
2 - Should be faster. Has decent potential to reach 5-7 or 6-6 under Briles at some point. Still Baylor for now.
3 - Mizzou should be able to fill half the stands with the families of their Texas players, and the Baylor O has no chance of keeping up with Mizzou over 60 minutes (though I could see them at least putting a few points on the board depending on their QB situation). Mizzou wins 45-13.
4 - Likely wins: NW'ern State, Iowa State.
Tossups: Wazzu (though WSU's not good enough to be a road favorite anywhere), Random Conference Home Game.
Likely losses: Everything else.
I do think they'll jump up and surprise (though not necessarily beat) somebody in conference. I just don't know who that is. The home schedule has two definite losses on it, so I guess I'll say the most likely upset candidate is Texas A&M, more or less by default. I'll be an optimist and say 3-9.
5 - MIKE SINGLETARY!!! And some bar a friend of mine from high school loves...its name is completely escaping me right now, so I guess I'll just have to stick with Singletary.
The Beef: 1 - I expect Derrick Washington to get about 15 carries per game, but to also see about 2-3 passes per game (figure he will end up with about 30 catches for the season). I think half of those will be on dump offs/screens and the others will be where he gets out into the flat in space vacated by our vertical passing game. We saw a glimpse of it last year, but I think with his size and speed, getting him out into space will allow him to go 1 on 1 with LB’s and DB’s and he will certainly win some of those battles. Great question there e-mail’er.
2 - Their blow-up bear mascot still scares the you-know-what out of me.
3 - Um….49-13….we will call the dogs off early, but Chase Patton will be a TD late in the game.
4 - 8/28: Wake Forest - loss
9/6: Northwestern State - win
9/13: Washington State - win
9/19: at UConn - loss
10/4: Oklahoma - loss
10/11: Iowa State - win
10/18: at Oklahoma State - loss
10/25: at Nebraska – loss
11/1: Missouri - loss
11/8: at Texas - loss
11/15: Texas A&M - loss
11/29: at Texas Tech – loss
Good lord…I mean…I know they are Baylor, but does anyone have a tougher 4 game stretch as they do? I thought for a long time about Iowa State, but I think Baylor may still have slightly better talent kicking around Waco than the collection in Ames…if the game were in Ames though I would go the other way. So chalk up 3-9…and maybe they upset Wake to start the season at home…or something.
5 - Though I do not drink it…the Dr. Pepper Museum is evidently in Waco.
The Boy: The Beef can't watch this from work, but...
You can't see his pop-out eyes from here, but...damn inflatable mascots.
The Beef: Oh I can see it…it haunts my dreams…
The Boy: I'd never heard The Beef shriek like a wee lassie before...until that damn 2004 game, when they showed that thing's eyes popping out close-up...The Beef...myself...my wife...pehs...all shrieking simultaneously...
The Beef: It’s wee lass you dunce…a wee lassie would be a small collie.
The Boy: As someone with Irish in my blood, I say LASSIE. It's, like, the female conjugation or something.
Michael Atchison: 1 - 900 yards rushing, 25 catches this season. Global domination next.
2 - I got nothing.
3 - 49-14.
4 - 3-9. Wake Forest. Weird stuff happens in early games.
5 - Steve Martin.
ZouDave: 1 - Well if NCAA 09 is any kind of indicator (and I think we all know that it is), Derrick Washington will get mentions for the Heisman trophy both this year and next and will win the Doak Walker Award in 2010 after going for nearly 2000 yards from scrimmage and combining for 29 touchdowns (25 rushing, 4 receiving).
Or...more realistically, Derrick Washington is going to add a new dimension to our offense with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. I think with Maclin, Perry and (a healthy) Alexander stretching the field, while Coffman and Saunders bother all of the linebackers over the middle, Washington is going to be the forgotten man in coverage is going to see a lot of catches in space which he can turn up field. I definitely think he can expect a couple of throws his way per game, and I think he will be our leading rusher though it's going to be a fairly even split between him, Jackson and Moore. I would think between the 3 of them we'll probably have 1250ish yards rushing, so figure Washington is probably going to account for 600-700 of that with the other 2 splitting the remainder. Jackson will still be the short yardage guy because he has shown the ability to hit the hole early and hard, while Moore is probably more like Washington and will be the true "backup". We won't have an individual be quite as dangerous as Tony Temple was this year, but I think Washington has the potential to be every bit as good by his Senior season.
2 - Baylor just simply has no chance to compete in football in the Big XII. They've done very well making their team competitive and relevant in basketball, where it only takes 1 or 2 good players to make a team good, but you can't do that in football. Competing for kids against Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Missouri, kansas, and then not to mention other schools like LSU or even TCU, there's just no chance for Baylor to get the top Texas talent. They're as sure a win as we can have on the schedule in the Big XII. Better them than us.
3 - A lot to a lot less. I don't know how much we're going to score because it depends on how quickly we get out to a 21 point lead. I think as soon as Mizzou gets up by 21 against Baylor we're going to go into vanilla mode and just basically use the remainder of the game as a scrimmage. They'll be working on fundamental plays, getting the backups some time, and keeping our guys healthy. I'll say 42-10, and it will almost be "boring".
4 - 8/28: Wake Forest - L
9/6: Northwestern State - W
9/13: Washington State - L
9/19: at UConn - L
10/4: Oklahoma - L
10/11: Iowa State - W
10/18: at Oklahoma State - L
10/25: at Nebraska - L
11/1: Missouri - L
11/8: at Texas - L
11/15: Texas A&M - L
11/29: at Texas Tech - L
Man does it suck to be them. 2-10, and that requires them to beat a better Iowa State team. I have no faith in Baylor to compete. As for what team they could upset? Well it will only happen at home, so OU, MU and A&M are the only available candidates for that. Baylor simply isn't going to beat OU or Mizzou so I guess that means A&M. On a scale of 1 to 14, 1 being no chance and 14 being absolute metaphysical certitude, I would rate Baylor's chances of upsetting Texas A&M at 2.473.
5 - Does I-35 North count?
Derrick Johnson, LB for the KC Chiefs, is from Waco.
Michael Johnson, the USA sprinter, is from Waco.
Shannon Elizabeth grew up in Waco.
Jennifer Love Hewitt was born in Waco.
And just to be the first to say it (though I am NOT saying this is a good thing to come out of Waco): David Koresh. We can't go through a Roundtable discussing Waco and not say David Koresh. So, there, I said it.
rptgwb: 1. Thanks to Derrick Washington, I never really got caught up in the Tony Temple appeal madness. I was one of Temple's bigger critics, given his penchant for failing to hit holes, taking games off, and lack of hands. Obviously Temple proved me wrong towards the end of the season, but I feel like we know what we'll get from Washington night in and night out. Washington's got good size with a little bit of shiftiness, and I think his skill set is tailor made for this offense. His hands are much better than Temple's, which may FINALLY allow Mizzou to actually throw to its backs out of the 5-wide set (I waited for it ALL last year and it never happened). Plus, throw in Jimmy Jackson as your extremely dependable mini-battering ram, and I feel more confident about this backfield than most people. The biggest question I have about this backfield is in pass protection, and I won't have answers for you in that regard for another 38 days.
2. Having seen Baylor in person last year, it was like a train wreck: It was so painful to watch but you just couldn't turn away. There seemed like a major talent gap between Baylor and KSU, much less Baylor and most of the teams in the Big 12 South. I am interested to watch the development of Robert Griffin, because he's talked about like the savior of their program down here. I'm just not sure if he's a transcendent-type player that can bring a team like Baylor out of the abyss.
3. Mizzou 51, Baylor 17.
4. I'll take 2-10, with wins of Northwestern State and a hard fought win over Iowa State just because the game is in Waco (even though I think the Cyclones are a better team). Other than that, the only team I see them within 17 points of is probably Texas A&M.
5. I-35 South always counts, you damn communist. Other than that, props to the advent of Dr. Pepper and George's Bar (made famous by Pat Green, and I'm assuming that's the bar The Boy's friend was talking about). And, to appease MCBoomofDoom and The Boy, how but some love for Waco-kid Zach Duke?
ZouDave: Isn't lassie more of a Scottish term? Scottish and Irish are as different as night and later that night.
The Beef: That’s alright…he’ll probably claim Scottish heritage too.
The Boy: Connelly! Scottish! Swish!
And let's just say that if Zach Duke is the 2nd-best starter on your favorite baseball team...your favorite baseball team sucks. Really, really sucks. I mean, like, the Baylor of Major League Baseball.
And yes...George's Bar sounds right.
ZouDave: or this one. just sayin'....
The Boy: Connolly's are commies.
rptgwb: That photo's a spittin' image of The Boy.
The Beef: If that does not scream Rock M Nation T-shirt…then I do not know what does.
The Boy: Wow. Wow.
ZouDave: what else is there to do while we wait for Doug to annoy us with his kansas slant?
The Beef: Locate what google has for images of Robot Doug (since Mizzou Robot has not chimed in either).
ZouDave: jayhawk, chicken...whatever.
Doug: Cripes... out of the office all day on a promo shoot... and this is what happens.
5 - Looks like State Route 6 East and West both come out of Waco... though both also go in... so it is a bit of a quandary.
ZouDave: And that was...
All. He's. Got.