And speaking of Marching Mizzou ... this is pretty damn cool.
The LSU Golden Band from Tiger Land lost two former members who passed away in recent weeks, leaving the band with a heavy heart as they gear up for the opener against McNeese State on Saturday.
This week, the Missouri band paid their respects to LSU's band by posting the photo above on Facebook (with the Mizzou band spelling out "LSU"), accompanied by the following message.
"From one SEC Tiger band to another - we would like to express our condolences and support after your recent losses. It is not easy to have lost recently graduated members but we want to reach out to you in your time of need as we keep you in our thoughts and prayers."
"When your best player is your hardest worker it makes your job pretty easy," second-year SEMO coach Tom Matukewicz said. "What makes him special on the field is he’s just a different human being at the reception point. If you shook his hand he’d be shaking your elbow. We’ve had a lot of NFL scouts come in, and in the NFL you’re going to be contested on every catch. He’s just so strong at reception point that he’s like 7-11: He’s always open. You just have to throw it."
At least one Missouri defender will come prepared to respect SEMO’s best playmaker. Junior linebacker Michael Scherer played AAU basketball with McRoberts in St. Louis and played against him in high school basketball and football.
"Big Paul, yeah, that’s my buddy," said Scherer.
Talkin' with Gary Pinkel
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"The Thursday checklist is meticulously about everything that can happen on Saturday, everything that we're going to do. We'll sit down as a staff, and we'll go through about 25 different fundamental items."
Talkin' with Gary Pinkel
Pinkel’s staff hasn’t decided on how much or when backup quarterback Drew Lock will play in Saturday’s game against Southeast Missouri State.
"We don’t do that until Thursdays in our meetings," he said. "That’s when we talk about substitutions."
Pinkel and his staff have experience designing series for the backup quarterback, from his time at Washington with Chris Chandler and Mark Brunell to more recent years at Mizzou with Chase Daniel, Blaine Gabbert and James Franklin.
Thursdays! The Thursday checklist!
Veterans rule, too
With only 19.5 percent of snaps returning across the defensive line and 73.8 percent returning in the linebackers and secondary, it seems to make more sense for the Tigers to get their back seven — or possibly eight — involved more this season. But, with the continued influx of up-tempo, spread offenses Missouri has to face, it also needs to find ways to keep defensive speed on the field, pressure the quarterback and maintain a disruptive presence up front against the run.
And sophomores. Sophomores also rule.
Missouri has built a reputation for taking under the radar recruits and turning them into college football stars. The school has designed an entire marketing campaign around the process, tabbing it MizzouMade. Charles Harris is about to start a season which could serve as an audition for that campaign's poster boy.
Actually, putting Harris in the discussion with many of those recent Missouri stars may not quite be accurate. Because if many of the Tigers of recent vintage have been under the radar, they were looking down at Harris. The Kansas City Lincoln Prep prospect would have had an awfully long climb to be considered under the radar in 2013.
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The 2013 squad sprouted from toxic soil and overwhelmed opponents with gigantic receivers and a three-headed running attack. It didn’t pause when starting quarterback James Franklin got hurt and Maty Mauk was thrust into the job. The 2014 team remade itself midseason, sacking and punting and bleeding the clock to one unsightly victory after another. Pinkel’s most impressive and underappreciated feat is leading Missouri to 10 straight road victories the last two seasons.
So, is what we’ve seen the last two years the new normal? Would an eight-win season — that is Pinkel’s career average at MU — now be a disappointment?
In a word, yes.
I mean ... yeah, kinda ... but Mizzou did go 13-12 long ago in ... 2011-12.
Nick is planning on attending every football game, and he said Michael will come to as many wrestling matches as possible.
Like Nick, Michael is also grateful for the impact his brothers have had on him. He credits his brothers with helping him grow as a person and athlete.
"My brothers have helped me with everything," Scherer said. "My brothers are the reason I’m here today."