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THE WEEK IN MISSOURI FOOTBALL: Overtime loss to Arizona State shows weaknesses

Sunday, September 11, 2011 | 7:02 p.m. CDT; updated 9:29 a.m. CDT, Monday, September 12, 2011
MU quarterback James Franklin runs for a first down as Arizona defenders dive to push him out of bounds at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday.

The Missouri football team (1-1) dropped from the rankings this week after a 37-30 overtime loss to Arizona State (2-0), while new factors concerning the future of the Big 12 conference continue to surface.

Possible lawsuit

Texas A&M announced its intent to leave the Big 12 in 2012 but still needs the approval of the other teams in the conference before that can happen. Baylor has withdrawn its consent and could potentially sue the SEC for interfering with Texas A&M's contract. Iowa State hasn't waived its rights either, but Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have.

In wake of the Aggies' departure, rumors have arisen that the Big 12 may be courting Brigham Young, whose football program is currently independent from any conference. A tweet from BYU-Football.com said BYU would accept an invitation to the Big 12 if Oklahoma signs its intent to stay. BleacherReport.com sees BYU as a good fit because of its size and its basketball program.

A broken non-conference winning streak

The emotions were mixed after Missouri's loss to Arizona State on Friday. Despite the loss, teammates and Tiger coach Gary Pinkel had positive things to say about quarterback James Franklin. But Missouri's defense experienced some serious troubles in trying to contain Arizona State's 6-foot-8 quarterback Brock Osweiler, who tore apart the Tigers' coverage scheme. Osweiler completed 24 of 32 passes for 353 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

As mentioned in a Missourian article and SBNation.com, Pinkel baffled fans by calling two timeouts on his own kicker, Grant Ressel, before a 48-yard field goal attempt. He explained he was attempting to draw hyped-up ASU linebacker Vontaze Burfict offside. The East Valley Tribune said Arizona State had all but choked the game away with penalties and poor defense but still managed to come away with a win.

Now, Arizona State is ranked No. 22 in the AP poll.

Looking ahead

Next week, the Tigers will be back at home playing Western Illinois. The Leathernecks (1-1) lost 20-6 at Sam Houston State in week one and won 35-21 at home against Jacksonville in week two.

Missouri has only played Western Illinois in football once before (in 2000) when the Tigers beat the Leathernecks 50-20.

Western Illinois improved considerably last year, going from 1-10 in 2009 to 8-5 in 2010. Also, quarterback Matt Barr was the runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, the highest award for an offensive player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.


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Comments

Blake Borron September 11, 2011 | 10:53 p.m.

Very comprehensive with good analysis and well-integrated links to other stories. I appreciate the effort. Go Tigers!

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