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Rock M Roundtable!

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1 - Stefhon Hannah was dismissed from the Mizzou team yesterday because of the academic consequences that came with him hanging out in Chicago for weeks with the broken jaw.  That means the whole "Athena Five" situation is (more or less) over.  Did Anderson do enough?   In other words, does the way he handled the entire affair reflect well or poorly on him?

2 - KSU is ahead on the scorecard, but KU and UT are right behind in the basketball standings.  Who wins the Big 12?  

3 - From the AP: "Indiana University today will release a list of alleged violations by its men's basketball program from the National Collegiate Athletic Association concerning impermissible phone calls, the Associated Press said."  And apparently Kelvin Sampson lied about it as well.  In other words, Sampson has now committed the exact same violations that got OU in trouble before he ditched them for IU (and completed one of the more sleazy hit-and-runs in coaching).  I want to ask "How much of a piece of crap is Sampson?" here, but instead I'll just ask...what happens next with this?  Does Sampson actually risk getting fired now?  I mean, IU knew that they were getting a sleazebag when they hired him away from OU, but he wins ballgames, so it was okay.  I just wanted to ask a question about this since Sampson is one of my least-favorite figures in all of sports.

4 - Pretty much every workplace around me (including mine and my wife's) has had half their employees missing days because of the flur or related illnesses.  How much has this winter sucked???

5 - Weekend picks!  MU @ KSU, Texas @ Baylor, OU @ Tech, NU @ ISU, OSU @ ATM.  (I'm not bothering with CU @ KU)

(15 minutes later)

Actually, new Question #4: RMN's hit and post rates have been pretty constant since football season ended.  Any suggestions for how we bump this up a notch, both from a production and viewership standpoint?

Click 'Full Story' for the answers, then leave your own answers in the comments section!

The Beef: I will maintain that if this situation is allowed to hamper us down the road because of scholarship restrictions that Anderson will not have done enough.  I realize this will forever be (with most of our fans at least) a "Quin’s players vs. Mike’s players" and I still take a harder line on this being an Anderson kid completely (regardless that Quin recruited him and regardless that he is seen as a stop-gap) so I will be less than pleased if an Anderson kid is causing us to lose something down the road after an incident like this.  On a personal note, especially in the age of the Intra-webs, that details of what happened to Hannah that night have not come out quite yet.

I think kU is still the best team in the conference, so I think they do what needs to be done coming down the stretch and win it by a game over kSU.  I think UT is solid, and playing better than earlier in the season I suppose, but they seem to always be good about losing a game or two they should not.  Needless to say, their loss to us probably hurts them in the end.

Nothing happens to Sampson because Indiana is topical again and they have a new arena on the way.  Sampson is a HUGE piece of crap, I have less respect for him than almost any other coach out there.  But we all know the NCAA is not terribly even-handed when it comes to coaches and schools, so I expect very little to come out of this unless the Indiana AD or President wants to commit career suicide and ban themselves from the post season, since the NCAA wont do it.

Early question #4 – Almost everyone on my team of 13 has been out sick...except for me.  Many of my friends have been sick.  Never had a flu shot, never had the flu.

Later question #4 – I have banged my head into the wall over and over on this, and still cannot really come up with much.  I know we have some good readers out there, but just not a huge amount of people who feel compelled to respond (and I love the people that do).  Diary of the Week contest?

What....we don’t get to pick tonight’s tape-delayed game?  As for the weekend, kSU by a decent amount, UT over Baylor in a good game, OU over Tech, ISU at home, aTm at home and kU at home or anywhere against CU.

Doug: 1 - I think it was enough.  However, I am curious about the connection of the dismissal to this story Bill posted a few days ago, and based on the fact he does have until the 25th to drop classes and not affect MU's scholarship count for next season, I am of the opinion that this was a calculated move on Anderson's part to help the team for next season.

2 - God, this is painful.  But, the schedule sets up really nicely for K-State.  I don't know if they win the conference, but they have a much easier road, what with Texas at home, than Kansas does, since KU has to go on the road to Texas A&M.  But, I certainly hope KU breaks out of this funk they've been in since the second half of the Nebraska game and get in back in gear.

3 - The violations with Sampson are a little weird, since he allegedly participated in 10 3-way conference calls.  Now the NCAA does have a limit on conference calls, however, Sampson was banned from participating in conference calls by Indiana.  So, if the report is based entirely on the conference calls, then I don't think it'll be that big of a deal.  But, if there is new stuff unearthed, it will certainly put Sampson on a shorter leash, but it won't result in his firing, since he's rebuilt what Mike Davis left in less than one season.  Indiana won't fire him, at least not yet.

4 - I've actually quite enjoyed this winter, it's been nice to have snow falling and cold temps, but then I don't really get sick.

New 4 – Porn.

5 - What the hell, it's the Patrick Ewing Theory!  MU over KSU!  And, let's go... Baylor, Tech, ISU, aTm.  Oh, and I'll bother, KU.

ZouDave: 1 - I personally would have liked to have seen Anderson dismiss Hannah earlier than this, even though I'm not 100% sure he could have done so easily.  I'm just trying to think of how Coach Pinkel would handle something like this, because at this point I'm having problems finding flaws in Pinkel's program.  I think Pinkel would have done things similarly to Anderson, in that he would have suspended the players indefinitely and once enough facts were gathered he'd dismiss them outright.  I don't know how much faster that would have happened under Pinkel, I just know he wouldn't have this kind of image hanging around his team.  I definitely think there's a hint at a lack of discipline in the basketball program, and Anderson knew (or should have known) he would be facing that kind of image when he got here because Quin's discipline sucked.  To have this kind of issue and not take major and swift actions gives off the impression he's being soft, even if he's not really doing so.  It really wouldn't have bothered me at all if he had just flat-out washed his hands of the entire group.  But that might have sent a more and different wrong message.

2 - kansas will be co-champs with either Texas or KSU.  And if it's Texas, ku will once again hang a banner even though Texas has tie-breaker on them.  They call them tie-breakers for a reason, people.  They break ties.  This co-champ stuff is just ridiculous.  And I don't blame kansas for this (though they could, as a program of such stature and success, refuse to recognize their co-champ status as a true championship because they know they got beat by the team they supposedly tied with).  I blame the Big XII.  Have some balls, declare a one and true champ, and be done.  There's still a tournament to play.  There's no co-champs in tournaments.

3 - If Indiana is smart, they'll fire him and go hire another big-name coach while they're still looking good.  But I don't know how they can wash their hands of this because even though Sampson is a known sleazebag jerk, he's acting on their behalf.  Maybe they should bring back Bob Knight.  That would be hilarious.

4 - I haven't been sick yet this winter (and I understand by saying that I will certainly come down with the flu in the next 72 hours) so I think this winter has ruled.  I love the cold.  The only problem I'm having with this winter is how wet it's been.  My backyard is just a mess and I don't know how I'm going to save it.  It rained about an inch a week or so ago, and I had a puddle in my backyard probably 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and at least 4 inches deep...just sitting there.  All the water in my backyard had settled in the lowest area and just stayed there.  Then it froze and was a hockey rink for squirrels.  No way any grass under that spot is going to survive.  Good times.

4 – I was going to jokingly suggest porn too.  But I was going to do it in picture form.  And I was going to get banned from all further roundtables.



But I didn't.

5 - KSU is going to kill us.  Revenge, needing to stay in first, home game...it's going to be bad.  Bad in a prison sex kind of way.  Texas will beat Baylor, but again Baylor will put up a fight.  They're a good little team who I hope makes the NCAA Tournament.  OU will beat Tech.  ISU beats Nebraska.  A&M beats OSU.  And yeah, don't bother with Colorado vs anyone.  Bad with a capital suck.

rptgwb: 1 - I'm satisfied with the actions Anderson took because everything seemed to unfold in a logical progression rather than falling into either  the "immediate overreaction" or "stringing it out" camps. Anderson took swift action by suspending the five immediately to make his point about curfew. He then reinstated who he felt had little else to do with the conflict. Every move seemed calculated and fairly evaluated. I hate to bust the philosophy terms, but it seemed like retributivism at its finest, since Anderson made 100 percent sure that the punishment fit the crime. I think the way things unfolded increased the university/fan base's trust in the character of the guy running the program.

2 - I still like Kansas in the Big 12 tourney. They've still yet to have a "bad" loss. And yes, I'm implying that certain "common loss" that KSU and UT have is a "bad" loss.

3 - It's Indiana, home of "The Bob Knight Nine Strike No Tolerance Policy" (trademark). I find it hard to believe Sampson's job would be in jeopardy with the success Indiana is having, not to mention any ramifications it might have on Eric Gordon staying at IU.

4 - Man, I spent five weeks of this winter in balmy and beautiful North Texas. As for the 3-4 weeks of winter I've spent in CoMo? Combine the whole "not prepared for single digit wind chills" thing with that whole "upper respiratory infection" factor, and it hasn't been the best of seasons for the minimal amount of time I've spent in it.

5 - Picks:
MU < KSU
UT > BU
OU > TT
NU <ISU <br>OSU <ATM</p>

Michael Atchison: I’m working on ten days of death-struggle with some flu-like affliction (I’m going to see a professional today), so I can’t tell you that I’ve paid much attention to the happenings of the past week.  But that won’t stop me from commenting on them.

1 - I certainly don’t think he handled things the wrong way.  Given what I know (which, admittedly, is less than he knows), I would have dismissed Butterfield, too.  You do get the sense that he’s in pretty full control of his team right now.  I like that he has kept the Tiller-Lawrence-Lawrence-Volkus-Carroll lineup intact.  That continues to reinforce the message.

2 - Just doing the math, I think the odds are pretty high that there’s a tie for the title.  But if I have to pick one, I’ll take Kansas.  They’re the best team, and the one least likely to stub a toe against a lesser opponent.

3 - If Sampson isn’t in jeopardy, he ought to be.  The allegation that he lied repeatedly to investigators and school officials puts him at serious risk of an "unethical conduct" finding by the NCAA, and that’s extremely serious.  Guys lose their jobs over that finding all the time.  Back in my former life, that’s how two of my clients met their end.

4 - This winter has sucked so, so hard.

5 - KSU, Horns, Sooners, Clones, Ags.

New Question #4: The Men of RMN Calendar.

Doug: See, now, I would think that would send people fleeing in terror from the site.

mizzourobot: BANANA HAMMOCK!

1 - Anderson did enough.  He laid down a hard enough line without going too far on a bunch of kids.  He's made the point that needs to be made, removed what he felt was an unacceptable member of the squad, and hasn't waffled, wavered, or shirked responsibility.  Maybe I'm still just bitter from Quin and looking for someone, anyone inside the program to set any type of example.  

2 - I like KU to win the Big 12, but KSU to go farther in the tournament.  This Kansas team has weaknesses that don't assert themselves very much in the regular season but then become glaring issues in March.  I wouldn't be surprised at Texas winning the Big 12 Tournament, either. But hey! Two losses! Feel good about that, Jayhawks!

3 - It's really a toss up. With Indiana as desperate to get back to relevance, they're likely to hold on to him, but the scrutiny will only continue. I would imagine it will depend on how severely the NCAA comes down on him.

4 - Currently in Austin, it's 34 degrees, with an expected high today of 63. Tomorrow, clear and sunny with a high of 73.  Please enjoy your day. :)

5 - KSU destroys us.  Baylor with the upset. I really like that squad.  OU over Tech, NU over ISU, ATM over OSU.

One thing I've found that pushes traffic is interviews, so that's a good place to start. Try getting an email interview with someone at the Trib, or do a series of debates with one of the other SBNation sites. I'm sure Corn Nation is looking for something to do until baseball season gets into high gear.

The Beef: Well...I have to say I am impressed with the fact that I believe everyone responded before this fell apart...except for The Boy I guess....oh well...not like we pay attention to his answers anyway...

The Boy:  Doug - Actually, I think it's now the Tiki Barber Theory.  And since Hannah hasn't been seen for a few weeks anyway, that already had its effect against KSU the first time around.  I doubt we get to use it again.

Dave - Pinkel has said that it does take a while to cycle out some of the bad blood and actually get the character of your program to where you want it to be.  Needless to say, there were probably some iffy character guys on Pinkel's second squad (2002).

rptgwb - retributivism?  Well played.

Robot - I'm getting ready to start an e-mail exchange with Dave Matter, so...yeah...

1 - As far as it purely pertains to the Athena incident, I think he has done enough.  As much as I don't want to see the faces of Horton and Butterfield anymore, they wouldn't get kicked off of any team in the country for what they've done, so I shouldn't expect any different here.  And yes...I'm willing to overlook any issues associated with the 'character' of guys Anderson recruits (since Butters and Hannah were indeed his guys) as long as it's better from here on out.  I don't really know if Butterfield had shown any warning signs of bad behavior or not--I just know that Anderson showed up on campus in 2006 and pretty much thought "Oh crap, this team sucks...find me a couple JUCOs!" and probably didn't have as much time for due diligence regarding character.  That's all fine and good.  But from this point forward, there are no excuses in that regard.  You can't "save" everybody whether you're a great father figure or not, and we can't drag the program down with any more incidents.

2 - This would have been a better question had I actually outlined the remaining schedule for each team.  On pure talent, it's obviously Kansas.  UT needed a career day from Connor Atchley to beat them at home by 3.  Meanwhile, Mizzou has managed to beat both UT and KSU.  KU's the team to beat, as I do expect KSU to slip up a couple times down the stretch.  No matter how talented their freshmen are, they're freshmen, and they're going to wear down at least a smidge.

3 - Like I said, I just asked this question so I could share my dislike for Sampson.  Indiana indeed knew exactly what they were getting into with him, and they did it anyway.  However, if they struggle without Gordon and White next year, suddenly they'll start thinking those character issues might be important...funny how that works...

4 (early) - I'm on the third nagging bug of this winter.  None of it has been incapacitating, but it's really starting to get on my nerves.  Of course, I'm pretty sure my wife just managed to get some sort of 24-hour appendicitis bug (that's what it seemed like, anyway), so I guess I shouldn't complain.

4 (late) - I'm all ears.

5 - KSU > MU by 17.  
BU > UT by 2 (UT has letdown after KU).  
Tech > OU by 6 (OU's strug-a-ling).
ISU > NU by a home court.
ATM > OSU by 13.

And Beef - Just because you get your answers in first doesn't mean people listen to you either.  So nyeh.  Though I'm all for a Beef Banana Hammock...

...I just made myself dry heave a bit.

Doug: I just threw up in my mouth... a lot.

rptgwb: And, with that, Richard Zednik's gruesome injury is no longer the winner of my "Worst Mental Image" award for the calendar year.

The Beef: I find it to be...well...something...that the thought of me in something revealing is making you all vomit and I was the one in a similar position for 3-4 years at Faurot...maybe I was solely responsible for keeping attendance down back then.

mizzourobot: At least it wasn't Mangino's beef banana hammock.  Jesus, that would be like a coctail weenie lying in a vat of turkey grease.

The Beef: And we have a NEW winner...

The Boy: Actually, my brain has censored the Mangino image.  I can't even picture it enough to get grossed out.  Pretty cool.

And yes, Beef...a) you were the reason for the attendance problems, and b) you were pretty damn sexy.  People just couldn't handle it.  And I can't really believe I just typed these last two sentences.  And I can't believe I'm about to hit Send on this e-mail...

(And that Zednik injury was HIDEOUS, by the way...though like Kornheiser said, I don't really understand how that doesn't happen all the time...)

The Beef: Somehow I still have not seen it, though I did read an ESPN piece on Clint Malarchuk’s (sp) reaction to it (he was the guy slashed across the throat).  His cut was WAY longer, I guess Zednik’s was only about an inch and a half.  How he (Zednik) knew enough to make it to the bench was amazing...he really should have bled out and died on the ice.

rptgwb: (regarding increased viewers)  I've been wondering the exact same thing for the last month. Couple of things:

  • More multimedia? Podcast, perhaps?
  • What ever happened to the RMN T-Shirts? That's marketing if we can get them out there. I've got 5-6 people here on campus that have pledged to buy them as soon as they're good to go.
  • I like the earlier idea of debates/roundtables with other Big 12 bloggers. What if we expanded it to other conferences that we don't really even have that much connection with? Would a "Getting to Know" feature with say, Addicted to Quack or Dawg Sports, be able to pull all their readership over to RMN, even if it's only briefly?
  • As ESPN has proved, when all else fails and times are slow, have ridiculous contests with people voting. People love voting, you know, minus that whole "presidential" thing. Let's get some kind of tournament or contest going that increases participation (see Roll Bama Roll's "Girl Fight"). It could be MU-related like "Top Mizzou figure of the past 25 years" or something as broad as "best college football broadcast teams." Plus, if we did the latter, we might get linked to sites like Awful Announcing and The Sporting News' Sporting Blog. I think getting linked is the "sign some JuCos" of the blog circuit.
  • Blogwhore
  • Hold a public flogging of Stephon Hannah, Quin Snyder, and Tyus Edney.

The Boy: I like the "Mizzou figures" competition...that might work better than my playoff poll in football...where it was very obvious who was going to win from the beginning.  That might actually encourage, like, real debate and stuff...

And I'm pretty sure Gus Johnson would win any announcing competition...not sure there's a point to having one.

mizzourobot: Podcasts go over really well with your base, but it's hard to get other folks to listen unless you invite them on.

  • T-shirts are a good idea
  • Contact Sunday Morning Quarterback, too, with any ideas. Use the general SBN football blog as a conduit.
  • The best way to get exposure, is, honestly, through humor. If you hook them with something funny, then you can run the actual great analysis Rock M provides. Maybe a piece on dissecting the cupcakes we play this year? If you get a pick up in the blogdome from Deadspin or the Big Lead, it gets you a ton of traffic that will come back. Just my own experience in the blogosphere.
  • Doing an analysis of the lesser broadcast teams, in terms of the ones that don't get as much attention from AA will go far. I'm buds with Brian over there, so if you do something like that, let me know and I'll pass it along. He's still unbelievably receptive and generous, even now that he's been picked up by Sporting Blog.
  • Yes, I'm just saying this because I'm an NBA freak. Linas Kleiza is TEARING up the league right now, and is in line to get traded to the Kings and then get a massive contract extension (if they can get Denver to take Crazy Pills Artest). Kleiza also has a MySpace page and actively seeks out Mizzou grads to friend (like my wife. Let me tell you how that went over when a 6'9 Lithuanian shooting guard came calling).  I would go add him on MySpace and drop him a message. He might agree to an interview.

rptgwb: If we know one thing, it's that people are bracket whores (see Madness, March). Set up the bracket, give the winner a free t-shirt, and they will come.

The Boy: Yeah, I'm not a fan of the ongoing ESPN brackets (Best Highlight!  Best Personality!  Best Whatever!), but there's no questioning that they're popular...

So how about the other part of that question?  How do we better encourage people to post diaries?

rptgwb: By the way, I can't believe I didn't say this earlier. And what I'm about to say is about to SCREAM "Hey, I'm in college!"

Facebook.

We've got the Rock M Nation group on Facebook. Can we open it up to people outside the Missouri network. I know several non-Mizzou RMN readers, not to mention several other bloggers such as PB over at Burnt Orange Nation and Brad at The 12th Manchild (if that still counts).

Can we add a RMN Pick 'Em-style bigass link to the Facebook to try to get the word out among students? I mean, I know I'm coming across like a 12-year-old girl here, but it seems like one HUGE avenue we aren't taking advantage of. Plus, should we be playing up the "Best Big 12 Blog" nominee thing? I know we've collectively tried not to "blow our own horn," but should we add something on the side that says "Nominee: Best Big 12 Blog"?

The Beef: Facebook and myspace (though more facebook really) are huge drivers....I nominate our student at Mizzou to take care of this for us (since I am thinking Atch may not have any notion what facebook is and ZD and The Boy are probably not on it ;-)

The Boy: I'm a 'friend' of yours on Facebook, and yet you don't know I'm even on it.  sniff  That hurts.

(I still nominate somebody else, though.)

The Beef: Eh...shows you how much I pay attention

Doug: Okay, while Bill is getting his feelings hurt by My Space, I'll offer a second for the return of podcasting.  Just like radio!  Without the hassle of the FCC!

mizzourobot: If you have the technology, Podcasts are great. I notice a lot of the SBNation guys use them. You could even do guest spots with crimson and cream machine! you can have Royal Sooner come on and talk about how we "deserved" the beatdown we got for thinking we were good!

Man I want to kick that guy in the nuts.

The Beef: And there I was at The Boy’s house this weekend, and in our "buzzed" stupor we could have delivered the first edition of RockM Radio...oh the opportunities lost...

The Boy: If more of us were in the same town, I'd be all about a podcast...this would either require a) some conference call technology, or b) people to tolerate just Ross and myself manning the pod (since we're just about the only two in the same town...other than Dave and Atch, I guess).

Doug: There's got to be some software out there that allows for a conference call type recording for podcasting.

Oh, and I'm in Kansas City too, moran.

mizzourobot: I know Basketball Jones uses Skype. I'm sure the other sbnationers would give you some tips on how to work it, work it.

Michael Atchison: I think Dave and I should do them live from the bar at the Power Plant Brewpub in downtown Parkville.  They could be our big sponsor.  Hope you don’t mind the sound of freight trains in the background every five or six minutes.

ZouDave: or the sound of me ordering another beer...

The Beef: Oh...I have no doubt the mammoth Mac laptop The Boy has could do it...not sure if I have mic still...I think I probably gave it back to The Boy when I left town...I do still have the crappy phone for the speaker phone purposes.

rptgwb: If everyone could find a way to record a segment, I could work them into the podcast.

I've got a friend that creates applications for Facebook (those God-awful seeds of Satan) and I might see if he'll make an application for us that's like "Rock M Nation Readers" that would have like an RSS feed of the last 3 stories or something. Then we might get hits from the average Facebooking girl who feels compelled to click every damn link on a Facebook page (try sitting behind someone in class who does that for a solid hour).

And I still think we need to get the shirts finalized and get an RMN Store up and going. Who had the shirt connections?

The Beef: I had the "connections" about the shirts...that would be one TailG8Queen

mizzourobot: So here's a question.

We've always been an "Academic school" which is redundant to a certain degree, and usually just a way of mocking us for sucking at sports.

But secondary, we've been known as a basketball school. At least that's how I, my family, and friends have always thought of it.

But with the recent utter destruction of our basketball program over the last six years and the rise of our football program, is that still true?

ZouDave: See, I've always considered Mizzou a football school.  And it never had anything to do with our success or lack of it on the field, it had to do with the passion of the fans and the support behind it.  Even in the dismal 80s and 90s, we still had a lot of fans showing up for games (considering how bad we were).  I think there are more passionate Mizzou football fans there are passionate Mizzou basketball fans.  Not that the Mizzou basketball fans aren't passionate...not at all.  But in the end, one of the two sports is your favorite.  Some book I read once talked about how you can't have 2 masters, this applies to sports as well.  You may indeed love both sports, but in the end one of them wins the tie-breaker (see what I did there?).

To me, Mizzou has always chosen football and has always been happy to cheer for a winning basketball program.

The Boy: For a couple decades there, I think Mizzou was a basketball school that WANTED to be a football school.  Now that fortunes have turned, I have the feeling we're going to be a football school for the forseeable future...even if fortunes turn BACK, it's going to take a few years...

And this question is mostly for Atch: speaking of turning fortunes, when's the last time a class of incoming freshmen missed the NCAAs the entire time they were in school (like the recruiting Class of 2004 is about to accomplish)?

The Beef: I don’t think so...but I don’t think we have ever truly been a basketball school...I think the notion of a basketball is really reserved to VERY few schools out there....and I think based on the 60’s and 70’s...we’ve ALWAYS been a football school...we just had basketball to pass the time from a success standpoint and tailgating to pass the time from a social standpoint.

The Boy: Even KANSAS almost turned into a football school this fall...I was impressed with some of Doug's "Basketball?  What's that?" answers on the roundtable back in November...

Michael Atchison: As the aged member of the panel, I think I can safely say for a span of time in the late 80s and early 90s, Mizzou tipped into basketball school territory.  Football was so perennially abysmal, and Big Eight basketball was so good that we, as students, found our identity through hoops.  Throughout that span, there wasn’t anything in football that could even remotely compare to a basketball game against Kansas.

Now, though, it’s no contest.  Football dominates.