LINCOLN NE - OCTOBER 30: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Missouri Tigers tries to avoid defensive end Pierre Allen #95 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during first half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on October 30 2010 in Lincoln Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Missouri 31-17. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Missouri heads to Jones AT&T Stadium following its first loss of the season as Texas Tech tries to right a captainless pirate ship.
The national media warned Missouri of a hangover following an upset of Oklahoma, but now Missouri faces the possibility of an even more violent hangover after losing to Nebraska. Ross Taylor of Rock M Nation has a look at the storylines dominating Missouri's "morning after" game against Texas Tech:
Narrative TV Announcers Will Make You Sick of Hearing: Special uniforms
Alternate uniforms are all the rage in college football on campuses not named "Happy Valley," and Texas Tech is getting in on the action this Saturday. And though most teams' jersey gimmicks benefit a cause whose 501(c) form simply reads "Nike's Profit Margin," Tech's new camouflage getups planned for Saturday will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
New uniforms are nothing new to anyone on the field Saturday night. Missouri fans still debate their impressions of the Tigers' Nike Pro Combat uniforms from a year ago and generally abhor the gold jerseys that accompanied Mizzou's gut punch against Kansas in 2008. As for Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, it's not like it'll be the first time he's tried to market Under Armour products:
Yes, Mr. Tuberville. Click clack.
In a "Show Me" State This Week: The Missouri offensive line
Heavy is the head that wears the crown. The Mizzou offensive line was the toast of campus following Missouri's upset of Oklahoma, as the Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage and generally manhandled the Sooners in the trenches. One week later, the unit was left scrambling for answers after Missouri's running game disappeared and Blaine Gabbert spent last Saturday scrambling for his safety.
In the interest of fairness, the coaching staff and the Nebraska secondary played major roles in that narrative, but either way, the first step toward vindication for what ails the Missouri line (no matter if the term "ail" is fair or unfair) is in Lubbock against a Red Raider defense that ranks third in the Big 12 in sacks.
For Your Mizzou-Themed iPod Playlist: "Time To Move On" by Cross Canadian Ragweed
"One door closes, two doors open,
The road you choose is the path you've chosen.
The end is the beginning, beginning is the end,
Every road gonna bring you round again.
Stop and look around,
It's time to move on"
Mizzou's clear path to the Big 12 Championship disappeared about four-and-a-half yards into Roy Helu's 66-yard run on Nebraska's first offensive play from scrimmage last week. But as one door closes for the Missouri Tigers, several other doors remain slightly ajar. At this point, Missouri's upset win against Oklahoma looms as large as Nebraska's loss to Texas. The Huskers clearly control their own destiny in the Big 12 North, but the pair of results with Red River foes creates a slight margin for error for Mizzou that would have been otherwise nonexistent.
No matter the result in Lincoln, it's time for the Tigers to move on. And for a Tiger team that's waited until November to play a game after a loss, how they'll respond remains to be seen.
For Your Texas Tech-Themed iPod Playlist: "Land of Confusion" by Genesis
"There's too many men, too many people,
Making too many problems,
And not much love to go round.
Can't you see this is a land of confusion?"
Firing West Plains Pirate Mike Leach was never a popular move for anyone outside of the Texas Tech Board of Regents, but the popularity of the new administration -- primarily President Tuberville, Chief of Staff Brown and Secretary of Defense Willis -- hasn't done much better eight weeks into the season. Tech fans find themselves begging for mercy as they run down a laundry list of problems: two quarterbacks between whom they can't decide, minimal experience amongst the assistants, a defense maladjusted to the 3-4, and a strain of the injury bug that has mutated to become immune to antibiotics. Confusing times in West Texas can become much clearer (or at least much more promising) with an upset of Missouri on Saturday night.
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