1 - Now that we've previewed the entire Mizzou slate for 2009, it's time to ask...which single game are you looking forward to the most in 2009? Doug, answer the question as if I asked about KU.
2 - The "camp" part of August practice is almost over, and it's time to start prepping for the first game. As Illinois (or, for KU, Northern Freaking Colorado) looms on the horizon, what is your biggest concern with the team at this point?
3 - This weekend, Chase Daniel threw for two touchdown passes while getting sacked twice by Ziggy Hood. What's a cooler possible Mizzou-in-the-pros moment than that??
4 - Let's see...what aspect of popular culture haven't I asked about in the last month or two? A-ha...video games! Name your favorite console and game, and tell me the last time you picked up a video game control.
The Beef: 1 - I would have said the Nebraska game, but the hand-wringing by the Mizzou faithful concerned about where they are going to park is starting to dampen my looking forward to that game. I expect the atmosphere to be a special kind of electric though, which is always fun. I will look forward to a sell-out crowd on Homecoming as well. And of course, as long as the weather is good, nothing beats an afternoon-long tailgate leading up to the home opener.
2 - Just to save Doug the time…we do play Furman…making fun of Northern Freaking Colorado is kind of a waste of time.
Anyway, with the news that Hoch is expected back and healthy on the line, my concern there has gone away. I think my main concern is that Gabbert may try to do too much to assert himself early on. We all know he is going to take sacks and throw INT’s, but I just don’t want him forcing things, especially for how I perceive that Illinois will struggle with our ground game. Just control the game (first three really) and start to build some confidence going into the roadie at Nevada. Let that be your coming out party (especially against a team we scored so many points against last year).
3 - A team having Chase Daniel, Chase Coffman, Jeremy Maclin, William Moore, Will Franklin, Martin Rucker, Tommy Saunders, Ziggy Hood, CJ Mosely, Attiyah Ellison, Justin Smith, Justin Gage, Brad Smith, Brock Christopher, Stryker Sulak and whoever I forgot winning the Super Bowl.
4 - Picked up a NES controller a couple of months ago to sit down and beat Super Mario Brothers 2. I do have Super Techmo Bowl as well. I always enjoyed some strange game called "Pilot Wings" on the Super Nintendo back in college and some snowboarding game on a Playstation. And of course, NHL 95 for Sega Genesis. (really 93-95)
Doug: 1 - Well, I'll probably go with the MU game as number one, just because that's been such a great way to end the regular season the past couple of years, and it's nice to see the Big 12 allowing a match-up other than Texas-Oklahoma to have a consistent date. Other than MU, I'm also looking forward to the Nebraska game since this one is back in Lawrence.
2 - I think the defensive line has to be the big concern for KU. They have some returning talent and some new blood in the front four, but the linebacker corp will be the biggest question mark. If those guys can't come together and develop a consistent pass rush, KU might do well to switch to a 5-2.
Oh, and thank you, Seth. Seriously, Furman?
3 - Uh... pass.
4 - It's so not hardcore gaming, but I'm really enjoying Wii Sports Resort. And, really, my game console past is severely limited, having only owned a Playstation, Xbox and Wii. That said, I really enjoyed Fable on Xbox plus the original Medal of Honors games on the Playstation.
Bill C.: 1 - Because of the atmosphere alone, it's gotta be the NU game for me. Plus, this year has the added bonus of the morbid curiosity of how campus is going to operate that day. Parking, class, people trying to be at their jobs past noon...going to be awesomely fun to watch the carnage. I don't know how in the hell Big East schools do this every year.
2 - I'm slowly warming to the hands situation at WR...according to practice reports, Danario has done a better job of holding onto the ball (we'll just say he was struggling with the fact that Blaine Gabbert throws about 75 mph harder than Chase Daniel, and he hadn't gotten reps while sitting out the spring...yeah, that's the ticket!), and Wes Kemp has been on-point all of August. I feel better about that, and I feel better about the O-line with Hoch coming back, so...I guess that means Concern #1 shifts to the secondary. I've made it clear that I thought the secondary was better than most felt last year, but the simple fact is that one of Illinois' biggest strengths is at WR, especially if Jarred Fayson is ready for prime time, so the secondary will be tested a little faster than I would have hoped.
And for the record, I was setting up the Furman reference so I could point out that KU plays Duke that same week. Duke: the Furman of the ACC, only with a less-awesome mascot.
4 - I still get child-like enjoyment any time I get to play an NES again--grew up with Super Mario 2, Punch Out, Tecmo Bowl, Super Tecmo, Blades of Steel, etc., and it will always have a soft spot in my heart, along with the aforementioned early-'90s NHL Sega games and the first college football game. As for the last time I touched a video game...guess that would have to be the Wii, before we moved into our new house in May. Haven't even had it hooked up since then, which is a shame, because I'm predictably excited about playing Wii Punch Out at some point.
Michael Atchison: 1 - Well, Nebraska in prime time at Faurot has certainly been fun before . . . .
2 - I want to know whether our secondary can cover, and if they can’t, whether our front four can get to the quarterback fast enough to keep the defensive backs from being a huge liability.
3 - NFC Championship Game. Four seconds left. Atlanta up five. Philadelphia ball at the Falcons’ 20. Maclin fakes the flag route, turns hard toward the post, leaves the corner flat-footed. Charges toward the goal line. McNabb spots him and fires. William Moore rotates over. Two sets of hands go up in the end zone . . . .
4 - Really? Really? My kids have a Wii and I’ve played it. Otherwise, Atari 2600, Missile Command, 1983.
rptgwb: 1. Far and away, it's the Nebraska game. That game is the litmus test in my eyes. I have a feeling we'll know exactly where we stand as contenders/pretenders in the Big 12 North by that Friday morning. Plus, I think it's the marquee home game, considering I think most of us are resigned to being double digits 'dogs to Texas.
2. Receiver drops and the health of the offensive line. The dominance of the defensive line in the last scrimmage has to give you a little pause that the Gregory/Beasley/Hoch transition may not be as smooth as we were originally led to believe.
3. The game where Jeremy Maclin and Chase Coffman combine for 41 touchdowns in a single Eagles/Cincinnati game. Count on it.
4. The SNES is the greatest console of all time, with my top three games looking like this:
1) NHL 94 (where I fell in love with Brass Bonanza)
2) Ken Griffey Jr.
3) Donkey Kong Country
And, yeah, I picked up a controller to my 360 last night. But before you mock me, you should know that Mizzou A) knocked out Juice Williams, B) picked off Eddie McGee twice, C) had Blaine Gabbert complete 80 percent of his passes, and D) defeated the Illini 31-14.
Bill C.: We only scored 31 points??????
rptgwb: What was scarier was that Fayson had a 73-yard TD on a slant route on the second play of the game. I literally started laughing because I could hear that "Damn it, here we go again" mentality of the fans playing in my head.
(One hour later...)
rptgwb: This roundtable is seriously short on derailment, and Mizzou can't afford to lose to "Bye Week" because of a lackluster roundtable. Let's pick it up gentlemen.
ghtd36: Hey sweethearts.
1 - It's cliche, but I'm most looking forward to (ta-da!) the first game against Illinois. I think it can serve as an excellent barometer for the season. A blowout loss would certainly temper our expectations. A close loss would be in line with my expectations of a relatively solid season. A win, and it's all aboard the last train to Awesometown.
2 - My biggest concern is a tie between the failure of a receiver to emerge as a true No. 1, and safety. Maybe I just haven't had time to develop a rpt-style love for Kenji Jackson, but I'm a little concerned about it.
3 - Brad Smith being moved to cornerback and picking off Chase Daniel, who then goes and lays one his patented "way-too-hard-for-a-QB" hits on Smith, who pops up, gets in his face, only to end with them doing the Thriller dance.
4 - Yesterday, I played the greatest video game of all time: Bad News Baseball. All through the wonders of virtualnes.com, where you can play almost any Nintendo game online. You're welcome for the pink slip.
Bill C.: OHMIGOD THEY HAVE BASEBALL STARS I CAN PLAY BASEBALL STARS AT WORK OHMIGOD.
(Five minutes later...)
Bill C.: OHIMGOD I'M GETTING MY ASS KICKED BY THE LOVELY LADIES BECAUSE IT'S BEEN 15 YEARS SINCE I'VE PLAYED THIS GAME....
rptgwb: "Brad Smith being moved to cornerback and picking off Chase Daniel, who then goes and lays one his patented "way-too-hard-for-a-QB" hits on Smith, who pops up, gets in his face, only to end with them doing the Thriller dance."
This is when I REALLY wish I had the time and know how to make GIFs.
And +1 to Virtual NES. Many good times have been had with Tecmo Super Bowl at that site.
ghtd36: VNES makes you realize how great the good NES games were (see: Tecmo Super Bowl, Contra, Double Dragon, Battletoads)...
...and how awful some of the games were, too.