Mizzou Links, 3-14-14: Tigers get a date with No. 1

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri tops Texas A&M and gets an SEC Tourney shot at Florida. Plus: John Brown's an SEC legend, it's a pretty big weekend for almost every winter and spring Missouri sport, and the numbers pretty much hate Michael Sam.

1. THAT WAS FUN, RIGHT?

MUtigers.com: Tigers Outlast A&M in Two OTs, 91-83
MUtigers.com: Mizzou/Texas A&M Post-Game Notes
The Trib: Tigers finally put Aggies away in double overtime
Post-Dispatch: Tigers stay alive in Atlanta, outlast Aggies in two OTs
KC Star: Missouri beats Texas A&M 91-83 in double overtime in SEC Tournament
The Missourian: Missouri basketball tops Texas A&M 91-83 in double-overtime thriller
PowerMizzou: Tigers outlast Aggies
PowerMizzou: Missouri's muscle
KBIA Sports: Missouri Survives Double-OT Scare, Florida Next

J3
The Missourian: Focused Williams III delivers in double-overtime victory for Missouri basketball

Hey, Shane
KC Star: Shooting guard Shane Rector steps up for Missouri in overtime

2. An enormous, unlikely opportunity awaits

The Trib: Gators present challenge but also opportunity
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou secures date with No. 1 Florida
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou vs. Florida preview
KC Star: Missouri hungry for NCAA play on 75th anniversary of declining first tourney
KC Star: SEC quarterfinal preview: Missouri (8) vs. Florida (1)
The Missourian: Missouri men's basketball set to "rock 'n' roll" in rematch with No. 1 Florida
PowerMizzou: Season-changing chance

3. Career record vs. the SEC: 3-1

4. How's (football) recruiting going?

PowerMizzou: [4-star Columbia WR Alex] Ofodile rattling off visits
PowerMizzou: [4-star Miss. LB Leo] Lewis has interest in Mizzou

5. Draft approaches

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): ESPN's Kiper sees Ealy as a late 1st, early 2nd round possibility
Football Outsiders: SackSEER 2014

SackSEER is not a fan of Sam’s production, which may be somewhat counter-intuitive considering that Sam was the co-defensive player of the year in the SEC -— widely acknowledged to be the best defensive conference in college football. But Sam was not consistently productive over his career: he had only nine sacks in his first 37 games with the Missouri Tigers. Although he certainly had a nice senior season with 11.5 sacks in 14 games, edge rushers who are one-hit wonders in their senior seasons rarely pan out in the NFL. The lone exception is Tamba Hali, and Hali had the additional excuse of being miscast as a defensive tackle for his two years -— an excuse Sam cannot claim. Moreover, it may not be a coincidence that Sam’s senior season coincided with the ascension of teammate Kony Ealy. [...]

To top it off, Sam’s Combine was even poorer than his 4.91 forty-yard dash time would suggest, as Sam scored below average on every drill that SackSEER cares about. Particularly poor were Sam’s vertical leap and three-cone drill, which were the second-worst and the tenth-worst, respectively, among the 320-plus edge rushers in SackSEER’s database. Sam’s three-cone, in fact, was almost a full second slower than teammate Kony Ealy, despite the latter being ten pounds heavier than the former.

Overall, there have been only 14 prospects that SackSEER rating likes less than Sam. Half of those guys had exactly zero career sacks (even if you exclude Brandon Jenkins, who has zero career sacks but was drafted just last year). Only three of those 14 players had, or are on pace to have, double-digit career sacks: Talance Sawyer, Robert Ayers, and Ellis Wyms. Before the Combine, some projected Sam as a third- or fourth-round pick. SackSEER thinks he’s closer to a seventh-round pick or an undrafted free agent.

Ouch.

6. WHATNOT

Pretty big weekend ahead for, like, every sport.

Softball
MUtigers.com: No. 16 Mizzou Opens Home Schedule with No. 9 Kentucky
The Missourian: Missouri pitcher Casey Stangel living up to her namesake

Baseball
The Missourian: Keaton Steele, Austin Tribby give Missouri baseball impressive bullpen duo

Women's Basketball
The Trib: Missouri is confident about receiving a bid to the Women’s NIT

Track & Field
MUtigers.com: Peoples, Rushin Take On NCAA Championships

Gymnastics
The Missourian: Missouri gymnastics faces No. 3 Florida in final home meet

Tennis
MUtigers.com: Tigers Host Three Matches This Weekend

6. "That's a lot of coffee."

New York Times: Supporting Start-Ups With Connections, Advice and Caffeine

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