Dave Matter follows up on his weekend "Best linemen in the Big 12" post by looking at total career starts for each Big 12 team. This really is a pretty decent indicator of future success...though hopefully not too good an indicator this time around. Since I'm no longer concerned about the punting situation, O-Line officially becomes my #1 concern.
PowerMizzou's got a pretty solid "Ten Stories to Watch" article up at the moment. I actually think the first one on the list is one of the more intriguing ones.
10. Can Garrett take the next step?
When Pig Brown went down midway through last season, most Tiger fans wondered how Mizzou could replace him. In came William Moore, who was just as good as, if not better than, Brown had been for the second half of the season. Justin Garrett stepped into Moore's role in the second half of the season. He wasn't bad at all, but he wasn't quite as good as Moore had been as the second safety. The Tigers know what they'll get out of Willy Mo this year. If Garrett can be a strong second safety, Mizzou should have the best back line tandem in the Big 12.
Mizzou safeties tend to take quite a big step forward in their second year of starting (just ask Jason Simpson, David Overstreet, William Moore, and Pig Brown). If Garrett takes a similar leap, the 2008 Mizzou defense could be unbelievable. (Of those players above, I'd say Garrett's most similar to Overstreet. I'd take an Overstreet next to Willy-Mo right now.)
Big Win: Texas
Must Win: Kansas
Missouri looks to build on last year’s amazing run, and the schedule for this year favors the Tigers. Although the neutral site battle with Illinois looms large as the season opener, the big game of the year for the gold and black will be in Austin as they look to steal one from the Longhorns in what is sure to be a primetime matchup.
Last year, the Tigers lost not one but two games against their toughest competition from the South. Winning in Austin, which they have not in over a century (1896), would help set the confidence for running through the rest of the Big 12.
The Kansas game is a must-win for two reasons. First, the game is likely to determine the winner of the Big 12 North. But more importantly, Missouri needs to beat the Hawks to avenge last year’s disrespect over the Orange Bowl snub. The Cotton Bowl was no disrespect, but for a program that is trying to move above and beyond, exercising some demons may lead into what they would hope to be a much better performane in this year’s Big 12 title game.
Not a good thing for K-State: projected starting RB Leon Patton was arrested for, well, for a series of things--theft, outstanding parking tickets, failure to appear, driving with a suspended license, beheading a wax figure of Hitler, wearing a Kirpan, and calling a food company's toll-free number 500 times in 16 months so he could hear the woman's voice on the recording. Okay, maybe not the last three, but definitely the first four.
Finally...think you can be a football official? Go right ahead and prove it...