My apologies, y’all. This one is going to be brief in regards to my own thoughts today. I got a VERY late start on this due to some stuff with one of my side jobs (insert dramatic infuriated sigh), and I just don’t have the time to spend on this as I normally would. I was going to recap the MIZ-ZOOM call with Zac Woodfin, and didn’t even get time to listen to it yet— maybe I’ll do that that this weekend. Forgive me? I knew you would.
Starting TODAY, the football team’s activities can become more football-related and less focused on drills/strength & conditioning. In addition, the max amount of mandatory sessions can go from 8 to 20 hours a week. This all sounds good to me, as long as the safety measures the team has put into place work and don’t end up resulting in an influx of positive tests as the team has more football-like practices.
STL Today’s Dave Matter hosted his weekly chat on Thursday, and to no one’s surprise, much of it focused on football, so let’s take a look at some highlights! I’ve paraphrased many of the questions and combined some answers, by the way.
Tyler Macon was awarded that well-deserved 4th star. How are the recruiting rankings for Mizzou right now as compared to the rest of the SEC? How is it going locally?
Cleary, Drinkwitz is off to a great start. The current class ranking - No. 18 by Rivals.com, No. 20 by 247Sports.com and No. 24 by the 247Sports composite - is far better than Mizzou is traditionally ranked this time of year or any time of year. Keep in mind, the rankings are weighed by both the quantity and quality of the commitments.. Here’s the substantial difference that’s going to ultimately push Mizzou down in these rankings: Mizzou doesn’t have a lot of room for many more additions, and if the bulk of those pledges are 3-star players, this isn’t going to be a top 20 class. That’s OK. It still has the makings of a very promising group of recruits. The local goodwill is as strong as it’s been in more than a decade because of the success Drinkwitz has had with in-state recruits. That’s progress regardless of the rankings. You’ve got local players picking Mizzou early in the process - before the new guy has coached a game - and they’ve been outspoken about their enthusiasm for the new staff. So, no matter if this class ends up at No. 35, 25 or 15, he’s done a great job selling his vision and getting early investments both in the state and beyond.
Do the positive results — as in it’s going well, not that everyone is testing positive for COVID— of the NHL and NBA bode well for the season to occur?
(His answer is what I would say as well... pro sports are markedly different than what college sports can - and should - do)
The NHL and NBA experiments have been very promising, but they’re also operating in a bubble and have had strong leadership at the top when it comes to making decisive decisions for all. That’s never been the case in college sports. College sports are hoping to see successful launches by those leagues plus MLB, but they’re also operating under far different circumstances.
In regards to moving the football season to spring and what impact that would have on well, everything:
A spring football season invites a lot of hurdles, starting with TV contracts. There’s a belief among ADs that the networks would renegotiate their deals because the spring TV windows aren’t nearly as valuable as they are in the fall. Then there’s this: How do you pull off a spring season, a quick summer turnaround, and then a fall season within a few months? You’re going to subject your (unpaid) student athletes to 20-plus games of a violent sport over a six-month span? And what about the NFL prospects who don’t want to risk injury so close to the draft? Also, who’s to say the virus numbers will be any better after the winter if the rates continue to climb in the fall?
About this last part— I’ve thought about that a great deal. As much as I want there to be college football, I don’t see moving it to spring as a viable option. I just don’t see some of our draft-eligible players choosing to participate, and for good reason. I also can’t see football and basketball co-existing at the same time. You all know I’m a basketball-before-all-else kinda girl, so I will always pick hoops over football if I have to decide between both sports on a Saturday. How I feel, though, is not how many feel, so I don’t think it would be good for our hoops team (or any other spring sport, for that matter) if this happened.
There’s a TON more of football (and some hoops content) in Matter’s chat, so I HIGHLY suggest checking it out.
On to the Links! Happy Friday :)
Yesterday at Rock M
- Rock M hoops savants, Sam and Matt, were back with a new episode of Dive Cuts. It’s the last episode of the season, y’all. Does it really matter? No, but there will be new intro music the next time you tune in?
- Nate the Great shared the Covid predictions edition of the new SBNation Reacts.
- Coming up: BK’s got a piece for you about the freshmen football players later this morning.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Matter had a couple of articles up as practices ramp up and the season gets closer: Drinkwitz is putting a renewed emphasis on special teams, as well as another one about the offense and how the team is short on time to create an identity.
- Saturday Down South: Connor O’Gara admitted in his piece that he’s been sleeping on the greatness of Nick Bolton for too long, and he’s not alone.
- More award noms for some deserving players! Way to go, Tyler Badie, Kobie Whiteside, and Nick Bolton!
- In USA Today’s Titans Wire, Mike Moraitis talked with Cale Garrett, who is ‘bugged’ by not getting drafted.
Other Mizzou/Local Sports
- PowerMizzou/Rivals: Eric Bossi touched based with Tamar Bates on the schools that have been targeting him the most, including the Tigers. Good stuff, and it’s free!
- In news that will impact winter sports teams (and I’m all for it):
This is good: The Division I National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is seeking feedback from D-I’s Legislative Committee & Student-Athlete Experience Committee on a proposal that countable athletically related activities be prohibited on Election Days.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) July 23, 2020
- Real basketball is back. Oh hey, JC! (By the way, if you didn’t see JC shotgun a tall boy of Corona a few weeks ago for a beer challenge, it was impressive)
These are some of the best sports stories & tidbits I found regarding some goings-on in sports and the world— Enjoy!
- BenFred’s story for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, about how the Cardinals are showing their city how to have hard discussions about racism is PHENOMENAL. Also in the PD, Ben Caesar wrote about how different baseball is going to sound on the airwaves this season.
- Clemson’s athletic department released a statement saying it will suspend ALL fall sports activity until at least mid-late September. I don’t know, y’all. I think it’s only a matter of time before the big, bad SEC follows suit.
- KMOX’s Tom Ackerman was back with a new Garage Happy Hour. His newest guest? Carolyn Kindle Betz, one member of the ownership group of the still un-named St. Louis MLS team.
As you would expect, @BetzKindle made a stellar appearance on the “Garage Happy Hour.” Looking forward to the @MLS4theLou unveiling on 8/13. St. Louis is about to make history. ⚽️ https://t.co/4IAsGsO6Gp— Tom Ackerman (@Ackerman1120) July 24, 2020
- In more, “I guess Karen is a Pelicans fan” news, Brandon Ingram is donating A LOT of Adidas shoes (982 to be specific) to the employees of the UNC Lenoir Health Care in Kingston, NC. Really awesome, and man, they have some good dudes on their team.
- Diana Moskovitz of The Undefeated wrote that it’s time for the NFL to offer guaranteed contracts to all its players.
- From Sports Illustrated’s Ben Pittman, Kentucky’s African-American and Africana Studies faculty is calling on the school to rename Rupp Arena.
- From The Ringer.com (a great website), Paola Uggetti wrote a really great piece on athletes needing to find the right headspace while stuck in the bubble for upwards of three months.
- If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now! (** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)