I guess it's officially official now?
The Trib: English hired as director of player development at Tulsa
Post-Dispatch: Kim English joins Haith's Tulsa staff
It's preview season
Reason for Missouri to worry: Arkansas State's offense was explosive in 2014, and with nine returning starters -- including every meaningful skill-position player -- there's plenty of experience to duplicate or better those numbers.
Reason for Missouri to rest easy: Arkansas State surrendered 31 sacks in 2014 and allowed 94 tackles-for-loss. That last figure ranked 118th in the nation. The two starters the Red Wolves did lose on offense were both linemen, too, so Missouri's front-four could have a big day in Jonesboro.
The Secondary is Improved and Experienced: The lasting image of Kentucky's secondary from the 2013 season, for me at least, will always be Dorial Green-Beckham hurting the Wildcats often and in a variety of ways on his way to seven catches, 100 yards and a Missouri program record four touchdowns. That was a group of corners and safeties that had no clue how to even begin dealing with Green-Beckham. And, really, it's a trend that lasted all season. The Wildcats gave up a 65.8-percent completion rate and intercepted only three passes against 22 touchdowns hemorrhaged, posting an opponent passer rating of 154.54 that ranked 112th in the FBS. Then, sometime between 2013 and last year, they learned how to ballhawk. The Wildcats had four corners and safeties record at least two interceptions and had five with at least five passes defended. Kentucky's defense got its hand on one in every 5.89 opponent passes and took four interceptions back to the house to boot. The bad news for the Wildcats is they lose their two main pass rushers -- Bud Dupree and Za'Darius Smith -- that ramped up the pressure and allowed the secondary to be so aggressive. The good news for the Wildcats is they return both starting corners, a starting safety and a starting nickelback off a team that gave up more than 300 passing yards only once last season and intercepted multiple passes in five games.
Nobody expected Alden to preside over MU athletics forever, but as many bullets as he dodged during his time in charge, it appeared only one man could bring down the don of Tiger Town. Himself.He did just that on Jan. 29, first sharing the news with department employees in a hastily called meeting at Mizzou Arena. Whispered speculation linked Alden to a job with the NCAA or perhaps the SEC. Or he was leaving for another high-paying AD position, right?"I will never be an AD again," he later said. "I don’t have an interest in working at the conference level and don’t see myself in that area. Are there other areas that could come up that I don’t even know about? Sure, that could be. But, for me, I’m really looking forward to being on the academic side of things."
In joining the Mizzou faculty at the School of Education, Alden left behind a complicated legacy strewn with epic achievements, topped off by his hiring of Pinkel and Mizzou’s lucrative move to the SEC, mixed with impossible-to-ignore missteps, none worse than a clumsy handling of sexual assault allegations involving his athletes. Above all, he handed off a department in better shape than the one he inherited in 1998.