COMMENT: Did we learn anything from Missouri's win over Western Illinois?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | 10:36 p.m. CDT; updated 11:04 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Western Illinois received a heaping hunk of cash from the MU Athletics Department to come to Columbia on Saturday and get their butts kicked 69-0.

Now there’s a way to solve our national debt crisis.

President Obama can get a team together — maybe out of soon-to-be laid off postal employees — and they can get trounced by a big-time college football team.


But, those federal footballers would have had just as good a chance to beat the Tigers as Western Illinois did. By halftime, Missouri had amassed 42 points, and one running back had 263 yards and three touchdowns.

Those who shelled out $40 for the pay-per-view telecast of the game almost reached a two-points-per-dollar rate. What a deal.

But, what can be learned from such a lopsided victory?

We learned that Newton’s first law of football motion is correct. Henry Josey ran all over Western Illinois, proving that a body in motion does, in fact, stay in motion when defenders can’t make a tackle.

But was the performance of Josey, the Tigers' tailback with the highlight reel first half, an indication of how he will play against Oklahoma on Saturday? Using this game to forecast Oklahoma is like a child deciding whether or not to ride a roller coaster based on his experience on a merry-go-round.

A much better predictor would come from looking at Josey’s play in Missouri's overtime loss in the second week at Arizona State, when an injury to De’Vion Moore made him the last back standing for the Tigers. He carried the load admirably and effectively, rushing nine times for 94 yards and catching two passes for 51 receiving yards.

How Josey and the Tigers played in the desert is a much more apt comparison to what they’ll face in Norman — a noisy crowd and a tough-road opponent.

There is something to be said for a confidence booster. Who hasn’t lowered the basketball hoop in their driveway to six feet to obtain the dunking ability of Laurence Bowers? It was important for the Tigers to get back on the winning track heading into such a stiff test.

Still, let’s not be fooled by such a victory. There’s little from the win over Western Illinois that can be applied to Oklahoma or any other future Big 12 opponent for that matter. There’s a reason FBS teams are only allowed one win over FCS teams when it comes to determining bowl eligibility.

Was this same conversation being had in 1896, when Missouri beat the San Antonio YMCA 29-0?


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Ellis Smith September 22, 2011 | 5:44 a.m.

Pre-Columbian civilizations such as the Mayans required human sacrifice, with captured opponents typically being those sacrificed.

Those rituals took place at the top of a pyramid and not on a ground level surface. So far as is known, spectators didn't need to pay to view the performance.

[Should we suppose there were cheer leaders?]

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