Saturday Live Thread!

(Jeff Lautenberger photo via MUtigers.com)

Today's Schedule

1:30 PM CT
Women's College World Series: No. 5 Mizzou vs No. 9 Oklahoma (ESPN)

3:30 PM CT
Soccer: United States vs (gulp) Spain (ESPN)

8:30 PM CT
Women's College World Series: Mizzou-Oklahoma Winner vs No. 4 Florida No. 11 Baylor (ESPN2)

We found a leak coming in from the main line and had the water shut off until we can get an excavation estimate Monday morning.  Gag.  But hey ... at least we don't have any major expenses coming up soon ... like a baby or anything crazy like that.

So we'll be headed over to the in-laws' house (which is currently struggling in the A/C department ... because why not?) for laundry and, eventually, showering. Don't know what that does for my availability for the day. But here's your Saturday Live Thread! Topics of the day:

1. Mizzou Softball Has One More Chance To Kill The Meme

The Trib: Tigers seek answers after opening-round loss
The Missourian: Earleywine, Missouri look to avoid another winless Women's College World Series
Post-Dispatch: MU can't explain problems at Women's College World Series
KC Star: Mizzou softball wants to solve problems at WCWS
KC Star (Campus Corner): MU softball coach holds closed practice for reeling Tigers

Daily Oklahoman (Good Old Berry Tramel): OKC is becoming a victim of its own success

Daily Oklahoman: WCWS notebook: Big 12 not faring well, homers are down

The way you end a negative meme is, basically, by continuing to try until it happens.  Mizzou spent all week saying how they wouldn't be intimidated by the environment or "happy to be here," and that they would be ready.  But when the game started Thursday night, they seemed intimidated by the meme itself.  Now they get another chance -- against Oklahoma, no less -- to prove they can actually play well on softball's biggest stage.  Ehren Earleywine says it's not physical, it's mental, and I think that's mostly right.  They lost to a really, really good softball team on Thursday night, one that may have won even if Mizzou were playing well, but the pressure is on today.  To not only go 0-fer for a third straight year, but to be finished off by a team you swept (yes, barely) in the regular season ... that will eat away at them all summer.  And while disappointment/annoyance can be a good thing for players who are returning next year, Mizzou has a ton of seniors who won't have a chance to bounce back from the disappointment next year.  The good news, of course, is that if they can get past Oklahoma, they'll get an opportunity for revenge against Florida.  Well, I guess that's good news.

(I also reiterate what I said yesterday -- playing Oklahoma in an elimination game in any sport fills me with dread. The softball team has an opportunity to exorcise all sorts of demons today, not just their own.)

And by the way ... is "Big 12 doing poorly!" really going to catch on as a theme too?  Not including Baylor-OSU for obvious reasons, the Big 12 has played three games, all against higher seeds.  No. 11 Baylor lost to No. 2 Alabama, No. 9 Oklahoma lost to No. 1 Arizona State, and No. 5 Missouri lost to No. 4 Florida. The only truly poor performance was, well, ours.  The Big 12 has little to prove at the WCWS itself -- it's already seen three teams overachieve just by getting to OKC, and none of the teams have actually underachieved (in terms of pure wins and losses, at least) since things began on Thursday.

2. The Big 12 Ups Its Revenue Sharing

The Missourian: Big 12 giving pay raise to 10 league teams
College Football Talk: Big 12 agrees to dish out more cash for members with loss of Nebraska, Colorado

And they let the news trickle out late on a Friday news cycle!!  At some point, this conference will learn the basic principles of good P.R.

Granted, it's not equal revenue sharing, but it's a lot closer, and it's a sign of semi-unity for a conference always starving for such a thing.  (It is also probably only happening because Texas will have the Longhorn Network soon, but whatever ... small victories are still victories.)

3. The Football Team Was In Joplin Yesterday

The Trib (Dave Matter): Images from MU football's Joplin visit

The athletic department continues to make huge efforts to help the people of Joplin. Yesterday, it involved Chase Daniel and tons of current football players helping to go down and both unload the giant truck of donations they brought with them, and help clear debris.  I always talk about how divided the Mizzou fanbase is against itself -- well, the base has done pretty beautiful things to show unity recently, and it warms the heart to see it.

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