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Written by Slim | 12 January 2011

Maybe it's too late.  Maybe it's not.  Either way, it's time Mizzou Nation starts demanding some answers.
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It's time we get Tony on campus. (Photo by Andy Jacobsohn, Dallas Morning News) 

As passionate Tiger fans, many of you are familiar with the situation surrounding Tony Mitchell. Mitchell was among the elite players in the class of 2010 and after signing a little of intent to play for Mike Anderson became the Missouri basketball program’s most heralded recruit since Kareem Rush.  Unfortunately, his arrival in Columbia has been delayed by an NCAA investigation into his eligibility. After getting involved last year, the NCAA claimed that its investigation into Mitchell’s high school credits and test scores would be finalized in the fall of 2010, which would make it possible for Mitchell to enroll for the spring semester and join the Tigers for the second half of the season.

During the last few months, the Missouri media and athletic department optimistically hoped that Tony Mitchell would be cleared in a timely manner. That was a rosy assumption and wishful thinking. Rather than urging a widespread outcry from Tiger Nation and spotlighting the failure of the NCAA to do its job, Mizzou media and athletics sat on their hands. The problem being that the NCAA is an organization under no obligation to justify its actions (or inaction) in any capacity, and given the lack of public pressure and negative press generated by Missouri, the NCAA had no problem ignoring Tony Mitchell, instead devoting its resources to Kansas and Kentucky where fan-created firestorms forced the NCAA’s hand.  Just this week, when a college basketball reporter asked a couple of people at the NCAA what the latest was on Tony Mitchell, not only did they not have an answer, they didn't even know about the case. That's not their fault -- it's their job to answer questions from the media, not track every eligibility case, and they obviously have not been getting a lot of questions.

Mizzou fans can no longer afford to let the NCAA ignore Tony Mitchell, and it’s time make some noise - Free Tony Mitchell. Admittedly, we should have got this going many months ago, but it is not too late. In order to make sure that the NCAA hears Tiger Nation, we have thrown together a three-pronged mini-campaign that uses 1) Twitter 2) email and 3) phone calls.

Our goal here it to generate an outcry from Tiger Nation that forces the NCAA to rule on Tony Mitchell’s college eligibility.  What do we have to lose?

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Written by Slim | 06 January 2011

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Is it possible Roger Goddell could be calling Blaine Gabbert's name first on draft day?

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck announced he will return to college for his junior season on Thursday, ending speculation he would enter the NFL Draft.

"I am committed to earning my degree in architectural design from Stanford University and am on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012," Luck said in a statement.

As a Mizzou fan, why should you care?  This means Blaine Gabbert could potentially be the number one pick in April's draft.  Nearly every draft "expert," rated Luck as the best quarterback in this year's draft class.  Many of those experts, most notably ESPN's Todd McShay, had our boy Blaine ranked second.  In a draft loaded with teams needing quarterbacks, Gabbert's draft stock just rose like Ted Williams' job prospects.

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Written by Slim | 05 January 2011

Mr. Shizz's Mizzou vs. North Alabama Preview


  
For those of you not familiar with Mr. Shizz, he's a die-hard Mizzou fan and a pretty damn funny one at that.  His hobbies include hazing moans, pwning jaeger shots and watching Mizzou sports teams hit the killswitch.  He usually makes "Cropduster," episodes like the one above for every Mizzou basketball game.  We're proud to have teamed up with him and will now feature his videos regularly.  For some, he's an acquired taste.  For others he's just downright hilarious.

As Shizz would say, Mizzou will definitely hit the "killswitch" tonight.  My bet is Mizzou wins by 40-plus. 

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Written by Slim | 03 January 2011

Blaine's NFL decision may surprise some. Then again, it really shouldn't.
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Blaine Gabbert leaves Missouri as the second highest rated passer in school history.

 Technically, he'll go down in the record books as one of the best quarterbacks in Missouri history.  In just two seasons the former five-star recruit racked up an 18-8 record, 40 touchdown passes (3rd best in school history), and nearly 7,000 passing yards (4th best in school history).  However, Gabbert was far from an unanimous fan-favorite.  Often the subject of message board debates and idiotic and obscene tweets, Gabbert is easily the most polarizing figure in recent Mizzou sports history.  Some fans loved him for what he was, others couldn't get past the his five-star label and the fact he wasn't Chase Daniel.

Today, Mizzou's most polarizing man made a polarizing decision when he decided to take his talents to the NFL.  Like fans do, some will question the move.  Except, there's really nothing to question.  Blaine to the NFL is as easy of a decision as throwing to TJ Moe in the clutch.  You just do it.  Sure, his numbers don't leap off the page.  Sure, every pass he's ever thrown has been from the shotgun.  However, his case for leaving is still a no-brainer.

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Written by Slim | 30 December 2010

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At the time, I thought this Kevin Rutland interception was the turning point in the game. (Photo by Christian Petersen, Getty Images)

That game sucked.  To put it more accurately, it was frustrating.  The beginning was frustrating; the end of the half was frustrating, yet it still looked like Mizzou would pull out the win.  When Kevin Rutland picked off Ricky Stanzi along the sideline, I thought Mizzou was on its way to a comfortable victory.

Blaine Gabbert miraculously found Tom Brady’s pocket presence, the defense was making enough plays and receivers were running all over the field like it was 2007.  Mizzou gained a 24-20 advantage with 54 seconds to play in the third quarter, yet the way the offense was moving the ball, that lead felt more like 14 points than just four.  Midway through the fourth quarter a Mizzou victory seemed all but locked up.

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Written by Slim | 19 December 2010

We take a look back at the 10 biggest stories of the 2010 football season.  Today we count down numbers 5-1.
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TJ Moe's game winning TD against San Diego State set the stage for bigger things to come in 2010. (Photo courtesy of the Columbia Missourian)

5.  Mid-Moe Miracle

At the time, it seemed like nothing more than a great play to avoid an embarrassing upset to a no-name opponent.  However, as the season progressed, TJ Moe’s incredible catch and run against San Diego State proved to be more and more important.  Without that play Missouri doesn’t improve to 3-0.  The hype surrounding the MU/OU homecoming game later in the season would have been diminished.  I doubt GameDay would have come to Columbia had MU not been unbeaten and ranked 11th in the BCS.  Losing to San Diego State would have set this season on a completely different course.  Moe’s miracle play kept that from happening.

4.  Derrick Washington and Mizzou's off-field issues

Mizzou made headlines all too often this off-season.  Between July 2nd and August 28th there were eight incidents of players being dismissed or a team member getting in legal trouble.  None dominated headlines more than Derrick Washington’s arrest for sexual assault.

After watching D-Wash in summer scrimmages and fall camp, I can’t explain how good I expected him to be this year.  He was a threat to score every time he touched the ball.  He was set to have a huge year.  Just days after I wrote this article guaranteeing D-Wash would accumulate at least 1,500 yards of total offense this season, he was arrested for sexual assault.  His legal troubles dominated headlines and talk around Mizzou.  People questioned whether the Missouri offense would be the same.  Henry Josey and Marcus Murphy were forced to burn redshirts.  The off-season troubles were a huge story line from the 2010 season.

3.  Improved Defense

Most people expected Mizzou’s defense to be better this season.  But this?  No one expected this.  Missouri went from one of the nation’s worst defenses to one of the best.  The strength of this year’s team is the defense.  Who thought we’d be saying that?  Missouri’s defense ranks sixth in the nation in points allowed.  The D shutout two opponents in one year for the first time since 1973.  Missouri recorded 38 sacks, sixth best in the country.  They picked off 16 passes.  Bottom line, the D was dominant.  The D kept Mizzou in games and won others.  It was incredible and easily one of the biggest stories of the year.

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What a weekend. 

2.  College GameDay

It was arguably the greatest weekend in the University’s history.  All weekend was a national showcase of Mizzou football and the entire university.  Missouri set ESPN College GameDay’s attendance record and looked fantastic on TV.  A sellout crowd at Faurot was louder than I’ve ever heard it.  Gahn McGaffie’s opening kickoff return for a touchdown will live forever in Tiger history.  Mizzou knocked off the nation’s number one team.  Gary Pinkel got the OU monkey off his back.  Fans stormed the field.  Goalposts were torn down.  It was homecoming.  Mizzou couldn’t have looked better on national TV.  Additionally, beating Oklahoma that weekend set the stage for a great 2010 season.  I will be surprised if there is ever a better game day environment in Columbia than there was on October 23rd, 2010.

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Sweet logo... 

1.  Conference Expansion

The college GameDay experience is hard to top.  It was the buzz of Columbia for the entire semester.  However, conference expansion trumps it simply for the impact it had on all of college sports.  College sports fans from coast to coast were consumed with expansion talks all summer long as rumors and “reports,” seemed to grow more rampant by the day.  Missouri fans thought our Tigers were Big Ten bound.  Then it looked as if the Big 12 would disinigrate altogether.  Then there rumors of the Mountain West Conference or even the SEC.  In the end, the Big 12 lost two teams.  Missouri lost two historic opponents.  The conference will never be the same.

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Written by Slim | 18 December 2010

We take a look back at the 10 biggest stories of the 2010 football season.  Today we count down numbers 10-6.
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Hosting ESPN's College GameDay and knocking off the number one team in the country?  Uh, yeah, that'll make our list.

With finals week and a lot work out of the way, Mizzourah is officially back up and running.  Rather than rehash the last few weeks in Mizzou football we’ll jump right into recapping the 2010 season.

This season had more than its fair share of dramatic moments.  A rocky off-season.  The emergence of new star players.  Arguably the biggest home game in school history.  Where do these events land in our rankings?

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Finally we have a conclusion to the wild goose chase that was Sheldon Richardson's recruitment.

10.  The Sheldon Richardson Saga

Whether you follow recruiting or not, you couldn’t help but take at least a passing interest in the Sheldon Richardson drama.  Richardson, a 6-4, 300 pound, freak athlete from the St. Louis area began popping up on recruiting radars as early as 2006, the summer prior to his sophomore year of high school.  After receiving scholarship offers from nearly every school in the nation, the country’s number four overall recruit ended the drama on signing day of 2009 when he famously selected a Mizzou cap from a table in his high school gym.  Except, that was really just the beginning.  In June of 2009, word leaked that Richardson wouldn’t qualify for Mizzou academically.  One junior college and a commitment turned decommitment from USC later, Richardson is officially a Tiger.  Mizzou’s defense already looked good for 2011.  Richardson’s commitment only makes the future brighter.

 

9.  Another Bowl Game

Simply making a bowl game no longer registers as news for Mizzou fans.  This year’s bowl game will be Mizzou’s sixth straight bowl appearance and seventh in the past eight seasons.  Those are both school records.  This is just another reminder of how Gary Pinkel and co. have raised the bar in Columbia.  The fact that Mizzou was only slightly screwed (by the Cotton Bowl) and not royally, completely F’d over altogether like usual in the bowl process was a pleasant surprise for fans this year.  Additionally, this is a fun match-up between two border-states who often battle for recruits.  A win in the Insight Bowl and an 11-win season would be a great end to the 2011 season.

 

8.  The nubs Loss

On October 29th Missouri was ranked 6th in the BCS rankings, undefeated, atop the Big 12 and had a very legitimate shot at controlling its own destiny for a berth in the National Championship Game.  A loss to the Cornhuskers on October 30th ended all that.  As much as their fans don’t want to admit it, this had developed into a competitive and heated rivalry over the course of the past decade.  This year’s game had a ton of hype and a ton of implications in the conference and BCS standings.  It would have been nice to give them one final blow on their way out.  Instead, the nubs will take their talents to the Big Ten’s, “Legends,” division… Sweet name Big Ten.

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The nutcases known as the Pelini brothers derailed Mizzou's undefeated season.

7.  The Tech Loss

Mizzou won 10 games this year, which was great.  However, if there were one game this team would like a “do-over,” for it’s the Texas Tech game.  Beat a mediocre Red Raider team and Mizzou would have been Big 12 North champions.  It would have played for a Big 12 title.  Who knows what could have happened?  This game makes the list because of how frustrating it was to watch and for how much it came back to haunt the Tigers.  Mizzou could have overcome the loss to the nubs.  The Tech loss officially ended Missouri’s hopes at a historically great year.

 

6.  The Emergence of TJ Moe and Michael Egnew

This season TJ Moe and Michael Egnew combined for 160 catches, 1,595 yards, and 10 touchdowns.  In their combined three years of experience prior to 2010, the duo combined for nine catches and 55 yards.  While neither has the big-play explosiveness of a Jeremy Maclin or Danario Alexander, these two emerged as reliable playmakers that helped fill the void left by Alexander.  They were Blaine Gabbert’s go-to guys and they seemed to always come up big when needed.   The best news?  They’ll both be back next year.

Check back tomorrow as we unveil the top five story lines of the 2010 season. 

 

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Written by Slim | 02 December 2010

This Mizzou version of Wiz Khalifa's hit song, Black and Yellow was sent to us by MizzouRah reader Bobby.  I thought it was pretty creative and worth passing along.  You'll see some cool shots of campus and the MU/OU game in there.

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Written by Slim | 30 November 2010

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This photo sums up Missouri's night. (AP photo)

Georgetown played out of their minds.  The Hoyas traveled 1,000 miles to a hostile environment and still managed to play a great game.  Georgetown shot 15-32 from downtown.  They out-rebounded Missouri by 11.  They played up to Missouri's pace and never wavered.  Despite all this, this game was Missouri's game to lose.

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Written by Slim | 29 November 2010

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Although it'd be nice, don't expect Missouri to be celebrating a Cotton Bowl victory any time soon. (Photo from the Columbia Missourian).

Mizzou did it.  Ever since dropping a winnable game against Texas Tech, the Tigers avoided another slip-up and finished the regular season 10-2.  Missouri’s man-handling of  an embarrassingly bad kU team capped Mizzou’s third double-digit win season under Gary Pinkel and only the fourth in school history. Considering the question marks heading into the season and all the off-field issues to start the year, it’s an incredible feat.  Only six BCS conference school have more wins than Mizzou this season.

But forget celebrating the past.  Today Tiger fans everywhere are asking the question, “Now what?”  The talk of bowl bids has filled message boards, Twitter, and Facebook.

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