Written by PRF | 19 September 2010


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.


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Written by Slim | 19 September 2010


Following Mizzou's unlikely victory Saturday night, Gary Pinkel said, "There are lessons to learn," for his team. Does the same go for fans?  What lessons can we learn?

Here's what I wrote in my SDSU game preview on Friday:

"If (Mizzou) handles its business tomorrow and comes out with a 20-plus point win, I think it's a sign that this year's team is going to be a real threat in the Big 12.  Now, if ... this one comes down to the wire, I think that's a bad sign for Mizzou.

So now, nearly 24 hours after TJ Moe's game-changing sideline dash, is it officially time to declare yesterday's three point win, "a bad sign?"


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Written by Slim | 17 September 2010

I apologize for getting this up so late in the day, but better late than never right?  Also, Mr. and Mrs. Slim just arrived in town so I'm going to keep this one quick.  I'll get back to the full breakdown next week.

San Diego State is off to a solid, yet untested start to their season.  Sure they've looked good, but then again they've played Nicholls State and New Mexico State.  I spoke with two SDSU fans yesterday and it sounds like the Aztec fans feel similarly about their team as Mizzou fans feel about the Tigers.  They're pleased with how things have gone thus far but they're reserving judgment about the team until after they play Mizzou.

I'll speak for myself and say I feel the same way about the Tigers.  If they handle their business tomorrow and come out with a 20-plus point win, I think it's a sign that this year's team is going to be a real threat in the Big 12.  Now, if SDSU comes out and throws for 300 yards like they have in their first two games and this one comes down to the wire, I think that's a bad sign for Mizzou.

By now, you've probably heard the Aztecs boast some pretty good position players.  But when programs are rebuilding, or in SDSU's case, just plain old building (you can't call it rebuilding when your last bowl win was 37 year ago), the last area to be built is usually the offensive and defensive lines.  That right there is the difference in this game.

Mizzou will generate a pass rush that this team isn't used to facing.  Ryan Lindley is a good quarterback, but he hasn't faced any pressure yet.  I think Aldon, Jacquies, Michael Sam, Ryan Madison, and everyone else up front will make Lindley uncomfortable.  I'm interested to see if the secondary will continue to take advantage.

Offensively for Mizzou, I'd be surprised if they don't score more than five touchdowns.  The Tigers starters have put up 53 points in the last four quarters and one possession.  I look for them to continue to roll.

Prediction: Mizzou wins 38-17, forces a couple of turnovers and Blaine Gabbert throws for 300 yards for the first time in 2010.

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Written by Slim | 16 September 2010


Luckily for Mizzou this guy won't be suiting up on Saturday.

University Info:

Type: Public

Founded: 1897

Enrollment: 29,259

Colors: Scarlet, Black, Gold

Nickname: Aztecs

Random: - San Diego State is the third largest college in California

- According to the University's website, SDSU owns and operates one of the nation's, "top 10 public broadcasting stations."

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Written by Slim | 16 September 2010

As I wrote last week, one of the great Bloguin Network blogs, Randall Simon's Sausages, polls all the Bloguin writers for their Heisman picks each week.  Admittedly, I wouldn't consider myself worthy of a Heisman vote, but hey, they asked me to vote so I'll vote.

Here's my week two ballot.  As always, feel free to discuss and/or criticize as much as you'd like.


Hmm that looks an awful lot like the Heisman pose... (AP photo)

#1 (3 points): Denard Robinson - Michigan

Duh.  If you haven't noticed, this guy is good.  Robinson was my top choice last week and he'll stay there this week after setting a Michigan record with 502 total yards against Notre Dame.  Against the Irish he combined for more than 90% of Michigan's offense.  He now leads the nation in rushing.  There isn't a player in college football who is more fun to watch.

#2 (2 points): Terrelle Pryor - Ohio State

He's like Robinson except his stats aren't as good and he's not quite as fun to watch.  This week he combined for 346 yards and two TD's in Ohio State's anticlimactic win over Miami in the so-called, "Showdown in the 'Shoe."



This isn't just Big 12 bias.  Dude is good. (AP photo)

#3 (1 point): Kendall Hunter - Oklahoma State

I should have had him on my ballot last week, so now I'm playing catch-up.  Hunter has more rushing yards than anyone in the country not named Denard Robinson.  He added another 157 yards and two touchdowns this week as Oklahoma State survived a close one with Troy.

That's just my ballot.  See the full poll here.

Disclaimer: MizzouRah! is not in any way affiliated with the University of Missouri or its Athletic Department.  Posts made on this site in no way represent the viewpoints or opinions of the University.

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Written by Slim | 15 September 2010

We examine who's stock is rising and who's is falling in week two of our feature, Three Up, Three Down.

Three Up:

uparrowgHenry Josey - FR. - RB

Any time a player runs for 112 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries, their stock is rising. Josey now has eight carries for 122 yards in his collegiate career. Think he’s deserving of more carries? Oh yeah, on Sunday Gary Pinkel said he thinks Josey is faster than Jeremy Maclin.

uparrowgAndrew Wilson - FR. - LB

With Luke Lambert and Will Ebner out of the lineup, Wilson, a redshirt freshmen slid over to the middle linebacker position and made his first career start. He made seven tackles, second most on the team. On Monday, Pinkel raved about Wilson’s effort.

“I thought Andrew Wilson did an exceptional job,” Pinkel said. He’s got a great future here.”

If it’s good enough for Coach Pinkel, it’s good enough to land you on our list.

uparrowgMichael Sam - FR. - DE

Against Illinois, Sam played well but ended up with one quarterback hurry as his only mark on the stat sheet. Safe to say he made his presence felt on Saturday. Sam was Missouri’s most productive defensive lineman, recording six tackles, 1.5 for loss, a sack, a forced fumble that resulted in a safety, and a blocked punt. As Gary Pinkel said on Monday, the second string d-ends are “closing the gap,” on the starters.

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Written by Slim | 13 September 2010

Thought I'd pass on some of the more interesting pieces of information from MU's weekly media guide...


TJ Moe and Michael Egnew are among the nation's leaders in receptions. (Photo by the Columbia Tribune's Parker Eshelman.  See this photo and plenty others in the Tiger Extra).

  • Through six non-conference games as a starter Blaine Gabbert has completed 147 of 210 pass attempts (70%) for 1,662 yards, 14 touchdowns, and no interceptions.  That gives him a quarterback rating of 158.48 in those games.
  • TJ Moe's 23 receptions this year put him in a tie for first place in the NCAA.  Michael Egnew's 16 catches rank 9th nationally.  Egnew has more catches than any other tight end in the country.  Prior to this season, Moe and Egnew combined for nine catches.
  • Through two games the Missouri defense has forced nine turnovers.  That ties them with Florida and Idaho for best in the nation.
  • Mizzou has intercepted three passes in consecutive games for the first time since 1995.
  • Gary Pinkel's next victory will be his 70th at Missouri.  He is currently 69-46 (.600) at Mizzou.
  • Missouri has won 19 straight non-conference games.  The Tigers last non-con loss was in 2005 to New Mexico.
  • One final note:  Gary Pinkel's interviews are usually a bit dull.  However, today he spoke for several minutes about new things Mizzou is doing to keep players mentally tough.  I didn't take notes, so I'm paraphrasing here, but Missouri players are now meeting with a sports psychologist to stay mentally strong throughout the season.  Pinkel said Missouri is, "On the cutting edge," when it comes to the mental side of football.  Among the things players talk about with the psychologist is how to react after good and bad plays.  I don't know if I was more interested that Missouri was doing this, or just surprised that they hadn't been doing this previously.  Pinkel talks about "focus," all the time.  He said he finally got sick of talking about it and decided to do something about it.
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Written by PRF | 12 September 2010


DeMarco Murray and Ryan Broyles have been sharp for OU.

It may be week 3 coming up.  We may not have released a complete list of preseason power rankings or followed them up with more rankings last week.  But, we say its never too late to get into the ranking game!  As Marc Stein says for his ESPN NBA power rankings, this is a committee of one. So, here are my rankings for the Big 12 after two weeks of action.

1. Texas (2-0) Win vs. Wyoming 34-7.  Next @Texas Tech.

After struggling a little early on against Wyoming, Texas finally got it going behind the arm of Garrett Gilbert. He’s looking like a solid replacement for McCoy.  Interesting matchup this week as the Horns are at Texas Tech.

2. Oklahoma (2-0) Win vs. Florida State 47-17.  Next vs. Air Force.

Wow, what a statement by the Sooners against a highly regarded Florida State team. Ryan Broyles is proving to be the WR in the Big 12. Landry Jones put up his best numbers to date: 30-40, 380, and 4TD. And then there’s DeMarco Murray… FSU slowed him down but he still had 2 TD.  OU may move ahead of Texas to grab the top spot if they perform like that again next week vs. Air Force.

3. Nebraska (2-0) Win vs. Idaho 38-17.  Next @Washington.

Taylor Martinez hasn’t thrown for a TD in either of his first two starts as Nebraska’s QB, but who cares since he has rushed for 5. Martinez is looking similar to Denard Robinson, as the Freshman has rushed for 284 yards over Nebraska’s first two wins. Regardless, I still like Washington over Nebraska this week.

4. Mizzou (2-0) Win vs. McNeese State 50-6.  Next vs. San Diego State.

Has a star been born in Henry Josey? Let’s not go there yet, but Josey’s performance sure leads me to think Coach Pinkel will be calling his number a little more often. Gabbert was efficient as usual in the win over McNeese State and the defense looks good, but then again, Mizzou is yet to face a legitimate offense.

5. Texas A&M (2-0) Win vs. Louisiana Tech 48-16.  Next vs. Florida International.

A&M’s schedule is a joke in the early weeks and they have another cupcake this week in FIU. We will begin to find out how good this team actually is when they play OK State on September 30.  Jerrod Johnson has looked incredible thus far.

6. Texas Tech (2-0) Win vs. New Mexico 52-17.  Next vs. Texas.

Even with all the talk of Tubberville turning to the run, this program is just destined to be a passing one. And why not? While the ground game continues to develop, Taylor Potts has put up big numbers through the air. 7 Potts TD's in Tech’s first two games will excite anyone who thought the pass happy Leach era was over.

7. Kansas State (2-0) Win vs. Missouri State 48-24.  Next vs. Iowa State.

Bill Snyder followed up his big week one win over UCLA with another solid performance against undermatched Missouri State. If Daniel Thomas continues to run the way he has (371 yards and 4 TD) then the Cat offense could be tough to stop.

8. Oklahoma State (2-0) Win vs. Troy 41-38.  Next vs. Tulsa.

Kendall Hunter has rushed for 414 yards and 6 TD’s in OK State’s first two games, but the fact that this team only beat Troy by three raises some questions.

9. Baylor (2-0) Win vs. Buffalo 34-6.  Next @TCU.

Robert Griffin III is looking great again after an injury plagued 2009 season, but this team has absolutely no chance of beating TCU on Saturday.

10. Kansas (1-1) Win vs. Georgia Tech 28-25.  Next @Southern Mississippi.

How does a team lose to North Dakota State in the ugliest way possible, 6-3, and then beat up on a supposedly good No. 15 Georgia Tech team the following week? I have no idea. But maybe, just maybe, this Kansas team isn’t as bad as everyone thought.Still, it should be a rollercoaster year for Kansas throughout the season.

11. Iowa State (1-1) Loss @Iowa 35-7. Next vs. Kansas State.

Austen Arnaud has 5 INT in two games. That is no good for the Ames bunch. If he plays as bad this week against K-State as he did last week against Iowa, the Cyclones don’t have a chance.

12. Colorado (1-1) Loss @California 52-7.  Next vs. Hawaii.

I know Colorado is a beautiful state. Boulder is nice and I have heard the school is a fun time, but why again does the Pac-10 want Colorado to join? Must be the money, as is always the case with college football. This team (and program) is reeling after a 52-7 beat down from future Pac-10 foe California.

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Written by Slim | 12 September 2010

After a nearly perfect performance by Blaine Gabbert and co., the pessimists don't have much to complain about. (AP photo).

Mizzou fans (myself included) can overreact at times.  Some always point out the negatives, others are hopelessly optimistic.  In the second installment of our weekly series, The Optimist vs. The Pessimist, I make the argument of both sides about the weekend's game.

The optimist says...

1.  Mizzou Dominated

From the opening kickoff Missouri dominated this game.  It was over by the end of the first quarter.  Good teams put inferior opponents away early and that's exactly what Mizzou did.  Missouri scored on its first four possessions, didn't face a third down until their third possession, and held McNeese State scoreless for the game's first 48 minutes.

2.  Henry Josey!

The running game, in particular Henry Josey, proved that Missouri has a run game that other teams need to respect.  I don't care who the opponent is, anytime a running back can rack up 112 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries, the running game is ok.  Overall,  Missouri rushed for 193 yards on 30 carries.

3.  The D was awesome

The Tiger defense forced five turnovers, held the Cowboys to less than 250 total yards, allowed just two yards per carry against the run, recorded three sacks, a safety, and a blocked punt.  That is all.

4.  Blaine was nearly perfect

Blaine continued to show improvements on Saturday completing 26 of his 31 passes.  His 84 percent completion percentage is a school record.  He completed his first 15 passes of the game.  Again, I don't care if it's an FCS opponent, or practice or whatever.  Anytime a quarterback can complete 84 percent of his passes, he's doing something right.

5.  P-T for the young guys

Overall, 62 players played on Saturday.  That's valuable learning experience for younger players.  Among guys recording their first statistics in a Missouri uniform were Marcus Murphy, Marcus Lucas, Gahn McGaffie, James Franklin, and Josh Tatum.

The pessimist says...

1.  Too many penalties

Missouri was penalized eight times for 85 yards.  That's not exactly the sign of a well disciplined team.  Against an opponent with an actual pulse, those mistakes could prove to be costly.

2.  Could have scored more

Yes 50 points is a lot, but Missouri could have let the younger guys move the ball more.  Gary Pinkel even went as far as to say he didn't want to score.

"I told Dave Yost, 'I don't want to score,'" Pinkel said. "'I don't want to score.'"

What?  Who doesn't want to score?  If McNeese State can't stop Missouri's second and third stringers, that's their problem.  Give James Franklin and the reserves a chance to show what they can do.

3.  McNeese who?

Let's not get too carried away here.  Anything other than a blowout would have been a bad sign.  Don't give me this crap about McNeese being a highly rated FCS team and forget the Virginia Tech and kU examples.  McNeese State has 20 fewer scholarship players and was being paid $450,000 by Mizzou to take that beating.  If Missouri doesn't win this game by 40 there's a problem.  The fact that they did shouldn't be too highly celebrated.

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Written by Slim | 10 September 2010

Maybe this isn't necessary this week, but here it is...


Kenji Jackson (13) and the Tigers should run away with this one. (Photo from the Kansas City Star)

When Missouri throws the ball: Advantage Missouri

The Mizzou offense started to click in the second half last week.  It shouldn't take them nearly that long this week against a McNeese State defense that allowed 426 yards passing to Lamar last week.  McNeese recruits heavily out of Texas and has some good athletes, but don't expect the Cowboys to hang around for long.  I think we'll see a good dose of James Franklin in the second half.

When Missouri runs the ball: Advantage Missouri

I heard McNeese State's play-by-play announcer say on the radio that the Cowboys' best defensive lineman weights 250 pounds.  I'm sorry, but linemen weighing in at 250 isn't going to hold up for long against the Missouri offensive line.  McNeese State's coach said he's worried about being overpowered by Mizzou.  If Mizzou chooses to run the ball, they'll be able to.

When McNeese State throws the ball: Advantage Missouri

The Cowboys' offensive star is their quarterback Jacob Bower.  He's a 25 year-old senior who transferred from BYU and went on his Mormon mission.  However, Missouri's secondary looks improved.  I've talked to several Tiger players this week who sound extremely confident in their defense.  Not only does the secondary look better, but McNeese gave up five sacks last week.  Mizzou will be pressuring Bower all day and force him into throws he doesn't want to make.

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