We had a little bit of an "Um, is she about to go into labor?" scare yesterday, but on this beautiful Thursday morning, a) Mrs. Bill C. is still pregnant and b) we have not yet taken up residence in a hospital. Hello!
Mizzou Football Links
A) Tell me if you see something wrong with the picture on the Marcus Lucas link below...
B) Thank goodness David Garrard is healthy enough to start. I really wanted Blaine Gabbert to be able to sit for a year. Or at least a few games.
C) I always forget how much Chase Daniel ran as a sophomore.
The Trib (Dave Matter): Quick reads from Wednesday workout
Nine years ago it was impossible to tell from scrimmages and practices that Brad Smith would be one of the most prolific running quarterbacks of all time. Almost a decade later — jeez, I’m getting old — it’s nearly impossible to measure how much Franklin will factor in the running game. MU’s coaches seem intent on putting the ball in his hands for some designed running plays — he broke open a long run up the middle on a draw — but we won’t know how effective a runner he’ll be until live competition against a defense that’s allowed to tackle him. My instincts tell me he’ll have his number called six to eight times a game and pick up a few more carries on scrambles. Some forget that Chase Daniel accounted for 147 rushing attempts during his first year as the starting QB, more than 11 carries per game. That sounds about right for Franklin.
The Missourian: PHOTOS: Temperature holds back Missouri football team
The Trib: Gimpy Tigers back to knocking heads
- PowerMizzou: MAILBAG
ESPN.com: VIDEO: Big 12 Preview with Kirk Herbstreit
SB Nation KC: If Missouri Has a QB Issue, You Wouldn't Know It By Listening to Coach Gary Pinkel
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Jimmy Costello comes back
KC Star: Receiver Marcus Lucas making long strides at Mizzou
Several weeks ago, Pinkel said Missouri might one day be able to use Lucas the way the Tigers used Danario Alexander, an All-American his senior year, as a big receiver who turned short gains into a long gains and runaway touchdowns.
Lucas — listed at 6 feet 5 — has the long stride if not the outright speed to break the big play.
Pinkel on Wednesday discussed the possibility that Lucas could make the freshman to sophomore jump in the same way Moe did last year. As a freshman Moe caught only two passes. As a sophomore he caught a team-high 92.
Quarterback James Franklin has also noted the change in Lucas’ game.
"He attacks the ball better than he has before," Franklin said. "He goes after it, no matter what. He seems like a totally different person."
In his ability to extend and catch the football away from his body, Lucas seems more like one former Mizzou All-American than any other.
That would be Chase Coffman.
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Jacquies Smith
The Missourian: Missouri linebacker poised for comeback football season
CBS Sports: Del Rio says David Garrard is his starting QB
Other Football Links
I wrote a bit about Mark Cuban's original "bracket buster" ideas back in December. I still like the concept, but I don't know how it would work in practice. I do enjoy where my imagination originally went with his ideas: having every FBS team schedule only 11 games instead of 12, then pairing teams off against each other, based on performance to date, sometime in mid- to late-October, or even early-November. Just making sure that every top team has played one extra top team sounds fantastic to me.
Here are last season's F/+ rankings after eight weeks. Pairing teams off so that you had examples like the following would be a great, great (and impossible) thing: Auburn vs Boise State, South Carolina vs Missouri, Ohio State vs Alabama, TCU vs Nebraska, Virginia Tech vs Oklahoma, Miami vs Iowa, etc. If a 16-team playoff is an impossibility with the "teams can't play more than 14 games" mandate, then just making sure everybody plays a relevant, valuable 12th game seems to make sense to me.
Big 12 Still Good On The Field
Daily Oklahoman (Berry Tramel): Truth is, Big 12 remains a stout football league
The Big 12 spent $1 million with GSD&M Idea City, an Austin marketing agency, to come up with this campaign, which now has gone splat. The only question is whether the Big 12 pancakes, too.
But if the league survives, it's got to stop trying to snow people. Got to stop trying to convince us that up is down and down is up. That 10 is better than 12, that no championship game somehow assures one true champion, that divisional play created a schism that has healed with the departures of Nebraska and Colorado.
Here's a marketing campaign. Just tell the truth.
Just stand up and tell America, hey, the Big 12 is one heck of a football league.
The Big 12 has three preseason top-10 teams, including the No. 1 Sooners. The Big 12 has the great Longhorn morality play, a program with so many riches it's running off worthy foes, yet somehow still lost at home last year to Iowa State and Baylor. The Big 12 has Missouri. The Big 12 has Bill Snyder, a better coach than Pop Warner or Woodrow Hayes.
Quit snowing and start blowing. Tell America that sure, this league fights like it's Tombstone on a Saturday night. That nobody likes Texas, and nobody would like Oklahoma if all the venom weren't saved for the Longhorns, but so what?
Pre-Snap Read: No. 10: Texas A&M
SI.com (Andy Staples): Mark Cuban's December Invitational could improve college football
Smart Football: The simple, wonderful, inexpensive speed option
New York Times: If Texas A&M is the SEC's 13th Team, Who's No. 14?
- KC Star: Alden seems on the fence regarding Haith's MU future
- Post-Dispatch: Alden praises Haith's work
Other Basketball Links
Rush the Court: Frank Martin Weighs In On Paying Athletes
Other Mizzou Links
Just saw a MU softball player rock a Tremendous Stubble t-shirt. The revolution continues @rockmnation
The Trib: Time is on Cantwell's side
SimmonsField.com: Mizzou Baseball Hype !!!!
I'm not sure the Zoo link was intended to be funny, but it was...
Strange Beaver: The Best Engagement Pictures Ever (via)
Ball Don't Lie: Blake Griffin takes a lockout-inspired intern gig at FunnyOrDie.com
National Zoo: National Zoo Animals React to the Earthquake