It's preview season...
...which means others are talking about Mizzou, just as Mizzou writers are talking about others.
Their Offense is Legit: And has been so for a hot minute. That's what you get when you hire a string of offensive coordinators as your head coach. Arkansas State's 476.5 yards a game ranked 20th in the FBS last year. That followed 23rd (447.8) in 2011, 23rd (466.7) in 2012 and a brief step down to 66th (407.8) in 2013. Still, the Red Wolves have averaged more than 400 yards and 29 points a game in each of the past five seasons. Last year's offense set program records in yards per game and total points, and Arkansas State returns basically all of the important parts from that team. Knighten makes it all go. He's a Parade All-American from Little Rock that does things like account for a stat on 73 plays in one game, as he did when he attempted 57 passes, ran the ball 16 times and racked up 443 total yards against Texas State last year. The Red Wolves run that breakneck pace, no-huddle offense that Freeze, Malzahn et al love so much, so Knighten is expected to share the wealth as well. His three go-to receivers from last season -- Houston, 5-11, 193-pound run/catch threat J.D. McKissic and 6-1, 196-pound big-play guy Dijon Paschal (sidebar: I covered both McKissic and Paschal when they were in high school...but that's neither here nor there) -- are all back, as well as his zone-read counterpart Gordon, who benefits from the fact that defenses have to be very aware of Knighten tucking the ball and keeping it for himself. And all this while the Red Wolves are running a play every 22 seconds of game clock.
(And if you're interested, my own ASU preview went up a while back...)
Missouri, 7.5 wins (over -180, under +140)
So: the Tigers weren't as strong as their record last season. Maty Mauk was erratic even in the best of times. The receiving corps has been decimated by graduation (again). At some point, surely the well of NFL-caliber defensive linemen will dry up. At at -180, that over is pricey. No matter: after picking the Tigers to go under each of the last two seasons and being woefully, woefully wrong both times, I'm not doubting Gary Pinkel again -- especially when the outstanding Barry Odom has taken over the defense ... Southeast Missouri State, Arkansas State, UConn, Kentucky and Vanderbilt are all on the schedule ... and South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi State, BYU and Tennessee all come to Columbia. OVER 7.5 WINS.
And do draft previews count?
The Football Educator: 2016 NFL Draft: Kentrell Brothers - Missouri
Other recruiting links
PowerMizzou: Taylor talks timetable for decision
Four-star athlete A.J. Taylor knows when he plans to bring an end to his recruitment. Now, all that's left is making a decision.
"August 1st, I'm going to announce my verbal commitment," the 2016 prospect from Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst said of his college choice. "We have a creative idea of how I'm going to announce it. We are going to do a video. We are going to invite quite a few people, and have it at a little hall."
Go, Teki, go
Mizzou Men's Basketball sophomore guard Montaque Gill-Caesar (Vaughn, Ont.) is among 19 invitees currently attending Canada Basketball's U19 Men's National Team Training Camp at Humber College in Toronto. The final roster will travel to the U19 FIBA World Championships in Heraklion, Greece, from June 27-July 5. [...]
Gill-Caesar is one of four invitees to Canada's camp that are currently playing for NCAA Division I men's basketball programs.