Rock M Roundtable!

1 - After five conference games, Mizzou stands at 4-1.  A lot of people would have predicted that start, only with a win in Lincoln and a loss in Stillwater.  The way these five games have unfolded, are you more or less optimistic about the rest of the conference season?  (And in Doug's case, the same question...only without the loss in Lincoln, of course.)

2 - Which Big 12 teams are making the NCAA tournament now?  Sub-question: What seeds are they getting in the tourney?

3 - Which sport has you more excited/intrigued, Mizzou Wrestling or Mizzou Baseball?  (Same question for Doug, only for KU...HA!  Trick Question!  We all know KU has no other sports besides basketball and football!  BURRRRRRRRRRRN!!!)

4 - So...how much sleep did YOU lose over the commitment of a SLUH senior to Arkansas instead of Mizzou (or Kansas)?

5 - John Anderson made a "too hot in the hot tub" reference (talking about how hot it was at the Australian Open) last night on SportsCenter.  Proof that he reads RMN?

Michael Atchison: 1 - I’m probably more optimistic about the rest of the slate for a few reasons.  1) Mizzou got the loss out of the way early, and have played much better since then; 2) The Tigers have really put away the last three bottom-half teams they’ve played (I realize that Texas Tech wasn’t a rout, but after the first five minutes, the Raiders never got closer than seven points); 3) They won a game in one of the league’s toughest road environments against a team with some talent; and 4) I’m not sure the south is as good as I thought it was.  Oklahoma is terrific, but every one of the other teams has problems.  I watched a lot of the Baylor/Texas game, and the Bears are one of the wildest teams you’ll see.  I counted at least three underhanded entry passes to the post.  I’m not sure that kind of carelessness will pay off against Mizzou’s pressure.

2 - Oklahoma (2), Texas (4), Mizzou (6), Kansas (6), Baylor (9).

3 - I think Mizzou probably has a more legit shot at a national title in wrestling, so I suppose that’s the answer.

4 - I lost plenty of sleep last night, but only because of the muscle strain in my back that makes every movement excruciating (never get old, boys).  I lost no sleep about Ronnie Wingo.  Would I have preferred to get him?  Sure, but only because I hear that he’s a good recruit and I know our staff wanted him.  But so many of these kids never pan out, so you never know.  I didn’t even know yesterday was the day until I say The Boy’s note on RMN.  I went over to PowerMizzou, and while many (even most) folks were able to keep some perspective, recruiting draws out the worst in the deep-ender fans.  Not good for anyone’s health.

5 - Perhaps it’s proof that he was a teenager in the 1980s.

The Beef: 1 - I would say I am more optimistic about the rest of the season, but it is cautious as I cannot get it out of my head that we will not go on a streak of rough play at some point.  And while we have some winnable games in front of us, the easy part of the schedule is clearly behind us.  Also, the last three games of the season will be real tough and might mean we need to get those wins sooner rather than later.  Tonight is really important for me since I think it would set this team up really nicely for a BIG game on Saturday afternoon/evening.  Sweep the week and I will feel just fine…even staring down UT next week (not fine about the game per se, just about where we stand).

2 - OU (2 seed), UT (3 seed), kU (6 seed), MU (7 seed) and Baylor (9 seed as I see us beating them and then getting beat up by an obviously tougher conference schedule).  And on the seeding…yeah…I got no REAL idea.

3 - Tough question for me, since those are the two sports I played growing up.  I would say they hold my interest fairly equally, though with wrestling being somewhat smaller in scope (at least in terms of athletes typically used), I would say I know more about wrestling than baseball currently at Mizzou.

4 - Hmmm..Law and Order SVU was a re-run last night, and The Tailgate Queen’s school had already called to cancel class, so there was no reason to watch much TV.  I think I was actually asleep earlier than normal last night.  Too bad for Mizzou to lose him, just because the press of his choosing Mizzou would have been worth it (even if I share the opinion that RB was not going to be his best-suited position and that I am not sure what he will do down at Ark.).  But hey…best of luck to him.

5 - I believe he read our old site, or at least contributed to it, as evidenced here and here.  However…I think this is just happenstance.  Now…if he does it for Griffin next year, then we might just be on to something.

The Boy: 1 - Honestly, I'd say I'm more optimistic just because of the way they've responded to the loss.  I mean, great...they've beaten three bad teams (ISU, CU, Tech) at home.  They're supposed to do that.  But the way they murdered ISU and CU, and the way they played for the first 36 minutes at OSU has me hopeful.  And hopefully the way they gagged and still won in Stillwater is a confidence booster.  They responded well against Texas Tech, both in building an early lead (assuaging the worries that they'd come out flat after the big win) and then stuck in the dagger late when Tech thought about making it a game (assuaging the worries that they'd start getting weak-kneed again when challenged).

Tonight will tell me a lot as well...simply because I'm NEVER confident about going to Bramlage.  No matter how many Mizzou won there in a row with Quin, and no matter how iffy K-State seems to be this year, playing there always fills me with dread.  Must be the still-lingering effects of that 55-point loss back in the '90s.

2 - OU really was lucky to emerge from non-conf season with only one loss, and I wasn't sure how they'd play once conference season began...but they're passing every test with flying colors.  They're in, and I agree that they'll end up with about a 2 seed.  They're deadly as long as somebody (Johnson, Warren, whoever) is hitting 3's. 

And I honestly think if OU doesn't win the conference, KU will.  Since dorking around against Siena and getting thumped by Michigan State, they've done well in coasting through with little challenge.  ISU hung with them for a bit, but I do think Self has things going well...they could end up around the 12-4 mark when all is said and done...maybe better if they plow through the North slate unscathed.  They end up a 6-seed.

I don't know what to make of Texas.  I thought they'd struggle with a new point guard, but they looked great for most of the non-conference season.  And now they're only looking okay.  In this conference, 'okay' should be good enough to get a 3rd or 4th place finish, but I just have no idea what their ceiling is at this point.  We'll say they end up with a 6-seed.

I'm not optimistic enough to say Mizzou will continue to coast through and end up with a record like what Pomeroy is suggesting, but I do think they're in good enough position to survive a small slump at some point and end up a 7-9 seed in the tourney.  We'll say an 8.

Baylor...good god, I have no idea.  They're everything Mizzou was with Clarence and Kareem, only more extreme.  They have four guards who could score 30 (or 40) in a game, they have a solid big man...and they could win or lose any game on the schedule by 30.  I say they go up and down and end up with a 9-seed.  And yeah...the MU-BU game could be RIDICULOUSLY entertaining.

After that...probably nobody.  ATM continues to baffle me, OSU isn't big enough, and NU is well-coached but simply not talented enough.

4 - I said what I needed to say yesterday evening, then didn't think twice about it.  And I was way too smart to even THINK about visiting PowerMizzou or Tigerboard last night.  Wasn't in the mood for hara kiri.

5 - UNDENIABLE PROOF THAT HE READS RMN.

(Or just likes classic SNL bits like the rest of us.  But I'm going with HE READS RMN.)

Michael Atchison: Not going to answer question 3, Mr. Site Proprieter?

The Boy: Huh...serves me right for trying to crank out my answers quickly before a meeting...

3 - As a sport I've followed longer, I'd have to go with baseball.  As a sport I'm more optimistic about regarding Mizzou's long-term prospects, I'm going with wrestling.  Brian Smith's been playing the "balance between young and old and still maintain a top team" game for a couple years now, and it's convincing me that we're in very good shape long-term. Nothing against what Tim Jamieson is doing...I'm just more optimistic about wrestling.

ZouDave: 1 - I'd say I'm more optimistic because of the way we've won our 4 games.  The loss happened because we didn't get our heads in the game fast enough to dig out of that hole (and because once we got within 1, we decided we could only shoot 3's).  I think that loss, while crappy, helped our team grow up a little.  I also like the changes we've made to the starting lineup that take Lawrence out and bring him in off of the bench so that the other team can't attack one point of our defense right from the start.  I still think, though, that Missouri's goal is to reach 10-6 and doing that will basically guarantee we're in the NCAA Tournament.  And I think we'll get there.
 
2 - Texas, OU, kansas, Baylor, Missouri.  Sub-question:  I have no idea.
 
3 - Well, quite honestly I really can't see me watching a second of either team.  But given that I know NOTHING about wrestling, I'd have to say baseball.  If Mizzou makes it to the College World Series, I'd probably find time to watch.
 
4 - Obviously, none.  I wish Wingo had picked us, but the sting of not getting him is lessened quite a bit because of Kendial Lawrence.  I posted our recent 4-star Missouri losses on Tigerboard yesterday, as there's been one or two every year for the last few years.  The majority of the ones we didn't get are doing nothing special at the school they chose (Lamark Brown, Chris Brooks, Will Compton) or they wouldn't have really had an opportunity here (Josh Freeman).  Point being, this isn't anywhere near the end of the world.  I'd rather have Wingo than not, but I'm not overly sure he's a future star at RB.
 
5 - Anderson has often had his finger on the pulse of the Mizzou fanbase (he's taken to calling kansas players "Beakers" on Sportscenter, he's made "Pearl Harbor" references, etc.).  These could all be coincidences, of course, but I doubt it.  Hi, John!

Doug: 1 - Well, considering the fact KU has only 4 conference games under it's belt at the moment, AND is playing on the road in Lincoln tonight... I'm going to reserve judgment at little bit. However, I am pleased with the progression of guys like Morningstar, Reed and Taylor (that rotation, with Collins, gives KU a guard line-up rivaling just about everybody in the Big 12 aside from Baylor). I am less thrilled with the slow-to-develop young big guys. The Morris twins seem stuck in neutral at best and are regressing at worst. It's a lifesaver that Mario Little is not redshirting and producing over the last couple of games.

2 - Oklahoma (2, possible 1, because the ACC can't have three 1 seeds, no matter what anyone says), Texas (3.4), Kansas (5,6), Baylor (5,6), Missouri (8,9).

3 - I would just like to point out that less than a decade ago the burn would have gone like this (Same question for Doug, only for KU...HA! Trick Question! We all know KU has no other sports besides basketball!) So, thanks for recognizing our football program, Bill!

4 - Mark Mangino is putting together one hell of a class, and while Wingo would have been nice, I think Mangino is filling every possible spot that needs depth and talent and doing it with both local and national talent.

5 - I think it was just proof that it was hot in Sydney... but I could be wrong.

The Boy: I really tried not to acknowledge the football thing, and I'm going to pretend like KU is going to fall off the face of the earth after next year, but...yeah...yo' momma.

rptgwb: 1. I find myself a little bit more optimistic, if only because of the way Missouri played in the first 35 minutes in Stillwater. My biggest concern was how this team would respond on the road, and the game in Lincoln didn't exactly inspire confidence. Once this team got out and found their rhythm on another Big 12 floor, I started becoming more of a believer.

2. Hmmm,,,, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Baylor, Okie State/Nebraska
I really don't know here. Will Baylor show up better than they did against Texas last night? Has Nebraska been impressive enough in challenging a lot of good teams? Is Oklahoma State forgiven for a tough early schedule? What seeds they'll have is up to people much, much smarter than me.

3. Mizzou baseball, but only because I know what to expect from that team, more or less. My familiarity with Mizzou wrestling is all thanks to Beef. But don't mistake my lack of familiarity with Mizzou wrestling for a lack of interest - I'm all aboard the bandwagon right now.

4. None. Arkansas seemed like a good fit for him. Good luck to the guy.

5. John Anderson: Greatest. Anchor. Ever.

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