Ten Thoughts for Monday Morning


1) We’re breaking tradition and starting with wrestling because, well, Mizzou doesn’t exactly make a habit of winning conference championships. At least not outside of wrestling. The Tigers did that yesterday, staking claim to the Big XII title with 131.5 points. Oklahoma finished second and Iowa State third. The Tigers had just one individual champion, Keegan O’Toole at 165 pounds, but had a wrestler in the top seven in every weight class and every individual that competed won at least as many matches as he lost. Brian Smith was named the Big XII coach of the year. It is the Tigers’ 11th straight conference championship, but the last nine had come in the MAC. Mizzou won the Big XII title in 2012, then was exiled for nine years, and returned this season. Softball (2 regular season, 2 tournament), women’s soccer (1 regular season, 1 tournament) and men’s basketball (2 tournament) are the only other Mizzou sports with Big 12 championships. Volleyball won the SEC title in 2015 so there has been a non-wrestling champion in the interim, but there’s no question which program has been Missouri’s most successful in the last couple of decades.

2) Second on that list would certainly be softball and the Tigers are off and rolling again. They won four games by a combined score of 42-3 to move to 16-4 on the season. The last of those games was the 12th perfect game in Mizzou history thrown by Laurin Krings on Sunday against Bradley. Mizzou already opens SEC play this weekend and the conference is a bear. The Vols are 15-6, but have won six in a row and five of the six losses have come to top 25 teams. At 16-4, Mizzou was ranked 8th in the country last week, but is 7th in the SEC in win percentage. So, yeah, the league has some good teams.

Speaking of a good league, the SEC is okay at baseball. And so far, Mizzou is holding its own. The Tigers finished off a sweep of Tarleton State on Sunday to move to 9-1 on the season. They haven’t exactly faced a murderer’s row quite yet, but don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. 9-1 is 9-1. Things will get tougher this weekend with a four-game set against Gonzaga, which has made two of the last three NCAA Tournaments that have been played and sits 8-2 on the season. If Mizzou can win that series, it’s time to start taking Steve Bieser’s crew a little more seriously.

3) So, we’ve been ignoring the major issue you say? Okay, let’s dive into it.


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