1.) Looking at the 2008 recruiting class, it has to be a little disappointing that it only ranks fifth in the Big 12 according to Rivals.com. Do you think that this recruiting class is a disappointment considering Missouri's new high expectations?
I am not disappointed by Missouri's recruiting class at all. For one thing, just because you have a couple good years doesn't mean that all the big-time players want to go there. With the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska in the conference, it is hard to see the Tigers reaching the top three in recruiting.
Also, looking at their current team, the Tigers do not have many top recruits, but are one of the top teams in the country. It is all about getting a bunch of solid players to fit the style of play, which is what Gary Pinkel does pretty well.
2.) We all saw Chase Daniel become a nationally known quarterback last year after he threw for 4,170 yards and was a Heisman finalist. How realistic is it that Daniel actually wins the Heisman this year?
I don't think that Daniel will win the Heisman this year. It is so hard to get votes coming from a school without the tradition and hype. I think that defenses will see how Oklahoma stopped the Mizzou offense and will make it harder for Daniel this year. I would be shocked if he can duplicate those numbers.
3.) Wide receiver Denario Alexander just recently had surgery to repair his re-injured ACL. He is not projected to be back in playing shape until the beginning of the conference season next year. How much will this effect the Tigers as a whole? How will this affect the stats that Jeremy Maclin will be able to produce with the defenses more able to focus on him?
I don't think the loss of Alexander will be a big deal. First off, he missed several games last year, and the team didn't miss a beat. Sure, they don't have Martin Rucker and Will Franklin this year, but there still is Jared Perry, who had a big freshman year before being lost in the mix last year, plus Tommy Saunders.
Don't forget about Chase Coffman, who needs to be double-teamed himself. I'm sure there is another receiver waiting in the wings as well.
His loss might hurt the team a bit, but for Maclin, it will help him because there will be more balls thrown his way. Mizzou can't afford to lose him or the Chases.
4.) Will the Tigers win the Big 12 North again this season? What will be the biggest games in determining this?
Missouri will be the team to beat in the Big 12 North. Nebraska and Colorado have one more year to make it back, while Kansas actually has to play some tough conference games this year with Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma. I think the key game will be the first at Nebraska. A win there will go a long way to a North title. Obviously, the Kansas game will be big as well.
5.) How realistic is it that we see the Tigers playing in a BCS bowl game come season's end?
It is so hard to tell after last year's robbery. Chances are the Tigers will have to win the Big 12 to make it to a BCS bowl. That can be done, especially if they don't have to play Oklahoma. With a loss in the title game, that will likely give them at least two, probably three, which puts them on the outside with more "traditional teams" to choose from.