Mizzou Links, 5-15-13

Mike Stobe

Chelsea Thomas is 70 percent, the Big 12/SEC Challenge is kind of dumb, and Nick Saban is evidently underpaid.

1. This Year Sucks™: Chelsea Thomas Edition

The Trib: Thomas discusses loss of firepower

What Thomas is suffering from, no one exactly knows.

The best estimation is exertional compartment syndrome, said Dr. James Stannard, chairman of orthopedic surgery at Missouri. An official diagnosis has not been made, he said.

After several innings of pitching, Thomas' hand swells, her forearm muscles tighten and her arm can become completely immobile. She loses feeling in her throwing hand and fingers, and a tingly numbness runs through her arm.

Thomas has trouble feeling and gripping the ball. It happened Saturday night in a Southeastern Conference Tournament championship loss to Florida. Thomas had thrown 100 pitches in a win over Tennessee earlier in the day. In the second inning against Florida, she threw two wild pitches and allowed a home run. Earleywine pulled her.

"You know how when you do a bunch of forearm curls, and you do so much where your arm feels really tight and you don't feel like you can close your hand?" Earleywine said. "That's where she was." […]

Stannard said she's been "improving" and "taking a slight turn for the better." He attributes that to recent heating and cooling treatments, massage therapy and Earleywine's decision over the last month to avoid pitching her back-to-back days.

Rich Thomas said his daughter's "been feeling a lot better."

"Some people say she's at 70 percent, but she's beating LSU and those people at 70 percent," he said. "She's battling, winning for her team."

MUtigers.com: Regional Games Set for KTGR Radio and Mizzou Network
MUtigers.com: Mizzou in Top 10 of Final Regular Season Polls

Chelsea Thomas enters the final postseason of her career at 70 percent, and her backup quit the team. This year sucks.

Win the whole damn thing anyway, Team #Stubble.

2. The Stubble Bubble is still in process

KC Star (AP): Mizzou to build new softball stadium

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Missouri wants to replace 31-year-old University Field, the Southeastern Conference’s oldest and smallest venue.

Associate athletic director Tim Hickman says the school had previously planned a $4.5 million renovation but now envisions a new ballpark costing between $12 million and $15 million.

The only thing that could add $7.5 to 10.5 million to the total? A dome. THIS IS HAPPENING.

Okay, it's not happening. Hell, they probably need that much money just to somehow craft a patch of land that currently doesn't exist.

3. The Big 12/SEC Challenge is kind of dumb

The Dagger: Format of new Big 12-SEC Challenge will have to change for it to succeed

Much like the games in the Big 12/Pac-10 series were annually spread over the course of a month, next season's Big 12-SEC challenge games span a six-week window from Nov. 14 to Dec. 21. Spacing the games so far apart hampers the event's chances of creating early-season buzz because only the most hardcore fans will even realize all 10 of the games are part of a challenge between the two leagues.

The only way a series between two leagues can truly capture the attention of fans is if the format is similar to the highly successful ACC-Big Ten Challenge, a battle for bragging rights that spans only two days. The Big 12's release announcing the event mentions that scheduling conflicts were the reason the event is so spread out next season and pledges to work with ESPN to schedule the games across consecutive days in the future.

Hopefully schools in both leagues commit to juggling their future schedules and making this event a two-day blockbuster because it does have potential if it's organized properly. The other problem with the inaugural version, however, is the matchups don't seem to have been chosen with much imagination.

The Trib (Steve Walentik): Missouri to play West Virginia in new Big 12/SEC Challenge
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou to play West Virginia in SEC/Big 12 Challenge

Yeah, Oklahoma State-South Carolina, played nearly a month after Texas Tech-Alabama ... that's really going to drum up interest. That, and ... of course...

These two conferences have very little basketball history together. Not pitting Mizzou against a former rival was just a silly waste of an opportunity to drum up at least a little bit of interest for this pretty worthless series of games.

4. Finis Stribling IV has film

Rivals.com: Rivals Spotlight: Finis Stribling
KC Star: Nashville cornerback Finis Stribling gives verbal commitment to MU football team
PowerMizzou: Mizzou In The Hunt For Florida Safety
Rivals.com: Rivals Spotlight: Thomas Richard

I was excited to see film of Mr. Stribling emerge ... you know, since I totally bagged on him and Michael Fairchild yesterday. My verdict after watching the highlight package above: The guy has really nice instincts and cover technique. I like his speed, too. I'm a little bit concerned about his tackling -- it seems he basically hits a guy high, then holds on and rides him to the ground -- but you can at least begin to see why coaches thought he was worth an offer. I'm not knocked out like I was with Thomas Richard, but c'est la vie.

5. Ah, so college football coaches are UNDERpaid ... interesting

Forbes.com: The Magic Of Nick Saban: Everyone Wants To Go To Alabama
CBS Sports: Is Nick Saban underpaid? Forbes thinks so

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