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Pregamin’ Texas

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IT MAY BE LATE DECEMBER, BUT IT’S NEVER TOO COLD TO FIRE UP THE GRILL WHEN BEVO’S ON THE MENU

Grillin’ up some quality grade beef as part of the late Christmas festivities
Josh Matejka

Another week, another dope hype video:

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean:

Love that J’Mon is styling the bowl blacks.

What the “experts” are saying:

1. The Deloss Dodds comments from 2009 have been getting a ton of run since the Texas Bowl match up was announced. Clearly, even though he's no longer there, that's a sentiment Mizzou fans are holding to the rest of Texas. Do you think that's a fair way to look at the "good year, bad year" comments, or is it past time Mizzou lets it go?

jaeger - I WILL NEVER LET IT GO. NOT UNTIL THE LONGHORN NETWORK IS IN FLAMES AND CHARLIE WEIS IS THE TEXAS HEAD COACH FOR LIFE. UNTIL THEN, THAT WHOLE STATE CAN GO SUCK EGGS.

Chris Bohkay - Personally, it's time to let it go. It's fun, but means nothing when you consider that no one involved with either school at the time is involved now. That said, I'm not gonna tell someone how to 'fan', so if you want to sports hate Texas and bring this quote up, have at it. Same goes for those that don't capitalize the "K" in Kansas; do you sports fans, DO YOU.

dcrockett17 - I have lived in South Carolina, quite happily since 2002. I cannot rightfully claim to be a Southerner by birth. (Born in Jersey and moved to STL as a high school freshman.) Southerners do not entirely agree on what "the South" even is, much less weightier matters like pulled vs. slab meat or the best kind of barbecue sauce. But what I can say, based on over a decade of observation, is that personalizing perceived sleights and holding onto them way past any reasonable expiration date is a definition of Southern that I dare say unites all Southerners. If the slogan, "...it just means <pause> more," is ever to mean anything then hell no it's not time to let it go. A seething anger marinated in alcohol, cultivated and passed along to subsequent generations, while hidden beneath a membraneously thin veneer of politeness and cordiality is the very essence of ESS--EE--SEE.

The pretense of being "past all that" is so B1G. Leave that kind of delusion to Nebraska fans. I'm all for embracing the dark side on this.

switzy227 - Mizzou should not let it go until Texas is recognized across the nation as the blight on all things that it is. That quote is the perfect example of the arrogance that led to years of mistreatment in the Big 12 and its subsequent demise. Keep up the hate.

AlaTiger - It’s a shame that jaeger has gone soft on that hive of scum and villainy.

Mitch Hill - My favorite type of Twitter to keep up with is #NBATwitter so I love pettiness. Mizzou can let it go, but it's more fun, especially for this game, if they don't.

Josh Matejka - Sports are inherently foolish. We all root for a group of players based on, in order of importance (A) the laundry they’re wearing (B) the school they chose (C) the type of people they are. I say this not to disparage anyone from taking part in the enjoyment of any sport: they’re also a great social exercise and a wonderful way to connect with people we’d otherwise have no way to communicate with.

I say all this to say: it’s a little foolish the “good years, bad years” comments are still a thing. But I’m more than OK with Mizzou fans holding onto them. When you nominate a rube that’s going to say something like that about a whole school, you’re going to wear those comments.

2. Other than the fact they could beat Texas - which is always nice - a lot of people looked at this match up as a potential program booster for other reasons. It would likely give Mizzou's team about as much momentum as you can carry over between seasons. And it's always nice to show up the state school for those Texas recruits. Rank this game on a scale of 1-5 in terms of program importance, 5 being the highest.

jaeger - 5. This game is huge for tons and tons of reasons. Mizzou gets an extra month of practice (seems like someone has said that a thousand times on RMN, but I don't know who it could be), a bunch more positive press for the turnaround (which otherwise would have pretty much stopped if we weren't playing in a bowl game), the opportunity to play in a recruiting hotbed. If Odom is going to succeed at Mizzou, this makes it a whole lot easier.

Chris Bohkay - I think the momentum between seasons is a bit overblown, since we all believed Mizzou had figured it out last season and then this season started the way it did. But, since BarryO wants to refocus on Texas for recruiting purposes, this is a good thing, time down there can only help build and strengthen relationships, so in that sense, it's a good thing. Level of importance, it's a bowl game and that's great, so give me a strong 4.

dcrockett17 - I'm not sure it can really be much higher than a 3 (but a 5.7 three, whatever the hell that is) and is probably a lot lower. It's a minor bowl that only the respective fan bases care about. Any effect on recruiting has probably already happened on selection day, which is to say Odom gets his chance to glad hand with HS coaches in the region. I don't know that the game has much impact on Drew Lock's decision to return to school next year. Really, the only thing that hinges on the actual game is JJ Finley presumably interviewing for the OC position based on the offense's performance. (I don't know how accurate that is but it's a reasonable supposition.)

switzy227 - 4. It’s quite important but at the end of the day it’s still just a non-playoff bowl game. They are meaningful for the benefits and optics; not as much for the outcomes. History and the elusive-and-possibly-make-believe momentum keep it pretty high overall though.

AlaTiger - I don’t think there’s anything special about this bowl game versus any other. The narrative will be much better if the Tigers win, but history shows that bowls aren’t very predictive. I will give it a 3.

Mitch Hill - 3.5. Just because of momentum going into next year. And if Drew Lock does return (I think he will), you COULD see Mizzou at least receiving votes in the preseason, which would be fun after a 1-5 start. And, you know, beating the Big XII is something Mizzou fans should always want.

Josh Matejka - I think it’s probably a 4. And none of that has to do with momentum: bowl momentum doesn’t carry over. Very little of it has to do with recruiting. Yeah, players will notice if you topple a historically better program than you, and it’s nice to make a name for yourself in the state... but it’s not like Mizzou is recruiting against the Longhorns.

I’m mostly concerned about how Barry Odom’s program is viewed by the fanbase. Because, ultimately, that will be the deciding factor on how long he stays. If Odom can finish this season with a win against a former hated opponent, he’s riding into next year with most of the fanbase behind him. If he doesn’t, people will still be happy. But they’ll be more inclined to wonder if the winning streak was a fluke rooted in a weak conference slate. That’s a much worse place to be in, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

3. This year's stats are less likely to tell us a lot about Texas since they're missing a few key pieces. But despite their 6-6 record, they still managed to play some very good teams close. What does Mizzou need to do to take home the win against its former Big 12 foe?

jaeger - Same thing they did against a bunch of other middling teams the latter part of the SEC slate - score early, score often, play opportunistic defense. Cole Garrett and Terry Beckner ruin the life of anyone who dares tread near the middle of the field. Drew Lock throws for a billion touchdowns, Ish Witter runs for a bunch of yards. Larry Rountree bulldozes someone. Sherrills flies in like a heat-seeking missile and singlehandedly kills a couple of plays.

Chris Bohkay - Come out scoring and figure out something on defense that seemed to be lacking when they played teams with an offensive pulse.

dcrockett17 - Now, the game itself for pure entertainment could be anything from 1 to 5. Based on the podcast, Texas is determined defensively to play the game in a phone booth. That is to say, Texas is gonna stay in dime and force Mizzou to be patient and run the ball. They'll force Lock to make reads and force him into some bad ones, which we know is not unreasonable. There are so many subplots. I'll stick to 3.

1. On offense, how aggressive will Mizzou try to be? We know aggressive is already baked into the offense's DNA. Lock wants to let it loose. Finley has every incentive to want to let him, to make himself a slightly more attractive candidate to Odom, Heupel, or whomever. Will they try to do too much? The key on offense, whether they're patient or aggressive, is what they do inside the 35 yard line. They've been awesome at converting field position into TDs with Albert O, Blanton, and (quietly) J'mon Moore. I expect Texas to do its level best to take away the outside WRs and force Lock to throw to the slots in the middle of the field. The slots (Johnson mostly) have been hit or miss all year, and so has Lock throwing to the middle of the field. (His throws can sail.) The other key in every bowl is penalties. Long delays can lead to sloppy play, which changes game situations.

2. On defense, will the back 7 tackle? That's really been the issue since the team overcame its inability to line up properly around mid-season. The tackling has been good one week horrible the next.

3. Kicking game. Mizzou has been soooooo good here the past several games. The PK and P have both been good and the returns have been good-to-phenomenal. Bowls can feature uncharacteristic performances, good and bad. I'm just hoping the team plays to type.

switzy227 - Mizzou is probably going to just play their game. It’s worked for a while and it probably works again. A Tony Temple impression by Ish Witter would be welcome, though.

AlaTiger - Mizzou does Mizzou things, helped by those missing key pieces. The defense playing much better than they did against Arkansas would be nice.

Mitch Hill - Mizzou needs to score like we all know they can and the defense needs to force a couple of turnovers. If Mizzou forces Turnovers, my guess is they run away with this game.

Josh Matejka - Feed Ish Witter early and feed Ish Witter often. This is a glorified scrimmage and I can guarantee you Texas will not be as interested in this game as Mizzou. The Longhorns will likely be looking to keep Lock from torching them, so if Witter can establish himself it could end up being a field day. Pound it up the middle until Texas draws in thEN BOOM. J’MON MOORE TO THE 20! TO THE 10! TO THE HOUSE! TOUCHDOWN MISSOURI!

4. PICK 'EM

jaeger - Mizzou 34, Texas 13. Suck it, Longhorns.

Chris Bohkay - Mizzou 56 - Texas 52, the memories of the triple option and Navy are somewhat excised.

switzy227 - Mizzou finishes their comeback season right, 38-21.

AlaTiger - Let’s go with 41-31 Mizzou.

Mitch Hill - Mizzou 38, Texas 17. Texas is just missing a lot of people and I don't think they can score with Mizzou.

Josh Matejka - Mizzou 37, Texas 31. Tucker McCann is going to hit 3 field goals, Lock connects with Moore (x2) and Albert O. in the end zone, and Ish Witter cashes in another 100-yard, one score game to cap his Tiger career.