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Best case-worst case rewind: Missouri

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    By David Ubben

    [​IMG]We're taking a look back at what we thought the best- and worst-case scenarios for each team were in August, and how it shook out now that January has arrived.

    Next up: Missouri.

    Best case: 11-1, with a loss to either Oklahoma or Nebraska, and depending on the loss and Nebraska's fate, a Big 12 North title.

    Worst case: 6-6, with wins over Illinois, McNeese State, San Diego State, Miami (Ohio), Colorado, Iowa State and Kansas.

    Reality: Missouri raced to a 7-0 start and a top 10 ranking before dropping a pair of games against Nebraska and Texas Tech and finishing 10-3 with a loss to Iowa in the Insight Bowl. The Tigers also went 6-2 in Big 12 play to finish as co-Big 12 North champions.

    Analysis: The Tigers did what most thought they'd do in 2010. They gave Nebraska a solid run in the Big 12 North race and put together a solid season. I pegged the Tigers for 9-10 wins in the preseason, with losses to Nebraska and Oklahoma and a decent shot at dropping a random game on the road in the Big 12. A bowl game, generally, is a coin flip, though Missouri was upset 27-24 by an unranked Iowa team.

    Missouri snagged an upset over Oklahoma, but the Tigers dropped slightly surprising game on the road to Texas Tech. The loss of Derrick Washington in the preseason hurt the Tigers, and there's no telling what his experience and new-found shiftiness might have meant to the team, but Missouri's stable of four backs filled in nicely. They ran the ball well against Oklahoma, despite being shut down about everywhere against Nebraska's defense.

    Quarterback Blaine Gabbert's numbers fell, but the cause was more the lack of a big play receiver like Danario Alexander or Jeremy Maclin than anything Gabbert did or didn't do. T.J. Moe and Michael Egnew are great at getting open underneath, but neither is going to beat very many defenders deep. Finding a deep threat will help the new quarterback and further open things up underneath for Moe and Egnew. Gabbert topped 300 yards just four times on the season, but he did what was necessary for the Tigers to get wins.

    A season with 10 of them -- the third time that's happened in four years at Missouri -- is a good season. The special season that looked possible after a win over Oklahoma never materialized, and the avoidable losses to Iowa and Texas Tech will sting for the Tigers looking back, but 10-3 is a year to be happy about. Replacing Gabbert in 2011 will be difficult, but there's plenty of talent around the new starter, and if they play well, 10 wins is within reach again for the Tigers in 2011.

    Originally posted by ESPN.com - Big 12 Blog
    Click here to view the article.

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