November 25, 2015

How Kris Medlen may have bailed the Royals out in the ALCS, plus thoughts on Mizzou and Rams football (VIDEO)

I bring common sense when it comes to sports.  Watch me now!

I bring common sense when it comes to sports. Watch me now!

Yes, the Kansas City Royals may have lost the battle within the big war known as the ALCS, but there were little skirmishes along the way that may help the Royals in the long run.  What am I talking about?  Kris Medlen chewed up some innings and the hitters never quit, forcing Toronto to use five pitchers in what should have been a blow out win.

Plus, there is hope for Mizzou fans.  Keep your chin up.

Rams fans strung along even more by the NFL with false hopes.  I’m here to slap you in the face with a dose of reality.

What the Cardinals-Cubs rivalry should mean for baseball fans in the Midwest (VIDEO)

Employees and staff of Missourinet and Learfield News show off their Cardinals pride (Most everyone)

Employees and staff of Missourinet and Learfield News show off their Cardinals pride (Most everyone)

I find myself in a unique position as Sports Director of Missourinet.  I cover the Royals and Cardinals, but I’ve never made it a secret, in fact it’s on my profile here on the website, I’m from Chicago and I’m a Cubs fan.

One of the things I pride myself on is being able to report on both teams and be fair and critical of both.  During the season, I’ve had multiple Cubs fans call me out on Twitter for being a Cardinals homer.  I guess my handle @Missourisports throws them off.

I’m actually proud that I can do my job and get equal reaction from both fan bases whether I praise or criticize their team.

What we have here is historic. 2,363 games played and this is the biggest…the first playoff game.  For us in the Midwest, whether you wear Cardinal red or Cubbie blue, this is as good as it gets.


Mizzou/UConn preview: Running game needs a boost and offensive line must play better (VIDEO)

Look for more run plays from Maty Mauk when Mizzou hosts the Huskies (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Look for more run plays from Maty Mauk when Mizzou hosts the Huskies (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

With a game against BYU coming up later in the season at Arrowhead Stadium, the Missouri offense has one more non-conference game to figure out the offensive issues that have plagued the team in the first two weeks of the season, before the start of SEC play.  The Tigers are back home for an 11 a.m. kick against the UConn Huskies, in the first ever meeting between the two teams on the gridiron.

In the first half of last week’s 27-20 win at Arkansas State, Maty Mauk had a 27 yard gain on the ground.  Other than that big scramble, the Mizzou run game produced just 12 yards on their 12 other carries.

So what is the issue?  The injury to Russell Hansbrough is having a bigger impact than expected?  Is the offensive line overrated?  Does the lack of a consistent passing game hurt the ground game?

Joining me to help look at the issues is Seth Merenbloom, Managing Editor and podcast co-host of SEC 411.

Seth also gives us his surprises and disappointments through the SEC after two weeks.  Plus, we do talk about the dominating Mizzou defense that should give the Huskies fits.  Take a glance at some of the interesting stats.

[Read more…]

Arkansas State racked up 402 yards of offense against 8th ranked USC. Why this will be a nice road test for Mizzou (VIDEO)

Michael Gordon is Arkansas State's top rusher (photo/

Michael Gordon is Arkansas State’s top rusher (photo/

Arkansas State will play its much-anticipated 2015 home opener Saturday at 6 p.m., when it hosts defending SEC East champion Missouri at a new-look Centennial Bank Stadium.  With fans from Missouri’s Bootheel and just a short drive for Tigers’ fan, Red Wolves play-by-play guy Matt Stoltz thinks the atmosphere in the 30,000 seat stadium will be electric.

Matt joins me on a Google Hangout (watch below) and said there were a lot of encouraging signs from Arkansas State despite losing 55-6 to 8th ranked USC.  The offense put up 402 yards, but turned the ball over four times, which led great field position and easy scores for the Trojans.

The experienced defensive line sacked Cody Kessler four times.  While I think Missouri’s offensive line is still figuring things out and with center Evan Boehm being questionable, Saturday night’s game will be a good test for the group.

Playing their first game this season at Centennial Bank Stadium, the Red Wolves will carry a ten-game winning streak in home openers into the contest. A-State has proven highly successful at the stadium over the last decade, accumulating a 46-10 home record since 2005 for an .821 winning percentage.

Mizzou has won ten-straight true road games. One of the ten-game win streaks will end.

This season’s contest will mark the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools, which also included games in 2004 and 2005. The most recent meeting saw Missouri claim a 41-19 victory in Columbia in 2013.   This was a game that Arkansas State led in the third quarter and were only down eight with 7:30 to play.

Red Wolves by the numbers:

1 100-yard rushing performance for Michael Gordon to become the 8th player in school history with 10+.
2 straight top-25 opponents to open the season for the first time since 2004.
3 players from the state of Missouri — Dalton Ford (Fr., OL), Brendan Weis (Fr.-R, OL), Jonah Hill (So., TE).
4 school records held by J.D. McKissic, including single-game (15), season (103) & career receptions (242).

Tigers look to make it 11 straight road wins, traveling to Arkansas State to face an energetic Red Wolves team (VIDEO)

Follow Bill Pollock on YouTube and check out our other videos

Follow Bill Pollock on YouTube and check out our other videos

Mizzou, coming off their 34-3 victory over Southeast Missouri to kick off the 2015 season, will play their first road game at Arkansas State.  The Red Wolves opened its season with a tough road test at #8 USC, losing 55-6.  The ASU offense managed 402 yards of offense on the night (including 209 rushing yards), but suffered four turnovers as USC put up 509 yards of offense in the win.

Mizzou’s defense was outstanding holding the Redhawks to just three points, led by Kentrell Brothers who, had a career high 16 tackles.

Mizzou has a school record 10-game road winning streak, dating back to Sept. 21, 2013, at Indiana. It is the third-longest streak in the nation, trailing only Ohio State and Florida State.  During this streak Mizzou has:

-39 sacks over the last 10 road games and at least 1.0 sack in nine straight
-13 interceptions and has recovered eight fumbles (21 total TOs)
-Allowed just 21.4 points per game during the streak
-Averaging 38.4 points per game in the streak with just 10 turnovers
-Averaging 5.0 yards per rush during the streak, gaining 175 yards or better on the ground in seven of the 10 games.
-Scored 24 rushing TDs during the streak – opponents have just 26 total TDs during the streak.

However, there are still some questions that need to be answered and while this should be Mizzou’s 11-straight road win, ASU will provide a good test.

Austin Kim from KMIZ-TV/Columbia joins me to look at what Mizzou has done well and how they can improve in week 2.