Two of my favorite football teams saw their seasons come to an end over the weekend but in very different ways. In one of the most exciting but longest college football games I have seen in a while the Missouri Tiger defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys 41 to 31 in the Cotton Bowl on Friday night. The Tigers and Cowboys played a very defensive oriented first half that lasted over two hours. In fact most of the scoring in the game occurred in the fourth quarter as it looked for a time like Mizzou might lose their lead to OSU was the momentum was certainly in the Cowboys favor. However the Tigers had a few more tricks up their sleeve and managed to score late in the game to seal the victory. For the second time in Gary Pinkel’s tenure as coach at Mizzou the Tigers finished with 12 wins. Pinkel won his 102nd game at Mizzou to become the winningest coach in Mizzou’s storied football history. I for one did not expect the Tigers to be nearly as good as they were this year so finishing the season with a 12 and 2 record with the schedule they had in the conference they were in is a major accomplishment in my book.
Then Saturday came and it looked like the Kansas City Chiefs were going to run away with an easy victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Chiefs dominated the first half and even part of the third quarter and at one time led the game 38 to 10. Then the injuries started to pile up. The defense collapsed, and the offense started making mistakes. Meanwhile, the Colts offense found their rhythm, their defense got on track and the game did a complete turnaround and that was all she wrote. The Chiefs ended up losing the game in heartbreaking fashion 45 to 44. The Chiefs finished the season with a 12 and 5 record which in a normal year would be a good season and in some ways it is a good season especially when you consider how far this team came in one year. However, there is still a great sense of disappointment as this team started off the season at 9 and 0 and then never appeared to get back on track after the bye week. The only teams they beat after the bye week were the Raiders and Redskins which is not a major accomplishment. Their defense was riddled with injuries, their offense got on track at the same time the defense began to struggle and the season became one of immense frustration and disappointment. The Chiefs lack of depth at several key positions both offensively and defensively was exposed and they have to address that situation over the off season. It was a disappointing way to end a season that began with optimism, showed great promise at one point and ended with much disappointment.
The entire NFL playoffs thus far has been filled with the unexpected as only one of the four games over the weekend was decided by more than 3 points. The Philadelphia Eagles lost a heartbreaking game to the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night while the Green Bay Packers saw their season end in much the same way yesterday. Only the San Diego Chargers were able to dominate the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday to easily capture a victory. We will look at the second round of the NFL playoffs in Friday’s blog.
While the Chiefs debacle was going on the Missouri Tigers basketball team was playing Long Beach State. I didn’t see any of the game but from the looks of the score either Long Beach State is a better team than I thought they were or Mizzou struggled a bit as they only won by ten points in a relatively low scoring game. Mizzou begins SEC conference play later this week against the Georgia Bulldogs.
The Truman State men’s and women’s basketball teams played a pair of Great Lakes Valley Conference games on the road over the weekend with mixed results. Both Bulldogs squads lost to two very good Lewis College teams on Friday night. The Bulldog women then came back to defeat Wisconsin Parkside for their first ever GLVC win yesterday afternoon while the men dropped another tough one. Both teams are home later this week to play Illinois Springfield.
The Kirksville High School boys basketball team are red hot right now as they picked up their fifth straight victory over the weekend at the Trenton holiday tournament as they defeated Chillicothe by coming from behind to do it. The girls meanwhile are still in a throes of some early season struggles as they lost a tough one to a very good St. Jo team. Both teams are now off until January 11.
We will try to be back on Wednesday with another blog. The weather has caused some reshuffling of my schedule for this week so we’ll have to see how things work out but we will try our best to do a midweek blog. Thanks as always for checking out this and all the other blogs on this site. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at KDEBlog.