1. Regardless of how it came to be, the fact remains that both Missouri and Florida will compete after taking the previous week off. That said, some forms of R&R are more profitable than others. What sort of leisure activities could Mizzou have participated in to make themselves more well-rested than the Gators?
AlaTiger - Well, Mizzou knew they weren’t playing, and Florida didn’t. I don’t think anyone was expecting Foley to go full coward. So, many Mizzou players got to go home and get pampered, I imagine. Hard to beat some quality time with mom for restoration.
dcrockett17 - Wow. I got nothing for you on this one.
Jack Peglow - There have been so many awesome video game events dropping recently that these kids would be silly to not take advantage of. Destiny’s new raid might be their best one yet, the new season of EA Sports games look as promising as ever, and Overwatch is gettin’ all spooky. What better way to forget about the previous football result than shooting some zombie-robots in the head with an arrow as a gun-slinging cowboy draped in an American flag hollers about the time of day?
TheRonDavis - Hot yoga and meditation. I have yet to participate in either one of those activities, but I’ve heard that it could be a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
jaeger - I always found playing cards to be a pleasant way to pass the time. Presidents, for example.
Chris Bohkay - Well, when I needed to relax whilst in CoMo, I would take myself to Peace Park and just lay there, attempting to be undisturbed while I let the clouds pass overhead with the dulcet tones of some nice alt-country. A little Josh Rouse, maybe... Then, I would go out to Harpo’s and quarter draw it up. Finish it off with a hangover in the morning. SO, you know, some of this, some of that. Probably.
Sam Snelling - Easy, take in a nice meal. maybe see a movie. I’ve heard good things about The Magnificent Seven, if you’re into westerns.
Josh Matejka - They missed RNBNBBQ when they were getting wrecked in Louisiana, but there’s usually a good show or two in town. They had ample time to catch up on Westworld.
switzy227 - Maybe some light reading. “Zen and the Art of Gap Integrity and Not Abandoning the Run”?
2. After an absolute pasting at the hands of LSU two weeks ago, Mizzou’s football players are in need of an Oscar-worthy pep talk. I’m not asking you to write out an entire speech, but if you were the one tasked with instilling some pep in the Tigers’ step, what points would you focus on?
AlaTiger - Do your job. Trust your teammates to do their job. Focus. Execute. Victory!
dcrockett17 - The year was 1992. Mizzou got MOPPED by Nolan Richardson’s Razorbacks. They were hopelessly, hilariously outgunned. They went on to have one of the most memorable basketball seasons in school history. The trick is: keep playing. Just keep playing. This is my 20th year teaching college students. It’s the toughest lesson for them to internalize by far.
Peglow - I would go to the news clippings. Or rather, the lack thereof. As soon as Mizzou falters even a little bit, they’re instantly written off. Coverage winnows down to just the local beats, because the national media no longer considers the Tigers worth their time. I would drill this #DISRESPECT into the players’ heads. Get a nice, big chip on their collective shoulder.
TheRonDavis - JUST DO IT! I would just continue to scream this at them until that message is instilled.
Bohkay - Simple, here you go, the winning speech:
Let me have your attention for a moment! So you're talking about what? You're talking about - bitchin' about that quarterbacks you sacked, some son of a b*tch don't want to buy cover the slot receiver, somebody don't want listen to your audible, some alum in a helmet car runs over your foot, and so forth. Let's talk about something important. Are they all here?...Well, I'm going anyway. Let's talk about something important! (To Truman the Tiger) Put that Powerade down!! Powerade's for closers only. Do you think I'm f--kin' with you? I am not f--kin' with you. I'm here from downtown. I'm here from Sterk and Pinkey. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. Your name's Truman?...You call yourself a mascot?!
Truman mimes that he doesn't have to listen to this s--t.
You certainly don't, pal. 'Cause the good news is - you're fired. The bad news is - you've got, all of you got, just one week to regain your jobs, starting with this afternoon. Starting with this afternoon's game. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. 'Cause we're adding a little something to this today's game. As you all know, a win is a trip in the PinkelCopter. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize's a set of steak knives from the Pavillion at Dobbs. Third prize is you're fired. You get the picture? You laughing now? You got game plans. Josh and DeMonte worked their ass off on those game plans. Get those plays and work em! You can't close the game with the plan you're given, you can't close s--t, you are s--t. Hit the bricks, pal, and beat it 'cause you are going out!...
Snelling - Always look on the briiiiiiiiiiiight siiiiiiiiiiiiiiide of LIFE! do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do.
Matejka - I think most great speeches begin with a position of humility. Missouri needs to know it blew an opportunity by showing up not ready to play against LSU. That being said, they find themselves in a very similar position here: facing a ranked team, on the road, heavy underdog, with some dark horse potential. If they can apply the lessons they learned from Death Valley, they’ll be in a pretty decent position in the Swamp.
switzy227 - LSU game was a bad one all around. We are all better, we will be better. Sometimes you just move on and forget.
3. Barry Odom and DeMontie Cross have made a point to emphasize the fact that big, visible changes are coming defensively this week. They kind of won’t shut up about it, so things bust be drastically different. What do you think said changes will be, and how effective do you envision them being?
AlaTiger - I almost think they are protesting too much and this is some sort of kabuki theater. The only change I expect to see is properly executed assignments.
dcrockett17 - Honestly, they already do a lot of stuff. So my suspicion is that they will do less. Maybe they go to a lot more nickel or dime. It should look good, because Florida is kind easy to guard.
Peglow - I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get a bit more aggressive with their blitzes. One of the biggest issues so far has been a lack of plays made from the linebacking positions. Sending them hurtling into the backfield like a howitzer should help with that. Theoretically, at least.
TheRonDavis - Drastic and crazy changes could mean anything from the defense re-learning how to tackle to lining up in the classic 5-2-4 defense. Let’s go somewhere in the middle. My guess is that we’ll see some new starters. Terez Hall? Cam Hilton? Cale Garrett? Could be anyone. How effective will it be? I wouldn’t get my hopes up about it, because I don’t think this defense is a very good unit.
jaeger - Dragons. Highly effective.
Bohkay - I think it’s obvious: offense plays defense, and defense plays offense. Special teams do special teams things, but Josh Augusta is now your starting kicker, punter, and returner.
Snelling - They’ve invented a time machine to walk-back the eligibility of Markus Golden, Shane Ray, Kentrell Brothers, EJ Gaines, William Moore, and Sheldon Richardson. No play calls, just pure, unadulterated domination that will make the last trip to Gainesville look like child’s play. Watch it happen.
Matejka - What’s the big concern been all year? The pass rush. I won’t guess specifics, but I think they’ll let the pass rushers loose more than the first five games. That could be a nice change of pace, but I’m hoping it doesn’t throw a wrench into the scheme Cross is trying to implement at Mizzou.
switzy227 - If it isn’t something to free up Mr. Harris and co., I will be very surprised.