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Rock M Roundtable!

1 - If you were to rank the 365 days of the year, where would Signing Day fall?

2 - MU's remaining conference schedule: @UT, @ISU, KU, NU, @CU, KSU, @KU, OU, @ATM.  They're 5-2 now...what's their final conference record?

3 - KU's remaining conference schedule: OSU, @MU, @KSU, ISU, NU, @OU, MU, @Tech, UT.  They're 7-0 now...what's their final conference record?

4 - Has your opinion changed this week regarding Big 12 teams in the NCAA tourney?  Is KSU (4-4, 15-7) suddenly almost in?  Is Baylor (3-5, 15-7) suddenly almost out?  What about ATM (3-4, 17-5)?

5 - Super Bowl thoughts?  Was that last play a Warner fumble?

The Beef: 1 - I talked about what the internet has done to expectations and how that impacts the rest of the football season.  Signing day is one of those days.  Where the TRUE un-washed internet jockeys show up and try to opine about the unknown.  In the end, I love the morning and hate the rest of the day

2 - I still cannot get past 9-7…I know that is low and yes…I am predicting two losses to kU.  Until we actually beat them  (and it has been a little while) I have a tough time predicting a win)

3 – good lord…I think I have them at 14-2.  Certainly not the best team they have had in years, but clearly doing enough to get it done.

4 - I don’t know enough about their schedules….I could see Baylor tanking a bit and kSU going on a run, I just do not know if there is enough time for kSU.  As for aTm, I think I had it in my head they were not very good (even though I guess most thought they were), so this comes as NO surprise to me J

5 - very much a fumble.  VERY good game…not quite great, but one of the better ones.

ZouDave: 1 - Oh, pretty high I guess.  The thing is, with so much access to information out there it takes a lot of the sparkle of this day off.  It would be like being told throughout the year exactly what you're getting for Christmas, you just have to wait until Christmas day to open the presents.  Still a fun day, but because there are so few surprises it's not quite the same as some days.  I'd say the years that Mizzou is in the NCAA Tournament means that Selection Sunday still ranks ahead of National Signing Day.
2 - I'm still going to say 10-6.  The biggest question mark games to me are @UT, OU and @aTm.  We absolutely have to win our home games against ku, Nebraska and KSU.  Just have to, have to, have to.  Doing that we're at 8 wins.  If we could pull off the biggest upset of our season and beat OU in Columbia, those 9 wins might be enough.  But because I don't think we'll beat OU at home, it means we need to get 2 more on the road.  I think we'll win @CU, so there's 1.  What's our other road win?  It could be tonight against Texas, but man this is going to be about as tough as beating OSU in Gallagher-Iba.  The shots will have to be falling for us.  @ISU we certainly have a chance, but they did play kansas pretty tough at home and they might be looking for a bit of revenge after we waxed the floor with them in Columbia.  And then of course @aTm, we have no way of telling which teams will show up that night.  I don't think we'll win at kansas at all.
In the end, I think we win all of our remaining home games except against OU, and I think we take 2 on the road against CU and ISU.  It won't be the most impressive tournament résumé, but it will be good enough.  And we should see ourselves 4th in the conference as well, so a 1st day bye for the first time in a LOOONG time.
3 - Probably 14-2, maybe 13-3.  They're going to lose at Mizzou, they're going to lose at Oklahoma.  After that, you could maybe come up with ways that either OSU or UT beats them in Lawrence, or you could maybe see KSU or Tech beating them on the road, but I don't see them letting more than 1 of those slip by.  I think absolute worst-case scenario for kansas is 12-4, and that would almost be disaster at this point for them.
4 - I think Mizzou has solidified the 4th spot in the conference for the most part.  I don't think the Big 12 gets more than 5 this year, unless a couple of teams get really hot.  It could be any of those 3, but honestly Baylor better get to work.
5 - IMO, no.  I think his hand was still on the ball enough to constitute control and his arm was moving forward.  I don't think it would have mattered all that much, because the chances of a hail mary working are so minuscule that you can't count on it for anything. would have been nice to have no controversy at the end.

Michael Atchison: 1 - It’s the 103rd best day of the year.  I prefer any day with an actual game, Christmas, my birthday, my kids’ birthdays, my wife’s birthday, Boxing Day, Arbor Day, the first day of spring, and sundry other days.  The thing about Signing Day is that it’s interesting at the time, but you don’t know whether it was actually a good day until two or three years down the line.  I like my gratification a bit more instant.

2 - I really want to say 11-5.  I’d gladly take 10-6, and I think that’s about right.

3 - It’s hard for me to see them falling much below 13-3.  I haven’t gotten to see them play as much as I’d like, but they’re an example of how much two really good players mean in basketball.  As long as you keep them healthy, you can ride a pair of guys all the way to the tournament.

4 - I think KSU still has a lot of work to do.  They’re best non-conference win was Cleveland State.  With such a slight non-con resume, they may well have to go 11-5 in the league to make the field, and they’ll have a tough time doing that.  10-6 might cut it.  9-7 won’t.  Baylor at least has a few decent non-con wins to hang their hats on (Arizona State, Washington State, Providence), plus they won big at K-State.  9-7 in the league might get them in, and the schedule makes that plausible.  A&M is going to have to get white-hot to make it.  Valentine’s Day at Baylor will be huge.

And can we talk about Baylor for a minute?  Does watching them give anyone else flashbacks to the later Quin Snyder years?  They put a lot of talent on the floor, but they play stupid.  Scott Drew can recruit like a madman, but this year it doesn’t seem like he can coach a lick.  It’s five freelancers on the floor.

5 - That play was so close, and it’s the one thing that’s most maddening about the NFL; the game is completely rule-bound.  There are so many arcane rules that come into play only occasionally that it’s often hard to know what the right answer is without a reference book by your side.  I think the process of losing the ball had started before the arm went forward, but the ball was in the hand (albeit without full control) as the arm went forward.  Is that a fumble?  I don’t know.

rptgwb: 1. Toward the back half of the rankings, behind every day where the signees are actually playing football.

2. I think they go 5-4 the rest of the way, losing at UT, at Kansas, and at home against Oklahoma with another "what the hell just happened?" moment thrown in somewhere along the way (perhaps in Ames).

3. As long as there's a loss at Mizzou Arena, I don't much care.

4. I think we need to see if K-State can maintain this level of play over a sustained period of a few weeks. They've certainly looked impressive in wins over teams who are certainly penciled at the moment. I think Baylor is out. Kansas looked horrible against Baylor on Monday, and the Bears shot themselves out of a chance to win at home. And I have no clue what to make of Texas A&M.

5. I'm not exactly happy that a franchise now has more Super Bowls than the Cowboys, but if anybody had to do it, I'm glad it's the Steelers. They seem to go about their business the right way. The Warner play was indeed a fumble.

(45 minutes later...)

Michael Atchison: Another scintillating roundtable.  I won't exactly be happy until every franchise has more Super Bowls than the Cowboys.  Maybe that'll stir things up.

ZouDave: The Chiefs are only, what, 5 away?  No problem.

The Beef: Are you going to accept Todd Haley as your new head coach?

ZouDave: Eh, at this point I'm pretty open-minded about whatever direction we're heading in.  Can it really be any worse than the past 2 years?

If Pioli says this is the guy, then I can't argue with it.  What the hell do I know?  I think I'd rather have Haley than Shanahan, because I hate Mike Shanahan.

The Beef: Alright....then another KC-related question...

What are you willing to give up (draft-wise) for Matt Cassell?

ZouDave: Not our 1st-round pick, that's for sure.

I'm not even sure I'd want to give up our 2nd and some other picks.  Cassell looked pretty good, but let's keep in mind the team he had around him there is *slightly* better than what he would be playing with in KC.

If the Chiefs were picking 10th or something, I could maybe be convinced Cassell is worth that.  But we're picking 3rd in the 1st and 2nd in the 2nd.  That's basically 2 first round picks.  We need to use both of those, because we are more than a QB away from being good.  Thigpen can get us through another year, I think.  We need linemen, we need defense.

Doug: 1 - I think Signing Day is rising up as a bigger day in my sporting world. I still rank baseball's opening day, the first Sunday of NFL football, the first Saturday of college football, every weekend of the tournament, the Super Bowl and bowl season ahead of Signing Day, however, my interest has increased as Mark Mangino has consistently brought in better and better classes.

2 - The loss on the road in Manhattan against what was then a walking dead K-State team, despite winning in Stillwater, I have trouble seeing the Tigers winning another road game, save maybe CU. I think anywhere between 7 - 9, and 9 - 7 is totally possible.

3 - I think if you had held a gun to my head at the start of the season, I would have said 12 - 4, 13 - 3 would be a very good finish to the season. Now, I can see 14 - 2, maybe 15 - 1. But, I will not think 12 - 4 is a disaster.

4 - KSU, thanks to their nothing of a non-conference schedule, still has work to do in conference to make it in to the tournament. I think if they can get to 9 - 7, 10 - 6, and win a couple in Oklahoma City, they'll be in. If the season ended today, they're out. I didn't think Baylor was a lock to make the tournament at the start of the season, and their inability to play defense solidifies my opinion. I think if the season ended today, they'd be on the outside looking in, too.

5 - I think it's great that the past couple of Super Bowls have been very good games. I think this one was probably in the Top 5 all-time, simply because of the game ending touchdown drive. Yes, I know, the Patriots hit a field goal as time expired to beat the Rams, but c'mon, that's a field goal. I did turn to my wife and say, "Wow, this kind of like the end of the KU - MU game." Yes, I do like to twist the knife a little.

Michael Atchison: I wouldn't give up the third overall for him.  I'd give up the second round pick, but I'm sure that wouldn't get it done.  Before paying a QB $10 million a year, I'd like to be confident that my offensive line won't get him killed.

The Beef: Since we play kU at home before the next Roundtable...isn't it time for
us to ratchet up the hate?

Doug: Given the depth of QB's in this draft, shallow, I guess I could be convinced giving up a second rounder for Cassel would be a decent move. But, given where the Chiefs are as an organization on the field, it makes my skin crawl at the thought of giving up any picks at all.

The Boy: 1 - Let's see...behind Christmas and Thanksgiving...behind July 4 and Memorial Day (love me some 3-day weekends)...behind my birthday and my wife's...behind the 14 or so regular season Saturdays during college football season...behind New Year's Eve and January 1...behind the Thurs-Sun or Championship Week, behind the Thurs-Sun of the next two NCAA weekends...behind Final Four & NCAA Championship...behind the Super Bowl and conference championship, like, my #39 favorite day of the year?  Definitely Top 60...or 70.  I do enjoy keeping tabs on Gabe from PowerMizzou attempting to attend like 26 signing ceremonies throughout the state in one day, though...

2 - We need to just go 5-4 to get to 10-6 in conference...the most practical way for that to happen would be...

3-1 at home (beating either OU or KU)
2-3 on the road (likelihood of wins, in order: CU, ISU, ATM, UT, KU)

That sounds about right.  Assuming we lose tonight (not a given, but the odds aren't wonderful), we could actually rip off five more wins in a row after that and get 10 wins out of the way before a pretty rough closing stretch.  I want that.

3 - KU has congealed faster than I thought they would.  I figured the switch would flip sometime in February, but really it flipped after getting roughed up by Michigan State.  They're winning at all costs on the road and dominating at home.  I do think they lose at OU, and I think the odds are quite solid that they lose in Columbia, this point that may be about it.  And yes, if this ends up jinxing them, I've done my job.  But I really do think that could be about it.

4 - KSU's playing very well right now, but I don't see it lasting.  The whole team shot out of its mind against Missouri, and I'm not thinking they can rely on Denis Clemente scoring 40 PPG the rest of the way, so...yeah.  They've definitely proven they're a solid team, but I doubt they keep it together enough to make a serious tourney run.

As for Baylor...yeah, if I hadn't been so late in answering my own questions, I was going to posit my own "Baylor looks like Quin Snyder is coaching them" theory.  But I'm late for that now.  They've still got the best chance of being team #5, but ATM also looks like one of those teams that looks awful all year but ends up 9-7 and 23-8.  That would probably get them in.

5 - It was a fumble.  The ball came loose while his hand was going backward, and then he pushed it forward.  It's like if he was bobbling the ball and pushed it forward--that would be a fumble too.  Everybody was complaining that it wasn't reviewed, but I think it WAS...I think they looked at the replay once and said, "Yeah, it was a fumble--no official review necessary."

Michael Atchison: I hope Quin doesn’t read the roundtable, because he was actually quite nice to me in our limited interactions (including an interview for the book).  Nothing personal, Q.  I think even you’d agree that those last couple of years were pretty chaotic.

The Boy: Heh...yeah, facts are facts.  His offense had 3-star players running a system that required 5-star players, the end.

(And yes, those constitute "facts" to me.)

Doug: And they say journalism is dead.

(An hour later...)

ZouDave: Sheldon Richardson, baby!  WOOT!

Michael Atchison: WOOT! indeed.

The Beef: While we are on the subject…what exactly is WOOT?

Michael Atchison: We Own Our Territory!

The Beef: Interesting explanation…though I was under the impression it was some sort of website

ZouDave: "w00t" was originally an truncated expression common among players of Dungeons and Dragons tabletop role-playing game for "Wow, loot!" Thus the term passed into the net-culture where it thrived in video game communities and lost its original meaning and is used simply as a term of excitement.

The Beef: Ugh…the cool value of our roundtable just took a 4 hit-point loss



Wait…what?  Damn….

Doug: Nothing like getting a D&D reference and a video game reference on a sports blog.

All hail Dave! King of the Nerds!

ZouDave: CRITICAL!  Roll for damage.

The Beef: Ok…you lost me on that…I just know “hit-points” and they had stupid amount-sided dice

Michael Atchison: I’m glad I have a cloak of invisibility.

ZouDave: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20 sided.
Or so I've heard.

Doug: Well, actually, I spoke to soon.  Any true nerd would be able to tell you, you don't roll for damage on a critical hit, you do max damage automatically.

Dave, I revoke your kingship.

ZouDave: NO!  There was a whole chart that used the D100 system.  Certain outcomes were 2x damage, certain were 3x damage, some were other kinds of debilitating injuries, including decapitation and immediate death.  It depended upon weapon, type of enemy, etc.
Wow...I'm going to go hide in a hole now.  I haven't even seen a D&D game in probably 15 or more years, but I can still speak of it way too easily.  I am shamed.  :-(

The Beef: I should hope decapitation would be considered debilitating…

ZouDave: What if you're fighting a 3-headed hydra?
God damnit...I can't stop.

The Beef:Oh….well…I suppose my normal brain had not considered that…

And because we do not have a picture yet…

rptgwb: I don't know you people.

The Beef: Baylor after we KICKED THEIR ASS!!!  YEAH!!  BAYLOR SMACK!!!

I need sleep...

ZouDave: it pains me to know I can speak intelligently about this kind of thing, yet I can't at all speak intelligently about different kinds of offenses in basketball.  Just no clue at all.  I can talk about defenses, but not offenses.  I think my offense would like like Quin's...dribble-dribble-dribble, off-balance 3.

Michael Atchison: Was I the only one who didn't know that giraffes do this?

The Beef: I think I knew that...but now wish I had never seen it.

Doug: Animals vs Humans, Part III : Revenge of the Giraffes

Sweep with the neck!

The Boy: Okay...I go to lunch, and the roundtable gets nerdier?  How does THAT happen...

Doug: I guess the novelty of talking about Dave's sister finally wore off.