Once again, we'll break MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™ 2011 links out into their own post since there are so damn many of them.
Mizzou Football Links
So Mizzou plays OU on Saturday, I'm ignoring realignment links, and we're STILL not leading off with the OU game. That's because Danario Alexander was just disgusting last night.
Danario Alexander Is Awesome
NFL.com: Bradford hits Alexander for longest pass of career
NFL.com: Bradford and Alexander connect again for TD
Post-Dispatch (Bryan Burwell): Meet the "new" Rams, same as the "old" Rams
Blown pass coverages at all the wrong times and wayward red-zone passes at the most inopportune times. But the thing that keeps sticking out like a throbbing neon sign is the odd play calling that continues to treat big-play making wide receiver Danario Alexander as a seldom-used, but spectacular bit player.
All Alexander does – all he has ever done since arriving in St. Louis late in training camp last year – is make big plays. Yet for some reason I can not fathom, he’s not on the field nearly enough. Through three quarters, he was on the field for no more than seven or eight plays, yet he caught three passes for an eye-popping 122 yards (40.6-yard average per catch) and one touchdown. On the first ball thrown his way in the first quarter, he went galloping down the sideline like some elegant gazelle. Alexander had streaked by a Giants cornerback and was now climbing the sky over the fast-closing safety. Every time he gets on the field, this is what he finds a way to do. So the second-year receiver hauled in the Bradford pass while falling backwards, did a perfect reverse somersault, popped right back up on his feet and high stepped it all the way to the Giants 1-yard line for a 68-yard catch to set up the Rams first score.
On his second catch on the first possession of the second half, he ran another fade, leaped over his defender and again went falling backwards for a 35-yard catch. And on his third catch late in the third quarter, he ran another fade for a 19-yard TD pass that cut the Giants lead to 28-16 in the third quarter.
So Uh, Big Game On Saturday
MUtigers.com: Conference Play Begins in Earnest
Since going to the spread offensive attack prior to the 2005 season, the Tigers have built a reputation for having one of the more potent passing games in the country. Through 3 games in 2011 however, it would be difficult to find a more balanced offense through than Mizzou's, as the Tigers have totaled 772 yards rushing and 764 yards passing.
Mizzou's scores have been similarly balanced, with 7 passing TDs to go with 6 rushing TDs thus far.
The Trib (Dave Matter): Tigers Meet the Press
Missouri quarterback James Franklin is an Oklahoma legacy — his dad, Willie, played receiver there in the 1970s — but Franklin quickly scratched the Sooners off his list when they said they weren’t interested in him as a quarterback. Asked about this, Yost reminded reporters that OU wasn’t interested in either, even though the former MU quarterback came from Youngstown, Ohio, the same hometown as Sooners Coach Bob Stoops. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or something like that.
"Everybody looks at it like a menu and sees what they like a little differently," Yost said. "I can tell you this: The first time I saw Sam Bradford on video, I wasn’t really excited. I guess I have no idea what I’m doing."
PowerMizzou: Tigers ready for season's toughest test
PowerMizzou: Like Father, Unlike Son: Big 12 begins (and ends)
Drama? What Drama?
KC Star: Conference paranoia doesn't affect Missouri players
Last Week Was Fun
We Are Mizzou: Henry Josey: Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week
Injuries Getting Better
The Missourian: Jacquies Smith will return from injury for Oklahoma game
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou will have key players back to face OU
QB No. 1
Post-Dispatch: Pinkel: Mizzou 'got it all' with Franklin
PowerMizzou: Following the Future
Mizzou Basketball Links
The Dagger: Big 12 Preview: Projections and five storylines to watch next year
2. Will Frank Haith wilt or thrive under pressure?
Whereas most newly hired coaches get a year or two grace period before their fan bases get impatient for success, Missouri's Frank Haith won't have that luxury. The pressure will be on the ex-Miami coach from day one to win over critics who suggest Missouri made a mistake when it hired him to replacelast spring after a bid to land Purdue coach Matt Painter failed.
What initially made Haith unpopular with Missouri fans was they expected a new coach with a better track record than Haith's one NCAA tournament berth and underwhelming 43-69 ACC record in six seasons at Miami. Adding to the negativity was a Yahoo! Sports report in August alleging that Haith was aware of a $10,000 payment Miami booster Nevin Shapiro made to then-top recruit Dequan Jones.
The good news for Haith is Missouri is the Big 12's only team that returns all five starters from last season, something that was far from guaranteed when he took the job. Guard Kim English and forward Laurence Bowers each returned to school after initially putting their names in the NBA draft andbrothers Phil and Matt Pressey opted to remain at Missouri after considering following Anderson to Arkansas.
PowerMizzou: Negus Webster-Chan gives Mizzou visit high marks
Other Mizzou Links
KBIA Sports Extra: Missouri sophomore Molly Kreklow sets tone for young Tigers
MUtigers.com: Tigers Face Cyclones on ESPNU
MUtigers.com: Tigers Celebrate National Gymnastics Day
This Was Awesome
YouTube: 'The Office' Skit from the Emmys