THE WEEK'S MOST-READ STORIES: Missouri football, Magic Tree lighting and Derrik Sweeney's return from Egypt

Sunday, December 4, 2011 | 8:45 p.m. CST; updated 10:06 p.m. CST, Sunday, December 4, 2011

Readers last week took interest in the end of the Missouri football regular season, the lighting of the Magic Tree and Derrik Sweeney's return to Jefferson City after his imprisonment in Egypt. These are the 10 most-read stories posted last week on, according to Google Analytics data:

  1. Missouri football player Andrew Jones might be joining the Missouri basketball team after injured Laurence Bowers left the Tigers basketball line-up. Jones practiced with the basketball team Wednesday, but Missouri athletics spokesman Chad Moller said the team has not decided whether to make him a permanent player. (2,494 page views)
  2. Although it was revealed Sunday that the Tigers would be playing in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., head football coach Gary Pinkel gave no indication Monday that he knew which bowl game the team would be selected to play in. With eight qualifying teams and seven bowl games, the Tigers risked not getting a Big 12 bowl game — exactly what happened Sunday. (2,466 page views)
  3. The Missouri Athletics Department launched the Mizzou Network, a rebranded version of its existing online audio and video content, Thursday. With three employees and more support behind the Mizzou Network, the department aims to update the free on-demand content more often in addition to paid live coverage. (2, 426 page views)

  4. An 18-year-old MU student fell about 25 feet into Devil's Icebox Cave on Tuesday. Grant Cartwright, who was exploring the area with his friends, was taken away by emergency responders on a backboard, but Boone County Fire Protection District Lt. Stephen Dunkin said his condition was stable. (1,143 page views)

  5. Noting a trend among media and the public of ridiculing candidates for the Republican nomination, columnist J. Karl Miller defended the presidential hopefuls. He contended that the critics of the Republican candidates have yet to present a strong argument for President Barack Obama's re-election. (1,115 page views)

  6. At the end of the Missouri football team's regular season, the Tigers were ranked No. 25 in the Bowl Championship Series ranking. The team had a 7-5 overall record and a 5-4 record in the Big 12 Conference for the 2011 Missouri football season. (1,101 page views)

  7. Derrik Sweeney, a 19-year-old from Jefferson City who was arrested in Cairo on Nov. 22, shared his story about his arrest in Tahrir Square, beatings and interrogation by the authorities and abuse from the police. Now back home, Sweeney said the experience made him realize the importance of the revolution in Egypt and the power of positive thinking and emotional support. (1,051 page views) 

  8. An increasing number of MU classes are integrating digital technology into traditional classrooms, and the number of online courses and students enrolled in them has nearly doubled since the 2005-2006 school year. The increase in online learning is changing the student-teacher dynamic and use of class time, but it causes concern for some. (1,025 page views)

  9. The Magic Tree, which has glowed with strings of multicolored lights during the holiday season for 17 years now, was lit Thursday. "It's a reflection of what's inside of you. I see the tree as kind of a sign, if you will, of extraordinary beauty to come in the world and the return of the one people of various religions expect to return," said Randy Fletcher, who has decorated the tree since 1995. The Village of Cherry Hill is hosting the tree, which is wrapped in 35,000 colorful lights. (947 page views)

  10. A switch to the Southeastern Conference means different tailgates, rituals and attire on football game days. The Columbia Missourian reviewed the SEC schools and their traditions as the Tigers prepare to enter the conference for the 2012-2013 season. (930 page views)

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