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Mizzou Links, 5-12-08

The good news: Mizzou Baseball won on Sunday!  Bad news: Mizzou Baseball also lost on Sunday.  After a made-closer-and-more-dramatic by the bullpen win Friday night, Mizzou did manage to take two of three in Lawrence, which is always nice.  In all, Mizzou outscored KU 23-11, and Aaron Crow moved to 11-0 with an 11-K performance on Friday, so it was a rather successful weekend, but those 13 LOB in the 7-6 loss prevented a sweep.  The fourth-place Tigers are now 3 games out of third and only one game ahead of fifth-place Texas, who has apparently removed its head from its posterior.

So, despite an early exit in the Big 12 Tournament this weekend (they lost to 6-seed Tech in the quarterfinals), Mizzou Softball drew a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament.  The bad news is, they'll play 3-seed Iowa Friday the Iowa City Regional.  How a 3-seed gets a regional, I'm not totally sure.  Every sport's tourney rules are different, I guess.  The Missourian has more.  And here's the NCAA bracket in pdf form.

So the Trib sent Dave Matter down to Oklahoma City for the Big 12 Softball tournament, and while he certainly didn't have much to cover there, he did get to watch what happens in OKC when a QB transfers from OU.

The big news here in OKC is third-string quarterback Keith Nichol’s decision to transfer from Oklahoma. Nichol, a former four-star recruit from Michigan, enrolled at OU in January of ’07 to get a jumpstart on the quarterback competition but couldn’t beat out Sam Bradford and was looking at three years of playing behind last year’s Freshman All-American.


The more interesting part of the story I found was a list of Sooner quarterback transfers during the Bob Stoops era. Nichol is the sixth. That might seem like an alarming number, but I can’t imagine Stoops lost any sleep over losing another QB. He’ll put out another top-10 team this fall and continue to recruit top players at the position. (OU signed anothe four-star QB back in February, New Mexic's Landry Jones.)

Losing top-shelf quarterbacks is the price you pay for recruiting at the level Oklahoma does, especially at the delicate quarterback position. When a young QB like Bradford emerges as a franchise player, other young passers see the writing on the wall and are forced into making decisions. These scenarios play out at top programs, and if Missouri expects to sustain the success of its current run, it could easily happen in Columbia one day, too.

The Tigers have a blue-chip quarterback coming to Columbia this summer (Blaine Gabbert), another one committed for 2009 (Blaine Dalton) and continue to recruit other players at the position, including Friendswood, Texas, QB Jacob Karam, with the understanding that one could emerge as the next franchise QB while the others sit and watch with the rest of us. As fun as 2008 should be to watch, the QB evolution thereafter could be fascinating.

So one more former Tiger is getting a shot at the pros--Adam Crossett signed a free agent deal with the Colts.  You have to figure he won't have a chance at the kicking or punting roles (Adam Vinatieri and Hunter Smith are, shall we say, pretty solid in the first-string roles), but I don't believe either is remarkable in the kickoffs department, so Crossett may have a shot there (not that he was amazing at that himself).

Something else good from the weekend: Kyle Gibson and Aaron Senne got an invite to try out for the USA national team.  They both responded to the news with good weekends in Lawrence...Gibson shut KU down in the series finale, while Senne hit two HRs on Sunday.

PowerMizzou caught up with Texas long-jump champion (and future Mizzou TE) Michael Egnew and got some good quotes from both him and his high school coach...former Tiger point guard Dibi Ray.  Small world.

Finally, this skit had no business being funny, but the males in the SNL cast made it funny, so...power to them for that.