Blowin' Smoke Presented by Weston Tobacco
What's more fun than us giving you a chance to mock us every single week? In our new feature, Blowin' Smoke presented by Weston Tobacco, we will do that each and every Thursday. Gabe DeArmond and Mitchell Forde will make five predictions almost sure to go wrong every week in this space. These will range from big games to big picture predictions with a bit of the comedic and absurd mixed in most weeks as well.
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1) Who finishes the regular season with more losses: Missouri or Kansas?
Mitchell: Kansas, and I'm not sure it'll even be close. First of all, the Jayhawks already have six losses to Missouri's three. And while their schedule does get a bit easier, they still have to play at West Virginia, vs. Texas Tech, at Texas, vs. Baylor. I think they lose at least two of those games, and maybe three more losses the rest of the way. If Kansas only loses two more, that would mean Missouri would have to lose more games than it wins down the stretch (assuming they play nine more games; obviously there are two that could be rescheduled but also more could be postponed, as well) to tie them in losses. I think the Tigers can manage to avoid that.
Gabe: I admit to pandering to the crowd a little bit here. The Big 12 is tougher top to bottom than the SEC and Missouri is already through the tougher half of its schedule. The Jayhawks are the call here. And if the NCAA is paying any attention, it might make for a pretty good 4/5 or 3/6 second round matchup.
2) What is Missouri's seed this week in the NCAA Tournament?
Gabe: I'll say a 4. That might be a little high, but I think Missouri can close the season with a nice stretch and hang on to where I'd put them today, although I have seen people that have them as a three and even a two right now.
Mitchell: If the tournament started today, 3 or a 4. At the end of the season, 5 or a 6.
3) Does Xavier Pinson play for the Tigers next season?
Mitchell: I'm going to guess no. I do think there is a case to be made for coming back. He will have a chance to be The Guy with Dru Smith, Mark Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon likely all moving on, and Cuonzo Martin can point to the jump Tilmon is making as a senior. But given that Pinson already put his name in the draft last year (and considered doing so the year prior, from what I heard) I think he leaves following this season.
Gabe: I would have started the season saying no way. It's really the same place I was in with Jeremiah Tilmon starting last season. I had people telling me at the time it was basically a foregone conclusion Pinson would leave after this year. I haven't really checked back in with those people, so it's still possible, but the thing is, I just don't see him as an NBA player right now. Maybe he isn't after next year either, but if I'm Martin, I'm telling him, "You're the guy next year. We need a guy to bridge from this NCAA Tournament team to the next one. We're a lot better with you here next year and you're going to have the ball in your hands on 90% of our possessions to really showcase what you can do." Maybe it won't work. I'd still lean toward him leaving, but I'm torn.
4) Who wins the Super Bowl?
Mitchell: I have to say I don't much care for either team in this one. I guess the Chiefs. They already beat the Bucs once and if they play a clean game they're the better team.
Gabe: First comment seemed unnecessary. I halfway agree with you. I also agree with your pick. Chiefs are better.
5) Give me a non-quarterback MVP since we know Mahomes or Brady is likely to be the choice.
Gabe: I'll go with one for each team. I pretty much discount the receivers because if a receiver has a big day, the quarterback is getting the award. And I don't see any of the running backs being that guy. On the KC side, I'll go with Tyrann Mathieu, who could get a couple of takeaways. On the Tampa side, Shaq Barrett, who would have to have multiple sacks and a takeaway to get it.
Mitchell: Travis Kelce. I assume the Bucs are going to try very hard not to let Tyreek Hill torch them for 900 yards in the first quarter this time around, but if you take away Hill, you generally leave a lot of open space for Kelce to operate. I'll say he catches nine passes and a couple touchdowns.