Mizzou Talking Points Walkthrough
The Tigers’ newly-explosive offense, revamped offensive line, and (potentially) revitalized defense have breathed life back into our expectations for 2016 after a challenging offseason and a difficult first week. In order for these expectations to be met, fans should be watching Mizzou’s easiest game of the decade for some Show-Me evidence of growth from a few specific units.
On offense, a running game has to emerge. The up-tempo, gunslinger offense is remarkable, a beautiful marriage of modern Air Raid and Chase Daniel nostalgia. But a complementary ground attack is a necessity, and the consistency and confidence of the key players needs to be found this week. What upside can be tapped from Alex Ross, Damarea Crockett, and Naterace Strong? Controlling the clock is important, but so is controlling the ball: Mizzou’s young skill players need to shake some of their fumble-prone ways.
Defensively the Tigers should build on last week’s improvements. D-Line Zou could become a thing again, and the tackling must be as sound as it was in the SEC opener. Missouri’s roster lacks the personnel to shut down short-middle pass games and slot receivers; they will have to overcome this with creative personnel usage and schemes. Having all-world cornerback Aarion Maxey-Penton defend slot receivers and playing athletic young safety Cam Hilton could be a step in the right direction. The astute student will observe the Mizzou secondary in passing situations (in between gulps of Budweiser, natch).
The final score here does not matter too much. It will be: a lot to a little. But we can still learn some things, and hopefully the Tigers can patch a few problem areas. Then we will see y’all in Baton Rouge.
Keegs Poll: Top 5 Games Of The Week
- TBD - I’m ceremonially leaving the top spot unfilled because I am unable to decide which of the four games featuring ranked teams pitted against one another is the best one. All four are kinda vaguely dumb and not that great, despite being good on paper. One of these next four games is going to get weird and dumb and sexy and great, I just can’t decide which.
- 17 Arkansas vs 10 Texas A&M (in Dallas), 9 PM ET, ESPN. God, I love it when the SEC gets all Southwestern-y. Certainly the most likely game to get sexy, because of BERT. Also the most likely game to get weird, because of MORE BERT. Arkansas’s agile beef matches up against A&M’s ferocious pass rush. There’s a Sprinkle and a Speedy. Watch this game.
- 11 Wisconsin at 8 Michigan State, 12 PM, BTN. Time to find the Big Ten Network at 12:05 PM. Why the hell is this a noon BTN game? Isn’t that traditionally where you find like, Northwestern vs Purdue? I see one of two things happening here: Michigan State kicking the crap out of a secretly not-good Wisconsin team, or an extremely boring nail-biter between two top-15 squads. If you watch this game, make sure to change the channel before the game ends or you might wander into the snuff film that is Penn State at Michigan, immediately following.
- 12 Georgia at 23 Ole Miss, 12 PM, ESPN. Hugh Freeze’s annual kamikaze mission to take down Nick Saban ended poorly last week. A loss at home to the Dawgs and Chad Kelly’s senior season will be over before he even got his first paycheck.
- 19 Florida at 14 Tennessee, 3:30 PM, CBS. This is a football game. It features football players making football plays taught to them by football coaches. There will be cheerleaders, and there will be students riding various waves of emotion under various types of influence, and there will be alumni looking on disapprovingly. Two men wearing suits will narrate the action to you, the viewer, who will be fending off a nap in the middle of the third quarter. Rest up, kids: the Pac-12 gets weird tonight.
A Few Words Of Affection, Carefully Chosen
I’m a week late on this one — sorry about the lack of a Primer last week y’all, but real life got rudely in the way — but major, major props to Colorado SID Dave Plati and his fake depth chart released before his Buffs traveled to Michigan. His tongue-in-cheek offering was filled with movie references, bad puns, and historical names, and was meant to tweak the Extremely Serious Jim Harbaugh, a man of such rigidity that he is famous for his terrible pants.
Harbaugh refuses to release a depth chart, and says shit like, and I kid you not on this one: "Yeah, we know who our starting quarterback is, yes. I'll say who our starting quarterback is before Saturday ... I didn't say I was going to say it to you before Saturday."
Harbaugh was predictably crabby about Plati’s hi-jinks.
The extreme seriousness of college football is a scourge. Coaches protect scrimmages, depth charts, and position battles as closely as our national secrets. Such endeavors should elicit vigorous eye rolls. The more humorless shit happens, the more our dumb sport becomes like the dreaded Corporate-Sponsored Mandated Patriotism & Performative Masculinity With Football-Like Activities (hm, I might need to work on that acronym).
Thank you, Dave Plati, for keeping college football weird.
FULL WEEKEND SCHEDULE
|Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|(5) Clemson at Georgia Tech||7:30 pm||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Friday, Sept. 23, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|Wyoming at Eastern Michigan||7:30 pm||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|TCU at SMU||8:00 pm||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|USC at (24) Utah||9:00 pm||FS1 / ESPN3|
|Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|(11) Wisconsin at (8) Michigan State||Noon||BTN / BTN2Go|
|(12) Georgia at (23) Ole Miss||Noon||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Kent State at (1) Alabama||Noon||SECN / WatchESPN|
|(13) Florida State at USF||Noon||ABC / WatchESPN|
|Iowa at Rutgers||Noon||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|Colorado State at Minnesota||Noon||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|San Jose State at Iowa State||Noon||FSN / ESPN3|
|Nevada at Purdue||Noon||ESPNEWS / WatchESPN|
|Charlotte at Temple||Noon||ASN / ESPN3|
|East Carolina at Virginia Tech||12:30 pm||ACCN / WatchESPN|
|Central Michigan at Virginia||12:30 pm||RSN / WatchESPN|
|Syracuse at UConn||1:00 pm||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Wagner at Boston College||1:00 pm||WatchESPN|
|Gardner-Webb at Ohio||2:00 pm||ESPN3|
|(19) Florida at (14) Tennessee||3:30 pm||CBS / CBSSports.com|
|Penn State at (4) Michigan||3:30 pm||ABC / WatchESPN|
|Pittsburgh at North Carolina||3:30 pm||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|BYU vs. West Virginia (Landover, MD)||3:30 pm||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|Duke at Notre Dame||3:30 pm||NBC / NBCSports.com|
|Boise State at Oregon State||3:30 pm||FS1 / ESPN3|
|Wake Forest at Indiana||3:30 pm||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Appalachian State at Akron||3:30 pm||ASN / ESPN3|
|Miami (OH) at Cincinnati||3:30 pm||ESPNEWS / WatchESPN|
|Mississippi State at UMass||3:30 pm||ASN / ESPN3|
|UTSA at Old Dominion||3:30 pm||KMYS-CW 35 / CUSA.TV|
|Western Illinois at NIU||3:30 pm||ESPN3|
|Delaware State at Missouri||4:00 pm||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Vanderbilt at Western Kentucky||4:30 pm||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Tulsa at Fresno State||4:30 pm||MWN|
|Colorado at Oregon||5:30 pm||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|(18) LSU at Auburn||6:00 pm||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|North Texas at Rice||6:00 pm||CUSA.TV|
|Ball State at Florida Atlantic||6:00 pm||CUSA.TV|
|(6) Houston at Texas State||7:00 pm||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|Missouri State at Kansas State||7:00 pm||K-StateHD.tv|
|Georgia Southern at Western Michigan||7:00 pm||ESPN3|
|Army at Buffalo||7:00 pm||ESPN3|
|Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee||7:00 pm||ASN / ASN.com|
|New Mexico State at Troy||7:00 pm||ESPN3|
|Nicholls State at South Alabama||7:00 pm||ESPN3|
|Central Arkansas at Arkansas State||7:00 pm||ESPN3|
|UCF at FIU||7:00 pm||beIN Sports / beIN Sports Connect|
|Oklahoma State at (16) Baylor||7:30 pm||FOX / ESPN3|
|(20) Nebraska at Northwestern||7:30 pm||BTN / BTN2Go|
|South Carolina at Kentucky||7:30 pm||SECN / WatchESPN|
|(3) Louisville at Marshall||8:00 pm||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|(7) Stanford at UCLA||8:00 pm||ABC / WatchESPN|
|Bowling Green at Memphis||8:00 pm||ESPNEWS / WatchESPN|
|Southern Miss at UTEP||8:00 pm||Campus Insiders|
|UL Lafayette at Tulane||8:00 pm||ESPN3|
|(17) Arkansas vs. (10) Texas A&M (Arlington, TX)||9:00 pm||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Idaho at UNLV||9:00 pm||MWN|
|California at Arizona State||10:00 pm||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|Air Force at Utah State||10:15 pm||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|(9) Washington at Arizona||10:30 pm||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|