I know I'm up too damn early when I'm actually inconvenienced by
@sbnation middle-of-the-night scheduled maintenance.— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) August 8, 2012
Hello! Apologies to the morning crowd for being all of 30 minutes late with this...
Mizzou Football Links
So by now we've all probably read about the offensive line injuries ... we'll handle that in the Fall Practice post in a couple of hours. For now, let's focus on tickets, Danario and sleeper potential.
Obviously there are a few SEC schools that would scoff at 45,000 ticket sales being "good," but ... a record is a record. Mizzou fans have stepped up thus far, and that's awesome to see. And if Mizzou fulfills "BCS sleeper potential" this fall, I'm willing to bet that number will rise by quite a bit next year.
MUtigers.com: SEC Home Single-Game Ticket Information Update
MUtigers.com: Football Season Tickets Surpass 45,000
The Trib (Dave Matter): Missouri eclipses goal, team record for season ticket sales
KC Star: Tigers surpass 45,000 season tickets
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou season-ticket sales hit record
Sleeper! Sleeper! Sleeper!
SI.com: Missouri, Utah among unranked teams with BCS sleeper potential
The knocks against Missouri are obvious: Its defense can be shaky and it's in for a bump in competition after moving to the SEC. Both are valid, well-reasoned points. Neither justifies overlooking the Tigers' high-powered offense, which ranked 12th nationally in 2011. Though it could struggle against some of the nation's premier defenses, an attack fronted by dual-threat quarterback James Franklin, wideout T.J. Moe and freshman man-child Dorial Green-Beckham (who hauled in a national-record 6,353 receiving yards at Hillcrest (Mo.) High) should partake in its fair share of shootouts.
Mizzou should also benefit from its schedule. If it can somehow squeak by either Georgia or South Carolina in September, the remainder of its slate -- save for a daunting Oct. 13 date with Alabama -- seems manageable. The Tigers skirt LSU and Arkansas and play just one preseason Top 25 team (No. 23 Florida) in their final five games.
Post-Dispatch: As usual, Alexander is battling
His career has been marked by stints on the inactive list followed by spectacular bursts of his play-making ability (see: averaging 40 yards a catch against the Giants last year, 17.3 yards a catch vs. Cincy, 18 yards a catch against San Diego and 23.8 against Denver in 2010).
But now the clock is ticking on his NFL life, and he knows it. You can't keep getting hurt, nursing a minor strain or a major tear and keep hoping that someone will be patient enough to wait for you to heal and do your thing.
Time marches on rapidly in the NFL, where one person's misfortune is always another man's opportunity.
Last week, as he was sidelined with his gimpy hamstring, running half-speed sprints in the end zone with head athletics trainer Reggie Scott, Alexander spent more than a few moments with his hands on his hips, looking on as the other healthy wide receivers ran pass patterns and caught balls and got in countless reps that he was missing.
"It's not fun at all," Alexander said. "I like to compete. It's hard to come out on the field and see my guys competing against each other and I have to be off by myself getting in shape. (But) right now I'm healthy. I'm good and I'm looking forward to these next few weeks.
The Missourian (AP): Gabbert gets help as Jaguars try to boost passing
PowerMizzou: Canadian OT making visits
Other Football Links
S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-(this still feels really weird to say)-C!
Birmingham News: ESPN The Magazine cover proclaims "Curse the SEC!"
Mizzou Diamond Sports Links
SimmonsField.com: Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: Dog Days Update