Archive for the ‘Missouri Tigers’ Category

2009 Danger Games: Texas at Missouri

July 4, 2009

Texas at Missouri (Oct. 24)
Look-Ahead Factor: Strong
Letdown Factor: Sky high
Kerouac Factor: Moderate
Motivation Factor: Pretty good

If we learned anything last year, it’s that Missouri is still the same Mizzou we’ve always known.
Coming off a 12-2 season and Cotton Bowl win in 2007, the Tigers entered 2008 as one of a handful of teams considered legitimate national championship contenders. They ended the year considered one of the nation’s biggest disappointments. Mizzou handled its business against the lesser opponents on the schedule, but Chase Daniel and Co. couldn’t handle the best of the bunch.
The Longhorns, for instance, rolled the Tigers, 56-31, in Austin. The game wasn’t even as close as the lopsided final score would suggest – Texas led 35-3 at the half.
Now, Gary Pinkel and his staff face the prospect of rebuilding one of the school’s best teams ever. Is it better or worse if that team really wasn’t that good? Not sure, but it doesn’t sound good for the 2009 squad either way. The Oct. 24 game in Columbia looks like a spot where the young Tigers could get one to build on.
This is a classic sandwich game for Texas: one week before, the Red River Shootout; one week after, a trip to Oklahoma State. With the Tigers likely to struggle early in the season, the Longhorns should be expecting a laugher. Win or lose against the Sooners, no chance Texas is focused for this matchup. Missouri will want payback for the ’08 beatdown, so look for the Tigers to be sharp.
There are plenty of good reasons to believe Mizzou has a shot at taking Texas down. However, none of them makes the Tiger roster anymore talented. It’s a tall order, but maybe Mizzou can catch the ‘Horns slipping. 

Draft Preview: Minnesota Vikings

April 24, 2009

Pick 22: Minnesota Vikings
Strengths: Running back, defensive line when suspensions aren’t a factor
Weaknesses: Pass offense
The Pick: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri

We’re in the home stretch of the first round, reaching AD‘s Vikings at 22. Speaking of which, Minny’s biggest problem is that it has no offensive threats aside from the best running back in football. Enter Jeremy Maclin. Truth be told, though, Homerism doesn’t share most scouts’ enthusiasm for this Mizzou burner.

To be clear, it’s not that I don’t like Maclin’s potential in the NFL. I just don’t like him as a top-10 pick. If you watched Maclin closely during the past couple seasons, you might have noticed that he was the consumate “spread” receiver in the Missouri offense: he ran a number of short patterns designed for him to catch the ball on the run and make moves against less-skilled defenders in space. For example, he did a lot of damage on bubble screens. He rarely had to make catches in situations where he was closely defended, and he had a tendency to put the ball on the ground when he did. Compare that to Michael Crabtree, for instance, who played in a spread system but made a far higher number of difficult grabs in traffic or against the sideline.

Still, Maclin is fast and shifty in the open field. The Vikes desperately need some speed and big play ability on the outside to keep defenses honest. At this point in the draft, Maclin seems to be a pretty good option.