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Mizzou Links, 11-10-08

I'm watching Sportscenter, and I'm pretty sure Chris Bermann just made 117 musical references in two minutes...all of which are references to songs/artists from before 1975.  Good god.  Can we please put him out to pasture?  Pretty please?  This is just embarrassing.

We've got a rule around here: win a Big 12 title, get first billing on the next day's Mizzou Links post.  Congrats once more to Bryan Blitz's Mizzou soccer squad, who beat #10 Colorado for the Big 12 tourney win.  The KC Star and Missourian have more.

K-State Wrap-up links!

And as always, we close the book on last week's game with Dave Matter and his empty notebook...

Some of us were talking in the press box last night and came to the conclusion that the Tigers will be — and should be — the favorites again next year in the North. Kansas State is a mess and doesn’t have a head coach. Iowa State and Colorado are struggling to build any traction under their regimes. Kansas had its day in the (Miami) sun but is headed toward a 6-6 finish. Nebraska will be MU’s best competition, but it’s going to take a few more recruiting classes for Bo Pelini to build a consistent top-20 team.

That leaves Missouri, which has some promising young players on the offensive line, a potential all-conference tailback and enough young receivers to keep the passing game effective, even with a rookie quarterback running the show. The defense loses some core veterans, but this program seems to have better years defensively when the external expectations are lowered, when younger players are hungry to prove themselves. Maybe this group excels next season with bunch of young pups filling key roles.

(And as well as Sean Weatherspoon has played this year, I think enough people will get in his ear and wisely advise him to put off the NFL until 2010. He’s a pretty heady kid. I don’t see him making a foolish decision.)

That might sound like some sunshine-pumping for next season, but look around this division and tell me which program is ready to topple the Tigers from the head of the North food chain. Granted, there won’t be national championship talk next summer, but for this program, the primary goal should and always be winning the North first. That singular focus, as the Tigers discovered these last few weeks, is the best way to clear a path toward bigger and better things in December and January. No North, no nothing.

I concur.  And I'll eventually get around to writing that "2009 preview" piece I've been thinking about writing for two weeks.

As you'd expect, while the North title is clearly within reach (and clearly Missouri's to lose), Gary Pinkel's team is cautious to say the least.

Now THIS I like...or at least, enjoy: if Mizzou beats a 1-loss team in the Big 12 title game, if USC loses, if Penn State loses, if Boise and Utah lose, if Ohio State loses again...Mizzou's back in the BCS Championship picture!  Hooray!

It was a pretty good weekend for all Mizzou sports, I guess, as Mizzou volleyball torched Oklahoma yesterday in front of 1700 people.  They hit well, they served well, they blocked well, they dug well, they passed well...Lauren Nuckolls came out of nowhere to dominate, and that's perfectly fine with me.  Though I guess I feel a little bad for destroying Brad Ekwerekwu's sister...

Football recruiting news and notes!  Ronnie Wingo enjoyed his unofficial visit to Columbia, but obviously no decisions were made.  And Sheldon Richardson enjoyed his short-notice trip to Minnesota with Bryant Allen, but no decisions were made.

Finally, in basketball recruiting...the recruitment of 5-star CA guard Michael Snaer might actually be about to end after all.  Snaer was leaning toward waiting until spring to decide, but apparently now that's not the case.  Or maybe not the case.  Or something.  He might decide Wednesday.  Or he might not.  Either way I'm not at all optimistic.

Bermann just made another '70s reference.  Pasture.  Pretty please.