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Rock M Roundtable!

No Links today...too much food to eat.  All you get today is the Roundtable I should have posted yesterday.  This exchange took place over about a 28-hour period on Tuesday and Wednesday...amongst everybody's travel schedules...

1 - We'll start with an easy one: are you attending Arrowheadmageddon?

2 - Give me two reasons your team will lose on Saturday.

3 - Give me three reasons your team will win.  Doug, I will try to resist reflexively poking holes in the three reasons you provide.

4 - This is clearly the biggest football game either MU or KU has ever played since at least the '60s, and probably ever.  College football aside, what's the biggest game (in any sport) in which you've ever had a passionate rooting interest?

5 - Predictions: OSU @ OU, NU @ CU, UT @ ATM, and of course...MU vs KU.

Click 'Full Story' for the answers...then leave your own in Comments.

The Beef: #1 – No....I could walk you all through the thought process for how my wife and I reached that decision, but it is too much.  No...we are not going...and no, we don’t want to go.  My wife will shop all morning and afternoon, I will more-than-likely drink....perhaps another CU game-performance (since it worked last time...17 beers equals 55 points, right?)

#2 – kU values the ball and does not make turnovers, they will capitalize on the evitable one to two mistakes we will make in this game (one kicking and one turnover).  The other reason is their ground game and how they will stick with it when it works (unlike kSU, who got away from it in the 2nd half even though they had a pretty successful time with it in the 1st half)

#3 – Chase Daniel is better than Todd Reesing...not probably as much as he has been over other QB’s this season, but he is better.  I believe this entire team gets "it" now, whereas in the past, only some players got it.  I also think our team speed is unlike anything kU has seen, and their defense will be taxed by it both upfront and in the secondary.

#4 – I attended a game 7 T’wolves vs. Kings 2nd round NBA playoff the last 3 seats in the arena....that was fun.  I have been fortunate that some of my pro-teams have been successful (New Jersey Devils with 3 Stanley Cups and 1 other final appearance) and I have attended some lower round games, but never a game 7.  It really is pretty intense.

#5 – OU 28 OSU 17 (I don’t know if Bradford plays, but OSU is just too flaky), I call a tie in NU vs. CU?  I guess I will take NU in an upset, I think they have better leadership on that team and will play for more NU 35 CU 24, UT 27 aTm 10, 34 kU 27

The Boy: 1 - I am not.  All season I figured I'd attend if the game was going to decide the North, and then it sold out.  There wasn't a thought in my mind that it would sell out, not even when the "Tickets selling quickly!" message was sent out in October.  I would have considered buying a scalped ticket, but the thought of paying at least $200 to sit and be miserable and panicky amongst a sellout crowd of angry, intermingled, drunk-and-still-drinking Mizzou and Kansas fans just didn't appeal to least, not as much as sitting in the dark, watching the game in the fetal position at home.

2 - First, as has been pointed out, KU takes advantage of little mistakes.  We've avoided killer mistakes all year, and when we have a setback, we immediately respond with something positive.  However, mistakes against the 'Hawks will be more costly, and that will add up after time.

Second, I'm sure others will mention the punting game or special teams in general, so I'll give props to KU's O-Line.  Granted, I haven't seen them lined up against anything that resembles a super-strong defensive line, but their blocking (and that of the whole team) opens up Boeing-sized holes for Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharp.  McAnderson in particular is far from fast and agile, but he's smart and has great vision, and with the blocking he's given, he's pretty deadly.  If the KU O-line isn't able to move the MU D-line off the line of scrimmage, they could be in for a long night.  But I think they'll have success in this regard, and that allow KU to a) take pressure off a slightly-hobbled Todd Reesing, and b) wear MU down after a while.

3 - First: KU hasn't played a team that even remotely has the depth and toughness that Missouri has in the WR/TE corps.  Rivera and Mortensen lead a tough, physical defense, but have you seen Martin Rucker drag tacklers around this year?  That's rubbed off on the whole team.  Mizzou can wear you down with both speed and physicality (there's a reason they're the only team in the country to score 30 in every game), and they'll wear KU down just the same.

Second: Speed, speed, speed.  KU has it, and MU has more of it.  I still can't get the image of Jared Perry beating Aqib Talib on the slant and then roasting him down the field from the 2006 MU-KU game out of my head.  I realize that was last year, and KU's faster and better, is Missouri, on both offense and defense.  They're the fastest team KU has played this year.

Third: Chase Daniel.  I think Todd Reesing is great, he's a winner, he's a leader, etc.  Chase Daniel is everything Todd Reesing is, and a bit more.  I will believe that until proven otherwise.

4 - I don't even know why I asked this question.  For my lifetime, my favorite non-Mizzou teams have been the Pittsburgh Pirates and Portland Trailblazers.  So that would mean that the biggest, most intense sporting events I can remember are 1992 NLCS Game 7 (which my team lost in the most painful way imagineable) and 2000 Western Conference Finals Game 7 (which my team lost in the most painful way imagineable).  Good times.  As far as Mizzou goes, I'd have to say the 1994 and 2002 Elite Eights were it.  1994 was over as soon as it started...and 2002 was lost to the one team I disliked more than Kansas.  Let's just move on from this stupid question.

5 - All four of these games could be pretty damn close.  I'll say OU 35-24, NU 34-27, UT 28-20, and MU 38-31.  Not even sure why I asked about MU-KU...pretty sure this is going straight down party lines...

ZouDave: 1 - Yep, I will be there.  Sitting in the lower section, I think 38th row on about the 40 yard-line.  Will be there with my dad and some long-time family friends that are die hard Mizzou fans.  We'll be attending the MU Alumni Tailgate before the game, which should be a great time.

2 - Run defense and turnovers.  If McAnderson gets rolling the way a few backs have done on us this year, it will hurt.  kansas has not been turnover prone all year, and Missouri really hasn't been either but certainly a little more than ku.  If we are more the -2 in turnover ratio, we're in serious trouble.

3 - Mizzou has more talent, Mizzou is more tested and we have veteran leadership all over this team.  I don't think even the most die-hard of ku fans will fail to admit that, on paper, the Tigers are a more talent-laden team.  This is not meant to be a shot at ku, who for the past few weeks I have compared to Mizzou's 1994 basketball team (a team that was not more talented than many teams they beat, but they played perfectly as a team and didn't make mistakes and just kept winning).  But Daniel is better than Reesing, our Tight Ends have no comparison, Maclin is better than any receiver ku has probably ever had (again, not a shot at ku...Maclin is better than any receiver Mizzou has ever had as well), and even our defense top-to-bottom passes the eyeball test a little better.  So if both teams play to their potential, that means Mizzou's talent wins out.  We're also more tested, and yes this is a shot at ku's schedule.  Kudos to the jayhawks, you've beaten every team you faced and many of them you destroyed.  But who is the best team you've faced this year?  Oklahoma State?  Texas A&M?  Neither of those teams are in the same class as Illinois or Oklahoma, and I think Texas Tech is also better than either of those ku opponents.  Plus, if aTm is indeed one of the best teams ku faced then Mizzou faced them as well (although at home rather than on the road).  That means (or should mean) that we're more ready to be punched in the mouth so it won't be as shocking if a couple of things go poorly and we're down 10-14 at some point.  We've faced that and persevered.  That's not the kind of thing you can simulate in practice.  Finally, the veteran leadership, we have Rucker as a standout Senior that has been leading this team all year.  Franklin is a Senior.  Temple is a Senior.  Luellen and Spieker are Seniors.  These guys have been through a lot, and are nearly unflappable.  Because of that, if the younger guys at their position are showing any kind of anxiety the leadership takes over.  Oh, and we have some guy named Chase Daniel who is finishing up his 2nd year as a starter and is one of the premiere QBs in the Nation.  He may be just a Junior, but he plays the game like a 5th-year Senior.  We did lose a little bit of leadership on the field a few weeks ago when Pig Brown went down, but he's still there on the sidelines keeping people focused and we still have Zo who is the vocal leader on and off the field.  William Moore is playing like a Senior, and Brock Christopher's experience as a starter last year has paid dividends now.  Very, very veteran team.

4 - I think I'll also throw out MU/ku basketball, because that's something I have a very passionate rooting interest in but it's too easy.  The 90's Chiefs got ALL of my football passion because there just wasn't any point in being passionate about the Mizzou football team, but no game really stands out above others as the one I was so crazed about I couldn't sleep.  Really the closest for me is going to be this past June when I went to Chicago to see the USA Men's National Soccer Team in the Gold Cup semifinals and finals.  The semis were against Canada, the finals against Mexico.  While the game against Canada was great, I have yet to experience anything like being at a USA vs Mexico final.  That day was absolutely unreal.  There were probably about 60,000 in attendance, and at LEAST 50,000 were Mexican.  I was there in my USA jersey, with an Uncle Sam top hat on and was wearing the USA Flag as a cape (and the 3 friends I went with were all dressed in the same fashion).  It was without peer in intensity as far as any other sporting event I've ever attended (including the Nebraska games from '03 and this year).  I mean, really, it's not even close.  Mexico HATES the USA (especially for soccer) and the USA certainly hates Mexico (pretty much for everything).  And it was 2 different worlds at that game, and I'm not talking about the differences in culture between the countries.  In the parking lot before the game, the tailgating was amazing.  1 out of every 7 or 8 groups was Americans, so wherever you were you were surrounded by "the enemy".  But it was the absolute friendliest environment you could imagine between two groups of fans of such heated rivals.  Everyone was offering their opponents beer, food, well wishes, etc.  People were taking group pictures together, laughing and talking, sharing experiences, signing each other's jerseys, it was crazy.  There were even some impromptu soccer skills contests in the parking lots between Mexicans and Americans.  It was like we were all there rooting for the same outcome.  And then, once you entered the stadium, it was a war zone.  Throughout the game, whenever something good happened for the USA, Mexico fans would shower you with beer and food from all angles and heckle you incessantly.  However, whenever something good happened for Mexico, Mexico fans would shower you with beer and food from all angles and heckle you incessantly.  By the time the game was over, I was completely soaked in beer and coke.  Fortunately, USA won 2-1 so it didn't matter to me.  But we honestly feared for our safety when leaving the stadium, so we banded together with every other American fan we could find in our section to leave the stadium as a group hoping for strength in numbers.  Once we returned to the parking lot, it was back to a family atmosphere.  Not one Mexican had anything bad to say to me, about me, about the USA or about the team.  It was nothing but congratulations, wishes for good luck in the future, and promises that they'd get us next time.  More pictures, more sharing of food and drinks, and I even traded flags with a Mexican named Pedro who proudly exclaimed to me "You are my friend!"  I don't think he knew how to say much else in English.  It was such a grand experience.  If I ever get an opportunity to go to another USA vs Mexico soccer game I will be there HOURS ahead of time, and urge anyone reading this if you like soccer even a tiny little bit to do the same.  It's something you'll want to say you've done.

And by the way, Mexicans are really short.  Seriously, all of the pictures we have with them I look like a giant.  The majority of them are eye-level with my collar-bone or shorter, and I'm only 6'0" tall.

5 -

OSU - 21
OU - 40

NU - 17
CU - 20

UT - 24
aTm - 10

Mizzou - 49
kansas – 38

(an hour passes)

ZouDave: Everyone who hasn't answered yet is a Communist.

There I said it.

The Beef: Robot is trying to figure out how I still picked us to win given the banter we shared earlier in the week, and is also trying to come up with other words for "turncoat" and "Judas"

ZouDave: Traitor, apostate, back-stabber, Benedict Beefcake, betrayer, defector, deserter, fink, quisling, rat, rebel, renegade, snake, sneak, squealer, tergiversator, treasonist, two-timer

The Beef: Nice job on the alliteration....well done too on the apostate....did you know that one or go on us?

ZouDave: I went to for all of them.  What am I, some kind of....word....knower?

The Beef: The question is...can we keep this going until someone else responds?

I am guessing rpt is on his way to, or already in TX...Atch is probably doing an interview....Robot is probably...well...drinking?

The Boy: That's an interesting set of generalizations there.

The Beef: Yeah....but I bet I am right on two of the three...

Forgot about Doug though.....Doug is....well...doing something not currently legal 17 states and Puerto Rico.

ZouDave: Being a beaker isn't illegal yet, is it?

The Boy: Doug must really be struggling to come up with ways KU will beat MU.  :-)

ZouDave: Yeah, he probably feels bad having "bus accident" as an answer

Doug: Good Lord, guy's grandfather comes into town for the holiday and suddenly everyone's jumping in for a kill shot?  Jeez, you MU guys really are bastards.

1 - No.  I considered getting tickets, but then heard that the upper-deck would be mixed between the two schools, which is just not a good scene.  After I heard there would be a little more division, the game was already sold out.  However, there very well could be blood-shed at my home, since all the in-laws are in town for the weekend, and I may very well kill all of them.

2 - Let's see, I'll go over-all team speed of MU and not sticking with the run game.  Missouri does look pretty fast, but anyone's going to look fast if the opposition isn't trying to tackle them (K-State special teams).

3 - Yes, it would be cliche to point out the KU defense and the turnover battle, but Missouri defense is ripe to be picked apart... and here's how KU can do it...

First up, I get that Missouri fans are talking about how this is the fastest team KU will face, and yes, that's true, however, KU has the most complete team that MU has ever faced, add to that a team that can exploit MU's weakness... the run game.

Number two, the two-headed running back monster that is Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharp will be the most explosive running game that MU has faced, and I've yet to see the Tigers shut a running game down.  Consider how good McAnderson is... he's got a pad speed and power, he'll just run you over.  Sharp is extremely underrated, sure he's played in two more games than Tony Temple, but he has 788 yards to Temple's 634 with only 10 more carries.  Add to it, Todd Reesing's ability to make things happen with his feet, either keeping a play alive or scrambling for 30 or 40 yards on a broken play.

And three, the wide receivers, I don't think the MU secondary is going to know what hit them.  Yes, Gary Pinkle has two pro-caliber tight ends at his disposal, but who do you think Todd Reesing has been throwing to all season long?  Marcus Henry, Dexton Fields and Dezmon Briscoe are all pro-caliber receivers who can catch just about any pass and make stuff happen after the catch.  As a team, KU averages 289.5 yards passing a game and 210.6 rushing yards a game.  That's a complete offensive unit.  There's not one thing to key on... just a lot of guys playing really well.

4 - Um... guess, I'll have to go with the Chiefs in the play-offs.  Though, to be fair, nothing before this season of KU has really worked me up week after week like this season.

5 - What the hell, just to make it interesting... OSU 35  OU 28 (Sooners sans Bradford)  ,  aTm 31  UT 30  ,  NU  24  CU 35  , and gosh... let's think about this one... KU 35  MU 32.

rptgwb: 1 - Will not be attending. Will be home in Texas firing up the high definition.

2 - Reason #1) The defense is reverting back to non-conference form. The run defense was atrocious against KSU and Justin Garrett looked lost at times. After the first few games of conference play, I had no worries about the unit. After the past few games, my outlook is not as rosy.

Reason #2) Special teams will cost them. The punting game has been absolutely terrible of late and Mizzou can't afford to give KU any more points and field position than they're going to get on their own.

3 - Reason #1) Strength of Schedule: Everyone's favorite argument goes in favor of Mizzou. Missouri has withstood bigger challenges and is battle tested at this point. Can we say the same for KU?

Reason #2) Tiger Offense: I don't know if you've heard, but the unit's pretty damn good. Aqib Talib can't cover five receivers.

Reason #3) Gut instinct: Truthiness at its finest.

4 - College football has always been my passion, even before I found my way to pulling for Missouri around my freshman year of high school. My biggest professional interest is with the Dallas Stars and Dallas Cowboys, who have, to my great fortune, produced four combined championships in my lifetime. The biggest game? Take any Stars playoff game from 1996 all the way through their seven-game first round exit against Vancouver last year.

5 - OU 27, OSU 24
NU 31, CU 20
UT 30, ATM 20
MU 41, KU 38

Michael Atchison: Sorry I’m late to the party here.  I’ve been out all day doing Mizzou-y things.  It’s Tiger Week in Kansas City, in case you haven’t heard.  I’ll answer the first five questions without reading all the other responses yet.

1 - As the kids say, Hell yeah.

2 - I’m not even wired to think that way anymore.  This team has cured me.

3 –

a) Too many offensive weapons.  You know the names by now.

b) Sean Weatherspoon is going to vaporize someone, and it may be Todd Reesing.

c) Chase Daniel and Martin Rucker won’t allow them to lose.  These guys are more confident about winning football games than I am about making toast.

4 - I moved to the KC area in 1983, and had not yet developed a sacred bond with the Royals when the ’85 Series rolled around, so I can’t put Game 7 on the list in good conscience.  I suppose the answer must somehow relate to Mizzou basketball, but I’m hard-pressed to pin down a single game.  The Elite Eight games in 1994 and 2002?  The game against Nebraska in 1994 that sealed the perfect conference record?  The 1 vs. 2 battles with Kansas in 1990?

5 - OU  27  OSU 16
CU  31  NU 23
UT  37  A&M  20
Missouri  42  Kansas 31

Doug: Oh, hold on... I just came up with a different reason for #2.

The Beef: The convergence of the SI Jinx AND the #2 ranked are SO done

ZouDave: all we need now is Reesing to be on the cover of Madden or something.

mizzouobot: You bastards (and one apostate) have to do this damn thing on the one day I have a 9 hour drive through Oklahoma? Getting the updates on my Blackberry was torture! Great answers by everyone, though. I want to state before I start this that I'm not in a place where I can give my usual level of analysis.  I think I'll be better for the OU game, but I'm too clouded by emotion on this one to give a fair breakdown. Just so you're warned. I've also been drinking wine on pretty much a constant basis and the Johnny Walker Black keeps calling my name in the night, luring me ever closer.

Here we go.

1 - I wanted to. I really did. I had plans to. I have a ticket connection. But after getting married, the financial resources were completely tapped, and with it falling on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it made it doubly hard. I think I'll probably go next year, but I didn't want to go anyway for the various reasons listed here.

Plus, we're undefeated when I watch the game from home, in the same spot, on my couch, with the laptop positioned just right.  

2 – 1) Injury, 2) Act of God.

I'm not kidding.  The confidence I have for this game is bizarre in that it's stronger than for the Tech game, the Colorado game, and the KState game.  This is our biggest game. We're the underdogs in the mind of the media. We've been disrespected. We're healthier. And oh, yeah, we're way, way, way, way, way better. Am I worried? Of course I'm worried! Until one of us wins the national championship, or at least the big 12, both schools will be terrified of that moment they wake up and go, "Oh, we're still Kansas/Missouri." But I think our program is better, and thereby our team.

3 – 1) "Oh, they haven't faced a defense like ours." The one that gave up 20+ to Nebraska? The one that allowed points from Baylor? This team scores. Period. I'm not as worried about turnovers. Too many times I've seen us have turnovers and bounce right back. Kansas is not Oklahoma and Arrowhead isn't Norman. The offense is just superior.  2) The Defense Finds A Way. Much like I mentioned in the diaries, this defense has question marks. But it's not that they've been overlooked. They've answered every time they've needed to. And this offense is about as scary to me as a ten year old girl. You really think this defense is going to be tested by Kansas after facing down Illinois, Texas Tech, and Colorado? Really? Because personally, I'm not too concerned.  3) It's All A Figment Of Your Imagination. Too many times in college football, a team comes out and plays okay, but keeps winning, and gets the national love. All the analysts see are box scores and a crappy primetime game against a weak opponent (like, oh, say, Iowa State), and throw themselves on the bandwagon. Then reality sets in.  The best part is not only is this team not as good as all the pundits think, but Mizzou has a ton of motivation. This team knows how good it is and what it's been through, and the cakewalk Kansas has. And it wants blood. You could see it when Chase had the post-game interview after KState. He wants this. Chase is a stone-cold, Golden Watermelon Balls of Fury-laden superhero when he's just doing business. What's he going to do on primetime against a team that has stolen our thunder thanks to a weak schedule?  Seriously. Think about that.

4 - Third generation Chiefs fan. Broncos-Chiefs, playoffs. Elam. Game winner.

Some of you are Trailblazer fans. The rest of you know what it's like to be Mizzou fans. This is our time. There is a new day dawning in the Big 12. Nebraska's on a downswing, the North is getting better, Colorado is still recovering, Iowa State is rebuilding. We have a shot at building a new legacy. It starts Saturday.

5 – I have no idea if Bradford, Murray, or any of the rest of their M*A*S*H* unit is playing, but I'll assume so, just to be on the safe side. An upset would not surprise me, but...OU 30
OSU: 27

CU: 28


MU: 41

M! I! Z!