Yeah, I got nothing. This is the darkness-before-dawn period of the TV watching season, for both sports and non-sports.
32 days to South Dakota State (and six days to camp!)
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): FALL CAMP ROLL CALL: Secondary
Even when the Tigers were healthy last year, they liked rotating in four corners. You had starters E.J. Gaines and Randy Ponder and then, after Ernest Payton's ACL tear, freshmen Penton and Gibson filled out the rotation.
Now Penton and Gibson have shifted up into the starting slots and, from the looks of spring camp, have pretty solid grasps on them. Johnson, after starting last season in the rotation and falling out of favor, has worked himself back into the thick of things and looks like he's going to get another shot at being the first guy off the bench this year.
So who's going to fill out the foursome?
Post-Dispatch: Countdown to Camp: Mizzou's Offensive line
Hall is the only Mizzou projected starting linemen who’s never been in the starting lineup. The former Ole Miss transfer has played some as a backup, as has Carberry, a former walk-on who’s been awarded a scholarship for his senior season, his high school coach tweeted last week. McNulty, has five career starts, all in 2012. August will be crucial for the backups. Missouri was fortunate to lose only one starter to an injury last year — left guard Max Copeland missed two starts with a sprained ankle — but 2012 was recent enough to remind the coaches that depth is vital in the SEC.
The linemen have another challenge over the next few weeks: getting on board with a new position coach. Earlier this month, Pinkel hired A.J. Ricker, 34, to replace longtime assistant Bruce Walker, who stepped down from his role on July 1. Ricker, a former All-Big 12 center for the Tigers, will have to get acclimated quickly, but he brings a fresh new voice to the O-line room — and plenty of know-how to share with Boehm, possibly the group’s most promising star.
PowerMizzou: Study Guide: Arkansas
Reason for Missouri to worry: IF Arkansas can find balance on offense, the Razorbacks' could be a dangerous and surprising team in 2014. Williams and Collins -- along with former safety Korliss Marshall in the backfield -- gives them a physical and explosive group of playmakers in the backfield. They were hamstrung by shoddy quarterback play in 2013, but if they can improve in that area, Arkansas could surprise people with a rebound year.
Reason for Missouri to rest easy: Arkansas is hoping that either incumbent starter Brandon Allen can improve after a sub-50 percent passing year, or freshman Rafe Peavey takes a hold of the job. Making either of those goals more difficult is the fact that Arkansas replaces all-SEC center Travis Swanson, along with offensive tackle David Hurd. Could everything transition seamlessly for Jim Chaney's offense? Sure. But there's a saying about pigs and aviation, too.
And in recruiting...
PowerMizzou: Hot Board: Offense
And in St. Louis...
StLouisRams.com: Practice Recap: Competition Well Underway
Seventh-round draft pick Michael Sam also made a strong impression on Fassel during today’s practice.
"I think he’s dropped probably about 15 pounds and you can tell the difference running like we did today, 30 to 50 to 70 yards, and that’s helped him a lot," Fassel said. "At the end of the last drill – the competitive drill – he did a really good job as a blocker. I can see him being a good guy on punt return and kickoff return as a blocker."
Let's check in on some former Tigers!
Sportando.com: Olimpia Milano agreed to terms with Linas Kleiza
Courtside Basketball: Keith Ramsey extended by Phoenix Hagen
Courtside Basketball: Jason Conley now with Kouvot
MUTIGERS.COM: Mack Plays for the Union Jack (July 28)
MUTIGERS.COM: Aaron Crow Earns Save on Mizzou Night at The K
MUTIGERS.COM: Tiger Style Summer Update: Boomer Boyd & Johnny Eblen
MUTIGERS.COM: Get to know Freshman Carrie Shephard