Campus Corner

Mizzou Mailbag: Maty Mauk, football schedules and basketball recruits

Quarterback Maty Mauk drew plenty of fan ire for his five-turnover performance against Georgia.

Going nine for 21 for 97 yards in a shutout loss probably didn’t help either, but Mauk’s the Tigers’ starting quarterback and Gary Pinkel’s a very loyal guy.

Short of an injury (or a loss to Vanderbilt), that’s probably not changing.

That answer, of course, won’t satisfy everyone (and it’s understandably on the heels of Mauk’s 12-for-34, 132-yard performance at South Carolina).

On to the questions:

Don’t be “that guy,” because it’s already a prickly situation. Besides that, Gary Pinkel isn’t going to deal in hypotheticals. He made it pretty clear with his comments after the game, saying he didn’t consider pulling Mauk, that it wasn’t a realistic option.

Pinkel was adamant Monday that he believes in Mauk and that he’s going to be the starter. He believes Mauk gives him the best chance to win. Offensive coordinator Josh Henson wouldn’t comment on what it might take for Mauk to get yanked.

Watching workouts throughout the spring and during training camp, Mauk was a clear No. 1 choice. Perhaps redshirt freshman Eddie Printz has cranked up his level of play during practice the last two months, but that seems unlikely to happen as Mauk gets the bulk of the reps like all starting quarterbacks from coast to coast.

It’s Mauk or bust.

Ed, I mean it’s a schedule. The 2014 season has been tough enough to predict, so I couldn’t even hazard a guess about how 2015 shapes up. Injuries, transfers and player development will play a big part in what the SEC East division looks like entering 2015.

What if Georgia running back Todd Gurley doesn’t leave for the NFL? Unlikely, incredibly unlikely I would guess, but that changes things, right? Missouri’s probably going to lose Shane Ray to the NFL Draft early, but if he stays how much better do you feel about that defense. It’s a game-changer.

The Thursday night game against Mississippi State should be fun, because I expect a good atmosphere. But if you’re trying to project wins and losses, that probably depends on what Dak Prescott and Benardrick McKinney decide to do in early January.

I’ll say this, the road schedule doesn’t look too taxing outside of the Georgia game and perhaps Arkansas at the end of the season, but with that open date on Nov. 14, that could change too. It’s not bad for Missouri from that standpoint.

Dan, there’s been chatter about a game with West Virginia in 2016, but I couldn’t hazard a guess for next season’s opponent at this point. Not Kansas, unfortunately.

Matt, it would appear so, but with back-to-back home games against South Carolina then Florida before the road trip to Georgia, it sets up fine. How about the cojones to make Florida the homecoming game? That can’t make Gator Nation feel good.

MO Logo, it’s hard to really know much from a scrimmage, because you don’t get to see all the guys working together. But here’s a stab at it: Keanau Post, Johnathan Williams III (if his knee’s healthy), Deuce Bello, Montaque Gill-Caesar and Keith Shamburger.

Ryan Rosburg will play a bunch. Namon Wright will play a bunch. Wes Clark will play a bunch. Jakeenan Gant will play a bunch. D’Angelo Allen and Tramaine Isabell will get minutes early to see how quickly they adjust to the college game and could find a niche in the rotation. Heck, even Hayden Barnard could see five minutes a game, especially if Post and Rosburg continue battling foul trouble.

Dustin, presumably you’re talking about Huntington (W.Va.) Prep center Thomas Bryant, Oak Ridge shooting guard Antonio Blakeney from Orlando, Fla., and Roselle Catholic point guard Isaiah Briscoe from Newark, N.J. If not, well, then I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Look, it’s a long shot. Kentucky is trying to woo Blakeney and Briscoe and the Wildcats generally get the guys they want. Syracuse is probably the front-runner for Bryant (though I haven’t talked to him directly), but I have to think Rob Fulford’s presence gives Missouri a chance.

If Kentucky cools on Blakeney or Briscoe, it’s a great sign that the Tigers’ staff got these guys to make official visits to campus. It’s probably still something of backup plan for all three, but at least Missouri has a fighting shot.

There were several 2016 players, including Jayson Tatum and his Chaminade (Mo.) teammate Tyler Cook, a four-star power forward, on hand as well. It’s a pretty big coup for Kim Anderson to assemble the guys he did for a recruiting weekend, but I couldn’t lay odds on the payoff.

Andy, probably … or checking my back pocket to see if I still had my recorder and cell phone. If I smelled my hand afterward, though, I was definitely scratching my butt.

Darren, I’m not a superstitious man, and I can’t condone drinking on the job (especially if you work for the FAA or are a surgeon of some kind), but I guess it depends on how much you actually like your job. Then again, this happens once every three decades, so you do you, buddy. You do you.

Will, do radio guys ever work?

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @todpalmer.

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