Missouri won the match up 41-39 as Grant "the robot" Ressel kicked a 27 yard field goal as time expired. The kid has been nothing short of excellent this year. Now the staff has to find a way to get him on scholarship next season. He certainly earned it. The future looks bright for the Tigers as they return 37 off 44 players on their 2 deep roster. Meanwhile, kansas loses Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier, Jake Sharp and most likely Desmond Briscoe. And now they won't have that extra month of practice to help get the younger players ready for expanded roles next season. I really, really feel badly for them. heheheh
The 2 teams combined for almost 1100 yards of total offense and Missouri was once again unable to get pressure on the quarterback. This is something that simply must get corrected before next year. The difference between Missouri and Nebraska this year was the dominant man in the middle. We saw signs during the last half of the season that sophomore DT Dominique Hamilton may indeed become that man. You simply can't give guys like Reesing, McCoy and Bradford 5 seconds to sit in the pocket and wait for a receiver to break open. Eventually someone will.
So now the regular season ends with Missouri sitting at 8-4, which was about where I predicted they'd be at the start of the season. However, you have to wonder what might have been had Blaine Gabbert had his ankle rolled up during that game played in a driving rainstorm against Nebraska. But I feel very good about next season. The Tigers have the makings of a great recruiting class that should get even better with the last 5 or 6 spots to be filled. They now have an extra month of practice where more attention can be given to the younger players that will be asked to take bigger roles next year. And for the first time in several years, the top 2 teams next year may play in the north division as both the Tigers and Nebraska return the majority of their starters. The future is bright indeed.
My predictions pretty much played to form this week, as I went 4-1 outright but only 1-3 vs the spread. (There was no line on the OU, Okie light game at the time I wrote last weeks entry) I'd predicted that Texas Tech would cover a 21 1/2 point spread in Waco against the Bears. However, Baylor hung tough until the end and the Red Raiders earned a hard fought 20-13 win. Tech wound up the year 8-4 and 5-3 in conference. As it affects my Tigers, they probably earned a trip to the Sun Bowl and relegated Mizzou to the Insight Bowl which will be available to only about 10% of the country as it is played on the NFL network. What the hell kind of a place is that for a bowl game?
My biggest hope for the Tigers getting a better spot was that Oklahoma State would defeat the Sooners and earn the conference a 2nd BCS bowl. However, OU pounded the Cowboys 27-0, probably bumping the fighting Gundy's to either Dallas or San Diego. The bowl picture is muddied at best.
Nebraska opened as a 10 point favorite over Colorado and I'd seen little from them to believe they'd score enough to cover. I predicted a 24-17 hick win and the final was 28-20. The Tigers last hope to move up in the bowl heirarchy would be for corn nation to rise up and beat Texas next week in the Big XII title game, but frankly I see little chance of that happening.
I'll have some predictions up for the conference championship games and there are a few teams finishing up their seasons next week. I imagine that we'll also have a bit to talk about after Mark Mangino is whacked this week. I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.