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Mizzou Links, 4-28-14: Another huge softball series win and a Henry Josey interview

Mizzou Softball stays in second place in the SEC after taking two of three at No. 3 Florida. Plus: Mizzou Baseball gets thumped, Henry Josey does a Q&A with the Trib, and the SEC decides on eight-game conference football schedules.

Armchair Analyst

Merry Coachmas, everybody. As with last week, we'll have a coaching search thread up pretty soon. In the meantime, here's everything in the Mizzou universe that doesn't involve a coaching search.

1. Huge

Mizzou Softball, with its freshman pitching and young lineup, just went to Gainesville and took two of three from the third-ranked Gators.

I'm going to type that again because it's awesome. Mizzou Softball, with its freshman pitching and young lineup, just went to Gainesville and took two of three from the third-ranked Gators.

As has become a little too customary, second-game pitching was problematic in Gainesville, and it's putting a lot of pressure on Tori Finucane not to have a bad game, but ... two of three. In Florida. Mizzou now sits tied with Tennessee for second overall in the conference at 14-7. With a No. 15 poll ranking (which is sure to go up now) and an off-the-charts RPI, Mizzou is all but certain to host a regional at this point, and technically if Mizzou sweeps Alabama next weekend, the Fightin' Stubbles will win the conference. Now, "All they have to do is sweep the No. 1 team in the country" isn't immensely doable, but a conference title is technically still on the table heading into the final weekend of the season. Considering the rebuilding Mizzou faced to get here, I would have to think that Ehren Earleywine is in good position to win the SEC's coach of the year award.

Mizzou 5, Florida 3 #15 Tigers Down #3 Gators, 5-3 to Open Series
The Missourian: No. 15 Missouri softball defeats No. 3 Florida to begin series

Florida 9, Mizzou 4 #3 Gators Even Series with 9-4 win over #15 Tigers
The Missourian: No. 15 Missouri softball falls to No. 3 Florida in second game of series

Mizzou 5, Florida 4 Tigers Claim Series at No. 3 Florida With 5-4 Win

#HIMYM reference
The Trib: Tigers' big slap bet

2. Meanwhile...

That No. 6 Florida took the series from Mizzou is in no way surprising; the Gators outscored the Tigers 18-6 and deserved a sweep. But the way the series played out -- two blowouts and an extra-inning walk-off -- points to something I wanted to mention about this year's baseball team. Whereas Softball lost a ton of one-run games early in the year and has started to win a ton of them, the baseball team is still pretty awful in this regard. Mizzou is 4-8 in one-run games in 2014; the Tigers get blown out here and there, but among other things, a terrible one-run record has all but clinched a last-place finish in the conference. Mizzou doesn't create many breaks for itself, but it doesn't take enough advantage of the ones it has.

Florida 7, Mizzou 1 Mizzou Falls to No. 6 Florida, 7-1
The Missourian: Missouri baseball stymied by Florida

Florida 5, Mizzou 0 Mizzou Drops Series at No. 6 Florida With 5-0 Loss
The Missourian: Missouri baseball's offensive struggles continue in loss to No. 6 Florida

Florida 6, Mizzou 5 (10) Florida Walks Off Against Mizzou in Series Finale

3. Schedules

SEC Digital: SEC Announces Format For Future Football Schedules
SB Nation: SEC will stick with 8-game conference football schedule
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): SEC football sticks with 8 conference games a year, adds annual power-conference matchup
Post-Dispatch: SEC sticks with eight-game football schedule — with a twist SEC keeps 8-game football schedule, saves Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia rivalries Auburn will travel to Alabama, Georgia every other season under new SEC schedule format LSU AD Joe Alleva blasts SEC decision on permanent cross-divison foes in football

Here's your regular reminder that there's another way to handle 8-game scheduling: not everybody needs a permanent rival.

SB Nation: SEC Realignment: Progressive Scheduling And Preserving Rivalries

4. Fly, Henry Josey, Fly

The Trib: Q&A with Henry Josey
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Draft Hopeful Q & A: RB Henry Josey

And from former Tigers to soon-to-be Tigers... Q&A with Missouri Tigers wide receiver signee Nate Brown
PowerMizzou: A new era for Drew Lock

And prospective soon-to-be Tigers...
PowerMizzou: Virginia is for Tigers

5. I'm still not a fan of the first 10 seconds...

...but in all, this was still very well done.


Men's Golf Mizzou Golf Ties for Sixth at 2014 SEC Championship

Women's Basketball 2013-14 Season in Review

Track & Field Personal Records Close Track's Four-Meet Week