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KcMizzou
12-02-2007, 12:58 AM
Tigers will learn from this

SAN ANTONIO | The only thing to do is tip your hat to Big Game Bob and his Oklahoma Sooners.

Donít bury your head and wallow in sorrow.

Nope, this is a different sort of Missouri Tiger pain, an ache born of not being quite good enough rather than the victim of an unlucky bounce, poor officiating or a heroic last play.

Missouriís run as the nationís best football team lasted a week; its bid for the BCS championship crashed inside the Alamodome in the Big 12 title game.

The Tigers, for the second time this season, ran into a better team, a more mature program and arguably the countryís best coach, Big Game Bob Stoops.

Oklahoma 38, Missouri 17.

Thereís nothing to whine about. And no reason to cry.

Bob Stoops proved the point heíd been making all week. Oklahomaís 10-point, October victory over the Tigers was no fluke, no product of Missouri mistakes. Oklahoma, winner of six conference crowns under Stoops, is still the class of the Big 12. The Sooners proved that by demolishing the Tigers in the second half of Saturday nightís tilt, outscoring Mizzou 24-3 after the break.

But the Tigers are on the Soonersí tail.

Yeah, I still believe that. And thatís why I say Tiger fans should hold their heads high today.

The Tigers will be back. Theyíll get another shot at Big Game Bob and Oklahoma next year. This 11-win season is a harbinger of bigger and better things. A team and a coach have to learn how to win, and then they have to learn how to win BIG.

This season was a learning process for Gary Pinkel and his players. It was their first appearance on the big stage, and unfortunately, they ran into a man and a program that have never strayed all that far from college footballís biggest stage.

You know the history of Oklahomaís program, the seven national championships, the four Heisman Trophy winners and the legendary coaches, Owen, Wilkinson, Switzer and Stoops. Oklahomaís players arrive on campus expecting to play for conference and national titles. Big games are no big deal. Theyíre used to the lights, the hype and the interview requests.

It was all new to the Tigers this year. Daniel leaped into the Heisman race, and the Tigers burst into the national-title picture out of nowhere. Not that they handled the attention poorly, but theyíll handle it better next season. And their play will elevate next season, too, when they expect to be here.

The same goes for Pinkel.

Toledo and the Mid-American Conference donít really prepare you for a No. 1 ranking and a Saturday-night showdown with Big Game Bob and Herbstreit and Musburger second-guessing you from the booth.

Pinkel isnít Urban Meyer, a prodigy backed by the best recruiting talent in the land. And Pinkel isnít Bob Stoops, the right-hand man to Bill Snyderís building of Kansas State into a power and the right-hand man to Steve Spurrierís national title at Florida.

Stoops was groomed for the big stage. Pinkel is learning as he goes.

I expect him to come back next year with enhanced red-zone and short-yardage offensive packages. Unless you have a 230-pound, Tim Tebow-like quarterback to run the football, the spread breaks down terribly close to the goal line.

The game of football does adhere to a few simple rules. You can invent all the wacky, seven-receiver offenses you want, but you must be able to run the football when the other team knows you need to run the football. Wide-receiver reverses look good on the stat sheet. They donít move the chains on third and short.

Missouriís high-flying offense canít run when it absolutely has to. Tony Temple, Derrick Washington and Jimmy Jackson, MUís running backs, ran for 24 yards on 15 carries. Missouri had first and goal on three occasions Saturday night and came away with field-goal attempts all three times.

Devising a more reliable running game will be Pinkelís primary focus this offseason.

I offer no excuses, but Mizzou played Saturdayís game without the services of tight end Chase Coffman and no Danario Alexander in the second half. Coffman never touched the field because of an ankle sprain. Alexander appeared to hurt his knee late in the first half. He never returned. Their absences really hobbled Mizzouís passing attack.

Ah, no excuses. The Sooners and Bob Stoops own the Big 12 Ö for now.

KcMizzou
12-02-2007, 12:59 AM
We got beat by a better team..... true enough.

We'll be back to give it another shot.

Reaper16
12-02-2007, 01:03 AM
There's plenty of reason to be sad. This season was MU's best chance at a national title for probably the next [insert number of decades] years. Will the be marginally better next season? Probably, even with the loss of Rucker and Speiker.

But OU will be friggin' dominant next season. They're a young team, too. MU showed that they aren't ready to be an elite program. Can that take that next step next season? I don't think so, but I'd love to be surprised.

Demonpenz
12-02-2007, 01:16 AM
speaker really didn't have a bad snap all year.. I bet next year we have a ball fly over chases head at a crucial time

Al Bundy
12-02-2007, 04:36 AM
Tigers are no where near the Sooners in players or coaching. That is what I took away from this game, the Tigers were manhandled when the Sooners needed to beat them down and own the line. Sorry Tigers, you had a good season in a bad North division and after the 1st drive of the second half for the Sooners the Tigers realized they didn't belong on the field with them. It's too bad because I was fooled by them and thought they had what it took to at least make it competitive.

Baby Lee
12-02-2007, 06:38 AM
Sooners will be better next year, and Mizzou will be lucky to be as good. Congrats on the footnote.

CupidStunt
12-02-2007, 07:52 AM
There's really nothing to learn from. Mizzou needs better athletes, particularly in the trenches. The experience will mildly help guys like Maclin but MU just needs to get bigger, faster and stronger.

If they can pull in a decent recruiting class (read: a number of 4*'s and maybe a 5* or two), they will have a shot to hang with OU and UT down the road.