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What's Missouri's most important game in 2016?

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Here are today's Mizzou Links. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS. BILL C.

Mizzou Tigers pennant What's on

J-Mac: still a really good dude.

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(He also still has really good hands.)

And speaking of receivers...

Post-Dispatch: Mizzou restocks receiver corps for 2017

After Armstrong announced his commitment on Twitter, his first phone call came from former All-American defensive end Shane Ray — the last Mizzou scholarship player from Bishop Miege. Ray is entering his second season with the Denver Broncos.

"I know Shane was happy," Holmes said. "He texted me right away and then called (Armstrong) to congratulate him."

The three-star recruit joins a recruiting class that already includes Davis, the standout from Hogan Prep who recently was bumped to a four-star prospect by Rivals.com. The Tigers also have commitments from tight end Logan Christopherson (Lemont, Ill.) and offensive linemen Pompey Coleman (Indianapolis) and Hyrin White (DeSoto, Texas).

What's the most important game of the season in your mind?

Gridiron Now: Missouri's most important game for 2016
ESPN.com: Better know a nonconference opponent: West Virginia Mountaineers

ESPN.com: Must-win game: Missouri Tigers

I've found myself in a strange limbo this offseason when it comes to talking about Missouri's 2016 season. Mizzou should improve at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end, and the defense really should be able to approximate last year's quality. That alone leads me to believe the ceiling could be a lot higher than the 5.5-win over/under total or the last-place prediction Missouri has been given by some magazines in the preseason.

And then I remember the offensive line. And that pretty much ends my train of thought.

Until we can see what the OL is capable of, basically all my expectations are off the table, and that's a strange place to be because it's the time of year for all of these "most important game" lists and whatnot, and I have very few thoughts to contribute. If we find out on September 3 in Morgantown that Glen Elarbee has figured out a nice, workable mix up front, then the bar for Missouri's season might be something in the seven- to nine-win range. That means the "most important" game could be something like the Georgia or Arkansas home games or the trip to Florida.

If we find out at WVU that the line is going to be a hot, steaming, stinky mess again, then the search for six wins gets pretty difficult, and the "most important" game becomes the trip to South Carolina or something.

Maybe that makes WVU the most important game because it's when we'll find out what the expectations are? Maybe? That feels weird to me, too, because I think there's danger in saying the first game of a new coach's tenure is the most important. Gary Pinkel lost to BGSU in his first game, after all, and turned out alright. Dan Devine started his tenure with a loss to Vanderbilt. The first game is the least important for a new coach ... but it's like we won't find out the most important until then.

I'm thinking in circles this morning, evidently.

Get after 'em, Cutch

ESPN.com: Conditioning with Cutchlow: Inside Mizzou's weight room

Mizzou Tigers pennant Stay off our turf, Chiefs

Chiefs.com: Chiefs President Mark Donovan Shares Plans for St. Louis Market

Mizzou Tigers pennant Another MIZ-Olympian?

The Trib: MU's Chadwick aims for Olympic bid at swimming trials in Omaha

And speaking of swimming...

MUtigers.com: @MizzouSwimDive Adds Jack Brown, Christine Mabile to Coaching Staff