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Watercooler, 7-18-14: SEC preseason rankings, Zaire's a Brit, Tank put a ring on it

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Missouri picked fourth in the SEC East by people who usually get things wrong. Plus: Sporting KC holds the key to attendance, Zaire Taylor has a pretty good life, and an ICYMI congrats to the now-hitched James Franklin.

Ronald Martinez

What's On

MUTIGERS.COM Pinkel Heads to Bristol for ESPN Car Wash on Monday, July 21 - Official Athletic Site Official Athletic Site - Football

Mizzou Football head coach Gary Pinkel will take part in ESPN's "Car Wash" on Monday, July 21, as the Southeastern Conference's head coaches appear on multiple programs and platforms at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., over a two-day period.

SEC Media Days - Predictions, Respect, Bling

Mizzou Behind the Scenes: SEC Media Day

SEC media days: Thursday Rundown : Dave Matter

We’re on a four-year losing streak and have voted for the eventual winner just four times in 22 tries: Florida in 1994, 1995 and 2008 and LSU in 2007. Alabama has won the SEC title four times — and each time the media picked someone else in the preseason poll: Florida in 1992, Tennessee in 1999, Florida again in 2009 and LSU in 2012.

Missouri picked to finish fourth in SEC East | The Kansas City Star

The Missouri football team, which played in last season’s Southeastern Conference championship game, was picked to finish fourth in the SEC Eastern Division and didn’t have one selection for the first-team All-SEC team.

Missouri picked fourth in East by media - Columbia Daily Tribune | Columbia Missouri: MU Football

Arkansas, which finished 0-8 in the Southeastern Conference last year, got one vote from the media to win the league this season.

SEC Media Days: Missouri and Texas A&M Are Here, Get Used to It | The Student Section

Mizzou and A&M are full-fledged members of the SEC entering their third seasons in the league. Both have enjoyed plenty of success in their short stay there. There’s nothing to suggest they’re getting hazed by Mike Slive. For some in the media, however, they remain "Formerly-of-the-Big 12 Texas A&M and Missouri."

Tipsheet: Mizzou commands respect at SEC Media Days : Sports

A year ago the sportswriters down in Waffle House Nation were not so sure. While Texas A&M was a prized addition to the conference, what did Missouri bring besides a solid academic reputation?

Tigers have new aura at media days this year - Columbia Daily Tribune | Columbia Missouri: MU Football

Coach Gary Pinkel, center Evan Boehm, defensive end Markus Golden and quarterback Maty Mauk all sported their gigantic Southeastern Conference Eastern Division championship rings as they made the rounds at the Hyatt Regency yesterday, mementos from a 2013 season in which the Tigers pulled off something not many thought they could.

Football - Willy Mo, Sporting KC, Nick Saban

2014 Falcons Camp Preview: Safeties

William Moore: Moore is the undisputed leader of the defense, embracing that role in 2014. Last season, he started all 16 games, totaling 86 tackles, two sacks, seven PBUs, three INTs, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. The team is confident that he’ll produce numbers this year that reflect those of his Pro Bowl season in 2012.

How Texas A&M paid nearly $60,000 to get Cedric Ogbuehi back for 2014 | FOX Sports on MSN

But this pitch was different than any that Sumlin or his staffers would give on any other home visit – and it involved the school paying more than $50,000 to reel their blue-chipper back in. Their target was Cedric Ogbuehi, A&M's 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive tackle, who already had been a three-year starter and was weighing whether he was going to bypass his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. Ogbuehi had submitted his name to the NFL to get an evaluation on his draft stock, and all four grades the league sent back projected him as a first-rounder.

Why College Football Is Studying Major League Soccer - WSJ

In May, a group from Florida's athletic department became one of hundreds of sports teams to visit Sporting Kansas City, the reigning MLS champion, and Sporting Innovations, the team's spinoff consulting firm focused on fan engagement and technology.

On Texas' Supposed $100 Million Offer to Nick Saban - Team Speed Kills

Remember back when Nick Saban was going to be offered a boatload of money to go coach football at Texas? And then he didn't take the supposed Brink's truck worth of coaching cash? Well, now Paul Finebaum and Gene Wojciechowski have written a book saying that, in fact, Saban was offered a bunch of money to coach at Texas:

Basketball - Zaire Taylor, Kim English, future recruits

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Rucker Park Stars Set Their N.B.A. Dreams Aside and Head Abroad - NYTimes.com

Zaire Taylor, 6 feet 4 inches, lithe and bearded and self-contained, puts the ball one, two, three times between his legs, sizing up the mark defending him. Taylor darts left, spins back — his defender is already off balance — and in a blur he’s into the key and elevating. Taylor does a 180-degree pirouette, bodies crunching, and the ball floats high off the backboard.

...

"I have got a good life," says Taylor, a native son of the New Brighton neighborhood on Staten Island. "I’m married to an Englishwoman. I have got a house in London. I love it.

"I’m British, man."

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Detroit Pistons cut Peyton Siva despite impressive summer; guard looking ahead to next move | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

Siva approached the summer league as a chance to impress the Pistons, but it also was an audition for league and overseas scouts. That was the advice former Piston Kim English gave him at dinner in Orlando on the eve of summer-league play. English was in the same position last summer and admittedly let the numbers game get in his head and was threatened by the drafting of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. English, who was with the Magic for summer-league action after playing overseas last season, struggled mightily.

The allure of staying home exists for 2016 forward Jayson Tatum | CollegeBasketballTalk

"I want to be able to help the team out as early as possible as a freshman," Tatum said. "And if I do decide to leave my hometown or home state to play college basketball, I want to feel very comfortable with the coaching staff."

There it is. "Hometown or home state."

And for fans of Missouri and Saint Louis, the recruitment of top in-state players has been a topic of conversation in recent years. Back in May, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote a column discussing the fact that a number of elite in-state players have left Missouri in recent years, with Mizzou and SLU having to do a better job when it comes to making the effort needed to keep that from occurring in the future. And in the case of Tatum, the connections to SLU go much deeper than the fact that he’s a native of the city.

Jimmy Whitt throws down TWO dunks in Under Armour Finals opener - Rivals #52 c/o 2015

Misc - Congrats again to James Franklin and Michael Sam