1. 9 Days
CB -- 7 Randy Ponder (Sr., 5-10/195)
3 David Johnson (Soph., 5-11/190)
26 Xavier Smith (Jr., 5-11/190)
Gaines is simply the defense's most valuable player and Ponder, while not always consistent, is at least battle-tested and not afraid to mix it up with receivers. It's going to be interesting to see who comes out of the scrum for those third and fourth cornerback slots, the ones who'll sub in for nickel and dime sets and perhaps spell Gaines and Ponder for a snap or two in base. Payton is improved and huge, but still needs to work some on physicality. Johnson took a tumble down the depth chart after a blah start to camp but, to his credit, has worked his way back up. He might be the most polished of the three -- Johnson, Payton and Gibson, who is a great athlete but looks to still be learning how to translate that into being an effective cover corner at the college level. At any rate, like the linebackers, the backups are young and will have a steep learning curve.
Wow, is the cornerback hierarchy changing by the week. The top two don't change, but after that it's just a roll of the dice. I'm going to choose to believe that's a sign of great depth, not a sign of nobody stepping up and seizing control.
(That said, Ernest Payton may have stepped up and seized control over the last week or so.)
2. Schedule reaction: Football
MUtigers.com: 2014 Mizzou Football Schedule Announced
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri's 2014 football schedule includes visit from team that hasn't been to Columbia since 1906
KC Star: MU football will travel to A&M, host Arkansas in 2014
Post-Dispatch: Razorbacks rivalry begins
PowerMizzou: 2014 football schedule released