Missouri-Nevada Predictions Across the Web

Ryan FallerAnalyst ISeptember 25, 2009

On a week-to-week basis, there's definitely no shortage of predictions when it comes to college football.

From local newspaper coverage, to the insanity of fan-driven message boards, to the major national media outlets, it's hard to scan the Web and not come across someone's subjective quip or objective peer into the not-so-distant future, no matter who is playing. Not even Division III and NAIA battles are immune from over-analysis.

Therefore, it goes without saying that Friday night's nationally televised game between Missouri and Nevada withstood the test, despite the fact it may not be one of the weekend's more lustful matchups.

Because ESPN employs roughly 48 college football bloggers, there's a distinct Worldwide Leader bias, but I did what I could to even things out, albeit with some rather asinine and maniacal soothsayings from euphoric MU fans, to clinically depressed Nevada pessimists, to the occasional sadist with knowledge of college football who happened to stumble upon the wrong message board (you'll see what I mean).

Now to the those predictions, which, as always, are sic'd:

Nevada hasn’t been the team many expected at the beginning of the season and even though this is the Wolf Pack’s home opener, I think those struggles are going to continue against a 3-0 Missouri team. Nevada should be able to move the ball, but it’s going to have a tough time keeping up with Missouri’s high-powered offense. Pick: Missouri 41-21

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Graham Watson, ESPN Independent/Non-BCS blogger (and MU alum)

Memo to Mizzou: Big 12 teams attempting to convince us that they are perennial contenders rather than one-hit wonders do themselves no favors by playing at Nevada. Hosting the Wolf Pack, fine; UNR represents a respectable mid-major, not on the level of a Boise State or a Utah or even a Fresno State, but, still, you get some credit for scheduling them. Playing at Nevada, though? No way. I could even see going to UNLV if you’re interested in whiling away the weekend in Sin City. Besides, if you lost to the Runnin’ Rebels on the road, you could always tell the pollsters not to drop you in the rankings because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But Reno? This will be the Tigers’ first true away game and the Wolf Pack’s first home game, but, at the end of the day, Nevada has never beaten a Big 12 opponent and they won’t start on Friday night. Missouri will love the company of their hospitable hosts in a road win. Pick: None

T Kyle King, Dawg Sports writer

This series is headed into its second game, with Missouri making a statement against Nevada last year. Unless the Wolf Pack can turn it around on both sides of the ball, look for the Tigers to more than cover the seven points they’ve been given. Pick: Missouri 42-17

Hector Garza, BetFirms.com writer

Nevada will play better and will start running the ball like Nevada again, but it won't be enough to keep up with the monster game from Gabbert. He'll throw for well over 300 yards and four scores. Pick: Missouri, 31-20

College Football News staff

The game is on a Friday night, it is Nevada's home opener and the Pack is a desperate team. They will pull out every single stop to win this game. At the same time, Missouri won last year's contest by 52 points. Yes, it was at home and yes, the Tigers are a different team, but that's a pretty wide gap to close in a year. Expect the Pack to push Missouri, but the Tigers get started earlier this week and hang on late for a 31-23 Missouri win.

Gabe DeArmond, Power Mizzou head writer (via insidestl.com)

The Wolf Pack likely will stack the box and dare Missouri sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert to beat them by throwing the ball without much benefit of a running game. If the Tigers can do a good job of containing Nevada defensive ends Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped, they should be able to dominate the offensive part of the game. Nevada has lost disappointing road games to Notre Dame and Colorado State, and Chris Ault’s team will be charged about its home debut in a rare national television game. And bet the Wolf Pack will be itching for revenge after last year’s 69-17 loss to the Tigers at Columbia. But Missouri still has too many weapons. Pick: Missouri, 38-24

Tim Griffin, ESPN Big 12 blogger

Missouri by seven... seven touchdowns that is. Predicition Missouri 56, Nevada 7 (with a late 4th quarter score). Major injuries racked up by Nevada, including a career ending one to Kapernick. Pick: Missouri, by seven scores, apparently

callmegone, an anonymous disgruntled Nevada fan taking his frustrations out on the Reno Gazette-Journal's comment board

Missouri gets up early, the Nevada fans either leave or stay around to boo their own team’s impending 0-3 start, and the Wolf Pack turns into a bunch of lambs. Now if Mizzou isn’t overconfident … Pick: Missouri, 45-17

Mike DeArmond, Kansas City Star writer

Great matchup of two exciting dual-threat quarterbacks: Mizzou's Blaine Gabbert against Nevada's Colin Kaepernick. Unfortunately for Kaepernick, his defense isn't anywhere near as formidable as the one on Gabbert's team. The Pack, playing at home for the first time this season, will come out fired up since they got beat by Mizzou 69-17 last year. It won't be enough. Even though Nevada can get after the passer, the Tigers have allowed only four sacks in three games. Pick: Missouri, 45-41

Bruce Feldman, ESPN.com senior writer

Nevada has been plagued by multiple turnovers so far this season. They are not as mediocre as their record and their relative scores would indicate. Also, Nevada under Coach Ault is a very different team at home than on the road; I have seen that many times. Case in point; Texas Tech beat Nevada 35-19 last season in Reno; T Tech was a darn good team last year and the game was not decided until late in the 4th quarter.   Then Nevada comes to Missouri and is blown out. Nevada will be seeking revenge for that game; a lot of their fans and some of their players thought Mizzou ran up the score on them.

Mizzou should win 42-21; the Tigers' offense should be very effective against Nevada's defense. However, I would not be surprised if it is a very tough game.  Mizzou is listed as a 7-7 1/2-point favorite at this point.

SDWeltoro, an anonymous Mizzou scribe who offers a refreshingly tame take on the game on an Inside Mizzou forum

Other Notes

  • In an article I wrote for Examiner.com back in June, I inadvertently started a mini uproar by insinuating that perhaps it would be wise for the University of Missouri to contemplate the possibility of expanding Memorial Stadium. Debate ensued, readers left comments that sufficiently supported both sides of the argument, and the article somehow found its way into the hands of ESPN. Now, here we are, some three months later, and it turns out increasing the capacity at the Tigers' football home may not be such a hypothetical issue after all, the Columbia Missourian reports.
  • Via his Twitter page, former MU tight end Martin Rucker reported Thursday that he has found a new NFL home in Philadelphia, landing a spot on the Eagles' practice squad. Rucker, a consensus All-American selection in 2007, was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round prior to the 2008 season but caught just two passes for 17 yards while battling injuries as a rookie. The Browns waived Rucker earlier this week when it appeared he would be unable to assume the starting tight end job over a number of veteran players.
  • It was suspected that when former LSU tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Josh Henson came to Missouri during the offseason, he would, over time, produce favorable dividends—and it appears he has. Not only has Henson, one of MU's two offensive line coaches, instilled more of an SEC-type physicality in the Tigers' linemen, but he seems to have tapped into the talent-rich lands of the South in search of future players, a region in which the program has seldom, if ever, even attempted to find recruits.
  • Two of the region's more sought-after prospects—athlete Curtis Carter, of Stonewall, La., and defensive end Mike Douglas, of Largo, Fla.—despite fielding offers from programs around the country, are expressing serious interest in Missouri, with Carter as recently as last month reporting MU is currently in his top three. There's no doubt that effective recruiting efforts belong not to just one member of the coaching staff, but it's clear Henson is having an immediate impact by bringing the Mizzou name well into what is considered traditional SEC territory.
  • Here's a bit of non-football-related news, but it's entertaining nonetheless:

    • A Columbia, Mo., man is selling 30 phones he originally bought for the spare parts after it was discovered they once belonged to members of the University of Missouri Athletics Department. According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, Mike Bellman, 33, will give Columbia residents and MU fans first crack at buying the phones, which formerly belonged to the likes of head basketball coach Mike Anderson and other various assistant coaches and staff, before he puts them up for auction on eBay. The Athletics Department is currently looking into ways to obtain the phones back from Bellman.
    • Speaking of the staff of the MU Athletics Department, ever want to know what some of Gary Pinkel's or Mike Anderson's assistant coaches make during the course of a year? The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has access to a database that will allow you to search the annual salaries of each employee of the department, from the most entry-level water boy to the senior janitor at Mizzou Arena.

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