What the hell is this crap?
"This game is important," said Pinkel, who has yet to identify one as unimportant. "Fans make a difference. Great fans don't care who you play. They don't care if a team hasn't won a game or they've won all the games. They really don't care. It's more about their team and the team they're supporting."
Apparently great fans don't care that they've traditionally been fed a steady diet of nonconference mush to complement the weaker division within a midlevel power conference.
"Gimme a heapin' helpin' of that Illinois State (burp) to go with some Iowa State, then wash it down with some Western Michigan. The more directional and 'Football Championship Subdivision' schools the better."
Most of all, this is about self-perception. Mizzou makes no pretense about having established itself as a big boy. In many ways it still seeks an identity that midlevel Southeastern Conference and Pac-10 schools long ago achieved. (Sorry, Ole Miss long ago landed in the SEC's Relegation League.)
An unscientific August survey of BCS conference schedules performed in the Busch Stadium press box concluded that Missouri and Kansas boasted the two weakest slates. The dividend is a top 10 ranking for each. The drag is that Pinkel must dare his fan base to show for Senior Day against a down-and-out conference foe.
Without huge nonconference games, chances for national television exposure diminish. Recruiting remains confined. Give Chase Daniel the same numbers in the SEC and he doesn't have to buy a ticket to the Heisman announcement. Give him a bust-out performance against Penn State in September and maybe he takes the thing home.
Alden believes the Internet and the crush of game day broadcasts make network coverage less relevant. "If you're winning, people are going to find you," he says. "I think the key is you're competitive and you're winning. That itself gives you a chance to get out there. It's not as critical to be out in Eugene, Ore., to have a greater presence."
But isn't greater presence exactly what Coach P. asks for this weekend?
So...Mizzou fans shouldn't care about attending the ATM game on Saturday because we're playing SEMO next year? Did I get that right? And did he really compare our slate (which included Illinois and Ole Miss) with Kansas (Central Michigan, SE Louisiana)? Really? And I didn't know we chose to play the Iowa State's of the world. And the Big 12--with three teams in the BCS Top Six--is a midlevel power conference? And what murderer's row did Ohio State (#1 BCS) schedule in non-conference this year? Oh yeah...Kent State, Washington, Akron, and Youngstown State. Boy howdy. It's a good thing they're in a real power conference. Seriously, this made a national newspaper? You know what? Let's just move on. I don't want to think about this anymore.
Chase Daniel: Carl O. Bauer Award Winner. He is the second Mizzou tiger since 1980 to win the award (Brad Smith, 2005).
Dave Matter has his latest Power Poll out, plus a bonus honor roll. Mizzou holds steady at #2 in the conference, while Chase Daniel (#1, Offensive Player of the Year), Pig Brown (#4, Defensive POY), Jeremy Maclin (#3, Newcomer of the Year), and Carl Gettis (#5, NOY) all make appearances.
The Missourian has a nice feature on Tyler Luellen, who, after a rough redshirt freshman year (in his second game ever, he was used and abused by Demarcus Ware) and about 13 knee injuries, has quietly had a phenomenal career, barely garnering any mention whatsoever this season--the ultimate compliment for a left tackle.
Meanwhile, the KC Star takes a look at Derrick Washington, who is having a lovely freshman campaign. He's glad he tore off his redshirt (duh), though I'd be curious what Tyler Crane thinks about his at the moment.
It was a pretty impressive battle for Power Mizzou's "Tuesday's Top Tigers"...Chase Coffman's three TD's weren't good enough to get the nod, nor was Chase Daniel's Offensive Player of the Week performance. Now THAT was a good week.
Kansas scored more points against Nebraska on Saturday than it did against the Huskers in either the 1970s (60 total) or 1980s (67).
On to non-football...
Rivals.com's Kendall Rogers answers a baseball mailbag question about Mizzou and compliments the crap out of the Tiger pitching staff.
It's never too early for Bracketology! Joe Lunardi, who makes me think "Why not me? I could totally do that," every time he's on screen, has Mizzou as the 11-seed in the Houston regional, playing Maryland in the first round (they're overrated, I can tell) in Little Rock (that would kick ass) and Indiana/Siena in the second round. Other Big 12 teams: Kansas is a 1-seed in the Houston regional, Texas is #4 in the Detroit regional, ATM is #7 in the Phoenix regional, and K-State is #9 in Phoenix. Seriously, I could so do his job. Watch your back, Lunardi.