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November 20, 2013

2013 Tiger Mailbag

The Tiger Mailbag is sponsored each week by Duke's on Grand. To find out more about a loyal Mizzou bar in Kansas City, click on the logo above.

Throughout the season, 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 powermizzou@gmail.com. On to this week's inquiries:

BarnesTimothy asks: Let's say the Tigers do not find a way into the National Championship. Give us three realistic possibilities of bowl games you would like to see the Tigers play in and who you would like to see us play.

GD: I did my bowl breakdown this week. You have to say the goal is the Sugar Bowl. Honestly, opponents would be better in other games because I think UCF is probably headed to the Sugar, but it's big to shed the "never made a BCS bowl" label. I think to get there, the Tigers have to win the SEC championship, but fall short of the BCS title game. And I'll hold out hope they would somehow face Clemson there. The other one that would be most attractive to me are the Capitol One (it's one of the top BCS bowls and I have family in Orlando) against Michigan State/Wisconsin or the Cotton against Oklahoma State/Baylor (play an old Big 12 team with a great offense and the Cotton Bowl hospitality for media is second to none that I've attended...although the Insight Bowl hospitality room bartender set the bar for the rest of the country).

pdmizo asks: On the defensive side of the ball for recruits, what new names might enter into the 2014 closing of the remaining spots in the class?

GD: We have talked a lot about Raymond Wingo and Dante Sawyer. Nile Sykes and Sharieff Raheed are still on the radar. Juco defensive linemen Calvin Heurtelou and Rika Levi are possibilities. I don't really think there are any guys we have no idea about at this point, but if the Tigers keep winning, who knows?

Mick Mcallister asks: Rank the FB assistants based on their overall(recruiting, player development, game day performance) importance to the program as a whole.

GD: Nope. Sorry, but I know enough to say I don't know sometimes. And I don't know in this case. It's not as simple as which position performs best or which guy Rivals lists as the lead recruiter on someone. The staff as a whole deserves credit for this season and I don't have enough information to give you a list like that.

jjspkd asks: Gut feelings. Brown sticks with Mizzou? Williams with Mizzou? Wingo ends up at Mizzou? Wallace ends up at Mizzou. Most likely additions and subtractions not mentioned above?

GD: Yes to all of them. In order of confidence, I'd go Wallace, Wingo, Williams, Brown. I'm not going to start speculating about subtractions at this point. I think after those guys, Missouri might have room for two more as it stands right now, but I'm not sure which two I'd say are most likely.

Zoufan27 asks: Do the Tigers have a must get for that last remaining 2014BB scholarship or do they bank it for next year?

GD: I don't think there's a "must get." I think you see what develops going into the spring signing period, seeing who, if anyone, leaves early and you play it by ear. Banking it is certainly a possibility. Personally, I think the Tigers could add a frontcourt guy, but you're not adding anyone just to fill a spot. It has to be a guy who can come in and contribute quickly.

ChadeFallstar asks: How would you describe the standard decorum in the press box during a particularly intense football game? Consider, for example, the Mizzou vs South Carolina game a few weeks ago or perhaps what you might suspect the press box was like this past weekend during the UGA vs Auburn contest. Are press members able to keep themselves under control at all times or have you seen examples of press getting too enthusiastic during an exciting game? What is expected and do you have any good stories to share with us?

GD: There is an announcement before every game in every press box that you don't cheer and if you do you will be asked to leave. Now, there's a difference between not cheering and not reacting. When the field goal hit the goalpost in double OT against South Carolina, there were definitely some gasps and some surprise. I would imagine those were doubled or tripled in Auburn last weekend. We're still sports fans. When we're in the press box, we're working and we're not partisan fans, but we talk about the game, we react to what happens on the field. There are some times and places that some members of the media cross the line. I've been in a couple of press boxes that I was very unimpressed with the decorum of the other teams' press corp (usually, three or four guys, not all of them certainly) and I've heard some opposing media say the same about some people at Mizzou. By and large, though, we're all there to do a job.

JR987 asks: How quick will/should HCGP be replacingJF if he is not performing at a level to win on Saturday?

GD: It's a fascinating question and the thing I am most interested to see on Saturday. James is the starter. He earned that. But what if he's rusty? What if he's struggling? You can't coach this game the way you coach a September game against Toledo. The leash has to be shorter. And Missouri has the luxury of knowing there's a guy over there on the sideline capable of winning this game (not that it's a guarantee he would, but it's possible). To me, it depends on how the game is going. Against Tennessee, I know there were some that wanted Maty Mauk pulled after the first couple of drives. But the Missouri defense was playing well enough that Mauk had the luxury of a couple bad drives to get his feet under him. Tennessee wasn't going to put Missouri down 14 points in that game. So if Franklin is struggling, but it's a 6-3 game mid-second quarter, you stick with him. If he's struggling and it's 17-0, you've got to make the move. I'd say you certainly don't do it before late second quarter barring injury though.

MFJT2 asks: How does the Ole Miss secondary match up against the Tiger WR's? Are they likely to run zone or man to man? If they run man, will DGB see continued targets in this game or will Franklin be looking to Washington more as he did earlier in the season?

GD: It's generally Wednesday or Thursday before I really get into looking at the matchups and breaking down individual phases of the game so I can't answer your first two questions with any certainty right now. But on the last one, Pete and I were talking: Did DGB have a breakout game against Kentucky because he was better or was it because of the Wildcats' approach? Maybe L'Damian was great for the first few weeks because DGB was getting more attention and maybe DGB was great because L'Damian came in with nine touchdowns and Kentucky wasn't going to let him beat them. I'm not sure. I do know it's nice for Missouri to have at least three receivers capable of going nuts on any given Saturday (I think Marcus Lucas deserves to be in that discussion too).

NewtFH asks: With the success of this season, any chance a Mizzou coach or two will be a target for other schools?

GD: I think it's got to be a possibility. Josh Henson was nearly hired at Southern Miss last season and I would think he'll get some looks as an OC at a higher level after this year. Who knows, maybe even as a head coach at a lower level. And I think teams would be crazy not to take a look at Craig Kuligowski as either a DC or a head coach. Would they leave? Depends on the job I'm sure.

314Shroom asks: With the recent verbal commit from Brandon Lee (Indianapolis, IN), it made me wonder when is the last time Mizzou football has landed a recruit from the state of Indiana? I can't recall a player from Indiana on roster in last 10 years or heck...ever.

GD: Neither can I, honestly. Gunner Kiel is the only guy I even remember them heavily recruiting from the Hoosier State in the last decade. So I'm sure that helps you answer your question.

mugamer asks: What best ensures a Mizzou win against Ole Miss, 200yards rushing or 300 passing?

GD: Yes. Honestly, this Mizzou team has shown an ability to win games with the running game, the passing game and the defense. Who knows which part of the game comes up big on Saturday? The reason they've been so good is that all phases have shown that they're capable.

Skeltner asks: Assuming all verbal commitments are honored, how many more players do we take in this class? ( I believe we have 26 verbal commitments now). Is the staff concerned about the attention Jhonathon Williams is getting and are you hearing any talk that he will take some visits?

GD: I have said I think the number is 31 or 32. That counts backdating six or seven guys and accounting for a couple not qualifying. As far as Williams, I don't have any idea if they're concerned, but I'm sure they're aware. His high school is like 20 minutes from Notre Dame and Notre Dame is Notre Dame. So you have to pay attention to it for sure. At this point, he hasn't said anything about taking other visits and has seemed to be committed to Missouri.

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