I figure we should take advantage of the bigtime coverage of our bigtime program while it lasts, so we're going to take a tour of the national sites today...
Let's start with the NY Times.
Imagine Albania playing for the World Cup title in soccer, or an amateur golfer approaching the final hole with the United States Open at stake. Think of Adam Sandler as a nominee for best actor at the Academy Awards.
Okay, let's just stop there. We get it. Mizzou isn't a longtime power. The jokes are too easy. Let's move on.
What about ESPN? Yeah, they're the home of Gene Wojciechwski and Colin Cowherd, but they've got too many Mizzou grads to be too annyoing, r-right? And they have bumped Chase Daniel up into the #2 slot on their Heisman watch. And Mel Kiper loves him some William Moore. Promising.
Let's check their bowl projections...after all, they've been picking Mizzou for a BCS bowl since around the OU game, right? And Mizzou's won every game since then, so surely they're still safe, right? Oh. Cotton Bowl vs Arkansas. After winning every game since October 13 (while being projected for a BCS game). And after every other top contender has lost recently. Makes perfect sense. Sorry, Worldwide Leader. That's just silly. You almost had it too. Let's just move along.
On to the USA Today. While I admit I'd never heard of Mike Lopresti, I think I might like him.
Before the first quarter was over Saturday, Pinkel had called for a fake field goal, a double reverse and a fourth down pass at the Kansas 1-yard line.
Lots of guys might go for it on 4th-and-1. But how many line up with five receivers and no running backs? Heaven only knows what Bo and Woody were thinking. But it worked for the first touchdown.
The Tigers would keep attacking and would not stop until Daniel had put up 49 passes and completed 40 of them, to nine different receivers.
"We peddle downhill," said quarterback coach David Yost, whose flowing hair makes you think you've seen this guy on a surfboard. "You get the lead, you try to get a bigger lead."
And when the other team scores? "All I've got to say to my offense is, let's answer," Daniel said.
This takes brass and confidence, and Missouri has both. The Tigers seem ideal upstarts. The issue now is how they'll be as sudden celebrities.
"I don't know what you want me to do," Pinkel said to the media about his modest reactions to a top ranking. "I'm not going to jump up and down and do a back flip."
No, he's already worried about Oklahoma.
And Kelly Whiteside's not so bad either. USA Today, you've passed the test.
And what about CBS Sportsline?
Click 'Full Story' for more...
[T]he best matchup for everyone's health and welfare is Missouri-West Virginia. They are the poster children for what has shaped this season. The two best executioners of the spread option/zone read/shotgun blast, ah, whatever. You know it when you see it.
The spread offense has been the biggest reason this has been the highest-scoring season in history. It can't be stopped. Balls flying in the air. End arounds. Quarterbacks (well, Tim Tebow) running for 22 touchdowns. Tailbacks (Darren McFadden) playing quarterback.
Alright...I'm with you...
It looks we could have Missouri against West Virginia in the national championship game.
One word: Sueee!
By the end of the season West Virginia and Missouri won't be the two best teams in the country. Southern California and Ohio State will be. In fact, they probably are now. Even Georgia is better than the Mountaineers and Tigers right now.
Oh good god. You were so close, Sportsline. I realize you're just doing the faux debate thing, but...that doesn't mean I have to enjoy reading it.
Since when has it only mattered who the best team was on November 28? The whole season kinda sorta matters, and USC and Georgia and (maybe) Ohio State blew it when they lost games (AT FREAKING HOME) they shouldn't have lost. So sorry. That's not the way it works. We'll talk again in March Madness, when some team you picked loses in the second round and you claim they should be the champion anyway.
Which brings us to CNNSI. A week ago, I was simultaneously impressed and saddened by Stewart Mandel's admission that he knew next to nothing about the #2 and #3 teams in the country (KU and MU), but guess what? He's actually doing his job and treating Mizzou like they might maybe kinda sorta be deserving of where they've landed. This coverage is downright even-handed.
While Kansas will always be Missouri's most hated nemesis, the Sooners have emerged in recent years as their most tortuous. Pinkel has lost all four meetings with Bob Stoops' team, with the most recent defeat a classic case of, "letting one slip away," said Daniel.
The Tigers took a 24-23 lead into the fourth quarter of that Oct. 13 contest before a series of uncharacteristic mistakes -- most notably two Daniel interceptions -- sent the Sooners on their way to a lopsided finish.
Missouri outgained Oklahoma on the night (418 to 384), and quite literally let the lead slip through their hands when safety Pig Brown (who later sustained a season-ending injury) failed to haul in a Sam Bradford interception in the end zone. Moments later, Oklahoma scored to go up 29-24 and eventually gained a decisive 41-24 lead in the final minutes.
And Mandel is actually going to wait until Missouri loses before demoting them from the BCS. And their Heisman Watcher, while having Chase no higher than ESPN did (#2 behind 3-Loss Superman), understands that Chase Daniel and Mizzou aren't just suddenly good.
After Saturday's win against the undefeated Jayhawks, pundits were awed by Daniel's ability to make plays after buying time with his feet (see: Danario Alexander's touchdown catch). Hello? What have you been watching the last two years? Daniel has been doing that since he was at Southlake (Texas) Carroll High, where he ran virtually the same no-huddle spread offense. (Another pet peeve of mine is that people still call him Chase Daniels. Argh.) Now, for the second straight week, Daniel is playing with a championship game berth and some Heisman votes on the line. Can he can catch Tebow with a victory over the Sooners? Give me a week to think about it.
And they hired my former roommate. I think we have a winner.
On to the more local links...
The Missourian has a nice feature on Danario Alexander.
Are we experiencing the Flutie Effect?
Graham Watson has a San Antonio-releated Chase Daniel history lesson.
Oh yeah, and Mizzou Basketball has a pretty stiff test tonight.
Mizzou Baseball announced its 2008 schedule. The USD Tournament looks pretty interesting, but otherwise? Not a lot catches the eye.
Finally, the Missourian has a nice feature on Mizzou Wrestler Max "Ben's Brother" Askren.