Sunday means longer newspaper features, so ... yay.
1. Current Tigers...
"There will come a time in a game — and I don’t know when it’s going to be — that, guess what? We’re not going hand it off to De’Vion (Moore) and Kendial (Lawrence) and those guys," Yost said. "We’re not going to just throw a bubble screen or a little quick screen or something like that to T.J. (Moe) and Michael (Egnew) and let them do all the work."
The difference between victory and defeat will come down to Franklin — who has yet to start a college game — shouldering ultimate responsibility.
"It’s going to be, ‘It’s time,’ " Yost said. "You’ve got to go win a game for us."
The Football Outsiders projections are pretty friendly to Mizzou this year, but with so many 50-50(ish) games, Franklin's readiness to deliver could make the difference between seven or eight wins and nine, ten, etc. Especially when you consider just how difficult the early season could be to navigate (at Arizona State, at Oklahoma, at Kansas State in first five games).
2. Future Tigers...
The summer is supposed to be full of restlessness and doldrums. But in Columbia, the heat has evidently improved moods. Well, that and Maty Mauk.
From the always wonderful Joe Walljasper:
Mauk’s commitment is also a vote of confidence for Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost. Mauk’s father, Mike, is his high school coach and knows his stuff. He obviously has confidence that Yost can help his son develop.
Again, that isn’t necessarily a surprise. If you talk to Yost for five minutes, his obsession with X’s and O’s shines through. But, to be blunt, we Midwesterners are suspicious of men with fabulous hair — if the Quin Snyder era taught us nothing else, it is that — and Yost’s wild mop of blond locks, held in place with sunglasses in lieu of barrettes, requires him to reassure us from time to time that he didn’t get this job because his van broke down in Columbia on the way to a Phish concert.
Honestly ... I sometimes think this truly is the reason Mizzou fans still don't trust Yost. He calls perfect games against Texas A&M and Oklahoma ... and then the "Fire Yost!" calls go back up the moment Mizzou struggles against Nebraska. A lot of that is simply math: Internet + Can't Call For Head Coach's Head Without Sounding Stupid = Fire Offensive Coordinator! But it seems to go to extremes in mid-Missouri. Anyway, the article isn't a "Why fans don't trust Yost" article so much as a "Maty Mauk's commitment is pretty awesome" one. I just couldn't let that turn of phrase pass without applause.
Meanwhile, even the Post-Dispatch is feeling optimistic.
The last time Mizzou football (.741) and men's basketball (.674) had comparable winning percentages in the same four-year span was just after World War I, when football went 23-7-2 and garnered a .734 percentage, and basketball went 64-6 for .914 percentage.
What is certain is that Mizzou is better equipped to face it all now than it was in the first incarnation of the Big 12.
"One thing about Mizzou, and I can say this after I've been here this long, Mizzou didn't capitalize on the late '60s and early '70s to set themselves up," Alden said. "They sat back and said, ‘Look at this: We've arrived.' We went 20 years without doing any improvements in facilities at all.
"So we can't let that happen again. We're at a very important time. Kind of a tipping point. We've made great progress. Our league continues to be really solid. We're competitive in our league probably more than we've ever been before."
You know Alden's feeling good when he drops a quote like that.
3. Haven't We All Been There...
Ah, alcohol and misdirected rage...