Blog Pollin. Lots of questions related to my dropping Missouri from #4 to #7 in this week's draft Blog Poll ballot. (FYI: this week's Blog Poll has been released, viewable here.) Though I did make a few revisions to the draft ballot, the Tigers stayed behind the three SEC teams who moved up--Georgia, LSU, and Alabama. Simply put: the Tigers' resume is, in my view, just slightly behind each of those three teams, who each own a higher quality road/neutral field win (LSU at Auburn, Georgia at Arizona State, Alabama over Clemson in Atlanta) than Missouri's top win--a neutral field 10-point victory over Illinois.
Could you argue the other way on this question? Certainly. Does it matter at this point in the season? Not really. And is it a sign of my not taking the Tigers seriously? Definitely not. Remember, I'm the guy who picked MU to face Florida in the national title game before the season began. Hang in there, Tiger lovers.
(Finally, a note on my balloting, which has heretofore been pretty subjective/wishy-washy. Next week I bust out the resume charts, so expect more firm analysis on where each team is being slotted, and why.)
Would you like to see some wedding photos? It's Arkansas week, which means the newspapers and my inbox are full of rivalry talk. As always, it's one-sided, with everyone NE of Texarkana licking their porked lips and the rest of us unsure we care about this game any more or less than next week's versus Colorado.
The Statesman points out that Arkansas' coaches think the piggies are showing 'some fight' after their beatdown in Fayetteville at the hands of Alabama, while the folks who run SEC Rivals asked me to answer a handful of questions about this Saturday's match up in Austin.
Wednesday's tight end up date. Bruce Chambers took his turn with the media after Tuesday's practice, more or less towing the party line on Texas' tight end situation:
I think we've been running the ball well and we are obviously going to continue to do that. I think we have a great plan for this coming Saturday, and I'm looking forward to watching that. We're going to go out there and just have fun... We're going to stick with the plan that we've got, and there is no need to move anybody at this time.
More interesting were Chambers' comments on Ian Harris, who returned to practice yesterday. Chambers points out that Harris is, contrary to Greg Smith and Peter Ullman, athletic enough to be used in the passing game in similar ways to Blaine Irby. Harris is a player to watch on Saturday, if he participates at all.
Change I can get behind. I have more on this in this week's Big 12 report (forthcoming this afternoon), but the Statesman has a nice article on the new points of emphasis on defense under Will Muschamp. In particular, Texas' defensive philosophy has shifted to guard fiercely the big play, protect our safeties, concede the soft stuff underneath (including runs), and be in the right position to hammer opponents who try to do more than what we're giving them. It's smart football period, and especially so given the make up of this year's unit.