Well...as has already been mentioned in comments, Oregon went down last night. Somebody from the Big 12 will be #2 when the next BCS rankings are out. With wins from KU and MU (and OU, for that matter) this coming weekend, that makes the Big 12 championship game a National Title semifinal game...which makes MU-KU a quarterfinal.
Which makes MU-KSU that tricky early-round game on which good hoops team fall all the time. Things have completely and totally fallen into place, now it's up to Mizzou to run the table. (And if you don't believe me, believe the AP.) Hold on to your butts...
(What the hell movie was that line from? Independence Day? I can't remember for sure...anyway...)
Dave Matter has a nice feature on Charles Gaines, the backup DT whose impressive strides have meant almost as much to this defense as those of Tommy Chavis. Dave also plays a nice game of What's the Rush? He finds almost as many Mizzou advantages as Gabe did in the Ultimate Preview.
(Okay, I just looked it up...it was bugging me...the winner is Jurassic Park, not Independence Day. I can't decide what's more depressing--that I randomly remembered a line from a movie I haven't seen in over a decade, or that that website exists. Tawlk amongst yourselves.)
This seems silly, but this Lorenzo Williams quote is quite reassuring: "Nobody needs to say anything about it. We know what we got to do." Next week is going to be the longest week ever for Mizzou fans (thank god I've got Thanksgiving travel plans to distract me), and it's up to Mizzou to dictate whether that's for the right reasons (#2 vs #4 match-up) or the wrong ones (we controlled our destiny and blew it).
One other thing last night's Oregon loss did was knock Dennis Dixon down a few notches in the Heisman race. It wasn't his fault they lost--he wasn't even on the field--but his team's no longer a Top 5 team, and it sounds like it's still uncertain as to whether he misses more games to the knee injury. If he does, his name's almost certainly off the list.
Which bumps the names "Daniel" and "Reesing" up the list. Joe Posnanski has more.
(What's funny is, I mentioned last night during the Oregon game that I never wanted somebody to get hurt to help our cause...at least not seriously. My wife's response? "Screw that. Whatever it takes to get to the top. When A&M was moving the ball last weekend, all I could think was that a nice helmet to the A&M QB's knee would probably give Mizzou the momentum they needed." I couldn't decide whether I should be horrified or turned on. TMI.)
In recruiting news, Muskogee (OK) WR Jameel Owens officially has Mizzou back on his radar screen. Barely--we're in "might visit" status--but we're there. Meanwhile, fellow Rivals 100 star Derrick Hall will visit...it's safe to say our chances are much better with Hall. But it's not just recruits who are more interested in the program, it's students and alums as well.
Once braced for the next fifth down or bicycle kick that was going to sink them, this fanbase has its head high and chest puffed because, as one Ninth Street restaurateur said: "The roar's restored."
"You could see the momentum building for the program, for the team," said Vicki Pinkel, the head coach's wife. "Everyone is more excited. You do see that everywhere. That's really because the town and the students have taken possession of this team. This has become everybody's team, our team."
Let's not talk about football anymore here...can't take it...time for a distraction.
In basketball news, here's a nice article on future Tiger Steve Moore, and here's the release for tonight's Southern-Mizzou game. (That's right, we have a game tonight. Who knew?) The Star has a preview, while the Missourian says Southern's a deceivingly dangerous team for Mizzou to play ("trap game!"). I disagree, but whaddo I know...and if you need even more basketball reading to distract you from your football ulcer, the Maneater has a nice season preview up.
Finally, the Trib's Matt Nestor has a nice story about how the current Mizzou Volleyball squad is leaps and bounds beyond where they were about six weeks ago.