I' m not a fan. You don't want me to be a fan if you want me to cover the team objectively and thoroughly. I admire a lot of the people I cover and I enjoy seeing them have success, but I can't cover games and teams and players and coaches the right way if I'm rooting for them to win. It's too easy to let emotions get in the way of the job if you live and die with every pitch, every pass, every shot. I went to games when I was a student at Mizzou, but I also knew I wanted to be a sports writer and that I'd soon be covering the team in some capacity, so it was easy for me to not invest emotionally in the outcome of games. I root for early kickoffs, good stories, excellent access and strong coffee in the press box. Life is easier that way.
Those two would be on top of the list, but I'm impressed with Vandy so far. Middle Tennessee and Nevada are two solid Group of 5 opponents - and those games weren't even close. If they can hang with Notre Dame this week on the road, Vandy could prove to be a tougher opponent than anyone figured.
I feel much less confident in that pick ... but also maybe less confident that Missouri will beat Kentucky. I reserve the right to review my preseason picks and let them evolve each week during the season.
Yes, but enrollment drops don't figure into the season ticket sales being down among the non-students. Back in the peak Pinkel years enrollment figures corresponded to the team's success. If Missouri becomes a consistent winner under Odom, a team that competes for championships and is annually ranked, my guess is you'll see enrollment reflect the uptick.
If not Okwuegbunam, then Johnathon Johnson. Johnson still could finish with more receptions than Hall. He's catching the ball well and finds open space over the middle with so much attention on Hall and others.
We'll have to see the point spread to see know if it's the biggest upset in terms of the Vegas line. Now, let's say Missouri is 5-0 with wins over UGA and South Carolina? Then you're talking about MU as a top 15 team. Would that be a collosal upset? What if Bama loses a game before Mizzou? Maybe next week against Texas A&M? That would change the outlook of the matchup too. But, to your point overall, yes, it would rank as one of the biggest upsets. Bigger than winning at No. 5 Notre Dame in the 1978 opener? Maybe. Bigger than winning at No. 2 Nebraska in 1978?
Yes. There's not a clear successor. Taylor Powell is getting chances to make an impression on the staff, but there's no guarantee he's the guy next year. Same for Micah Wilson. They have to be the leading contenders right now. How does incoming QB Connor Bazelak factor into the race? More true freshman QBs are starting these days, but that's a lot to ask from a rookie who played in a wishbone system in high school.
Braun would be the logical candidate, I would think. Probably too late in the semester to bring in a recruit who's going to make an impact. Maybe you pocket it until the semester break and use it on a transfer.
OK, guys, that's all for me today. We'll do this again next week.