Daily Grind 12.3

The past weekend saw a flurry of disappointing losses for St. Louis sports fans, but the Missouri Tigers’ thrilling 28-21 win over Texas A&M and Johnny Football kept everyone’s head intact.

Congratulations to Mizzou and Gary Pinkel. If anybody had them pegged as the SEC East Champions in April, well I hope you kept your winning receipt.

For as many times this program has teased its fan base with success, getting back to a conference championship for the first time since 2007 is welcoming. Even better, this isn’t a Big 12 Championship; this is the SEC, the college football empire.

I like Mizzou Saturday in Georgia versus Auburn. Right now Vegas has Auburn anywhere from a 1-2 point favorite — but expect that line to even as the game gets closer.

Mizzou, though a relatively weak non-conference schedule, should sit 12-0 if not for a devastating home loss to South Carolina. Everyone knows what happened. From the botched field goal to a 15-yard TD on 4th-and-goal, it was a complete debacle. However, Mizzou won all their other contests by seven or more points.

Call it luck or opportunistic, Auburn found both along the way. They needed a 100-yard kick return TD and a late end zone interception to hold off Washington State. Arkansas committed three red zone turnovers in a 35-17 loss. Ole Miss coughed up a fumble in Tiger territory late in the 2nd half in a one score game. They had 4th quarter comeback wins against Mississippi State and Texas A&M. LSU beat them by 2 scores. They needed the 4th down miracle against Georgia and a 109-yard field goal return to seize the SEC West Championship against Alabama. To say the least, it was a blue-collar route to the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

Mizzou’s stout run defense will look to stymie an Auburn rushing attack that ranks 5th in the country (318 yards/game). It will force quarterback Nick Marshall to throw the ball effectively against a veteran secondary unit.

Prediction: Mizzou 34, Auburn 27

49ers Dominate Rams AGAIN

I’m tired of searching for answers to the Rams’ problems. Maybe this is payback for the torture Luke Foster and I dealt teachers through grade school. Matches and Gasoline were our nicknames designated in the 4th grade by Mrs. Wiley.

The patience she dealt with is karma for the patience I’m battling with this organization. That’s what it’s come down to, literally.

How can a pass defense be so inept when a defensive line is so dominant?

How can a tight end possess so much natural ability and then have the ball bounce off his bricks like it was Joe Klopfenstein all over again?

The Rams had one big opportunity to at least trick the Bay Area bullies into thinking it was a game.

San Francisco, leading by 10, looked to bury the Rams after Collin Kaepernick hooked up with Michael Crabtree for a 60-yard catch and run pass to the St. Louis 20-yard line. The next play, Frank Gore rushed seven yards when Alec Ogletree pops the ball loose and Rodney McLeod recovers.

A team with the most unprecedented winning blue print finally checked off a box at such an uncanny time. A big time turnover…bang.

And with that — the offense gained two yards on three plays and on 4th down, the 49ers blew up a fake punt attempt. One play later, Vernon Davis hurdled into the end zone and followed with his trademark goal post jumper and the ball game was over.

So now, the game of matches and gasoline continues — only this time I’m learning the hard way.

I’ll have more on the Rams tomorrow. Specifically the lack of accountability. 

Quick Hits

Not a fan of the Jhonny Peralta signing.

  1. It’s too much money.
  2. Cleveland gave up on Peralta because his bat stopped working in 2009/2010.
  3. No one knows if his performance spikes were a direct result from steroids.
  4. His defense is below average.
  5. He’ll be 35 when his contract is up in 2017

Tough loss for SLU on Sunday at the Chaifetz against Wichita State. The Shockers were a Final Four team last season and SLU had them on the ropes all game before falling 70-65.

The Blues better figure out a way to beat the LA Kings, who are 15-3-0 against St. Louis dating back to October of 2011. I imagine the losses have Ken Hitchcock pulling out his hair wondering why his game plans aren’t working. Not ready to panic yet, but the Blues are winless while being outscored 15-7 in three games versus LA and San Jose.

Finally, SI came out with a 2014 Mock Draft and has St. Louis taking OLB Anthony Barr (UCLA) with Washington’s pick and Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama, at #15. 

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