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KChiefs1
10-06-2008, 08:09 PM
COLLEGE FOOTBALL;

Missouri Finds Place Among Traditional Powers

By MICHAEL MARTINEZ

Tradition is where you find it. But Missouri? Amid the lush trees and nearby lakes and far, far away from bastions of football tradion like South Bend, Ind., and Ann Arbor, Mi?

Perhaps.

Given its success last season -- and built on the seasons that preceded it -- it might be that the University of Missouri has finally found a place among college football's traditional powers.

Nine months after winning The Cotton Bowl -- and a ranking of 4th in the final AP Poll -- the Tigers are at it again regarded by many as a top five team by virtually every preseason ranking. Most put them fifth to Georgia, USC, Oklahoma and Florida. The latest unofficial BCS rankings have them third.

But tradition is something else. Notre Dame had the Four Horsemen, Penn State has Joe Paterno, and even Southern California has Tommy Trojan standing tall in the center of its Los Angeles campus. Missouri has, well, a lot of humidity. Alabama, Texas . . . Mizzou?

"One great year doesn't make a tradition," said Gary Pinkel, the Don James of the Big 12. "People think of Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame. It would be nice to think we're included in that.

"But I think we've got to prove we can stay up there."

Missouri begins the season returning 18 starters from their 12-2 team last season and with hope of becoming the first Missouri team to win the Big 12. It also has the venerable Pinkel, who has taken his teams to four top-25 finishes in the Associated Press poll and was the coach of the year last season by some services.

"Where do you look for tradition?" asked William Moore, the Tiger's all-America safety. "It's obvious, USC, Ohio State, Texas and Oklahoma. We earned the right for people to turn on the television and expect to see us every Saturday. It's going to take some time. Last year we got going, but we have to keep winning."

Banquets and Rings

The glow of the Tigers victory over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl last January was still bright when players began returning to the weight room a month later. They went on the banquet circuit and received their Big 12 North championship rings during a spring game attended by some 30,000 fans in April. But there has been little to distract them from their next task.

They have even tried to ignore the preseason hype of the magazines.

"I don't read them," said linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, an all-American LB and a key component in a defense that gave up 12 touchdowns in 8 regular-season games last season.

"The only time rankings mean anything is in January. Everybody's got their favorites. I'd rather get on with business."

There is nothing to suggest the Tigers won't be just as formidable, even though they lost defensive tackle Lorenzo Williams, arguably the best player on the defense last season.

The job of replacing Williams will fall to junior Jaron Baston, who told a reporter recently, "I kind of feel like Lo made a parking place for a Cadillac, and I'm pulling up in a Hyundai."

Baston says: "Lo was a great asset to this team, but he wasn't the whole team. When people came up to do the Tigers story, it was always Chase, T-Ruck and Williams. Lo was a great player, and he did a lot of things to make people look foolish on the field, but I think this team has a lot of superstars on it and now the publicity is spread out."

There are a few other significant losses.

Pinkel is without his All-American TE Martin Rucker, drafted by the Cleveland Browns, from last season, plus three starters on the offensive line along with running back Tony Temple, who set an all-time bowl record for rushing in the Cotton Bowl in January. Do they miss Temple? That's debatable because of returning running back, Derrick Washington, who almost single-handily beat Nebraska on Saturday. Pinkel has also stated this is the best offensive line he has ever coached too.

One Quarterback

Chase Daniel. Future Heisman Trophy winner. Enough said.

But it is Pinkel who is the soul of Missouri football.

"I remember the first year I came in," said senior Chase Coffman, a preseason All-American TE. "We were had just lost the Independence Bowl the season before and Coach Pinkel had a preseason meeting and told us that we were going to make some changes. He told us that what was behind us was behind us, that we were going to be winners. It carried over to the players.

"What's interesting about him is that he doesn't have to yell in your face to get you fired up. He doesn't have to scream or get frantic. When you really respect somebody, all he has to do is say something and the message gets through."

July 12, 2005


Left unspoken - but seared in the memories of returning players and coaches - are events of that day, when 19-year-old Aaron O'Neal, a redshirt freshman and reserve linebacker, collapsed on Faurot Field during a voluntary summer workout. He died less than two hours later.

Missouri dedicated its 2005 season to the player known by his initials A.O., honoring their fallen teammate, No. 25, with helmet decals, celebrations on the 25-yard-line and a vacant locker that will carry his name through what would be his senior season of 2008.

O'Neal's death may no longer serve as the rallying cry for a stunned, and later determined Tiger team that won the Independence Bowl. But for those who experienced the events of July 12, 2005 and their aftermath, memories of O'Neal will always endure.
"He only still goes on," said Coach Gary Pinkel. "I don't think that the healing process will ever stop."

Each week a different senior will wear the number 25 to honor A.O. He will not be forgotten by his teammates or fans.

Tough to Stay Unbeaten

To stay on top -- the Tigers will have to survive a schedule that includes Oklahoma State, Texas and Kansas along with the Big 12 Championship game. Talk about an unbeaten season here is dropped around campus, but losses are inevitable.

"We have a huge target on our chest," said Coffman. "I don't think we'll have anything that resembles an easy game."

But it's their tradition, not their reputation, that makes the Tigers proud at the start of a new season.

"The victories we had last season will always be ours," Pinkel said. "No one can take them away, and 20 years from now I can see them having a reunion of the 2007 team. People will talk about it for years to come as the start of something big at Ole Mizzou."

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CoMoChief
10-06-2008, 08:13 PM
"One great year doesn't make a tradition," said Gary Pinkel, the Don James of the Big 12. "People think of Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame. It would be nice to think we're included in that.

"But I think we've got to prove we can stay up there."




Pretty much I said in my argument earlier today.....then the MU babies came crying.

Saul Good
10-06-2008, 08:14 PM
Doesn't matter. Tradition is better than success. Victories in the 90s > Victories now

Saul Good
10-06-2008, 08:15 PM
"One great year doesn't make a tradition," said Gary Pinkel, the Don James of the Big 12. "People think of Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame. It would be nice to think we're included in that.

"But I think we've got to prove we can stay up there."




Pretty much I said in my argument earlier today.....then the MU babies came crying.
What would Mizzou fans have to cry about? Nebraska and all their tradition went Kimbo Slice on Saturday...or did Kimbo Slice go Nebraska?

Ebolapox
10-06-2008, 08:16 PM
we're no nebraska.

BigVE
10-06-2008, 08:24 PM
I am impressed with this Mizzou team for sure but there really seems to be a lot of premature horn-tooting by the MU fans. Play some better teams and WIN, get to a BCS bowl game and win and THEN we will talk about how MU is up there with the "traditional powers". Wait, no we won't because althought that would be a great and very successful year it would need to be done more than once to be considered a traditional power. Where will MU be when they lose Daniel and Maclin and Weatjerspoon? Traditional powers replace those guys year in and year out and KEEP on winning. Great season so far but it could head south in a hurry.

CoMoChief
10-06-2008, 08:27 PM
What would Mizzou fans have to cry about? Nebraska and all their tradition went Kimbo Slice on Saturday...or did Kimbo Slice go Nebraska?

MU pissants were crying in an earlier thread after a Husker fan stated that MU wished what OU TX and NEB had (Tradition).

I many ways he was right.......then MU fans came in whining and bragging how they kicked NEB ass etc.....

Which is great.....I hate NEB football more than any other program on earth. But they have a great tradition as well as OU and TX and they don't have to recruit as hard because players come to them because of the programs prominence around the country. Every year usually those teams are in the hunt for a NC.

Now MU had one year like that.....and this is the year to win it all because Chase and co will all be gone next season and MU's not a big enough program yet where they can just pick up where they left off and reload.....MU is going to have to rebuild and etc...

Braincase
10-06-2008, 08:31 PM
Mizzou is putting together an impressive year, but until they win the Big 12 conference, they take a back seat to several other programs from the north, notably Nebraska, Colorado and K-State.

Saul Good
10-06-2008, 08:34 PM
I am impressed with this Mizzou team for sure but there really seems to be a lot of premature horn-tooting by the MU fans. Play some better teams and WIN, get to a BCS bowl game and win and THEN we will talk about how MU is up there with the "traditional powers". Wait, no we won't because althought that would be a great and very successful year it would need to be done more than once to be considered a traditional power. Where will MU be when they lose Daniel and Maclin and Weatjerspoon? Traditional powers replace those guys year in and year out and KEEP on winning. Great season so far but it could head south in a hurry.If Missouri loses a game or two and still finishes in the top 5-10 for the second year in a row, that is a great season by just about any measure. It would be disappointing, but there is only 1 national champion each year.

Getting to a BCS bowl is worthless. If it's not the National Championship game, it's just a bowl, especially if it comes via the invite rather than through a conference championship. Either way, Missouri is a program on the rise. There will likely be a step back next year, but they are still the clear cut favorite to win the Big 12 North.

No program is on top every year. The question is how far does a team fall when they are in a "down" year. If Missouri is a top 15-20 team next year and wins the North, I would consider that to be an indication that they have truly arrived as a long-term fixture on the national scene.

If they go 7-5 and finish third in the North, that would be an indication that they are an improved program but not a team to be seriously viewed as a true national power.

CoMoChief
10-06-2008, 08:36 PM
Mizzou is putting together an impressive year, but until they win the Big 12 conference, they take a back seat to several other programs from the north, notably Nebraska, Colorado and K-State.

KSU is really on the downfall.....a lot more so than NEB.

LiL stumppy
10-06-2008, 08:37 PM
"One great year doesn't make a tradition," said Gary Pinkel, the Don James of the Big 12. "People think of Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame. It would be nice to think we're included in that.

"But I think we've got to prove we can stay up there."




Pretty much I said in my argument earlier today.....then the MU babies came crying.

They do that quit a bit.

smittysbar
10-06-2008, 08:38 PM
MU pissants were crying .

Yeah Eric, pretty sure your blowing that way out proportion

Saul Good
10-06-2008, 08:44 PM
MU pissants were crying in an earlier thread after a Husker fan stated that MU wished what OU TX and NEB had (Tradition).

I many ways he was right.......then MU fans came in whining and bragging how they kicked NEB ass etc.....

Which is great.....I hate NEB football more than any other program on earth. But they have a great tradition as well as OU and TX and they don't have to recruit as hard because players come to them because of the programs prominence around the country. Every year usually those teams are in the hunt for a NC.

Now MU had one year like that.....and this is the year to win it all because Chase and co will all be gone next season and MU's not a big enough program yet where they can just pick up where they left off and reload.....MU is going to have to rebuild and etc...Nobody in that thread said that MU had the same tradition as Nebraska. That thread was about a Nebraska fan trying to pat Nebraska on the back for something that has no bearing on the current reality of college football.

Nebraska currently has much less prominence around the country than Mizzou. If you think that they don't have to recruit as hard because elite players want to play there, you are out of touch with reality. This is true of Oklahoma because of their recent success under Stoops, but those days are long gone for Nebraska.

Texas doesn't get the recruits because of their tradition. They have been a good program for the last 25 years, but they haven't been elite. They get recruits because they are swimming in local talent and they are the flagship university in the state. If you put a team with the tradition of Texas in a state like Nevada, they would be a good team, but they wouldn't have the recruits pouring in the way they do now.

Nebraska has neither the recent success of Missouri nor the in state talent of Texas. (Actually, they also have neither the in state talent of Missouri mor the recent success of Texas if you really want to put things into perspective.)

Missouri doesn't have the tradition, but they have a great coach, great talent, and a (possibly) repeatable formula. That's how great teams become great programs.

Saul Good
10-06-2008, 08:45 PM
KSU is really on the downfall.....a lot more so than NEB.

Nebraska is closer to KSU, ISU, and Baylor than they are to OU, UT, and MU...a lot closer.

KChiefs1
10-06-2008, 08:50 PM
Pretty much I said in my argument earlier today.....then the MU babies came crying.

That wasn't the argument...learn to read.:shake:

KChiefs1
10-06-2008, 08:51 PM
Nebraska is closer to KSU, ISU, and Baylor than they are to OU, UT, and MU...a lot closer.

Word.:clap:

Sure-Oz
10-06-2008, 08:52 PM
Mu fans weren't crying about tradition or saying MU has that same tradition as Nebraska has HAD....

Today's world is the "what have you done for me lately?" Nebraska, well not much, Mizzou is doing nice and well, there is no reason to cry.

CoMoChief
10-06-2008, 08:54 PM
Yeah Eric, pretty sure your blowing that way out proportion

I actually go by my internet alias of "John Dangerous"

Braincase
10-06-2008, 08:56 PM
KSU is really on the downfall.....a lot more so than NEB.

My point was that they've won the conference title, as have the others I mentioned. K-State was pretty rock solid for a period of time. They came a long way in a relatively short amount of time... and have gone downhill pretty quickly, too. Interesting what has happened with the Hayden Frye/Bill Snyder family tree.

Saul Good
10-06-2008, 09:00 PM
Mu fans weren't crying about tradition or saying MU has that same tradition as Nebraska has HAD....

Today's world is the "what have you done for me lately?" Nebraska, well not much, Mizzou is doing nice and well, there is no reason to cry.It's funny if you think about it. Nebraska fan is trying to imply that high school kids are going to somehow fall back in love with the Husker tradition and want to go play there. The problem with tradition is that it's in the past. Good teams call it success. Washed-up teams call it tradition.

It's like some 60 year fat guy with a comb-over in the bar bragging to some young beefcake about all the chicks he used to bang. The young guy isn't impressed. The old guy recalls it with fond memories, but that doesn't help him land the next chick. The young guy is living it and enjoying the moment.

That's where Nebraska is now. They were a dominant team in a different era. They ran the option 30 times a game. Kids coming out of high school look at that the way we look at leather helmets. It might make for some fond memories in a yearbook somewhere, but those days are long gone.

Spott
10-06-2008, 09:02 PM
I am impressed with this Mizzou team for sure but there really seems to be a lot of premature horn-tooting by the MU fans. Play some better teams and WIN, get to a BCS bowl game and win and THEN we will talk about how MU is up there with the "traditional powers".

Maybe if we finish in 3rd place in our conference like Georgia, Illinois or KU did we can get to a BCS game this year.

Sure-Oz
10-06-2008, 09:04 PM
It's funny if you think about it. Nebraska fan is trying to imply that high school kids are going to somehow fall back in love with the Husker tradition and want to go play there. The problem with tradition is that it's in the past. Good teams call it success. Washed-up teams call it tradition.

It's like some 60 year fat guy with a comb-over in the bar bragging to some young beefcake about all the chicks he used to bang. The young guy isn't impressed. The old guy recalls it with fond memories, but that doesn't help him land the next chick. The young guy is living it and enjoying the moment.

That's where Nebraska is now. They were a dominant team in a different era. They ran the option 30 times a game. Kids coming out of high school look at that the way we look at leather helmets. It might make for some fond memories in a yearbook somewhere, but those days are long gone.

Exactly!ROFL You need to post more.

Pitt Gorilla
10-06-2008, 09:13 PM
I am impressed with this Mizzou team for sure but there really seems to be a lot of premature horn-tooting by the MU fans. Play some better teams and WIN, get to a BCS bowl game and win and THEN we will talk about how MU is up there with the "traditional powers". Wait, no we won't because althought that would be a great and very successful year it would need to be done more than once to be considered a traditional power. Where will MU be when they lose Daniel and Maclin and Weatjerspoon? Traditional powers replace those guys year in and year out and KEEP on winning. Great season so far but it could head south in a hurry.It seems that some of you "geniouses" have trouble reading.

Sure-Oz
10-06-2008, 09:14 PM
It seems that some of you "geniouses" have trouble reading.

Amazing isn't it?

Saul Good
10-06-2008, 09:18 PM
It seems that some of you "geniouses" have trouble reading.
They could read pretty well 10 years ago, so they have a tradition of intelligence. That's more important than being literate today.

smittysbar
10-06-2008, 09:40 PM
They could read pretty well 10 years ago, so they have a tradition of intelligence. That's more important than being literate today.

ROFL