♫ I’m So Sophisticated ♫
Mmmmmmmmmmm, very nice. I’ve never been the biggest fan of all-blacks, but I think I forgot how nice they look with the thicker stripes on the helmet/sleeve/pant. As always, I think the Block M would improve this look, but even Tiger Head gets a pass this week because of the rest of the fit is clean.
You know who doesn’t get a pass though? Whoever released this at 7 p.m. C’mon y’all.
What’s On Tap?
While liquor would probably be more appropriate given that many of us don’t want to remember a beating like we’re about to receive, I have to shout out a really stellar brewery in Athens, Ga. They’re pretty well known amongst beer heads, but Creature Comforts impresses me every time I partake. Having lived on the East Coast for a few years with regular access to their stuff, I have to say it’s a bummer that I don’t see it all that much anymore. I particularly miss Stellar Drift, which I always remember being a favorite of mine.
I definitely don’t have any Creature Comforts at my home right now, but if you’re anywhere on the East Coast and don’t want to feel total antipathy for Georgia on Saturday, go out and grab you a six-pack of something from this wonderful beverage manufacturer.
Know Thy Enemy
It’s Georgia. They’re good.
Last week was about as bad a beat as it gets... you know, outside of the many other devastating defeats Mizzou has had in its history. Which of the famous Mizzou losses scarred you the most?
Parker Gillam, Beat Writer: As a relatively short-term Mizzou fan, (junior in college, from GA, parents went to Tennessee), I’m not the best person to ask about this question. So, I’ll give a personal take for this one.
Last fall, Tennessee came to Columbia. My parents flew up from Atlanta to be in town for the game, therefore it was the lone game I took off from covering to just tailgate and attend the game as a fan. Both teams had suffered some tough losses to start the season, making this game all the more important.
We all know what happened. The Vols embarrassed Mizzou on their home field, to my parent’s enjoyment and my dismay.
Dan Keegan, Football Contributor: 2013 South Carolina. I was ALL-IN on this team. Most of us were, to be sure, but I had really talked myself into something special. I skipped a friend’s Halloween party to watch the game at home. Moments after the game ended, I began drinking with more, um, enthusiasm, and walked over to the party. I wasn’t wearing a costume — just showed up in a Mizzou T-shirt and apparently talked to everyone about Andrew Baggett and Connor Shaw. I stole a Cookie Monster head from someone whose costume was that iconic blue Muppet glutton. (None of my friends or acquaintances who attended this party were dressed as Cookie Monster). I wore the Cookie Monster head for the rest of the night. We went to a diner, I ordered an omelet then promptly left. I got on the G train — despite living within walking distance of my apartment — and took it the wrong way.
Mizzou lost. I got a Cookie Monster head, and my friend Dave got a leftover omelet for breakfast the next day.
If you’re gonna lose awful games, at least make sure you get a good yarn out of it.
Josh Matejka, Deputy Site Manager: The year was
2012 2013. The opponent was Norfolk State South Carolina. My story isn’t nearly as good as Dan’s and it probably isn’t the worst loss of my lifetime, but it is the worst Mizzou loss I’ve ever experienced in person so it sticks with me. The DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIINNNNGGGGGGG of the uprights ringing through the air — I was sitting close to the goal post where it hit — with the South Carolina bench erupting in the silence was earth-shatteringly painful. I get that last week was tough and 2013 still turned out just fine, but that was an all-time bad beat.
Let’s flip that question over. Mizzou is a massive underdog to Georgia on Saturday, but there’s no saying what could happen in this particularly weird college football season. Thinking back, what’s your absolute favorite Mizzou Football upset?
Parker Gillam: As someone who grew up despising the Florida Gators, that 2018 game was incredibly fun to watch, even though I was not necessarily a Mizzou fan yet. The Tigers had just lost that heartbreaker to Kentucky (15-14) the previous week, while the Gators were still contending in the East. Not many thought Mizzou had a chance in the Swamp.
Drew Lock would go on to play one of the best games on his career. He lit up a good Florida secondary while the defense contributed to Feleipe Franks’ eventual transfer from UF. 38-17 was the final score, and this would start a late season rally for the Tigers.
Dan Keegan: Also 2013, and also Georgia! I actually watched this one at Percy’s Tavern, the NYC bar for Mizzou game watches at the time. (As you might have guessed based on my South Carolina story, it’s better for everyone if I watch big games at home by myself.) This game was the first time I ever noticed ESPN run a “Scoop N Score” graphic on a broadcast. The double-pass gave us another iconic big play. What a game, what a team.
A really great feeling is being in a big melting-pot city like NYC, Chicago, DC, etc on gameday after a big win, and having strangers congratulate you.
Josh Matejka: It’s not as much of an upset as 2013 at Georgia, but technically Armageddon at Arrowhead was an upset. The Jayhawks were 1.5 point favorites on game day and apparently AccuScore had them simulated as winning 58 percent of the time. But we all know what happened next.
Georgia is one of the country’s truly elite teams, and even they struggled against Kent State last weekend. Are they once again the real deal, or did last week show that they’re vulnerable?
Parker Gillam: Real deal. They had to come down to Earth eventually, and I think Kirby Smart is perfectly fine with that occurring against Kent State. That was a wake-up call for this team, and they will be back to their usual standard this week. This offense is better than last year’s, while the defense has reloaded and maintained their crazy high standard of play. Alabama is still my national champion (they were my preseason pick), but as of now, UGA is the best team in the country.
Dan Keegan: They are the Real Deal Bradley Beal. The defense is mean, nasty, and chiseled, and Stetson Bennett gets to play SEC Football on Easy Mode. The running backs and defensive front seven are both a shade worse than last year, but this team reloads, not rebuilds. The secondary is probably better with all-galaxy freshman Malaki Starks.
The only question I had was if Kirby could match his mentor Nick Saban’s ability to keep winning teams hungry, and avoid the proverbial hangover. They answered that question in resounding fashion in their Week One blowout of Oregon.
Josh Matejka: I wrote this question, and even I think it’s a stretch.
PICK ‘EM! Georgia is a four touchdown favorite against Missouri. And while the Bulldogs have been putting it on the Tigers these past few years, they’ve failed to cover several times. Is Missouri beating the spread on Saturday? And what do you need to see to feel OK coming out of what is sure to be a long night?
Parker Gillam: Four touchdowns is honestly a lower number than I’d expect. Kirby Smart is going to have his team motivated and prepared after a disappointing performance last week, so I expect them to take some anger out on the Tigers.
I think the defense can hold back the onslaught for a quarter or two, but a couple big plays is all it is going to take to blow this game wide open. With the weapons Georgia has, that won’t be too hard to come by. On the flip side, I’ll be incredibly happy if Mizzou scores more than 20 points. I’m going in expecting 10-14 points.
Here’s what I want to see. At any point in the game, I want to see Brady Cook lead 2-3 successful scoring drives that are 8+ plays, showing some signs of life. More so than anything else though, I want to see Mevis rebound from his past two games and go 100% on field goals.
Dan Keegan: I would feel better about covering the spread if Georgia wasn’t coming off a letdown game. I can’t imagine they lay two eggs in a row. That Kent State performance was very poorly timed for Mizzou. I think Georgia handles their business and covers.
I’ll be watching to see defensive competency, to see how Luther Burden gets involved with the offense, and if Nate Peat can continue his tough running against an incredible defense. I hope everyone stays healthy, and I hope both teams have fun out there.
Josh Matejka: Georgia doesn’t always cover against Missouri because Kirby Smart is wise enough to know that decimating a lesser conference opponent isn’t necessarily worth his time or injuries to his best players. Missouri has some other factors working in its favor — very good defense, explosive playmakers, home game — but in order to beat the spread you need a functioning offense. And if they’re without Luther Burden... well, can Dominic Lovett do it all by himself? I’m going to say Georgia covers this time around, but I’d love to see Missouri’s defense really make them work to earn every one of their points.