This is certainly not like previous years. Even during the poll-climbing wonderment of 2007 and the lingering hangover of 2008, there was something ELSE going on with the Tiger faithful in the week leading up to a big game. I mean, even here on RMN, we had the requisite Karma thread and all of the BTBS most mortals could handle. Check that off the list. So as I sit here on the precipice of Homecoming Friday and GameDay (meaning that!) Saturday, there is a mental itch I cannot scratch. What's missing?
Hysteria. On-the-ledge Tiger fans screaming about this coordinator, or that playbook page. Doom'n'gloom'ers with four touchdown predictions going the other way. Not so humorous ALL CAPs threads between graybeards comparing previous generation-defining beatdowns in our storied past.The shoulder hunched shrug that says, "Well...".
Its just not there. We (at least here at RMN and in the face to face interactions I've had with Mizzou fans [which is to say, quite a lot, based on my profession]) are handling this week like we're Barry Sanders crossing into touch. We've been here before. We're rooting for a program that's expected to be in situations like this now. We ARE a pretty girl at the dance. (Shudder.) We've seen our team hang on to our "-and-oh" longer than all but a handful of teams. And we're playing with house money. And letting it ride.
Missouri has nothing to lose. If history is any indication, the Tigers should just step right out of the tunnel and onto the post game presser with glassy eyes and ho-hum quotes about "one that got away from us." If rankings held sway, OU might as well not even get off the bus; the Coaches and AP seemingly slighting Pinkel's lads based on the cold, mathematical figures of the Dues Ex Machina BCS.
But, we get to play the game. We get to go out and try this new Missouri winning feeling, take it for a test drive. Try it on for size.
We might as well just go on and beat 'em. Once Corso and Herbie pack up the set, we've got nothing else to do. And I like the fact that its starting to become business as usual here in Columbia. Now let's take care of business.
We can go crazy a little NEXT week. :)