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Post-game Thoughts: The End of the Mangino-Reesing Era E-mail
Written by The True Son   
Sunday, 29 November 2009 02:18

It’s 1 a.m. and I want to go to sleep. But the adrenaline is still fresh in my veins and I want to do my best to capture the emotion of tonight.

I echo what Big Head said about needing a new heart. I made the comment to my buddy I was watching the game with that I think these games take four years off of my life each season. Was this the most dramatic Border War game I’ve seen? I don’t know. I’m not going to try to rank them because God knows there have been some wild ones over the years.

But I will say this, no opponent takes me on the metaphorical roller coaster ride like the kansas Jayhawks. They bring out the best and the worst in me. They remind me why I love sports. They cause me to wonder if I care about these things a little too much. They do what a rival should do to a true sports fan.

-I don’t know if Danario Alexander will get the Belitnikoff. It doesn’t look like he will. So be it. We can argue about how good of an NFL prospect he is and where he should be drafted. The NFL scouting process is a complex beast. But bottom line, there was one guy who was hands down the best wide receiver in college football this season. His name was Danario Alexander. It’s not up for debate.

-Super ‘Nario was our most explosive player and best playmaker tonight. But Derrick Washington was the team’s most consistent offensive weapon. He was effective from start to finish. Say what you want about the other guys who contributed tonight but I don’t think there’s any way the Tigers win without the efforts of D-Wash. He hasn’t had the season we were expecting from him but tonight he showed us why we had those expectations in the first place. And don’t look now but he’s had four solid performances in the last five games.

-The Tigers’ defense didn’t have too many bright spots. There was little to no pass rush for most of the game and the secondary’s struggles have already been well documented. (This was also probably Sean Weatherspoon’s worst game of his senior season.) But two guys who really impressed me were Kip Edwards and Kevin Rutland. Especially Edwards. Major props.

-We make a lot out of the whole Todd Reesing-is-a-douchebag thing here at Mizzourah and with some of the pictures of him floating around out there I don’t think you can blame us. And for the last three years he’s held the throne of My Most Hated Athlete.

But now that his career is done and over I’m going to come clean. I respect the hell out of the guy as a player. No I don’t think he was ever quite at Chase Daniel’s level. But when the game was on the line the dude scared the living shit out of me. Thank God Pinkel didn’t leave any time on the clock for Reesing to get another shot at the end of the game because I have no doubt that I would have lost consciousness had he gotten the ball back.

He had my hate. He has my respect.

-That said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tickled about the fact that the two most significant plays of his career were safeties in the same end zone at Arrowhead.

-Dez Briscoe’s performance tonight provided the perfect microcosm of his career. His final numbers are staggering. Fourteen receptions for 242 and two touchdowns. He showed why he’s considered to be such a special talent. But his dropped passes and fumbles also showed why he’ll likely be remembered as somewhat of an enigma.

-When Gary Pinkel elected to punt the football away on fourth and short with just over three minutes left and only one timeout remaining I was positive he made the wrong decision. Lets face it, kU was probably one first down away from victory. And anything less than another Jake Harry punt down inside the five was really going to stack the odds against the Tigers.

And after all that happened I’m still not sure GP made the right call. But that’s the thing about coaching. Sometimes it’s a guessing game. And when a guy guesses right then you tip your cap to the man.

And one enormous Mizzourah salute goes to Jake Harry IV. I’m not well versed in the history of Mizzou’s punting greats but I can’t imagine it’s a stretch to call him the best the Tigers have ever had.

-Of course, the Tigers were aided by Mangino’s insanely controversial decision to throw on three straight downs when the obvious move was to run the ball and at the very least force the Tigers to burn their last timeout and run a minute or so off the clock.

I can kinda see the logic behind Mangino’s decision. Mizzou’s secondary had an obvious deer in the headlights look to it on the previous couple of possessions. The Tigers have been solid all year long against the run and consistently inconsistent against the pass. He was leaving the ball in his best playmakers hands—the same playmakers that were instrumental in leading kansas to its most successful stretch of football in the modern era. So it’s not like Mangino just went batshit crazy with those play-calls.

All that said—not to sound all Tony Dungy—you just have to run the football there. But then again, what did he have to lose? His job? In my opinion it was definitely the wrong call, but the more I think about it the less insane I think it was.

-Going back to Pinkel’s coaching job, I’m not sure if this was one of his best performances or one of his worst. But doesn’t that sum up Gary Pinkel? Some of the mishaps and play-calls will drive you to drink like Sod in the P&L. You’ll curse him and stare at him in disbelief. You start to wonder if there’s something to what all his naysayers are constantly spewing.

But if there’s one thing you can and must say about Gary Pinkel coached football teams it’s that they’re tough. How many times throughout the course of this season has this team had the opportunity to fold? It could have been pretty easy for them to be in the exact position that kU is in now. But these guys know how to pick themselves up after getting punched in the mouth. They’ve shown that this season and they sure as hell showed that tonight. And I don’t give a shit how cliché this last paragraph sounded.

Oh and lets never bring up that dumbass “Mangino has Pinkel’s number” argument again. Seriously.

-Grant Ressel, I don’t quite no what to say. If we ever encounter each other at Harpo’s or Bengal’s or Field House or any other CoMo bar you will not be paying for your drink. I will assure you of that my friend. Lets just leave it there.

-This season isn’t quite over so we can’t totally grade it, but I think barring something catastrophic happening in the bowl game it’s safe to call this season a successful one.

Eight wins (which I predicted by the way), a decent bowl, a program crushing victory over kU, a record setting year for a fan favorite who had never quite put it all together until now, a Senior Day win, the emergence of a couple super-duper stars (Aldon and Gabbert), and a buttload of experience for the underclassmen. When you’re accomplishing that in a down year it’s a pretty damn good sign of the overall health of your program.

Comments (16)
written by ZOUTiger, November 29, 2009
Danario won't get the Belitnikoff. He wasn't a semi-finalist, he's not a finalist. He should be a finalist for the Heisman, but because we're only an 8-4 team, he won't be. I feel bad for him, but he's going to be a great NFL player, and he's 1 big game away from leading us to a bowl victory and a 9 win season in a "down" and "rebuilding" year.

I tell you what, I'll take 8-9 win rebuilding seasons every time. HOW BOUT THEM TIGERS?!
written by ZOUTiger, November 29, 2009
also...I questioned the punt, but only because we had 1 timeout left. if we had all 3 TOs left, i would've been all for it. that said, props to GP for the ballsy move, props to Harry IV for the ridiculous punts all game long, and props to the D for coming up with the big stop.

as for mangino - i love the deep ball on first down. if mizzou was in that situation i would want the same thing. probably a 90% chance it's incomplete, a 9% chance your WR makes a huge play, gets that big first down, gets you out of your own end zone, and seals the game, and a 1% chance it gets picked. but i wouldnt have thrown on 2nd down there, and if i did i would've done one of those devastatingly stupid checkdowns to sharp.

doesn't matter though. somehow mizzou pulled it out and it's been a great year. and the scary thing is, we've got another star QB in the making who will have two more years with us. it's a great time to be a tiger.
Thank you...
written by dannyfromlawrence, November 29, 2009
"He had my hate. He has my respect."

This is why I read this blog. When I discovered you guys about a year ago, I got the feeling that you weren't the typical 'zou fans that I've grown accustomed to despising, but rather legitimate Sports Fans. You guys tell it like it is, and give credit where it's due. Though you root for the wrong team, I sincerely enjoy reading every word you write about my beloved and beleaguered Hawks. It's an interesting perspective to hear when told honestly, and I appreciate every word.

Long story short, disappointing end to one helluva game, and ultimately a season that had great potential. Bring on basketball season, I'm sure we're in for at least 2 or 3(Big XII tourny?) serious barnburners between our teams.

written by G, November 29, 2009
The hate is a symbol of respect when it comes to individual players. I can't say I hate Zac Lee. That's because he's terrible. Meanwhile, fuck Reesing.

Though, I don't hate Briscoe. He's super talented, but he screws up enough to simply puzzle me.
written by Mr. Bump, November 29, 2009 don't need to hate Zac Lee. He'll finish his college career undefeated against MU. Terrible!

@TS...I agree on your take on the punt with 3 minutes left. I thought "well you deserve to lose this one with that call." But who knew Mangino wanted a break from the head coaching grind so badly?

1st and goal with 50 seconds left and you take a knee three times? GP truly does hate me!
written by Big Head, November 29, 2009
-The Biletnikoff is a joke. There isn't a better receiver going this year than DA.

-The only play call I absolutely hated was the shitty 2pt try after Blaine called at TO. The TO was going to be worth more than a point, and we failed, so it went to -1 point and -1 TO.

-I'd give some Shakespeare's Pizza to Ressel, DA, DWash, and Jake Harry for sure.

@Danny- I know I visit enough other team sites, and a lot of our readers and comments are from other teams' fans. I've got to say that all of our regulars are good. Even if you're a kU, Nebraska, Colorado, whoever fan, if you can talk intelligently about the topic, you get dap. All of our regulars do it.

I won't miss Meier, Reesing, or Dez. Not at all. The Chiefs would be crazy not to look at Meier. I can't believe I'm saying that after watching him at QB for a couple years.
written by Big Head, November 29, 2009
And this has to be Justin Thornton's 9th year in Lawrence, right? I remember Tony Temple popping his helmet off and then I heard his name called on a tackle Saturday. I thought Joe Mortensen was there forever. Thornton has him beat.
Thanks, Danny
written by The True Son, November 29, 2009
Don't get me wrong, everything in me hates kU. But more than that I love this rivalry. And Reesing and Meier were two guys that made this rivalry more fun.

Also, this game has to stay at Arrowhead. As much as I hate losing a home game every other year you just can't take it away.
I'm a little confused...
written by Hiphopopotamus, November 30, 2009
how the two most significant plays of Todd Reesing's career were safeties?

And the 1st & 10 deep ball is indefensible. It's one thing to trust your playmakers, it's another to ask them to make an extremely low percentage play that didn't need to be made. We didn't need 40 yards to win the game, we needed 10. And honestly, we didn't even necessarily need 10 if we'd run the clock down. Trust your instincts, it was stupid. However, it also wasn't Mangino. We had a run called and Warinner checked out of it at the line.
written by The True Son, November 30, 2009
Yeah I read that about the audible after I made this post.

And I was referring to the safety at the end of Armageddon, which ended the most important game in Border War history and of course the one on Saturday that ended Reesing's career and likely brought the Mangino era to a close.
written by Ash, November 30, 2009
@BigHead I just want to make one comment about the winning field goal. I was, like many other Mizzou fans, I'm sure... waiting for our own dumbfounded demise that fate has a tendency to dole out to us in these very instances. I was imagining every way possible for this field goal to go awry. I was waiting for the kicker to slip, fall, and break a leg. I was waiting for a blocked kick by some extraordinary feat of athleticism by a kU player...Tweeter Style like in Varsity Blues. I was waiting for a terrible snap. Hell... I wouldn't have been surprised if the abominable snowman ran out onto the field and ate him before he could get the kick off like at the end of Ski Runner. But he did it. Good job under pressure.
I know which plays you meant...
written by Hiphopopotamus, November 30, 2009
just curious how either could be considered the two most important of his career. The first I guess would be in the discussion, but given that we were taking over at our own 11 with 17 seconds left and no timeouts, it wasn't like he was staring a victory in the face.

And Saturday's play, while certainly not how anyone would want to go out, wouldn't even be in the conversation.
written by The True Son, November 30, 2009
I'd be more willing to concede the first safety than the second since, as you said, there were only 17 seconds remaining. Last play of his career. kU leading. A first down likely wins the game for the hawks, sends kU to a bowl game, extends the Reesing-Briscoe-Meier-Mangino era. Lends credence to the idiotic "Mangino owns Pinkel" argument.

Not trying to argue that those are the two plays he should be remembered for or even that either safety was his fault. Just that those two plays had more riding on them than any other two from the Reesing era and they both ended in safeties.

You could make a case that the GW TD to Meier in last year's game should be top 2 but again, not nearly as much was at stake in that game.
I guess I'd say...
written by Hiphopopotamus, November 30, 2009
that every single play in the Orange Bowl meant more than every single play in Saturday's game.

Which is why I'd only listen to an argument about 2007 Arrowhead, because of what winning it could have meant. But like you said, the particular play where he was sacked for a safety had very little riding on it given the circumstances.
written by The True Son, November 30, 2009
Well it took the first safety at Armageddon to make any snap in the Orange Bowl possible. Just sayin'.
written by Triston27, December 01, 2009
Nice write up. Alexander is certainly a beast. That first down play still kills me. The corner was 8 yards off the line, run the fucking hitch if you're gonna throw it.

This game pissed me off but it was a hell of a game. And when I get my credit card statement I'll be reminded of it again with the $320 dollars of bar tabs and $50 cab ride. Not to mention the 4 very nice Denver police officers I got to meet at 3am Sunday morning.

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