Just as a heads up: do not be taken aback if expansion talk begins again this week, what with Big Ten Media Days starting up. I know my imagination briefly went wild last week, and it could happen again at any point. Anonymously-sourced rumors already begun again at a fellow SBN Big 12 blog, so ... yeah. Hope you enjoyed those six weeks or so without stress and MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™ posts. You might not get a seventh week.
Mizzou Football Links
KC Star: Missouri ready to move forward from 2009 setbacks
Certainly, Missouri’s overall and league record has benefited by playing in the weaker Big 12 North. But for perspective, consider Missouri has won three more North division games than its closest division compatriot, Nebraska.
You won’t hear Pinkel make an apology for that. Nor will any of his players, some of whom seem imbued with motivation from sources real and imagined.
Washington contended he was incensed by the Big 12 announcement that reporters covering the league had unanimously (by a 26-0 vote) christened Nebraska as the favorite to win the North Division. "That shows that we don’t have any respect right now," Washington said. "We’ve got to earn that back."
Gabbert chimed in with similar feelings.
"People labeling us second in the Big 12 North," Gabbert said, "that’s kind of giving us a little more motivation."
Dallas Morning News: Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Missouri could emerge in Big 12
Less than three years ago, the Tigers needed a win in the Big 12 championship game to play for the BCS title.
Since that loss to Oklahoma, Missouri has taken a half-step back. The Tigers are still the second-best team in the North, and have an enviable Texas recruiting pipeline. And they possess a quarterback who inspires confidence.
Last season, 6-5 Blaine Gabbert was the untested replacement for Chase Daniel. Now he's become the unquestioned team leader, and not just because he threw for 3,593 yards and 24 touchdowns. Teammates remember how he played the second half of the season on a nagging ankle injury.
"It was tough watching that," said running back Derrick Washington, who remembers Gabbert hobbling painfully. "He showed that he had heart. ... We believe in Blaine because of that."
In a league suddenly without many household names at quarterback, Gabbert could be what separates Missouri from the pack.
- Pre-Snap Read: No. 33 Missouri
- The Trib: 'Spoon glad to be out on field again
Scout.com: Rampaging Hood can't be denied
There’s a new YouTube video of a woman at Yellowstone National Park moving into close range to snap a picture of a bison. A stick flies through the air and smacks the bison in the butt, sending the bison into a rampaging fury after the poor woman.
That bison looked like Ziggy Hood on the first day of training camp.
"What a difference a year makes!" Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin exclaimed after Hood stampeded first-round pick Maurkice Pouncey.
Pouncey wasn’t alone. A variety of Steelers offensive linemen felt Ziggy’s wrath, as last year’s No. 1 pick showed he’s ready to live up to his enormous potential as a Steelers’ 3-4 end.
- PowerMizzou: Scouting the North: Defenses
- PowerMizzou: Scouting the North: Scheduling
- PowerMizzou: Scouting the North: Season predictions
Big 12 Football Links
- Houston Chronicle: Big 12 trying to curb agents' influence
- Topeka Capital-Journal: RBs to rush into Big 12 void
- Daily Oklahoman: The best of Big 12 football
- Tulsa World: Bob Stoops, Mack Brown give revealing O-line answers
Dr. Saturday's Big 12 Week Wraps Up
Dr. Saturday: Dead Hawk walking: Can Colorado still save Dan Hawkins' job?
Dr. Saturday: Quantifying the Robert Griffin Effect, Baylor's only hope
Dr. Saturday: Arms races: K-State's Coffman climbs back on the horse, for now
Dr. Saturday: A&M's latest comeback tour begins this fall, or maybe not at all
Dr. Saturday: Big 12 Forecast: Sooners strike back with big-play counterpunch
Tulsa World: OSU's Mike Gundy now a Big 12 veteran
Denver Post: DeRuyter settling in at A&M
The Trib: Aggies QB lacks one key statistic
Other Mizzou Links
Mizzou Track & Field
MUtigers.com: 11 Tigers Earn USTFCCCA Academic Honors
MUtigers.com: Meet Paula Pritzen
SimmonsField.com: Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: Demoted, Promoted, Demoted