Nothing like a “rivalry” win, huh?
When I guested on Before the Box Score last week, Nate asked me about my feelings toward South Carolina and the “rivalry” they share with Mizzou. To be honest, I don’t really care about “rivalries” anymore. In fact, I’m not sure Mizzou Football has any regular rivals anymore... at least not until they start playing kansas again.
I get that there’s an argument to be made about hatred. If that was solely the case, I’d argue that Mizzou and Tennessee are more rivals than anything else Mizzou has at the moment. But antipathy alone does not a rival make. You need to be peers in some way shape or form. Mizzou (mostly) always pasted the jayhawks in football, only to (mostly) return the favor on the hardwood. It was a relationship of mutually assured destruction... kind of.
Rivalries are weird like that. You can’t really put your finger on why you hate the other guy, you just know you should. I can tell you why I hate teams like Tennessee or why I don’t hate teams like South Carolina. I can somewhat tell you why I hate teams like kansas or Illinois, but it’s more of a gut instinct at this point.
The truth of the matter is, I’m not sure we’ll see any new rivalries bud for Mizzou, at least not in the coming decades. Real hatred has to fester over time and repeated wounds. Maybe if the Tigers and Gamecocks get to a point where games like 2013 become the norm, something will start brewing. But until then, I’m more than happy holding onto the Mayor’s Cup 364 days a year. Technically it still belongs to us on the 365th, we just have to show it off during the game.
Somebody cue the music!
For maximum enjoyment, I recommend putting playback into 1.25x speed. You’re welcome.
Like most upsets Mizzou pulls, the win over South Carolina felt sort of like a heist. You know, scrappy underdogs bolt into town, cause a got-dang ruckus for a few hours and speed away leaving chaos in their wake. Maybe there’s a little beer involved, maybe not.
No one really makes movies like Smokey and the Bandit anymore for a variety of reasons.
1. A beer run through the deep south featuring the musical stylings of old country? A little too niche for today’s profit-obsessed Hollywood.
2. They don’t make ‘em like Burt Reynolds anymore.
3. They don’t make ‘em like Sally Field anymore.
4. A racist, deep south sheriff chasing a white man for the crime of transporting illegal alcohol is somehow unbelievable while hitting way too close to home at the same time.
But I suppose that’s why only the first Smokey took off (Smokey sequel revisionists, please file all complaints with Karen Steger and I will address them at my earliest convenience.)
Despite its qualities that haven’t aged well, Smokey and the Bandit is still a hell of a metaphor for what Missouri was able to accomplish in Columbia Least this past weekend. He’s the “hero” of this story, despite the fact that you kind of love/hate him, and he’s headed east bound and down to bring joy to Missouri fans across the country. It’s a heist of seemingly low stakes because, let’s face it, who cares what Mizzou and South Carolina are up to these days other than us? And it’s an example of a perfectly flawed, yet immensely enjoyable romp. Let’s enjoy the fact that the first half of the game went by swimmingly before devolving into a deja-vu inducing third quarter when the Rock M slack started live-betting on South Carolina. I’m not naming names because I AIN’T NO COP.
When it all shook out, though, the heist was complete and Mizzou peeled away to Columbia Best with a dub in hand. Only two more until they’ve got a full six-pack and bowl eligibility.
★★★★☆ for the game, ★★★☆☆ for Smokey and the Bandit which hasn’t aged all that well in a lot of ways but perfectly captures the insane energy of Burt Reynolds’ prime years
Watchability Index/BBQ Power Rankings
I’m going to go ahead and tank my already non-existent reputation with the Mizzou fanbase and add a little chaos into the fray this week.
I wasn’t much a fan of southern cuisine during my time in the Carolinas — the biscuits and gravy were always choice, but you can only eat so much before your insides turn to stone — but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the barbecue down there is the best I’ve ever had. The variety of offerings — vinegar and pepper, spicy mustard, ketchup-based sweet sauce — combined with the way they roast pork down there? Divine. Before moving down south, I had always fashioned myself as a Kansas City supremacist, but I’ve come to understand that home isn’t always where the heart is. Therefore, I’m releasing the Revue’s official BBQ Power Rankings for the 2022 season.
1. South Carolina
T-2. Central Texas and Western NC
4. Kansas City
5. St. Louis
Special shout outs to Alabama white sauce for being ultra tasty and Memphis for being reliably tasty.
Why do I bring up BBQ? Because all I could think about while watching Mizzou slowly choke the life from South Carolina during their Homecoming game was how much better it would be if I could watch with a sky-high pile of pulled pork and mustard sauce between two buttery brioche buns. Purists will call me a wimp because of my focus on the sauce rather than the meat, but here’s the dirty little secret... I don’t care. Wow, you smoke your meat for 24 hours with hickory and oak instead of apple? It’s not going to matter once it’s bathing in that tangy gold lava.
As for the game, it was perfectly balanced, as any pulled pork sandwich should be. The first quarter was a blast of savory goodness that we were allowed to meditate on through the next hour or so. Then, South Carolina staged the smallest of comebacks, introducing a little bit of spice and zest to the mix. Finally, when things were looking a little rocky, Mizzou’s provided the crunch.
No complaints. Five out of five South Carolina pulled pork sandwiches for the boys!
Disrespectful Play Index
Category 1: How difficult/impressive was the play? (0-20)
Category 2: How hard did the defense try? (0-20)
Category 3: How much did his teammates help? (0-5)
Category 4: What did the player do immediately afterward? (0-20)
Category 5: How did everyone not involved react? (0-15)
Category 6: Is there a backstory/context to consider? (0-20)
- Category 1: How difficult/impressive was the play?
Mizzou hasn’t been great at converting so close to its own goal line to this point in the year, so we’re already working with an added level of difficulty. Importantly, however, Cook avoided the short side of the field and went for the middle.
Really, this isn’t an immensely difficult play in a vacuum. If you execute, the entire middle of the field opens up and you’ve got plenty of daylight with which to work.
Cook does just that... but can we really knock him for it? Again, this isn’t the most difficult play but the ease with which he scores is directly contributed to the effectiveness of his fake. So we’re going to be generous with him. 17/20
- Category 2: How hard did the defense try?
When I was watching this play live, I couldn’t have imagined this category would play such an important role in my evaluation. If you refer to the picture above one more time, you’ll notice that nine of South Carolina’s defenders —82 percent of their uniformed players on the field! — have collapsed to stop Cody Schrader. What exactly they’ll stop him from doing I’m not sure, because he does not have the ball, folks.
However, there is one valiant effort I’d like to celebrate, and that is of No. 3, defensive back Devonni Reed. Wave hi to the class, Devonni.
Mr. Reed is too busy rethinking his life choices in this moment. I’ll move on.
We all know what happens from here. Cook, almost untouched, darts into the end zone off the back of his devious fake. But damn it if Devonni Reed doesn’t give his all to stopping Cook’s unstoppable momentum. If this were Mission: Impossible, the letter would be message would be exploding in Reed’s face as he read it.
Reed makes an impressive recovery to reach Cook as he’s diving for the goal line. It’s worth noting not only because of Reed’s athleticism but also because, as I already said, this was a doomed effort from the start. It’s not that he got caught on his back heels from the beginning, it’s that he got caught on both back heels while leaning backward. I’m surprised he didn’t fall over while waving his arms in a circle like one of the Three Stooges.
Nevertheless, Reed recovers and dives full board in an effort to stop Cook.
The only problem is, he only makes contact when Cook is already in the end zone. This is great news for Cook’s score in this category, because it was looking pretty feeble if not for Devonni Reed’s heroic effort. Mr. Reed, we salute you. 18/20
- Category 3: How much did his teammates help?
Cook does almost all of the work here, which is a bummer for the number it’ll do to his overall score. But guess who’s saving his bacon here? That’s right folks, it’s the pride of Brandon “BK” Kiley and the Before the Box Score team, none other than The Horse himself.
Who said Ryan Hoerstkamp couldn’t block? We did? Prove it! 3/5
- Category 4: What did the player do immediately afterward?
Look, I’m still not fully bought in on Cook as the program’s long-term starter. His overall season, this game and a leaky offensive line notwithstanding, has been pretty poor and I’d like to see him continually work on improving his decision making. This decision, however, is good and cold as hell. Cook, after picking himself off the ground, coolly walks over to the USC fans and dead-eyes them like Michael Myers. As his teammates begin to mob him? The stare lingers. After they leave? He walks across the hedge, continuing to stare (and adding a little hop, which I would argue doesn’t fit with the tone of his taunt.)
Brady Cook’s overall stat line for the season is as follows:
- 65.4 percent completion rate
- 7.4 yards per attempted pass
- Six passing touchdowns to seven interceptions
- 215 rushing yards
- 2.8 yards per rushing attempt
- Three rushing touchdowns
That’s not awful, but it certainly doesn’t justify taking on the opposing crowd in the first quarter of a rivalry game when your team is only up by one score. Is it smart? No.
But is it respectful? Hell no. 20/20
- Category 5: How did everyone not involved react?
Look at everyone else getting involved in the chirping. Y’ALL, THERE ARE ESSENTIALLY FOUR WHOLE QUARTERS TO PLAY, WHY ARE YOU MUGGING SO HARD, I LOVE IT. 12/15
- Category 6: Is there a backstory/context to consider?
This will be no secret to anyone reading, but we’ve been critical of Cook around these parts. He hasn’t been entirely convincing, especially not with a high four-star recruit sitting behind him on the bench and a cadre of abundantly talented receivers at his disposal. So the fact that he pulled this play out in the first quarter, setting the tone for himself and the rest of the team, was an omen of improvement to come. The rest of Cook’s game was just what we expect from him — game management with a dash of explosiveness — but this first major contribution was a perfect slice of execution. In a season when I can’t remember thinking that about him once, it felt good for all parties involved. 16/20
Brady Cook’s touchdown run was 86 percent disrespectful to South Carolina and its fans.
Superlatives and Awards
Most Disrespectful Celebration: Special extension of the Index above for Martez Manuel, who pissed off some Gamecock fans with his rendition of Sandstorm.
This will forever be one of my favorites pic.twitter.com/EbBhNCAB1E— Clemson Tom (@ClemsonTom) October 29, 2022
This celebration was 77 percent disrespectful to South Carolina and its fans. Don’t ask me to show my work, because I won’t.
Maddest Online: In conjunction with Martez Manuel’s celebration...
The taunting that @MizzouFootball players were allowed to get away with by @SECOfficiating and their coaches shows you why they're on a roller coaster this season. A hush with the finger at the crowd is one thing. Grabbing the towel of the opposing QB & taunting the crowd? Foul.— David (@DavidGarnetnBlk) October 30, 2022
Ole boy was so mad he started seeing things. Also, he should’ve said “fowl” at the end of the tweet... would’ve been funnier.
Best BBQ: See above. Sorry, KC and STL fam, I still quite enjoy your wares
Best Columbia: KAD already knows
I hate dat other Columbia— Kris Abrams-Draine (@KD1ERA) October 29, 2022