Written by Slim | 25 October 2010

Don't laugh.  While "optimal arousal," may sound like the tagline of a Viagra commercial, it's actually a big part of Mizzou's success this year.  Much has been made of Mizzou players meeting with a sports psychologist this season.  It appears it's paying dividends.

Last week I met with several players for a school project.  Naturally, our conversation moved from school to football.  As the players talked about how excited they were for the OU game I asked if their excitement could be detrimental - being too hyped up or over-eager which would result in mistakes and penalties etc.

They all mentioned the same thing: "optimal arousal."  With the help of the team's sports psychologist the team works on being at "optimal arousal," for every play.  Players said before each play they get their minds right to be at their best. The players said this year, when the team gives up a big play or makes a mistake they are much better at not letting it affect them mentally.

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Written by Slim | 25 October 2010


Wow.  What a weekend.  More to come later today recapping the win and looking ahead to this week's monster showdown in Lincoln, but for now, I'll post this email I received.  Thanks Ryan, for sending this in.


"OU cant eat their wheaties...they lost their bowls."


"There is a reason their girlfriends call them Sooners."

"Landry Jones for Homecoming Queen."

"Landry Jones watches the WNBA"

"We found our Moe-Joe"

"Eat it Stoops this is Pinkel Nation"

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Written by Slim | 22 October 2010

You could light homes in Columbia with the energy on campus right now.  For possibly the first time ever, Mizzou is the center of the sports universe.  For the next 24 hours this is the place to be.  The quad, the same quad that many of us walk (or walked) everyday is the centerpiece of ESPN's college football coverage.  Our campus could not be showcased in any better light.

The game is more than 24 hours away yet people can barely contain themselves.  I've never seen so many people on campus, so many cars downtown, and so much traffic everywhere you go.  This is the place to be.

All of these things are great.  However, there's still a football game to played.  It's the biggest game of the weekend.  It has the attention of the nation.  Theoretically, Mizzou doesn't need to win this game to still win the Big 12 North or even the Big 12.

But what if Mizzou wins?  Just think about it.  It's fun to get carried away with the possibilities.

Missouri always seems to get the short end of the stick.  The fifth down, the flea kicker, the BCS snub... We all know about it.  But what if tomorrow night it's our team that gets the lucky bounces?  What if it's our team that takes down the number one team in the nation?

If there's ever going to be a chance, it's now.  Gary Pinkel and co. have worked hard to put Missouri in this position.  Tomorrow they need to take advantage of it.  It's hard to imagine any more excitement in the air than there is now.  This town is already buzzing.  As a sports fan it doesn't get any better than this... Except for one thing: A win tomorrow night.

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Written by Slim | 21 October 2010

Oklahoma blogger Allen Kenney of blatanthomerism.com breaks down the Sooners and how Missouri can beat them.


There's only one word to describe the Oklahoma Sooners' season to this point: weird.

Yes, OU is No. 1 in the latest BCS standings. The Sooners have knocked off an impressive lineup of foes. They look like the frontrunners in the Big 12 South.

When things are going good, OU fans are accustomed to seeing 49-7, 63-10, etc. This year, though, opponents have generally played the Crimson and Cream tough. In four out of six games, the other side has been within a score at the final gun. Take a look at these national rankings:

  • Yards per rush: 3.48 (95th)
  • Yards per pass: 7.30 (48th)
  • Yards allowed per rush: 3.98 (56th)
  • Yards allowed per pass: 7.00 (64th)


Overall, the Sooners are actually allowing slightly more yards per play, 5.4, than they're accumulating, 5.3.

In other words, this is a good OU team, but it is not a group of world-beaters. If I were game-planning against the Sooners, here's what I'd do.

Stopping OU's Offense

This year, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson is emphasizing rhythm and trying to not put too much pressure on his offensive line. Early on in games, in particular, Wilson is pushing the tempo to prevent opposing defenses from substituting and catch them napping.

In terms of play-calling, the Sooners are far more balanced this season than last, when the OU offensive line really struggled in the running game. When they're not running DeMarco Murray, the Sooners are relying on their screen game and quick-hitting passes to move the ball. Talented pass catchers such as Ryan Broyles are big threats through the air.

One thing opponents have to realize is that OU's offense may not be as explosive as in past seasons, but Landry Jones and Co. don't make many mistakes. OU has turned the ball over just five times in six games. If your defensive strategy hinges on generating takeaways, you might as well start getting ready for the next opponent.

First things first, junior wide receiver Ryan Broyles is Oklahoma's greatest weapon. The only team that has had success in keeping Broyles under wraps was Texas, which used bracket coverage all game on No. 85. That's a must.

Otherwise, aside from blitzes on obvious passing downs, play the Sooners straight up. Stacking the box on early downs may seem tempting, but Wilson sniff that out and check into hot routes all night.

Bottom line: Stop Broyles first and take your chances with the rest.

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Written by Slim | 21 October 2010

No words for this... no comments

Written by Slim | 20 October 2010

Hearing a lot of rumors about what uni's Mizzou is going to bust out on Saturday.  My original guess was black tops on gold pants.  However, heard rumor this might be the get-up:



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Written by Slim | 20 October 2010

Coach Pinkel sent this email out to students today.  Thought I'd pass it along for those fans who don't receive University emails.


Dear Students,

On behalf of our players and coaches I want to thank you for your support.  We are looking forward to seeing you at The Zou this Saturday for our Homecoming Game against Oklahoma.

We are honored to be hosting ESPN College Gameday Saturday morning from 8 am – 11am on the Francis Quadrangle and are looking forward to showcasing the University of Missouri on this National stage. After Gameday stay downtown for the annual Homecoming Parade at Noon.

Remember to Wear Gold on Saturday. I can’t emphasize enough, that when we all wear the same color it shows Mizzou is a team. I also want to invite you to come out to Tiger Walk to greet the team when we arrive at the pedestrian bridge on the West side of the stadium at 4:45 pm on Saturday (two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff). A big crowd at Tiger Walk means so much to our team.

Remember – Wear Gold, cheer on our team at Tiger Walk, exhibit good sportsmanship and BE LOUD – BE LOUD – BE LOUD!!

Thanks again for all you do for MIZZOU!

Go Tigers!!

Gary R. Pinkel

Head Football Coach

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Written by Slim | 19 October 2010

Let's be honest.  When a team goes on the road and destroys what had appeared to be a respectable opponent like Missouri just did, it's hard to find three players with "down," weeks.  Maybe the hype of this week has just tinted by black and gold glasses more than usual.  Either way, there was no way I could reasonably find three players who's stock is falling after that last game.

So instead of the usual "Three Up, Three Down," segment, behold our first ever edition of, "Three up, three up,"

uparrowgBlaine Gabbert - JR. - QB

Easily Blaine's best game of the year.  It gets old making comparisons to his predecessor but Blaine really reminded me of Chase out there the way he was distributing the ball.  Gabbert had some nice deep completions that he had been missing earlier this season.  His 361 yards and three touchdowns were both season highs.  And oh yeah, he was playing with a bruised hip and ribs.

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Written by Slim | 19 October 2010


A "rockin'" atmosphere at Faurot Field was among the topics discussed by players at media day Monday afternoon.

I've been attending Missouri football media days for some media outlet or another for the past four years.  I said this on twitter earlier, but I'll say it again.  Never have I seen more reporters fill the room at the Mizzou Athletic Training Complex than today.  Back in 2007, there were a couple weeks like today, but nothing quite like it.  The buzz that refuses to die on campus has apparently spilled into Kansas City and St. Louis.

I don't have quotes on hand, but the players were saying all the right things.  They're focused.  They're treating Oklahoma like just another game.  They say they refuse to be distracted by GameDay and all the hype.

Some observations from media day:

  • Without being asked directly about it, Gary Pinkel came right out and said he's never beaten Oklahoma.  I like how he was honest and straight up about the issue.   No beating around the bush.  He took responsibility and followed it up with his usual coachspeak saying he'll be trying his best to change that this week.
  • I would describe emerging star Kip Edwards as the most "giddy," of all the players I spoke with.  He mentioned several times how excited he is for Saturday and couldn't get the energy out of his voice or the smile off of his face.
  • Most players mentioned how "rockin'" they expect The Zou to be on Saturday.  Everyone from Blaine Gabbert to Grant Ressel noted how they expect a big crowd and a crazy atmosphere.
  • Players gave various responses when asked about ESPN's college GameDay.  Tim Barnes said he might stop by to check it out on Friday afternoon.  Brad Madison said he always tries to watch the show on Saturday mornings and said Lee Corso better put on the Truman head or he'd be disappointed.  Meanwhile, Madison's roommate Aldon Smith said he never watches GameDay and said he prefers cartoons.
  • One more note:  Pinkel and several players discussed how much they appreciate the "gold rush," in the stands.  Fans are encouraged to wear gold to every game but there's always a good number of black-clad Tiger fans.  If you're ever going to wear gold to a game, make it this one.
Ok, it's officially Tuesday morning now.  Just four more days until the most anticipated game this University has hosted in decades.
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Written by Slim | 18 October 2010

One thing we can provide here at Mizzourah is the perspective of a student.  I've had the fortune of being on campus for some pretty "buzz-worthy" games.  For example, Nebraska in '07, kU in '07 (granted, that was in KC), and the Oklahoma State game in 2008.  It's not even Monday morning and already there is as much or more buzz on campus about the football team than when the Tigers were ranked no. 1 in 2007.

I can't sign into twitter or facebook without being bombarded by Mizzou and/or GameDay related posts.  I can't walk through campus without hearing people talk about this weekend's game.  The strangest thing in my opinion is how quickly this all happened.  A week ago, I would say the general perception of Mizzou football on campus was mildly interested at best.  Casual fans didn't think much of the team and most students felt Mizzou was only undefeated because of a soft schedule.  Now, a butt-kicking of Texas A&M and one GameDay announcement later people are getting carried away with National Title discussions and Mizzou's chances at a BCS bowl.  Not since 2007 have we as fans been glued to the BCS announcement show with such interest.  The fact Mizzou was a trending topic on twitter just shows the interest this team has suddenly garnered.

I'm not ready to declare this the best Mizzou team I've ever seen or anything crazy like that.  I don't think it is.  However, with this type of defense this is a team that can hopefully compete with the big boys better than past Tiger teams.  The campus has taken notice.  Columbia is buzzing.  If you're coming in for homecoming brace yourself for a mind-blowing weekend in Como.  I can assure you the student body already has.

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