Greetings, chatters. We're back again for another two hours of Mizzou talk. Drop me a question or comment here and we'll discuss. We'll throw in a reader polll or two once we get the room full of chatters.
If the defense mixes in some three-man fronts, Terry Beckner Jr. can play on the edge. We haven't seen some of the junior college transfers on the field yet, so some of them might have the same versatility. If you take Howard out of the equation - he's got a court date later this month and won't be available to play or practice if the felony charge sticks - you're looking at a D-end group that includes Marcell Frazier, Tre Williams, Jordan Harold, Franklin Agbasimere and Nate Anderson. Not much experience there, but with a summer of workouts and a month of camp, they should have a rotation of players ready to contribute.
"When the snows fall, and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
Jim Sterk said last week that they're in the process of funding the project. He didn't mention anything about delays. I don't sense there's a burning urgency to have the turf installed by the 2018 season. If they have to wait for 2019 or beyond, they wait. Yes, I've heard from some former players that have been asked to help contribute to the project. Former players who were close to Tony Vitello are still upset that he wasn't hired to replace Tim Jamieson last year, but that was under the former administration. Seems a little misguided to hold a grudge against the new regime, but it's not my money to spend. I would think a 10-win improvement under a new head coach who inherited all but one player on the 2017 roster would inspire some confidence in the program's future.
As we sit here on July 6, I'd say Auburn is the best team on Missouri's schedule and the second-best team in the SEC. I think Auburn is a 10-win team based on what they return on offense and progress it made on defense last year. As for Mizzou, the schedule is as favorable as it gets in this conference. When half your road games are at Vandy and Kentucky you should be able to capitalize. If Missouri has a defense that's middle of the pack in the SEC, this team can win eight or nine games, maybe more depending on just how explosive the offense is. But, as I've said for months, lots of toss-up games on this schedule. I wouldn't be shocked if Mizzou is in contention for the SEC East when November begins.
I'd expect an answer after the Peach Jam, which begins next week. The last conversation I had with a source indicated that Jontay Porter was still going back and forth on his decision.
I think I answered a different version of your question earlier. I wouldn't count Tennessee and Florida as wins. The Gators aren't the Gators of old, but they've somehow managed to win the division the last two years and clearly outplayed MU the last two years. I'm not sold on Tennessee's ability to recover from all of its personnel losses, but that team didn't just stumble into nine wins each of the last two years.
The enrollment/tuition/budget situation is a huge story for the university and its future, but it's not something that affects the football program or the players. Yes, it says Mizzou on their jerseys, but the players play for the athletics department and function under its financial empire - not the university or the university system. What's the morale like in Columbia? There are concerns about the welfare of the university. Jobs are disappearing. A lot of good people are out of work. The school is undergoing massive changes in reaction to the financial environment. But I don't sense gloom and doom around town. As a Columbia resident I'm just as bothered by what's happened to our downtown and the student housing explosion that's trying to suck the culture out of a great town - without the students to fill the rooms. But that's a different discussion.
Will a hot start to the season boost recruiting? Well, it can't hurt. Kids want to play for coaches they believe know how to win and will be in place for a long time. Winning helps that, obviously.
The court was not damaged other than some skid marks on the floor. There was damage to the gates, doors and golf carts. I don't know if they've been repaired yet. My guess is probably not. It's only been a week and a few days - with a holiday thrown in there.
No. I've tried contacting him and have had no such luck. My guess is he was severely impaired when he crashed his car into the arena - and left behind his cell phone and license plate at the scene. Not the brightest criminal.
I'd expect some clarity after the Peach Jam, which runs from July 12-16.
I would think they'll be better next year. You've got a possible starting rotation of TJ Sikkema, Bryce Montes de Oca, Andy Toelken or one of the newcomers. The lineup returns Brett Bond, Trey Harris, Kameron Misner and Matt Berler. Not a bad nucleus. Bieser hopes to upgrade the nonconfernece schedule, which could mean more losses but a higher RPI.
If there's an quarterback competition for 2018, Micah Wilson and Taylor Powell should have legitimate chances to earn the job. Heupel LOVES Powell, who will be a true freshman this year. That's not to say Jack Lowary can't make a push for the job either. You also can't rule out incoming freshman James Foster. He'll be the youngest of the core of QBs on the roster and I'm sure the staff would prefer to ease him into the job, but if he's the best of the bunch he could win the job in 2018.
The staff and players raved about Dawson Downing at the spring game. And he had a couple nice runs. I wouldn't rule him out as an option behind Crockett and Witter. The two freshmen could factor into the mix, too.
That line of thinking has nothing to do with the protests and probably comes down to football and men's hoops combining to win 27 games over the last two years. Those two programs have been largely irrelevant the last two seasons, and when there aren't games to be played in the months of June and July, bloggers and aggregation sites like to kick around realignment talk and need a hot take to grab people's attention. Nobody at the conference or university level is seriously talking about dumping Mizzou from the SEC. Did they talk about dumping Vandy during its years of irrelevant football?
I haven't gotten any official figures lately. Early season ticket sales were unprecedented right after the Martin hire/Porter signing. From what I understand they've sold out of all the suites already. I'd expect a packed house most nights, at least for the high profile opponents.
I haven't written anything but plan to write something closer to the date of the game, July 22. It's a great idea and Bowers and Carroll have already put together a great lineup of former players: Marcus Denmon, Ricardo Ratliffe, Kareem Rush, Melvin Booker, Travon Bryant, Zaire Taylor, Rickey Paulding, Jimmy McKinney, Justin Gage, plus football players, Sean Weatherspoon, Martin Rucker and William Moore. I'd like to see Jason Sutherland and Anthony Peeler added to the roster. They have commitments from about a dozen more players.
I like South Carolina as an East sleeper - not a team that will win the division but could cause problems for the top teams in the East. They identified their QB last year in Jake Bentley. Two good pass-catchers in Deebo Samuel and Hayden Hurst. A couple good young running backs. Skai Moore is back at linebacker after missing all of last season. It wasn't a great season last year, but they showed something in wins over Tennessee and Missouri.
If Zaire transferred from Boston College or Pittsburgh or Syracuse there would be a lot less buzz, but the Notre Dame name carries more weight. I was never overly impressed with him - and neither were ND coaches. He's attempted fewer than 100 passes at the D-I level. This isn't the same as Wisconsin landing Russell Wilson .. or even West Virginia landing Will Grier, who's still the best QB Florida has had since Tim Tebow. I'm not even convinced Zaire will win the job at Florida. And I'm not sure it matters all that much. McElwain has won the division each of the last two years without great QB play. If they can replenish that defense quickly, the offense returns some firepower and experience along the O-line to overcome some of the uncertainty at quarterback. I'll probably pick Florida to win the division - based on coaching and its schedule.