Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ten things I think you think I think - Missouri preview

  1. Much is being made this week about Gary Pinkel being winless against Oklahoma. Let's be fair. Pinkel's predecessor, Larry Smith, only beat the Sooners once. Smith benefited from coaching against John Blake. That's like taking candy from a baby. Further back, Bob Stull and Woody Widenhofer weren't able to beat OU either. The last coach to beat the Sooners twice as Missouri coach: Warren Powers.
  2. Before we get too enamored with Missouri and playing them at home, without this play, the Tigers lose to San Diego State, are 5-1 going into this game and it's being played at 1100 am on Fox Sports.
  3. The discussion about Missouri's defense is curious. Missouri has the second best scoring defense in FBS. Of the five FBS teams Missouri has played, three are in the bottom thirty of scoring offenses in FBS.
  4. When reading the above note, do not pay attention to the fact that Oklahoma gave up 24 points to the 90th best scoring offense in the land. Nothing to see here, move along.
  5. Another fun fact: Phil Steele likes to evaluate Points per Yard. Offensively, it speaks to your effectiveness in scoring points. Defensively, it speaks to how hard you make the other team work for points. Field position and turnovers contribute to skewing this stat. The team with the best defensive yards per point so far this year? Missouri, at 30.3 yards per point. Second, TCU with 23.5 yards per point.
  6. Missouri's stat here is helped significantly by the 379 yard, 9 point effort by Cash Machine U last week, and the 311 yards and no points performance against Colorado. So either Mizzou is hitting their stride defensively, or they're playing teams struggling offensively. Personally, I think it's both.
  7. In case you're wondering if Defensive Yards per point is some sort of quirky stat, here's your top ten, in order: Mizzou, TCU, Alabama, Iowa, Arizona, Mississippi State, Oregon, San Diego State, West Virginia and Oklahoma.
  8. I think I'm glad I don't have to channel flip between Game 7 of Rangers / Yankees and Sooners / Tigers tonight.
  9. In researching the Tigers this morning, I've become more concerned about this game than I was previously. Sagarin's predictor ranking system has the Tigers ahead of the Sooners, by about two points, and then you'd give the Tigers three for home field advantage. Missouri is a better unit defensively than I thought, I've always thought Gabbert was a good QB, and Pinkel is an excellent coach.
  10. What I have some level of faith in this year for the Sooners is they a) take care of the ball well; b) the seem to play to the level of competition, which is in the Sooners favor this week. If they keep it up, they can squeak by with another 7 point victory.

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