Photo via Bill Carter.
Mizzou Football Links
So evidently cornerback Robert Steeples is transferring. This is the patented "upperclassman passed by too many underclassmen" transfer, I'm guessing, and while it does hurt depth, it is probably worth it to reflect on what we wrote about Steeples in our Cornerbacks Walkthrough piece earlier this month (and yes, I know, there are still two more of these to crank out):
The Beef: Man alive … I hope 2012 is not like 2010 was for Steeples. Tough regression there for the St. Louis senior-to-be, but he certainly recovered well this past season. It would be nice for him to finish up strong (might have been nicer had he been able to help us recruit someone from his high school alma mater, but that is neither here nor there), and I certainly see Steeples seeing time on the field on defense and on special teams. How often he sees it on defense may depend on how often we have to go 4-2-5 in a league where we can expect less wide-open offenses than we saw this past year, as well as if he can hang on to his second-team status on the depth chart.
Bill C.: Robert Steeples seems to personify the Athlete Without A Position we sometimes see in Missouri’s "recruit great athletes and find a position for them later" approach. He was a solid, three-star defensive back at De Smet, and his athleticism outshone those of players like Carl Gettis or, in 2011, Randy Ponder. But his instincts are, and always have been lacking. While I always root for the "player pulls it together as a senior" story, I can’t say I would mind if one of the younger players below him on this list were able to surpass him on the depth chart.
RPT: I won’t add anything other than Steeples first two years qualified him for eligibility alongside Justin Garrett in the Hall of Uh Oh.
Good luck to Mr. Steeples in whatever he chooses to do next.
Robert Steeples Transfers
KC Star (Campus Corner): Mizzou CB decides to transfer
An SEC Blogger Gets To Know Mizzou
ESPN.com (SEC): Notes, thoughts on my visit to Columbia
* Pinkel had a long run in the Big 12 and while he enjoyed his time there, he's happy to see the Tigers in the SEC. He hopes the Big 12 does well and stays together, but he absolutely believes the school made the right move by coming over to the SEC. "We did the right thing for Missouri and we understand that," he said. "There are a lot of things infrastructure wise that we're adjusting to going into this league and that's all good. My big thing when our administration made a decision was that if we're going to do it be a player and be committed. You don't walk into this league and sit back and say we're going to give it a good try because you'll just get mauled."
* The players are tired of hearing about how they'll matchup with SEC teams. You can tell all that talk has added some motivation. The Tigers can't wait to get started in their new surroundings. "It's exciting to go out there and play new teams," Fisher said. "I know we've played some SEC teams in bowl games and fared pretty well, but it's going to be pretty interesting to go play a whole season with the big boys ... see how tough it is." Added wide receiver T.J. Moe: "It's a neat change of venue. We're going to get to go down to Florida this year, we're going to get to go down to South Carolina. It's going to be exciting to see the culture down there and the new environment. ... They take their football serious down there. Maybe it's going to be a little bit different from going up to Colorado."
Mizzou Network: Back Stage at the Nike Fashion Show
PowerMizzou: What We Learned: Cornerback
Also: yesterday, my wife was surfing around and got curious about Gary Pinkel's recently separated wife, Vicki. She uncovered this Missourian profile from 2006, and ... well ... one wonders why more coaches' wives don't wake up one morning and decide, "You know, this isn't for me..." It is an enlightening read.
Other Football Links
Crazy how college coaches leave jobs to put themselves in better positions, but when a college player transfers he "quit" on his team.— Yo Quiero Keion Bell (@KEION_BELL) April 24, 2012
It's all about the company you keep. In a) giving Missouri more than one season before jumping to Arkansas and b) not jumping either in the season or at a horribly awkward point in the post season, Mike Anderson continues to have pulled off one of the classiest, least awkward jumps of Arkansas' recent football and basketball hires. John L. Smith was given an opportunity to once again become a college football head coach when his alma mater, Weber State, brought him on in December. Five months later, he left his alma mater to become Arkansas head coach ... for 10 months as an interim.
Not going to lie: I'm not a big fan of this move. Yes, it keeps momentum moving forward for this batch of Arkansas players, but a) I'm not nearly as high on Arkansas in 2012 as others (and even if I were, I'd still be higher on Alabama and LSU, meaning, as Team Speed Kills put it below, Arkansas is going "all in" for another third-place finish in the SEC West), and b) how in the hell do you recruit anybody over the next 10 months? How is the "You don't even know who the coach here will be during your true freshman season, and it probably won't be me, but you should definitely come here" pitch supposed to work? Ohio State faced this scenario last year and still scored some commitments from kids who grew up dreaming of playing for Ohio State. So maybe Arkansas will get by. But this team makes its living by recruiting out-of-staters, and I'm guessing there aren't many Texas kids who grow up dreaming of becoming a Hog.
Anyway, Arkansas has kept things interesting in April, and for that I thank them.
- Arkansas Signs John L. Smith To Ten-Month Contract
SB Nation: John L. Smith Has Tuesday Press Conference, Salary Details Released
Team Speed Kills: With John L. Smith, Arkansas Goes All In With A Longshot Hand
Team Speed Kills: John L. Smith As Arkansas Interim Coach Does Make Some Sense
SB Nation: Arkansas Recruiting: John L. Smith Hire May Not Benefit Efforts In Texas
KC Star: Not all college coaches on board with a playoff
Tulsa World: BCS officials meet this week to discuss possible format changes
Tulsa World: Building a better BCS
Mizzou Basketball Links
ESPN.com (Dana O'Neil): Missouri coach Haith counting on transfers
Other Mizzou Links
So perhaps I was a bit overly-optimistic in my assessment that Missouri is just a couple of close-losses-turned-wins away from competing for an NCAA Tourney slot this year ... at least according to the Boyd's World quote below...
The Trib: Weekend sweep gives Tigers reason to smile
SimmonsFIeld.com: HI NOTES: It was the Best of Times, it was the Worst of Times
Worse News: According to the BoydsWorld.com RPI Needs Report, Missouri needs to go 16-0 to from here on out to finish in the top 45 RPI and have a shot at an at-large bid to the Regionals.
Mizzou Track & Field
MUtigers.com: Tigers Continue Re-Writing the Record Books
LOVE YOU SO MUCH, DELTA STATE
SI.com (Holly Anderson): The Fighting Okra brains a guy with a guitar