For one, Harris already sat out one semester during the spring. The Smiths have not. The NCAA has softened the waiver rules for transfers, but at this point I'm not sure what the grounds were for his waiver. I contacted Harris this week with that question and he directed me to NC State's media staff. They're not going to answer that question. Shortly after he transferred Harris did a radio interview saying he was leaving MU because of his brother's health. He never mentioned that to me when I asked him, when he said his decision was about playing time.
I think he's (finally) learned how to delegate and is less consumed with running every aspect of the team. He's surrounded himself with a better staff, including some veteran analysts on both sides of the ball. I think he's realized he doesn't have all the answers himself and that he alone can't fix every problem that comes up. That's a sign of growth.
He hasn't played defense at Mizzou.
I think some schools probably monitor those activities better than others and with more scrutiny, but far too often those issues don't come up until it's too late to fix, like at Maryland when an athlete has lost his life. Let's face it: It's a violent, testosterone-driven sport with a lot of macho mentality at play in the field and in the weight room that sometimes overcomes common sense and decency. Certainly not at every program but at enough to stain the sport when there's not a level of oversight into the process like there is in the NFL.
I'll go with Chris Turner, but you're going to see a handful of players near the top of the team leaders. I don't see anyone racking up 15 sacks or 25 tackles for loss, mostly because there's going to be a steady rotation.
He can make some yards with his feet, but I'd think more Chase Daniel, less Brad Smith.
Good question. The blueblood programs that recruit the elite guys (Bama, Ohio State, Georgia, etc.) they usually play their best freshmen regardless because they know they're probably only getting three years out of them before they enter the NFL draft. In that sense, it might help the middle-of-the-road teams more. Mizzou can afford to play an iffy recruit the first month of the season and evaluate whether he's ready to contribute the rest of the year without worrying about wasting the whole year of eligibility. In general, the elite teams with elite talent shouldn't have to worry about those issues as much because they're stockpiling talent with talent every year.
I don't see any imminent Urban-Buckeye breakup.
Yes, absolutely. When Lock and Beckner come back and rejoin the core of a 7-win team, you can't finish 6-6, even if the schedule is more difficult. And I would agree, Memphis is a better team than Tennessee, though UT is a road game, so you add that factor to the equation.
I think they'll be right about the same, push for 20 wins, make the NCAA Tournament in that 7-10 range.
Four. Similar to last year, they'll go three down in sub packages.
I'm sure 2015 has something to do with the lower ticket sales. But this has always been a fickle fan base that's hard to please. It's not like MU was selling out every game before 2015. Winning will surely help. Will it help enough to fill the stadium?
No, nor should he. He was fifth in the nation in FG percentage last year. Unless he has a relapse to 2016 he'll be an All-SEC candidate.
EJ Liddell (Belleville but close enough) remains a major target if not THE target. Missouri should be one of his finalists. Mario McKinney still has Missouri among his final choices. It's a critical year, obviously. This is why you hire a guy like Cuonzo who has ties to the area.
Former UCLA OC Jedd Fisch was in the mix. Dan Werner, formerly at Ole Miss, now at South Carolina, was considered.
I understand your stance, but also understand this mentality is what separates Mizzou football from the top programs in the SEC. At the Bamas, the Auburns, LSU, Florida, Georgia, the fans there don't play this game of "You prove to me WHY I should support the team." But Missouri doesn't have a big enough base to overcome the bandwagon element.
Hard to say with so many new coaches who haven't gone through a full recruiting cycle. I will say I've heard nothing but good things about OL coach Brad Davis. I think Brick Haley is really engaging with recruits. Recruits seem to really like Ryan Walters also.