LOTS of good stuff today. Enjoy. And do check in after the jump for a great Pinkel-SEC article and a tear-jerker about Laurence Bowers.
Mizzou Football Links
The Trib: Pinkel, Tigers try to put a happy face on their season of adversity
In all, offensive starters or key backups missed 49 games because of injuries. Defensive starters and backups missed another 20. Those players included senior linebacker Will Ebner, who suffered a high ankle sprain the first game of the season and will pursue a medical hardship waiver for 2012. All-Big 12 kicker Grant Ressel missed the final five games with a strained hip flexor.
Missouri dealt with more injuries and had more players miss games than Pinkel had experienced in his 21 seasons as a head coach, he said this week.
Pinkel’s team had other issues, too. The final scores of the five losses suggest a season of close finishes, but the Tigers became experts at falling behind on the road and rallying just enough to save face. Missouri lost in overtime at Arizona State, by 10 at Oklahoma, by seven at Kansas State and by three at Baylor. But in each loss, MU squandered opportunities before erupting in the fourth quarter. In their five losses, the Tigers were outscored 50-6 in the third quarter — getting only two Ressel field goals at Arizona State — but outscored their foes in the fourth quarter 74-42.
Back To The Port
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Accepts Bid from Independence Bowl
MUtigers.com: Bowl Announcement Quotes
Carolina March: Unfair BCS Process "Upgrades" UNC to the Independence Bowl
The Trib: Tigers headed back to Shreveport
The Missourian: Missouri set for Independence Bowl, passed over for Big 12 choice
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou will play North Carolina in Independence Bowl
KC Star: Tigers declare for Independence Bowl again
KC Star: MU takes Independence Bowl bid in stride
PowerMizzou: Tigers accept Independence Bowl bid
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Bowl Bound
Niners Nation: 49ers 26, Rams 0: San Francisco Says 'We Don't Need No Stinkin' Red Zone,' Wins NFC West
The Republic: Former Missouri standout Aldon Smith defies easy description with the 49ers
TwitVid: Aldon Smith with a sack, then sprints to sidelines
Post-Dispatch: Bernie Bits
We'll see a lot of the Mizzou football alums, Justin Smith and Aldon Smith, as they chase the Rams around on Sunday. But we wanted to mention that another Missouri man, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, is having an excellent season for the Atlanta Falcons. 'Spoon is grading out as the best overall player on the Atlanta defense this season.
Other Football Links
Oklahoma State > Oklahoma
Big 12 Sports: Cowboys Win Big 12 With Victory Over Sooners
Crimson & Cream Machine: Anemic And Inept Oklahoma Offense Can't Keep Pace With OSU
Dr. Saturday: Cowboys rest their case: Oklahoma State makes its final BCS argument, in three parts
Daily Oklahoman: OSU football coaches switch it up, turn to the running game
Daily Oklahoman: Cowboys defense set the curve with game for the ages
Daily Oklahoman: Bill Young's turnover factory puts on extra shift
Daily Oklahoman: High marks for the Sooners few and far between
Tulsa World: Brandon Weeden credits OSU line, says special season is 'why we came back'
Baylor > Texas
Big 12 Sports: Robert Griffin III's Four TDs Too Much For Longhorns
Burnt Orange Nation: Robert Griffin III Buries Longhorns in Waco
Burnt Orange Nation: Why Mack Brown Really Might Retire Soon
Dr. Saturday: Robert Griffin III carries the banner across the finish line as Baylor's best ever
Austin American-Statesman: Turnovers the difference in UT loss to Baylor
Austin American-Statesman: Robert Griffin III shows he's got what it takes for Heisman
Kansas State > Iowa State
Big 12 Sports: John Hubert Leads K-State Over Cyclones
KC Star: Sunday Rewind: K-State 30, Iowa State 23
SI.com (Stewart Mandel): LSU-Alabama BCS title game rematch hysteria masking great game
The Missourian: Pinkel thinks LSU, Alabama deserve to play for national title
Daily Oklahoman (Berry Tramel): Why It's Alabama and not OSU playing LSU
- The Trib: Pinkel: "We had to do what's best for Mizzou"
KC Star: Pinkel on MU's move to the SEC: 'This is our shot'
Q: What led to Missouri deciding to leave the Big 12 Conference for the SEC? Was the watershed moment in the first week of the season prior to the Miami of Ohio game?
A: "Our chancellor (Brady Deaton) took a vote for everybody, all the CEOs in the Big 12 and they said they’re absolutely in. The next day we had a couple of members of our conference come out and say that they were going to look (out) for themselves … and that they (Oklahoma was the main one) were going to consider joining the Pac-12. Is the University of Missouri going to be in the Big East? Is the University of Missouri going to be in the Mountain West? We went through this whole thing a year ago. At that time the university administration said that they had to do what’s best for the University of Missouri. That was the defining moment for our chancellor. The Southeastern Conference wanted one team. That was the University of Missouri, and they pursued us." [...]
Q: Some have implied you did not agree with this move. Is that true?
A: "The chancellor really wanted to know my views on this, and I agree with it. If we can’t fix the Big 12 — I mean fix it and be assured that it’s going to work — then we’ve got to look out for what’s best for the University of Missouri. It’s sad because it could have been a great league. I was asked if you want the Big 12 to fall apart. Are you kidding me? There’s no hard feelings in any way towards the Big 12. But there is still a huge question mark whether it’s going to work. … Monumental problems and nothing gets fixed."
- PowerMizzou: The SEC Reaction to Tiger hoops
CBS Sports: Humble Slive has SEC walking tallest in college football
Mizzou Basketball Links
Mizzou > Northwestern State
MUtigers.com: No. 13 Tigers Cruise Past Northwestern State, 90-56
MUtigers.com: Postgame Notes
MUtigers.com: Postgame Quotes
The Trib: Tigers treat fans to rout
The Missourian: Missouri routs Northwestern State
KC Star: Mizzou rolls on to 7-0
KC Star: Mizzou basketball team proud of its unbeaten start
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou rolls to an easy win
PowerMizzou: Career highs all over
KBIA Sports Extra: Unselfish play, career games, give Mizzou basketball a 7-0 start
Fox Sports MW: Marcus Denmon, No. 13 Missouri rout Northwestern St
The Trib: MU eager to try luck in Garden
Villanova.com: Maurice Sutton Sidelined by Dislocated Left Thumb
The Missourian: Laurence Bowers deals with injury by remembering his inspiration
With his coach mentality, he has no problem being excited for his team's success even without him on the court. When Missouri beat California to claim the CBE Classic title, he joked that he almost re-tore his ACL.
"I jumped out of joy and excitement," Bowers said.
He's found a new way to lead his team.
"My basketball IQ is getting very high," Bowers said. "Obviously I'd rather be out there, but I’m seeing what the coaches see." [...]
Bowers made a direct line to the locker room, to his locker, where he sat with the pain in his heart worse than the pain in his knee.
When Kim English saw Bowers, he followed him. Not a word was exchanged as Bowers rested his head on English’s shoulder.
English is Bowers' roommate of three years, his teammate of four. Together, they declared for, and then withdrew from, the NBA draft at the end of last season. English is a friend Bowers has come to regard as a brother, who Bowers started and was supposed to finish his college basketball career with.
But Bowers' season was over. The plan had changed. He took a medical redshirt and will sit on the bench this season, then return for a fifth season next year.
"Kimmie was my strength. He got me out of the arena," Bowers said. "It really hurt me, and he was there to pick me up."
- KC Star: Gridder Andrew Jones joins Mizzou hoops, too
- Fox Sports MW: Frank Haith winning over critics
Other Mizzou Links
MUtigers.com: Volleyball Falls to No. 17 Florida in Opening Round
The Missourian: Missouri falls to No. 17 Florida in NCAA Tournament
Mizzou Women's Basketball
MUtigers.com: Tigers Drop Heartbreaker to Northwestern, 74-70
The Trib: Tigers can't finish
The Missourian: Missouri can't push past Northwestern
KBIA Sports Extra: Mizzou women unable to hold on, suffer first loss of the season
The Trib: MU golf recruit participates in national event