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Mizzou Links, 1-5-08

Before we get to the subject of that awesome pic above, I've got a few football-based links to share.  First, we've got this nice Dave Matter look at the ten plays that sculpted Mizzou's 2008 season.

4. Adios, Wildcats: A listless start against Northwestern at the Alamo Bowl picked up steam on Maclin’s 75-yard punt return a minute before halftime. "I swear," Daniel later said, "when that punt went up into the air … I said, ‘Mistake. Mistake. You all are going to pay for it.’ " Six points later, the Wildcats paid dearly.

And then he takes a more numbers-based look at everything.  And if that's not enough for you, the KC Star decides now's the time to do its season wrap-up as well.

Okay, now to basketball...Georgia wrap-up links!

Finally, last night during the Under Armour All-America Game, they were making a big deal about Nick Montana (Joe's son) committing to play in next year's UA Game...and I had a flash on how football recruiting and all-star games are about to get more political.  You have to figure now that both the UA game and the US Army All-American game will start getting commits from lots of big-time recruits well in advance of the game now...and guys like Sheldon Richardson (who acquitted himself very well in San Antonio this week), whose status as a big-time recruit wasn't solidified until much later in the recruiting process (when, late in his senior season, Rivals realized "Wait, he's 6'4/290 and he returns kicks??"), won't get a chance to prove themselves because most of the slots on the team have been filled for months before senior season even begins.

And maybe this isn't actually a big deal--I guess it depends on whether you think going to these events (and getting the week of practice against big-time peers) is valuable to a player's development.  If it is valuable...then, well, I guess the rich just got richer again, as the guys who are considered "big-time" before their senior years are either a) guys with big-time last names (like "Montana") or b) guys with early offers from the USC's and Florida's of the world.

Oh yeah, and you remember how grossed out you were the first time you realized that websites already had "Top Prospects" lists for 8th-grade basketball players?  Football just took a gigantic step in that same direction.