I offer some random and somewhat coherent thoughts on a long weekend of football.
--Sure the Rams defense gave up a ton of yards on the ground. But it defended the red zone and limited the damage done. The defense allowed 16 points (7 were allowed bgy special teams.) That should always be good enough. It rarely is for the 2011 Rams. The offense is a disaster. Just 13 points posted today (7 came courtesy of the Nick Miller punt return).
--Does Steve Spagnuolo and or Billy Devaney survive the season? I honestly don't know. I will tell you I think Spags has some strong leadership skills. But today's loss won't help the coach's cause. The pre-snap penalties continue to pile up and that's a reflection on coaching. And the clock management at the end of the first half was puzzling.
--Here's an early nod for taking Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Justin Blackmon with the first pick which figures to be in the top five. Yes, it's early and a lot can change but it's obvious this offense needs to become more explosive on the perimeter. It's long overdue. And memo to whoever is the coach and G.M.---don't settle for one playmaker. Get two AND re-sign Brandon Lloyd. It's a playmakers league.
--Turner Gill should have been more focused on his team and less on the Mizzou--KU rivalry. Gill questioned the wisdom of continuing the rivalry with Mizzou moving to the SEC. Well, today Turner was fired. Kansas was an awful football team. The offense was inept. KU had not choice but to pull the plug. Why did Mark Mangino get fired? Oh yeah, he wasn't nice enough to the players. Welcome to the soft, always politcally correct 21st century.
--Mizzou wasn't great this season but 7-5 and bowl bound isn't bad for a "rebuilding" year. I like James Franklin's potential. But not being able to count on Henry Josey in 2012 will hurt.
--The Tigers are about to step up in competition. I hope Mizzou fans understand how rugged life is in the SEC. Mizzou wouldn't have finished 7-5 in the SEC. Not in my opinion. Mizzou is capable of competing but it won't happen automatically.
--Illinois had no choice but to fire Ron Zook. Seven seasons was long enough. I thought Zook had turned the corner with that Rose Bowl appearance in 2007. But he never built on the success of that season.
--I think the NFL got it right with the two game suspension for Ndamukong Suh. (that's the expectation) He clearly crossed a line--again. But his stomp wasn't as heinous or dangerous as the Albert Haynesworth stomp a few years ago. The Lions have to get Suh under control. Head Coach Jim Schwartz has to get through to his star who is a dominant player. He's too valuable to sit on the sideline.