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Mizzou Links, 11-15-07

Mizzou Volleyball 3, Iowa State 1.  Huge home win for the Fightin' Kreklows last night.  Na Yang had a double-double (22 kills, 12 digs) and her 10th 20+ kill match of the year, a school record.  More importantly, though, three other Tigers--Amanda Hantouli (14 kills, .500 kill %), Wendy Wang (13 kills, .195), and Megan Wilson (13 kills, .116)--had at least 13 kills, and though they leaned on Na in the fourth and deciding game, that offensive balance made the difference. After a killer 0-4 start, Mizzou now sits tied for 5th in the Big 12 at 9-8 and 16-10 overall.  Two wins in the final three matches should be enough to get them back to the NCAAs for the eighth straight season.  The Missourian has more.  And here's a Trib article with a nice Tatum Ailes interview.  She's been so unbelievably good defensively, it would be shame to miss the postseason in her last year.

Here's the official release for Friday night's NCAA soccer matchup between Mizzou and SEMO.  SEMO is an impressive 12-2-3 overall, though needless to say their schedule hasn't been altogether impressive.

The one JUCO in next year's basketball class--Keith Ramsay--is off to a nice start Okaloosa-Walton.  The Missourian talks about the 2008 class as a whole.  Meanwhile, there's a lot to like about the current Tigers as well.

The Trib's Steve Walentik has an interesting look at the Year of the Freshman 2.0.  All I can add to this conversation is, in my first ever Fantasy College Hoops draft Sunday night, freshmen were the first five picks (Beasley -> Derrick Rose -> Kevin Love -> Eric Gordon -> Teamkiller Mayo).  That says...well, something.  That, or we didn't draft very well (I must say I'm happy with taking two Memphis guys--Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts--with the first two picks, though).

Finally, on to football.  It's Cut to the Chase time!  

BTS: When you see what Nebraska did against K-State last week, does it make your eyes light up?

Daniel: I don’t think you look at that too much. That’s a whole different game. You look at every other game and they’ve held teams in check. So, that’s what we’re focusing on. We’ll watch film and try to over-prepare and be ready to play.

...

BTS:I know the focus is on K-State, but this national championship talk, does it almost seem surreal?

Daniel: I think so. It doesn’t happen very often around here, so you’ve got to look at it and just say, ‘Hey, it’s out there.’ But if we don’t win this game, then nothing even matters.

Dave Matter takes a look at what would need to happen for a Big 12 team--Gary Pinkel's in particular--to make the national title game.  SI's Stewart Mandel takes a look at it (Mangino's team in particular) as well.  Honestly, I'd say KU and MU have a better chance than OU, strange as that sounds.  If either wins out, they'll not only have two wins over Top 5 teams to finish the season, but they'll also have voters more willing to bump them over a UO team finishing with a weak (but tricky) schedule.  I think a lot of folks are still reserving judgment on KU and MU, while everybody already thinks they know where OU stands.  Also, The Missourian takes a look at what would need to happen for Chase to win the Heisman.  The funny thing about all this is, I'm completely numb to it.  I read these headlines and don't think twice.  I'm postponing any feelings of any kind until after we (hopefully) win the next two games.  Beat KSU and KU, and the imagination switch gets flipped.  Bad things will happen at that point.

This isn't the first "Tommy Saunders and Papaw" story, but really, can you read enough of them?

Graham Watson takes a look at Tony Temple's attempts at procuring a medical redshirt.  I'm not too optimistic, but after what I've witnessed over the last few years, I can say that his chances are better now that we're in the Top 5.  You can't tell me it doesn't make a difference.  And yes, I'm still bitter that John Dausman tore up his knee twice, played about 3 games (maybe four?) in two years and didn't get a med-red.

Finally, my dad passed this one along to me.  This is a series of "empirical tests of college football's conventional wisdom" that basically concludes that "(1) it is better to lose later in the season than earlier, (2) AP voters do not pay attention to the strength of a defeated opponent, and (3) the benefit of winning by a large margin is negligible," and looks at "how these results inform debates about a potential playoff in college football".  In other words, it's something in which he (correctly) thought I'd be quite interested.