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Mizzou Links, 6-2-08

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Bill Simmons has an ongoing theory about how a team's fatal flaws will, by definition, eventually kill a team. There's no way to disguise them in the end. Mizzou Baseball has one possible fatal flaw (timely hitting) and one likely fatal flaw (relief pitching). For the most part, the offense showed up in Coral Gables--sure, there were some blown opportunities, but they averaged 6 runs a game against solid pitching. That's not terrible. But the bullpen killed Mizzou...and in a completely unexpected way. The problem heading into the postseason was that there was only one reliable reliever--Kyle Gibson. Well...Nick Tepesch was wonderful on Saturday against Miami, and Ryan Allen was solid on Sunday against Ole Miss...and Kyle Gibson was awful. As soon as Mizzou tied Miami in the 8th on Saturday, Gibson gave up a run and lost the game. As soon as Mizzou had taken a lead in the 8th on Sunday against Ole Miss, Gibson gave up a single, two walks, and a grand slam (to a guy named Power, no less). I did not even remotely see that coming, but the end story was "Bullpen woes kill Mizzou"...and we could totally see that coming. But this is a links post, so...postmortems galore: The Missourian, KC Star, Post-Dispatch, and be sure to pay attention to SimmonsField.com for this week's season recap (and other stuff).

I hope to throw together a statistical look at who's returning for Mizzou in 2009 (I can't believe 2009 now qualifies as "next year"...I feel old), but I may get sidetracked by my ongoing obsession with football stats. We'll see.

A quick look at the big bracket gives us some other results. Miami thumped Ole Miss (11-2) to win the Coral Gables Region, for starters. Other Big 12 results: OSU was eliminated from the Stillwater Region by Wichita State, Nebraska was eliminated from the Lincoln Region by Oral Roberts, Texas was eliminated from the Houston Region by Rice, Texas A&M plays Houston tonight for the rubber match in the College Station Region, and Oklahoma was rudely eliminated from the Tempe Region by Arizona State. In other words, the Big 12 was pretty pathetic after a great opening day, advancing no more than one team to the Super Regionals.

This weekend did produce good news, however! As usual, the good news comes from the football team. Hazelwood East OL Darris Ford, Rivals.com's #4 player in the state of Mizzou became Mizzou's 6th commitment over the weekend. In all, Mizzou's one-day camp in StL went pretty well and included the news that Strafford OL Tyler Evans might be close to committing as well. That's big because, from listening to quotes, Evans was one of only maybe 2-3 MO kids Mizzou has offered who didn't seem to clearly have Mizzou in the lead (the others being Nathan Scheelhaase and maybe Bryant Allen).

Sticking with the recruiting theme, it sounds like the competition for Texas QB Jacob Karam has picked up a little, as Louisville has offered and impressed him. In the "Who will be Mizzou's first out-of-state commit?" sweepstakes, Karam was my #1 choice, and it looks like his recruiting might play out a while longer now. My new guess: 1) KS ATH Marshall Musil, 2) PA WR Jaleel Clark, and 3) GA ATH Joe Stewart. The fact that none of those three are from Texas or Oklahoma shows how Mizzou's recruiting has expanded geographically this year (not that Kansas is 'geographically' distant from Missouri in any way...just intellectually. Ahem.

Recruiting clips! I love it when YouTube has film of recruits...new to the Mizzou offer list if Florida ATH Mywan Jackson, and here's his footage. Dude looks really good at QB, but he's 5'10/170...no way in hell is he a QB in college. Great runner, though...runs a lot stronger than 170.
So here's why we love Dave Matter so much--he takes a look his "Top Big 12 Newcomers" list from last year, even though he had Sam Keller #1.

Finally, we'll end this up and down Links post with something happy--Ben Askren and his chances at the Olympics.