Columbia, Mo. (KMOV) -- The Tigers return home after a rather inglorious visit to Austin last weekend. After getting off the plane one half too late, Missouri suffered a nationally viewed embarrassment at the hands of the Longhorns and a suddenly- skilled Colt McCoy. What's left for the Tigers is a back against the wall situation that will require them to win every game left on the schedule in order to salvage what was a promising season. Before we wallow in the sorrows of what might have been, its important to acknowledge what is still happening.
The Black and Gold are still ranked 15, a fact that alone should provide some solace. Beyond that, they had back-to-back 5-0 starts and are in the process of contending for their second division championship in as many years. The offense is still a monster. After holding the top spot in the nation this year, it remains a constant threat. Ranked 5th in points, 4th in passing, and in the top five overall, the Tigers have no reason to fret. With Washington tied with Michigan State's Javon Ringer for the nation's most rushing touchdowns at 14, and averaging over six yards a carry, the ground game is dormant, not dead. Then there's Chase. Pick which one you want to talk about. Under center you have the Chase with over 2300 passing yards, 18 TD's and in the top five in QB rating. His favorite target, the big Chase, is possibly even more impressive. He has 56 catches, 694 yards, 4 TD's and ranks 14 in overall receiving stats. And he's a tight end. Not to mention that he jumps over people. I know Knowshon Moreno can do that too, but he's not 6'6", 245 lbs. So let's stop sulking and be thankful for the best team we have had in years.
From the sounds of it, Columbia isn't wasting any time being sad. After shutting down Reactor Field until 2:30 for tailgating, Missouri officials got to deal with swarms of fans spreading out into any lot that would have them. It's homecoming in Columbia, and the Tigers are back in town. Now they have fire underneath them, with no options but to go full throttle until they see the now-humiliated Jayhawks in Kansas City in November. -On a side note: is the Big 12 that good at offense, or are the defenses just that bad? I thought there was a chance Oklahoma would score 10,000 points today.
Missouri can smell the Big 12 North, and a possible chance at redemption against Texas. That's the beauty of the BCS system. Two losses for the Tigers mean only that national title hopes are a distant memory, but a BCS berth is very real. So sit back and enjoy the show, the season starts over today.
J.J. Bailey is student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism