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Mizzou Links, 8-25-08

So the Olympics didn't end so well for Mizzou's last remaining Olympian, Linas Kleiza.  After leading Lithuania to the semis, he crapped out, scoring 0 points in 11 minutes in a semifinal loss to Spain, then putting up only 5 points in 17 minutes in a bronze medal loss to Argentina.  So Lithuania missed out on a medal, and Christian Cantwell was Mizzou's only medalist.

Meanwhile, a week out from Illinois, Dave Matter takes a look at position battles...or the closest things this team has to them.  (Hope you had fun last night, Dave.  You too, Atch.)

Great article from Mike Dearmond about a) if Mizzou is a "program", and b) how we'll know when we are.

Has Missouri again established a football program, or will the graduation of Chase Daniel, Chase Coffman and William Moore and Co. just produce another two-year flash along the lines of Corby Jones, Brock Olivo and Devin West in 1997 and 1998?

“When you get a program,” said Jack Smith, who a year ago conceived a national award-winning MU football commercial featuring running back Tony Temple, “kids are attracted to you because of your name. LSU, Ohio State and Southern Cal. Those are programs.

“We’re getting there.”

Smith smiled and glanced out across a practice field filled with such burgeoning talent as sophomore running back Derrick Washington, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Elvis Fisher and freshman linebacker Will Ebner.

Jack Smith wants to believe. But …

The USA Today takes on Jeremy Maclin and concludes that the sky's the limit.  How fun is it seeing a quote from John Kadlec in a national pub?

Wins = the best Heisman promotion.  Go figure.

So being that it's now the real Illinois Week, I guess we'll have some more interesting Illinois links to share than we did about three months ago.  Case in point, this Rivals.com discussion between PowerMizzou's Gabe and OrangeAndBlueNews' Jeff.

The big losses seem to be Mendenhall and Leman from last year. How does Illinois look to have replaced those guys?

JJ: Illinois will use the running back by committee approach to replacing Mendenhall. ... Senior Brit Miller moves from outside to middle linebacker to replace Leman. Miller started at middle linebacker as a true freshman and had a great spring, camp and shouldn't miss a beat in replacing Leman. He may even be better than the All-Big Ten Leman was last fall.

What would you say is Illinois' biggest strength entering the season?

JJ: The front seven on defense will be the best in recent school history (going back over 20 years) and they should be able to run the ball consistently on every team they face.

Brit Miller > J Leman, and the current Illinois front 7 > the one with Kevin Hardy and Simeon Rice.  Got it.  We're screwed.  Uh huh.

Here's a better Illinois link--it's the Post-Dispatch's Illinois season preview.  Here's Mizzou's too.  And needless to say, the P-D's on the Mizzou bandwagon.  For now.

Drew Temple's practicing.  Finally.

Boo.  More here.  And here.

Following up on rptgwb's volleyball recap from Friday night, here's the official season preview from mutigers.com.  I must say, I'm a bit more optimistic about the season after freshman Brittany Brimmage had a solid B&G game performance.  We need firepower, and if she can fill the void, Mizzou's ceiling is a lot higher.

Finally, I had to share the pain.  After reminiscing on previous earth-shatteringly horrific trips to Lawrence, I dug up the game recaps.  1997, 1999, 2003, and 2005.  You're welcome.  Ironically, the only trip to Lawrence in that bunch in which Mizzou didn't have a better team on paper was 2001...and they won.