2012 in review: The SEC table is set, Tiger Town is a bust, and the linemen are all injured.

Bill Carter

Football practice begins, the students return to campus, and we get a glimpse of (hopefully) future greatness when the basketball team takes a swing through Europe. Oh, did I say football practice begins . . . and then turns into a merry-go-round between the practice field to the training room to the doctors' office and back to the practice field and around and around . . . remember? No, try not to remember. Well, I guess I will have to make you remember since there is very little else to write about for this month.

I will also try to dig up a few good things to go along with the mess the football gods left us in as we entered the bright new world of the SEC.

Wednesday, Aug. 1

Two more weeks until move-in day at the residence halls; get ready for a batch of new commenters at RockM and the general unrest of everyone finding their place in this great field of wisdom, snark and humor that we have all come to love and depend on for information, inspiration, argumentation, entertainment and ROOM TO VENT when we can't find satisfaction.

Thursday, Aug. 2

It's Fall Camp Move-In Day and first day of practice and – SURPRISE! – an incoming freshman who has yet to suit up got a LOT of attention; but he's used to it, according to his father, and will be able to handle it.

Sorry, folks, but the big downtown gameday parties will not be a reality – at least not this year (from the Trib):

Because of a lack of financial sponsorship, the Tiger Town events planned to be held in downtown Columbia surrounding two University of Missouri home football games this fall have been canceled.

The fan-focused events had been proposed as pregame parties that could showcase downtown Columbia to out-of-towners. They were scheduled to be held before Missouri's Sept. 8 matchup with the University of Georgia and the Oct. 13 game against the University of Alabama.

Organizers for the Tiger Town concept had gotten the idea from similar happenings on game days at Southern colleges, such as The Grove at the University of Mississippi and The Coop at the University of South Carolina. Missouri joined the Southeastern Conference this year after leaving the Big 12.

Greg Steinhoff, an organizer for the Tiger Town plans, said organizers had spent so much time on planning the logistics of the event that they had not put in enough time seeking donations. He estimated the financial support would have needed to be in the "several hundred thousand dollars" range to make the event possible. . . .

Organizers had planned to hold Tiger Town events on Eighth Street, which would have been closed off between Broadway and Elm Street. But when they first proposed the idea in January, plans were even more ambitious. There had been talk of allowing open alcohol containers throughout downtown, Friday-night pep rallies and rooftop parties.

The organizers' plans became more tempered as the idea was presented to downtown business owners, some of whom expressed concerns about the events' effects on game-day business. The initial discussion of hosting Tiger Town events before four Missouri home games was eventually narrowed to two dates before being canceled altogether.

Friday, Aug. 3

Wall-to-wall coverage of the first day of practice. Some interesting tidbits:

– Franklin's surgically-repaired shoulder is fine and "he could start tomorrow," according to Pinkel.

– DGB is not the only freshman receiver getting attention: Levi Copelin, Sean Culkin and Brandon Holifield also got some press. Remember them?

Elvis Fisher is back on the OL, Mark Hill is retiring due to blood-clot surgery over the summer, and Justin Britt is out with a Jones' fracture but "should be fine by September." Do you see a pattern developing here?

– "He has a chance to be an impact player." (Pinkel on Sheldon.)

– Moe, Fisher, Ebner and Gooden are named team captains.

In basketball news, the Tigers begin practice for the European Tour and Phlip sprains a knee on the first day. The field for the Battle 4 Atlantis seemed to be loaded with Duke, Louisville, Minnesota Missouri, Stanford, VCU, Memphis and UNI.

Saturday, Aug. 4

First practice with pads: no major injuries.

"I'm not going to lie: all of these comeback stories are just making me nervous. The volume of injuries last year was just too scarring and staggering, so with every 'He's healthy now!' article, the guard goes up." From the keyboard of our fearless – and prophetic – leader, BillC.

Tuesday, Aug. 7

Resurfacing on Simmons Field at Taylor Stadium began in anticipation of the 2012-13 baseball season.

Travis Ruth suffers triceps injury; freshman Evan Boehm steps into his spot; Chris Freeman decides NOT to quit the team. The OL carousel is picking up speed and making me dizzy.

Wednesday, Aug. 8

MU sets new season ticket sales record – 45,000 and counting (eventually reaching sellout figure of 46,500). Moving towards SEC speed!

OG Taylor Chappell tears an ACL; he and Ruth declared out for the season. Sean Culkin breaks a finger – the injuries have evidently already reached SEC speed as well.

Friday, Aug. 10

Basketball team wins easily in Rotterdam, 87-64. The SEC basketball schedule is published. Consensus seems to be about 14-4 or 15-3 in conference play.

Rally Baby and her Lamb are introduced in a courageous attempt to drive away the injury demons from Mizzou football.

Mitch Morse has moved to center on the depth chart and Mad Max Copeland to right guard. LSU kicked the Honey Badger off the team for failing a drug test – oh, well, we don't play them anyway.

Saturday, Aug. 11

Defense won first scrimmage Friday; Franklin, Lawrence and Murphy and the entire defense looked good. NO MAJOR INJURIES! Thank you, Rally Baby!

Monday, Aug. 13

Move in day on campus – stirred up a lot of memories on the comments section. Good times are never forgotten, just exaggerated with time. :-)

Saturday, Aug. 18

The Tigers finish a week of practice, including a scrimmage, with no major injuries AND the return of starting RT Justin Britt – that Rally Baby has some MoJo.

The freshmen run through the columns – with SEC speed. That has a nice sound to it. Monday a record number of freshmen (more than 6,600) will join the athletes in the classroom as part of the SEC academic institution in Columbia . . . Missouri!

The basketball team finishes the European Tour with an 81-61 victory in Paris. That leaves them with four wins and a forfeit (when Coach Haith pulled the team off the court after an elbow to the head of freshman Stefan Jankovic and Haith's ejection for arguing a call). The last time the Tigers took a foreign tour, to Canada under HCMA, they went on to an Elite Eight appearance: works for me, let's do it again.

The soccer team knocked off #11 Memphis and finished the first week with a 2-0 record.

Monday, Aug. 20

First day of classes, but it was a Texas highschooler, DE Marcus Loud, who dominated the links comments. Seems the young man paid a visit to St. Louis and decided he didn't like the State of Missouri; which led to some real snark pointed his way, and then led to the age-old St. Louis vs. Kansas City debate . . . dang, I like this RockM community. Really. My day is not complete until I get to go through all the day's comments. Oh, yeah, back to Mr. Loud . . . heck, give him time, he may change his mind.

Wednesday, Aug. 22

Mizzou soccer is ranked 13th nationally, which is the highest in the SEC right now. Just doin' our part to bring the conference recognition.

Walk-on Max Copeland moves up to scholarship status; makes sense since he's become such an integral part of the team and a starter on the OL.

Thursday, Aug. 23

RG Jack Meiners was carted off the field with a knee injury during the team's last scrimmage; OTHER THAN THAT MINOR ISSUE, the offense looked pretty good, and DGB had a 65-yard td reception.

Friday, Aug. 24

The Keeper of the Keys at RockM, known as BillC until he walks into the phone booth (Is there any such thing as a phone booth any more?), has proclaimed today that it is time for the Third Great Karma Thread in order to appease the football gods and save the remainder of our offensive line. The community responded with 1,550 comments. If you want to lose your sanity, your religion and your lunch, and replace them with a belly full of laughs, just go back into the archives and read these three classics.

As for myself, I think this third go-around has helped identify who these 'football gods' really are – the collective congregation of a select few SEC athletic directors. Think about it, the past two years our karma threads have been effective . . . this year it may have made things worse. We have to win a couple of conference championships and then Mike Alden will himself become one of the football gods . . . and all will be right in Mizzouville.

Saturday, Aug. 25

#13 Mizzou 2, #19 California 1 in soccer. Team is now 3-0 with two wins over ranked opponents.

Mizzou volleyball goes 3-1 in Tiger Invitational, losing in championship to #23 Michigan, 3-0.

Monday, Aug. 27

Soccer is ranked #10 nationally.

Wednesday, Aug. 29

6-ft. pg Wesley Clark (immediately dubbed "The General" by BillC) committed to play basketball for Mizzou. Clark is No. 68 overall 2013 prospect according to Rivals. The non-conference basketball schedule was also released, showing the Tigers with a host of cupcakes, the Battle 4 Atlantis foes, Braggin' Rights game against Illinois, and closing out the non-con at UCLA and home against Belmont.

Thursday, Aug. 30

Mike Alden's contract is extended through 2019 (Maybe by then he will have attained "Football God" designation – see above.)

QB Maty Mauk is arrested for leaving the scene of an accident and charged with four misdemeanors in a scooter accident/incident. Hurry up Mike Alden, we need help from beyond . . .

Friday, Aug. 31

I can tread water no longer . . . ARE YOU READY FOR SOME ESSSS-EEEEE-SEEEE FOOTBAWL???

Very well, I pass the torch to our Fearless Leader, the one and only BillC for the play by play!

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