Monday, April 30, 2007

Mizzou Links, 4-30-07

Seth already covered quite a bit of this yesterday, but I'll still jump in...fantastic week for Mizzou...

  • Mizzou Softball did what they do best--take the first game of a series against a good team. Their 5-0 win over Baylor Saturday night set them up to split and maintain a tie for 1st in the conference with the Lady Bears. However, it's a bit weird at the top of the standings because Baylor and Missouri are tied at 12-3, but OU is in third at 14-4. They've had fewer games rained out, so they've played three more conference games...they're 10 games over .500, but they've lost more games than BU and MU. In the end, what's the final %? That's my guess...BU/MU are .800, while OU is .778. Interesting situation, though. The Lady Tigers have a slightly easier remaining schedule (two games against Nebraska, while BU plays UT and ATM), and if they can hold on (sweeping NU would clinch a tie), they would become Mizzou's second Big XII champion. The first one? Softball, a decade ago.
  • Mizzou Baseball scored two in the bottom of the 9th Sunday to win 6-5 and sweep Texas Tech. They're now two games up on Oklahoma State for second in the conference. Texas has a comfortable 3.5-game lead overall, but this has still been a great showing by Tim Jamieson's crew considering they lost their two best starters and their closer from last year's squad. Lots of freshmen are contributing.
  • Congrats to Brian Smith for being selected in the 4th round of the NFL Draft by Jacksonville. It makes sense that a defensive team like the Jags would draft him as a pass-rush specialist/OLB, though it did sprout a silly "I knew he should have played LB!" conversation at PowerMizzou. Smitty was our best DE for 3 years and would have set the conference's sack record had he not broken his hip. He was light, but he made more impact at DE than he would have at OLB. Maybe it hurt our run defense to have him out there (though maybe not...our run defense got worse the last half of last season when he wasn't there), but it would have hurt our pass defense (statistically the best in the conference in '04 and '06) to not have had him out there at DE.
  • Unfortunately, Smith was the only Mizzou player drafted. Looks like teams passed on Xzavie Jackson because of the broad 'character concerns' category. In all, most of Mizzou's seniors were from Gary Pinkel's Class of 2002, the first class he was able to recruit for a full year. Considering the big names from Missouri that committed to Mizzou in that class (Mario Whitney, David Richard, Dedrick Harrington, Zach Zwilling), one would have expected more. Oh well. We'll have more next year, that's for sure.
  • In all, the Big XII had 28 players drafted. The biggest surprise for me was Daniel Sepulveda going in the 4th round, but Mason Crosby not going until the 6th. I realize Crosby was aided a smidge by Boulder's thin air, but he was pretty much a badass on the road too. I think Green Bay got a steal.