March 25, 2010
2010 Tiger mailbag: Seventh edition
Each Thursday, PowerMizzou.com publisher Gabe DeArmond will answer questions from subscribers in our Tiger Mailbag. This feature will allow for longer, more in-depth answers than you may get on the message board on a daily basis. To have your question in next week's mailbag, send an email to Gabe at email@example.com. On to this week's inquiries:
tiger21 asks: In your expert opinion ... Between MIZZOU Football and MIZZOU Basketball, which should we have higher expectations for during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years?
I think they should be about the same. I think both programs should set their sights on winning a Big 12 title in that time period. I won't guage success by which bowl game you go to, whether you make a Final Four, etc. I guage success by the regular season (and a Big 12 title game in football). The main reason is that to have a chance to even PLAY for a national championship, you not only have to be good, but also pretty lucky, especially in basketball. Look at the national champs over the last few years and outside of North Carolina last year, you can almost always find a game where if one bounce goes the other way, that team loses before the Final Four. You have to get some breaks. In football, it's not much easier. In 2007, Missouri went into the Big 12 title game with a chance to play for the national championship if they won. But that season, the Tigers were ranked No. 17 about midway through the season. They not only had to win all their games, but they had to have other teams lose. It wouldn't have been a big surprise to see Missouri win out after that loss at Oklahoma and still be left out of the title game because there were two undefeated teams. It was a pretty big stroke of good fortune that Mizzou was in the position it was in. But back to the original question, if recruiting continues the way it is in both programs and key players make it to campus (looking at you Tony Mitchell and Sheldon Richardson), then the Tigers have the ammo to win the league in both sports in the next couple of years.
mcraigrod asks: Last year's Big 12 North football race was a surprise to most. With K-State and Iowa State having much better seasons than anyone anticipated and Colorado imploding again and doing much worse. Will Iowa State or K-State be much improved to contend against Missouri and Nebraska. Will Kansas have much chance seeing as they lost a lot at their skill positions? How do you see the North and/or South playing out this season?
I would say Iowa State was a surprise to most (although when I broke down each team last year, I actually picked the Clones to finish third in the division). Kansas State was, to me, a bigger surprise, but I believe that had more to do with the schedule than anything. Iowa State was the best team KSU beat. They took advantage of Colorado and Kansas being complete train wrecks. Kudos to them for doing so, but it's not like the Cats were great. They had four wins over Division One teams and lost their games against Big 12 bowl games outside of Iowa State (which they won on a missed PAT) by an average of 26 points per game. So I'm not sure they were all that much better when you really look at it.
Colorado is a team that is becoming more and more like Missouri basketball under Quin Snyder (I mean on the field, not off of it). By that, I mean a team that the media every year for some reason falls in love with and picks to challenge for a division or league title despite years of evidence that they just don't have the personnel or the coaching to do it. You can't win in the Big 12 without a high-level quarterback. The last high-level quarterback the Buffs had was, well, it's debateable, but his last name wasn't Hawkins.
Turner Gill has a heck of a rebuilding project in Lawrence. The Jayhawks absolutely collapsed down the stretch last year. Off that team, they lose their four best offensive players (Reesing, Briscoe, Meiir, Sharp) and their best defensive player (Darrell Stuckey). I'm not sure how they're going to be better.
The North will once again come down to Missouri versus Nebraska. The winner of that game has won the division four years in a row. I see no reason to think it will be different this season. If I had to pick the order of finish today, I'd go with:
Colorado (yes, I have that little faith in what's going on in Boulder)
In the South, Texas is down, but it's still Texas. Oklahoma will be the most interesting team in the league to me. They bring back some great players, but they weren't that good last year. Oklahoma State loses some key players and this year will be one that decides whether the Pokes are ready to make a run like Texas Tech has where they're consistently in bowls and the definitive third best team in the best division in college football. A&M played more freshmen than any program in the country last year. If that experience pays off, they could make a leap this year. Tech without Leach is a mystery. In Waco, will Robert Griffin be the same player coming off injury? The Bears have some pieces, but climbing the ladder in the Big 12 South is the most difficult task in college football. Here are my early South predictions:
Baylor (they don't play MU or Nebraska in the North)
WhiteTiger17 asks: If we do not land Ratliffe who are some other guys we are targeting?
Jesse Perry, Dwight McCombs, Godwin Okonji and Eric McKnight are the four I know about who are at least considering visits to Missouri. I would not be surprised to see the Tigers bring at least two of those guys in on official visits. I have little doubt Ratliffe is at the top of the list, but these four are certainly names to follow who would fill a need.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial