This will DEFINITELY be a short version of the Musings, as only a handful of teams participated this past weekend. It is a good thing too, as I have spent most of the week dealing with a myriad of other issues. And besides, you should be spending your time reading the musings of all our new members here at RockMNation....especially that tailgatequeen :-)
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Just a brief thought on the Heisman ceremony (which I did not watch) and the fall out from it (which I have not read). Going into the Big XII Champ game, I really felt the best Daniel could do would be 2nd, and that was a LONG shot at best and would have needed probably a game better than the kU game. Tebow had it won, likely had it since about early/middle November. McFadden salted away 2nd place for all intents and purposes, and Brennan got pushed back over by the media, especially with the ATTENTION paid to his last two games (even though plenty of his other games had been on TV, just never had anyone pointing that out).
So while it is disappointing, I think Daniel is the favorite for next year....and here is why. McFadden and Brennan are gone, and we all "know" Tebow will not likely win it again, since I am pretty sure people are not willing to put him up there with Archie. Certainly people will come out of the field (Moreno from UGA could be one, hell...Maclin could be one), but Daniel is there next year off of what he did this year. I think we could even repeat our season next year (11-1 or maybe even 10-2) and he need not improve on his stat line to be right there next year. Will be exciting to track.
Just the one game this past week, probably a good thing too, as it allowed me time off of my ledge of last week. I did not get to watch most of the game on Saturday versus Purdue, only about the last 9+ minutes (turning it on as Purdue hit a FT to go up 51-49 I believe). I believe I missed the fairly typical Mizzou first half...shooting 60 percent and running the other team off of the floor. Of course, I tuned in just in time to catch most of the typical Mizzou 2nd half, not being able to hit anything and losing all defensive discipline (and the lead). Mizzou did bounce back nicely however, evidently being lit into by Marshall "Pig" Brown during a timeout.
Interesting game to look at statistically, as no one on Mizzou played more than 27 minutes. Demarre played his (unfortunately) typical 21 or so minutes, being strapped with 4 fouls, as were Horton and Hannah, which is interesting to me since typically guards are not the people you see in foul trouble. The teams combined for only 21 assists in the game, with Mizzou scoring 11 more points from the line than Purdue. A sneaky little double-double by Leo Lyons helped the Tigers outrebound the Boilers, and is 13 points may also be the lowest leading point scorer total on a team to score 73 than I have ever seen. Oh well, in the end it is a win and leads into a weekend matchup against the....well....McNeese State team on the 15th, followed by a quick turnaround game on Monday the 17th against NC A&T before the Braggin Rights game in two weekends.
Mizzou held their annual 4-team tournament this pas weekend, with the Tigers taking on, and defeating Miss Valley State on Friday evening 69-52. Alyssa Hollings led the way with 28 points, though on a somewhat off shooting night (10-20 overall, 3-10 from 3 pt. range is a little less than desirable, but 28 points is 28 points). Mizzou got up early and never relented, even winning the 2nd half. That gave Mizzou a championship game matchup against the juggernaut that is Stephen F. Austin. And let’s face it, big weekend for the fighting (lady) Jacks from Austin, as I believe the men beat OU, and the women overcame an 18 point deficit....on the road...to take down to the Tigers in OT 84-81. Mizzou was up 18 in the 2nd half, was up 10 with less than 6 to go, and up 5 with a minute and a half remaining, but could not hold it. They never led in OT.
Pacing the Tigers on Saturday night was Jessra Johnson with 21 points (on 6-17 from the field, but 8-10 from the line). On the evening, Mizzou only shot 39.2 percent, which was slightly down from their performance the night before in their win. They did collect 8 more boards than SFA, including 6 offensive glass swipes. Now sitting at 5-4 on the season, Mizzou has most of the week off (for finals) before returning to the Mizzou Arena hardwood on Saturday afternoon to take on UMKC. Might this be the swan song for Cindy Stein? Could be...
The Black and Gold meet was this weekend, giving me a chance to explain a little bit about gymnastic scoring and what to look for from my reports during the season to come. On the evening, the Black team defeated the Gold team 178.1 to 171.2. On the season, if you see scores like this, we are in BIG trouble. However, as I break down how those scores come, you will see why this occurred.
There are 4 disciplines in gymnastics; vault, balance beam, uneven bars and floor exercise. Each team will send 6 competitors to the apparatus, with the top 5 scores counting. (On Saturday night, because of the split squad, Mizzou only had 4 people compete at some events and thus, the lower scores). The top 5 scores are taken, added and given to the team. The best a team could do would be 50, thus 200 is the best team score. However, do remember that each performance is not always eligible to get the full 10 points, as the degree of difficulty must be judged to be high. For instance, many routines may only be able to get a 9.9 or less.
Gymnastics is funny as it is possible to NEVER win a meet and still be a top ranked team. That is because I have seen on most occasions, rankings are based on average scores. 195 is a VERY good team score. If you lose all your meets 197-196, you will be ranked extremely high (and likely scheduling some juggernaut squads :-). You could also win ever meet 189-188, and be ranked FAR lower than the first team. Strange I realize.
Individually, some members of the team will compete in each of the 4 events per night, vying for the all-around title. Their 4 scores will be totaled and the one with the highest of the teams competing (and it can be 2 or certainly more) will win the honor. For Mizzou, the one to watch in that area this year will be junior Adrianne Perry. Also look our for senior Ashley Khederian, who is the other regular performer of the all-around, but who has been hurt for most of the last two seasons. Mizzou appears to have a squad skewing fairly young this season, as Khederian and bar specialist Lisa Puccio were mentioned as having good evenings for Mizzou. Their first meet will not take place until January 12th against Bowling Green.
• I did not watch a minute of football yesterday (nine and half hour drive from MN to MO), but New England certainly SOUNDED impressive. How they ever got weeks 14, 15, and 16 as a three-game home stretch, I will likely never know. They have the Jets (win), Dolphins (ugh) and Giants in NY left....I still say they lose to Miami for the most ironic of outcomes.
• Speaking of my Jets...they kept pace yesterday in the race for #2, but look bad at keeping that spot, as they finish with the now AWFUL Chiefs at the end of the season. And MY GOD are there some awful teams out there. Right now, there are SEVEN teams within a game of the #2 draft spot....really terrible.
• Passed by the site of the new, outdoor, on campus football stadium for the University of Minnesota this past weekend. Will make for a great little area, as the stadium, Williams Arena (basketball) and Mariucci Arena (hockey) will all be within about a block from one another.
• Can you believe the Cleveland Browns would have to TANK right now to not make the playoffs? And that the only team likely to overtake them are the Bills? When you want a laugh...look at where the Bills stand in team offense and defense. Will make the Jets of last year look like the ’72 Dolphins. But speaking of which...Browns/Bills next weekend in Cleveland.
• Slow week for Justin Gage, with only 1 catch for 12 yards. Brad did better, with 3 for 27.
• Be on the lookout on Wednesday or so for the 1st Annual Rock M Nation Bowl Pick ‘Em Competition.