We examine who’s stock is rising and who’s is falling after Missouri’s win over Miami (OH).
Up Candidates: Kenji Jackson, Kendial Lawrence, Wes Kemp, Jacquies Smith, offensive line, David Yost, Josh Tatum, Jarrell Harrison, Trey Barrow
Down Candidates: Jasper Simmons, attendance, umm?
Kenji Jackson – Jr. - S
It took about two series before anyone paying any attention to the game probably noticed, “Wow, Kenji is playing a heck of a game.” Even my friend who was on the border of being blackout drunk made that same comment to me at some point in the first quarter. KJ was all over the field leading Mizzou with 13 tackles, two of which were for loss.
So we've made it through the non-con season. Why do some optimists believe Missouri just might win the Big 12 this year? What concerns do the pessimists still have heading into conference play? I break down both sides in this week's edition of The Optimist and The Pessimist.
Not all Tiger fans are feeling the love like these two.
The optimist says...
There are plenty of reasons to like this team. Mizzou has yet to play its best football and is still undefeated. The defense has shutdown everybody. The Tiger D is on pace to force 52 turnovers. Last year, Ohio State led the nation in forced turnovers with 37. Missouri is also pressuring opposing quarterbacks to the tune of more than two sacks per game. Both the forced turnovers and sacks are drastic improvements over last year and are just one reason why this year's squad is better than the '09 version. no comments
Take a look at what former Tigers had big days in the NFL and how their seasons are going at the quarter mark of the 2010 season.
Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin: 4 Catches, 83 yards, 2 TDs. On the season: 11 catches, 147 yards, 4 TDs and 1 carry for 11 yards. Maclin is also tied for the NFL lead in touchdown receptions.
Jeremy Maclin Celebrates his 2nd TD of the day. A 45 yard strike from Michael Vick. Picture courtesy of NFL.com
Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon: 7 tackles. For the season Spoon has 24 tackles and 1 QB sack. Spoon is the Falcons leading tackler.
Falcons S William Moore: 6 tackles. 8 total tackles for the season with 1 interception. Willy Mo is tied for the Falcons lead in picks.
Jets WR Brad Smith: 3 Rushes 41 yards, 1 Reception 11 yards, 4 kick returns for 37 yards. On the season Smith has 1 grab 11 yards, 5 carries 68 yards, 64 kick return yards and 2 tackles
Titans WR Justin Gage: 3 Receptions for 39 yards. On the season 7 grabs for 113 yards and has been the Titans leading receiver the last 2 weeks
Steelers DL Ziggy Hood: No stats from Sunday but 1 tackle on the season
Saints QB Chase Daniel: Has not played this season but is the backup QB for the defending Superbowl champs
Chase Coffman TE Bengals, Martin Rucker TE Cowboys, Denario Alexander WR Rams are all on the practice squad and have not played yetno comments
After some server issues, MizzouRah is back up and running after a few days off the blogosphere. We weren't supposed to post articles for a day or two, but if we had been, trust me, I was predicting a 51-13 win for Mizzou on Saturday. Anyway, the new server should be faster and without some of the issues you may have experienced in the past.
Texas fans might not want to admit it, but the Big 12 isn't just a two team race this season. (Photo by Ralph Barrera, Austin Statesman)
As Mizzou fans, we know the Big 12 North pretty much gets dogged when people think of the Big 12. However, after some uninspiring performances from the conference's power brokers in the south, it's looking more and more like this conference is completely up for grabs this year. Below are the track records of six Big 12 teams through their first four games. See if you can figure out who's who.
Wins against: An 0-4 Sun Belt team, a 2-2 WAC team, a 1-2 BCS conference team, an FCS team
Average scoring differential: +27.25
Wins against: A 2-1 BCS conference team, a 3-1 Mountain West team, an FCS team, a 2-2 MAC team
Average scoring differential: +23.25
Wins against: two wins over 2-2 BCS conference teams, an FCS team, a 2-2 C-USA team
Average scoring differential: + 11
Wins against: A 1-3 WAC team, a 3-1 BCS conference team, a 3-1 Mountain West team, a 1-3 BCS conference team
Average scoring differential: +10.5
Wins against: An FCS team, a 1-3 MAC team, a 1-3 C-USA team
Loss against: A 4-0 Mountain West team
Average scoring differential: +10.25
Wins against: a 1-3 C-USA team, a 1-3 Mountain West team, a 2-1 BCS conference team
Loss against: a 2-2 BCS conference team
Average scoring differential: +8
Answers after the jump...
Blaine Gabbert didn't have to do too much as Mizzou breezed through Miami (OH). Photo by Eve Edelheit, Columbia Missourian.
Texas' loss to UCLA shook up the rankings this week. With the loss, the committee was forced to make a new selection for the number one spot. I did not deliberate too much on it, but some could still argue a 1A and 1B criterion at the top of the Big Tweeze. By the way, there is a new rising star at number three. I think most of you will like it.
1. Nebraska (4-0) PVS: 3 - Win 17-3 vs. South Dakota St. Next @Kansas St.
With the Texas loss, Nebraska is now the new No. 1 atop the No. 1 Big 12 Power Rankings list. Let’s be honest. The Huskers didn’t do anything to impress me this weekend. They beat up on a winless SDSU team. But with the Texas loss and the OU scare vs. Cincinnati, Pelini’s bunch has done enough to earn the top spot. Taylor Martinez had three turnovers in this one, but we will cut the freshman a break because this was the first game he looked short of phenomenal.
2. Oklahoma (4-0) PVS: 2 - Win 31-29 vs. Cincinnati. Next vs. Texas
If I’m managing a fantasy football college team I want Landry Jones as my QB. 370 yards, 2 TD and a pick will do it for me every time.
3. Mizzou (4-0) PVS: 5 - Win 51-13 vs. Miami (OH). Next vs. Colorado.
Do I think Mizzou is better than a one-loss Texas team? Certainly not. Did Texas just get rolled by a perennially underachieving UCLA team? Yes. Do power rankings account for momentum? Of course. The Tigers win, Texas loses and OK State doesn’t play. Say hello to your new No. 3, Mizzourah nation. Oh, and thanks for running the football Coach Pinkel.
4. Texas (3-1) PVS: 1 Loss vs. UCLA 34-12. Next vs. Oklahoma.
Is UCLA the rich man’s Kansas this season? Two weeks after getting slapped 35-0 on their own field by Stanford, UCLA goes into Texas and crushes the Horns. It is up for debate whether UCLA won it or Texas gave the game away with all its turnovers, but either way you look at it, WOW. Mack Brown called it a “rear-end kicking” and “embarrassing.” Yes it was, Mack. UT better regroup quick with OU and Nebraska slated next. The Red River Rivalry lost a little luster, huh?
5. Oklahoma State (3-0) PVS: 4 Did not play last week. Next vs. Texas A&M.
Sometimes not playing can hurt you in the rankings. It is not always fair, but hey, OK State has a big chance to make a statement this week vs. Texas A&M. This game decides who will be a part of the “Big 5” in the Big 12 the rest of the season. Already slated in the Big 5: Nebraska, OU, Mizzou, Texas.
6. Texas A&M (3-0) PVS: 6 Did not play last week. Next vs. Oklahoma St.
Go to work in practice this week Jerrod. Go to work.
7. Kansas State (4-0) PVS: 7 Win vs. Central Florida 17-13. Next vs. Nebraska.
We have seen several Big 12 teams need last second TD’s to win against average opponents this season, so I can’t knock K-State too bad. They got the win against UCF and ultimately that’s all that matters. I think Nebraska wins big next week, however.
8. Texas Tech (2-1) PVS: 8 Did not play last week. Next @Iowa St.
Tech was off on Saturday and I doubt they did a whole lot to get ready for Iowa State. It’s like preparing for a nutrition exam. Sometimes you just know you are going to “get yours” regardless of how much time you put in.
9. Baylor (3-1) PVS: 9 Win vs. Rice 30-13. Next vs. Kansas.
Bobby Griffin III had a big fantasy day as he threw for 268 yards and 3 TDs. The cool, versatile cat also had 50 rush yards. If he remains healthy, I think this team has at least one upset in them this year.
10. Colorado (2-1) PVS: 10. Did not play this week. Next vs. Georgia.
Georgia may be 1-3 and coming off a loss to Mississippi State, but I still like the Dawgs to win by two or three touchdowns in Boulder.
11. Kansas (2-2) PVS: 11. Win vs. New Mexico State 42-16. Next @Baylor.
Not much to say about Kansas’ win this week. They were playing a terrible team and did exactly what they should have. Needed to win by 50 to move up past an idle Colorado squad.
12. Iowa State (2-2) PVS: 12. Win 27-0 vs. Northern Iowa. Next vs. Texas Tech.
See Kansas description. I do like the shutout by the ‘Clones though. Five style points awarded to the city of Ames.no comments
We examine who's stock is rising and who's is falling following Mizzou's win over San Diego State.
TJ Moe - So. - WR.
Through the game's first 59 minutes TJ Moe was having, for his standards, a very average game. Prior to what's being dubbed the "Mid-Moe Miracle," Moe only had six catches for 51 yards. Then he made "the play." Yes, his stock was already ridiculously high through Mizzou's first two games, but when you make that move, in that situation, to score that touchdown, you're on a whole different level. Even ESPN noticed Moe's heroics, awarding his play as the weekend's number three play in their "Top 10." Props to Jerrell Jackson for that block too.
Michael Egnew - Jr. - TE
Forgotten in the hype around Moe, is the fact that Michael Egnew has single-handedly reestablished the tight end position for Missouri. He set career highs Saturday with 13 catches for 145 yards. Numbers like those might remind Mizzou fans of another tight end who wore number 82. Egnew leads the nation in catches by a tight end, and is the nation's fourth leading receiver overall. Not too shabby.
Will Ebner - Jr. - LB
When you are forced to sit out the season's first two games, your stock doesn't really have anywhere else to go but up in week three. However, Ebner wasted no time in reminding everyone why he's considered one of the hardest hitters in the Big 12. He laid several big hits and his nine tackles led the team. Ebner also forced a fumble that was recovered by Mizzou, but replay officials overturned the call.
Never one to hide his personality, Sean Weatherspoon reacts to taking down Cardinals QB Derek Anderson. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
In case you guys haven't been following the NFL as much as you have college football, here is a quick update on one of my favorite Mizzou Tigers. Sean Weatherspoon led the Falcons in tackles last week in their win over the Cardinals. Spoon had nine tackles and a sack in the game. In week one against Pittsburgh he had eight tackles. With 17 tackles on the season, Spoon ranks No. 23 in the entire league. Pretty impressive I'd say.
Atlanta runs a 4-3 defense and Spoon serves as their 4th linebacker, which gives him plenty of reps. Don't be surprised to see him get even more PT if he keeps playing like this.no comments
Mizzou fans (myself included) can overreact at times. Some always point out the negatives, others are hopelessly optimistic. In week three of our series, The Optimist vs. The Pessimist, I make the argument of both sides about the weekend's game.
Blaine Gabbert and the Tigers certainly didn't run away from San Diego State on Saturday (Photo by L.G. Patterson/AP photo).
The optimist says...
1. At least Mizzou won
Over the years we've witnessed many stunning upsets and teams losing games in ways that didn't seem possible at Faurot Field. The only problem was, the team getting screwed over was usually the home team. On Saturday it was Mizzou that delivered the gut-wrenching final score, rather than give it up. Nice to experience the other side of that emotion once in a while.
2. The defense looked solid
Sure, Ronnie Hillman made the D look silly a couple of times, but outside of those two mistakes, the defense was solid. Rutland's endzone interception, holding the Aztecs to a late field goal rather than a TD, and that final stop are signs this defense is improved over past years. "[The defense] gave us a chance," Gary Pinkel said Monday.
3. Now we can say we have two receivers, not just one
Blaine doesn't just force the ball to one receiver anymore. Now he forces it to two! Michael Egnew emerged with a big game that was overshadowed in the wake of Moe's late heroics. Egnew had 13 catches for 145 yards on Saturday. His 29 receptions are good enough to put him fourth in the nation in catches.
4. Comeback Cats
So what if the Tigers aren't blowing everybody out? With Chase Daniel at the helm, Missouri won one game when trailing in the second half. Under Blaine Gabbert, the Tigers have overcome five second half deficits.
Taylor Martinez ran all over Washington's defense on Saturday. Photo by Otto Greule Jr (Getty Images)
It was a pretty good week for the Big 12 as Baylor and Kansas were the only two teams to lose their non-conference games. However, a couple of teams in the middle of the Big 12 (Mizzou, Texas A&M) delivered subpar performances in wins against inferior opponents. I guessed wrong (way wrong!) with the Washington upset over Nebraska, but then again I did not realize how good Pelini's bunch were nor did I fully grasp how overrated Jake Locker appears to be. Anyways, the top three remains the same, but it is very close. Close to the point where you could almost say Texas, OU, and Nebraska are 1A, 1B, and 1C atop the Big 12.
1. Texas (3-0) PVS: 1 Win 24-14 @Texas Tech. Next vs. UCLA.
You can’t knock the Horns too much for having a bit of a scare against Texas Tech. Going on the road and winning vs. Texas Tech is not easy. Texas’ offense has not looked great this year, but with the way the defense is playing, it hasn’t mattered.
2. Oklahoma (3-0) PVS: 2 Win 27-24 vs. Air Force. Next @Cincinnati.
Last week I said that if Oklahoma blew out their next opponent then I would consider putting them at No.1. They certainly didn’t blow out Air Force, but the win could prove to be bigger than most expect after Air Force dismantled BYU a week earlier. DeMarco Murray’s 3 TDs vault him into the Heisman discussion.
3. Nebraska (3-0) PVS: 3 Win 56-21 @Washinton. Next vs. South Dakota State.
I will admit it. I haven’t been giving Nebraska enough credit. I picked U-Dub in the upset and look how that turned out. This Nebraska team is very, very good. Holding Jake Locker to 4-20 passing is astounding. I still can’t believe that. It’s tough not giving Nebraska the No. 2 spot, but OU had a similar impressive blowout win vs. FSU last week. I know Denard Robinson has been incredible, but don’t look past Huskers Freshman QB Taylor Martinez—8 rushing TDs this year. What a gutsy and great move by Pelini giving Martinez the QB-1 job over Zac Lee. The Nebraska ground game is fun to watch, especially for all those getting worn out by the spread.
4. Oklahoma State (3-0) PVS: 8 Win 65-28 vs. Tulsa. Next vs. Texas A&M
The big mover of the week is OK State after their strong performance against Tulsa. While the rest of the congested middle pack of the Big 12 squeaked out wins, OK State dominated. Kendall Hunter’s Heisman campaign--as if he really ever had one, Slim--took a hit (11 rushes, 59 yards, 0TD) but QB Brandon Weeden picked up the slack (409 yds, 6TD). Big game next week against Jerrod Johnson and co.
5. Mizzou (3-0) PVS: 4 Win 27-24 vs. San Diego State. Next vs. Miami (OH)
Sure, San Diego State wasn’t as bad as I thought. But the fact that Blaine Gabbert tossed two fourth quarter INT’s in a game against a weaker opponent is not a great sign. Had TJ Moe not made a great play in the final minute, those fans screaming at Harpo’s to "Bring back Chase" may have had a point. In no way can you call what Mizzou has done this year impressive.
6. Texas A&M (3-0) PVS: 5 Win 27-20 vs. FIU. Next @Oklahoma State.
Eww Jerrod Johnson, ewww. I had you slated as the top offensive player in the Big 12, and then you go and put up a Locker-esque performance against a bad team. 11 for 31, 194 yds, 1 TD and 4 INT. How does that happen? How do you personally almost give the game away? Redemption time next week vs. OK State for you, my friend.
7. Kansas State (3-0) PVS: 7 Win 27-20 vs. Iowa State. Next vs. UCF.
When is Spike Lee going to come out with a “Daniel Thomas Doin’ Work” film? This RB has all the tools and continues to dazzle down in Manhattan. 181 yds and 2 more TD’s keep ‘Ole Bill Snyder smiling through the weekend.
8. Texas Tech (2-1) PVS: 6 Loss 24-14 vs. Texas. Next @Iowa State.
Tech may have lost, but their defense continues to look solid. They picked off Garrett Gilbert three times, but in the end Texas just has so much more talent on both sides of the ball. With three of their next four coming up against the bottom of the Big 12 (Iowa State, Baylor and Colorado), look for Tech to gain some momentum heading into midseason.
9. Baylor (2-1) PVS: 9 Loss 45-10 @TCU. Next @Rice.
No shocker here. TCU was brutally efficient against the Bears as Andy Dalton (21-23, 267, 2 TD) picked them apart. Kind of surprised Griffin III wasn’t able to put up more than 10 points, however. Favorable schedule coming up for Baylor with Rice and Kansas slated as their next two opponents.
10. Colorado (2-1) PVS: 11 Win 31-13 vs. Hawaii. Next vs. Georgia.
Let’s give Colorado’s AD some credit for scheduling a nice string of interesting games for his program. After being embarrassed by Cal, they got a nice win at home vs. Hawaii and now they have another fun home game vs. Georgia. They may not win all these cool non-conference games, but at least they are keeping fans engaged. You should take a page out of Mike Bohn’s book, Mr. Alden.
11. Kansas (1-2) PVS: 10 Loss 31-16 @Southern Miss. Next vs. New Mexico St.
I would love to see another 6-3 type game this week, wouldn’t you?
12. Iowa State (1-2) PVS: 11 Loss 27-20 vs. Kansas State. Next vs. Northern Iowa.
Must win situation this week for Iowa State before they face this gauntlet: Texas Tech, Utah, @Oklahoma, @Texas, Kansas, Nebraska. Yikes.