I forgot today was Wednesday (it's been that kind of week), but ZouDave came through with Roundtable questions. Hoooorraaaaaay, ZouDave!
1 - On a scale of 1-14, with 1 being "not even a little" and 14 being "Jenna Haze on Ecstasy", how bad does Mediacom's service suck in the Columbia area?
2 - Which was it, a bad game from Mizzou or a good game from Buffalo?
3 - Now that your team's non-conference schedule is complete (see what I did there, Doug?), what are you most happy about? What are you most concerned with?
4 - It's a bye week. What will you be doing on Saturday in place of watching your favorite team?
5 - Big 12 picks!
Colorado at Florida State
Louisiana-Lafayette at Kansas State
Virginia Tech at Nebraska
TCU at Oklahoma
Troy at Oklahoma State
Army at Texas A&M
The Beef: 1 - As an out-of-towner, I just do not know. I had Mediacom for a few years back in 2000-2003, and honestly, it was never terrible. Back then I would give it an 11 maybe.
2 - I think Buffalo is a decent team and a program slowly building themselves up (as long as they can find someone as good as Gill when he leaves)…and I think Mizzou played a decent game. We have all seen the stats of what Mizzou did. Inopportune fumbles, a once-a-decade play and a roughing the kicker penalty, and POOF!!...the game goes from about 59-10 maybe to 42-21.
3 - I am not overly concerned about a lot…just curious (I suppose) to see what sort of defensive scheme we settle into with (hopefully) a healthy V. Alexander and Willy Mo.
4 - I MIGHT actually have to work on Saturday morning, which kinda messes up my plan of laundry and drinking…I am holding out hope I don’t need to come in.
5 - Colorado at Florida State – Colorado…seems strange but I don’t think FSU is all that good…nor do I think CU has arrived but I think their offense is improved.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Kansas State – kSU by…eh…a couple of TD’s
Virginia Tech at Nebraska – NU had better win this game
TCU at Oklahoma – OU, but it might be close in the first half since I like what TCU does defensively
Troy at Oklahoma State – Okie State runs for at least 350 yards
Army at Texas A&M – Can I pick another CFL-style 1-0?
The Boy: 1 - Eleventy Billion. But at least I'm paying half as much for it as I used to. Great things happen when you threaten to leave.
2 - Yes.
Honestly, as hard as I try, I just can't get too worked up about the Buffalo game. It was a "stuff happens" game, and we still won by 3 TD's. But we do need to give credit to Turner Gill and his team--they had a solid gameplan, they made the most out of little offensive firepower, and they tackled really, really, really well.
3 - I'm happy that we get a bye week here (and Nebraska doesn't), and I'm happy that the team has something to be annoyed about (a lackluster performance against UB) during the break.
4 - I wish I could say I'll be participating in THE FIRST ANNUAL ROCK M NATION BYE WEEK OPEN THREAD!!!!1!!!!!, but instead I'll be picking up the in-laws from the KC airport. I'd complain about it, but I'm getting free Bryants out of the deal.
5 - CU/FSU: I'm not sure CU's ready to win this game yet. FSU's offense is HORRIBLE, but their defense is fast enough to give CU problems. CU got 14 points out of their scripted plays against WV, then didn't score again till overtime. This has 12-9 (4 FG's to 3) written all over it, and while I hope CU wins to help the Big 12 out, I'm going with the home (approximately) team.
ULL/KSU: One more reason to hate Ron Prince: he's the king of stupid Holtzian coachspeak. I caught bits of his weekly press conference on ESPNU this morning, and to hear him talk, you'd think ULL was the second coming of Barry Switzer's Sooner teams with their ability to run the ball. KSU wins despite their coach, 48-17.
VT/NU: I've been talking down VT for the last month, and while they certainly benefitted last Saturday by UNC's QB (TJ Yates) getting hurt when UNC was up comfortably, the fact is VT is in position to win their division again despite a massive rebuilding situation there. That said, I think highly enough of NU to think that they can overcome a really well-coached VT team. The Sea of Red even got to Chase Daniel the first time he experienced it, and it'll get to Tyrod Taylor too. NU wins, 27-17.
TCU/OU: TCU's got their typical "defense first, defense second" team, but...OU's a machine. OU wins 44-10.
Troy/OSU: Troy's competitive, but OSU will beat them by more than tOSU beat them last week. We'll say 38-14 Pokes.
Army/ATM: Good god I hope ATM wins this game...just for the sake of the Big 12. But being that their offense is more stagnant than (insert something really stagnant here), it won't be tremendously easy. We'll say ATM wins 24-6.
Doug: Oh, great... as if this thread wasn't long enough for G-Mail already.
1 - Can't say I've ever had to deal with Mediacom before... but Jenna Haze on Ecstasy? That's way more than 14.
2 - Like Seth says... The University AT Buffalo appears to be a program on the rise and Turner Gill may have actually been a good hire in the long run for Nebraska. However, for this game, I think it showed some of the weaknesses facing the Missouri defense and the fact you can't always come out in the first half and roll everybody.
3 - I'm most happy about Todd Reesing, he's still a stud and still doing nice things running the offense. The interception against South Florida was a bad play call given the situation they were in, so I can't put blame on him for that. I'm worried about the running game and the defense from time to time. There's not one running back that can clear through a defender like Brandon McAnderson could last year, and that's what's ultimately hurting them the most. The defense is still spotty at times, so they need to focus and game plan during the bye week to solve those problems.
4 - I have the Jenna Haze box set... who's coming over?
5 - Colorado... man Florida State is awful.
Kansas State... hey, isn't this the old Fresno State game?
Neb...VaT...Neb...VaT... I can't pick one... whoever it is will be by a field goal or less.
Oklahoma... is TCU trying to get Tomlinson's eligibility re-instated for this game?
Oklahoma State... yeah, this one may set some offensive records.
Army... when in doubt, pick the original military academy.
MizzouRobot Ridiculous Matt: 1. The only thing I can contribute is that the NBC affiliate in Austin is pulling it's programming on Time Warner Cable over a fee dispute and both sides are blaming each other and the end result is we may not get the Office in which case I will go on a rampage and burn this whole damn town down I swear to Jesus on a Pogostick I will.
2. Bad game for Mizzou. I'm more vexed than most. The score ended up fine, but turnovers, penalties, and....gasp... punting? These are not the makings of a confidence game. I was unhappy. Yes, I'd rather it be this game than next, and yes, everyone has them, but it's not going to keep me from grumbling. The team just needs to make sure it gets focused before Nebraska because Lincoln won't be a cakewalk like the last two.
3. I haven't looked at numbers, but it feels like we're committing more penalties, and that was a huge boon to us last year, the lack of them. I'm most happy with the fact that our offense honestly looks like it can compensate for almost any opponent's offense. But we need to figure out how much of our defense is "bend don't break" and how much is "attack" and get both of them working efficiently.
4. I'll either be at the Austin City Limits Festival or on the game thread, screaming about Lou Holtz.
5. All the big 12 teams win and cover and win pretty easily... except for Nebraska. Because they're goat f--kers.
The Boy: For the record, we had 2 penalties and 1 punt. Methinks the standards around here may be a little high. :-)
MizzouRobot Ridiculous Matt: I know, I know, and I left at half to go to the store for the sick wife.
But still. Even the announcers commented that the Missouri guys were flat, just going through the motions. It's not like I can blame them. But seriously, the Nebraska game is one of the absolutely most important things that will happen for me personally this season. I'm okay with a loss to Texas on the road, and that one we could even survive and still make a BCS bowl-- though I think we'll win -- but I seriously want to put 70 on Nebraska in Lincoln.
The Beef: Well…I will be honest…I think the announcers were wrong as well.
The Boy: We had 2 penalties, 1 punt, put up 600 yards and gave up less than 300. The only problem with crispness was that our hands weren't crisp enough to hold onto the ball. Trust me, I'm all about worrying about Nebraska--with the 8pm kickoff, I'll be a complete freaking (well-lubricated) mess by the time the game starts--but the Buffalo game makes me fear NU no more than I did (or didn't) before.
Doug: I really didn't need to hear how you get ready for a game.
Michael Atchison: 1 - I don’t even know what we’re talking about with regard to Mediacom’s service in Columbia (I’m a Time Warner customer in Kansas City), so on the scale of 1 – 14, I’ll give it a Q.
2 - It was a bad game (relatively) from Mizzou. When Coffman, Maclin and Perry all turn it over, and when their best drive is sustained by Mizzou’s penalties, you know it’s about Mizzou’s lapses. Luckily, everything I’ve seen from this team tells me it was an aberration. I’m glad they got it out of their system.
3 - I’m most happy about coming out of it 4-0 with most of the team in good health. I’m most concerned about the play of our corners, especially Castine Bridges, who seems to spend a lot of time not knowing where the ball is.
4 - I’ll be at Disney World!
5 - CU shocks FSU by 6.
K-State by 9.
Hokies beat the Corn by 8.
Oklahoma by 31.
Okie State by 22.
A&M by ½ point.
The Boy: I just realized I didn't answer the "most concerned" part. The biggest concern has got to be the fact that we're still giving up a big play a game in the passing game. Granted, that will improve with the return of William Moore, and Castine Bridges began to play better the other day, we still don't have a 100% reliable option as the CB opposite Carl Gettis, and Delstin Garward continues to be decent but shaky at SS.
Oh, and I don't think we can use "shock" to describe CU potentially beating FSU--FSU losing just isn't shocking anymore.
ZouDave: 1 - Having only lived in Columbia for a single year of my life, and that was in 1994-1995, I obviously don't know for sure. But this question serves 2 purposes well. 1) it gets Jenna Haze mentioned AGAIN, proving we are the sports authorities on Jenna Haze. 2) it's a nod to The Boy and his problems. Little did I know his problem was actually him being forgetful, not him having service issues.
2 - I unfortunately didn't get to see the game because I had to go to a wedding in Braymer, MO (home of Colin Brown). I listened to the entire first half, and spent a lot of it screaming at the radio, and then followed the 2nd half through text messages from Gabe DeArmond. It was great, because the wedding I was at was of a Mizzou alum and probably 1/3 of the guests were either Mizzou alums or Mizzou fans. Everyone kept coming to me for updates, which was fun. It sounds to me, though, that this was neither a good game for Buffalo nor a bad game for Mizzou. Buffalo was the recipient of a few big mistakes from our team, but we also dominated them on offense and kept their offense from doing what they wanted to do. I think it was just another game for Mizzou, and we happened to turn it over 3x more than we had all season.
3 - I am most happy about Derrick Washington. I was hoping he would be this good, but I didn't think it would actually happen. Having a running game like this with our passing attack is on the verge of unfair. I'm most concerned with our lack of consistent pass rush from the front 4. That seemed to be a MAJOR strength last year with all of our defensive linemen getting multiple sacks and pressures on the season. So far, we seem to only bring consistent pressure if we commit a safety and linebacker to a blitz, which leaves our secondary a bit exposed. I think, as Beef said, a healthy Van Alexander and Willy Mo will help that a lot.
4 - I'm going to be playing Rock Band 2 with a few friends for much of the day, but we're going to pick out a couple of games to watch on TV as the day goes along.
5 - Colorado at Florida State - I'm going to take FSU, simply because they're at home. I think these teams are evenly matched.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Kansas State - KSU better win this by 30, but I bet they only win by about 17.
Virginia Tech at Nebraska - Nebraska is going to win this, maybe even with relative ease, and force their way into the Top 25 in time for us to ruin their season once again.
TCU at Oklahoma - Love the Horned Frogs, but this will NOT be a repeat of 2005. OU by 28.
Troy at Oklahoma State - OSU out for revenge. Cowboys by 30.
Army at Texas A&M - ugly, ugly game. I'll pick A&M, but by less than 7.
Is anybody making the trip to Lincoln? I wish I could, but money is tight.
MizzouRobot Ridiculous Matt: Sadly, no. I had to save up... FOR MY TRIP TO KC FOR THE BORDER WAR! BOOYAH!
ZouDave: You have chosen...
The Beef: Nope…been there once…was enough for me…the only road game right now I am looking at is Iowa State…but I should be in KC for the game after the kU game
ZouDave: yeah one of the reasons money is tight is because I'm pretty well invested in going not only to the ku game at Arrowhead, but also the Big XII Championship game. Yes, I'm being that presumptuous.
I have my doubts I'll be able to make it to the Bowl Game this year, with the catch being that if by some MIRACLE the Tigers appear in the Rose Bowl then dad and I will be going to that. Since my sister lives in Thousand Oaks, CA, that's close enough that it's an easy drive and we wouldn't have to pay for a hotel. Airfare and ticket isn't a bad trip.
The Beef: The wife and I are hoping to make a bowl trip, but as she is now a teacher, time off for her will be tough since many of the games we might likely end up in are now on weekdays and outside of the normal school vacation. But…we shall see I suppose
Michael Atchison: Made the Lincoln trip in 2006, but I’m skipping this time. This coming weekend marks my fifth straight on the road. I’m looking forward to spending a Saturday at home, watching on the tube.
ZouDave: In a not remotely related story...
rptgwb: Oh my Lord, I just opened this email in class and very nearly had to explain why I was doubling over laughing when I saw the phrase "Jenna Haze on Ecstasy."
1. It's close to a 14. If the question is how much more could Mediacom suck? To pull an idea from This is Spinal Tap: "The answer would be, none, none more suck."
2 - How about both? Great gameplan by Buffalo, shoddy ball protection by Mizzou.
3. I'm most happy that Mizzou stayed at 4-0 without any major injuries (nagging injury to Willy Mo and the injury to Kurtis Gregory aside). I am a tad concerned about the pass defense, but I'm certainly not losing sleep over it at this point.
4. In addition to the Bye Week Open Thread, I'll be out covering Mizzou volleyball against SIU-Edwardsville.
5 - Big 12 picks!
Colorado over Florida State by 7
Kansas State over Louisiana-Lafayette by 17
Nebraska over Va Tech by 4
Oklahoma over TCU by 28
Oklahoma State over Troy by 14
Texas A&M over Army by 10
ZouDave: So you haven't gotten to see a single game, even on TV, yet Atch? Yikes. I would have died by now.
The Boy: I assume he's counting the three home games (and maybe the Illinois game, if he went) as "weekends on the road".
Michael Atchison: I’ve seen some games at night, but not many, and I don’t think I’ve seen one in its entirety. And I won’t get to see any this weekend as I stroll around the Magic Kingdom. But I will watch many, many games on October 4.
ZouDave: Oh, that makes a helluva lot more sense.
Disregard my incompetence.
You've planned your trip well, that's good.
Doug plans his trip to Disney World for the first week of June in 2009. Let's see how long it takes someone to get that one.
Michael Atchison: Yes, indeed, I’ve been to every game thus far, none of which have been where I live.
Doug: I assume you already have that date circled on your calendar.
Dave, are you already cutting up your jeans for hot-jorts?
ZouDave: assless chaps, baby...nothing butt the best!
Doug: That's what HE said.
ZouDave: Let's see if we can "re-rail" this thing.
I was talking to a couple of friends earlier this week about projected stats. Just for fun, here's Mizzou:
Chase Daniel - 303/399, 4236 passing yards, 36 passing TD, 3 INT, 42 attempts, 222 rushing yards
Derrick Washington - 159 attempts, 1082 rushing yards, 24 Rushing TD, 21 catches, 238 receiving yards, 3 Receiving TD
Chase Coffman - 84 catches, 1138 yards, 9 TD
Jeremy Maclin - 78 catches, 1174 yards, 12 TD
Tommy Saunders - 57 catches, 924 yards, 6 TD
Jared Perry - 48 catches, 810 yards, 6 TD
That's early 90's Houston Oilers disgusting right there. We'd have a very hard time reproducing that on NCAA 09 on the 360. Obviously, this doesn't take into account Danario Alexander's addition to the lineup, but just assume even if Saunders and Perry each drop by 1/3 and give those numbers to Danario it's still just a ridiculous offense. And these numbers don't include a likely Big XII Championship Game or Bowl Game!
(Two hours later...)
The Boy: Yeah, that re-railed nothing.
ZouDave: My back hurts from carrying your ass all day, I can't do everything!
Doug: That's what...never mind.