Taking It Back about Mizzou: That's Progress

Article excerpt

As quick as Corby Jones is, he was no match for the student-body relay team that sprinted onto Faurot Field to disassemble the goal posts after Missouri's 42-25 victory over despised Kansas.

Tear down the goal posts?

After a losing season? By all means, yes. This was an important moment for Missouri football - forget the record - and the Tigers faithful deserved a celebration. So rip down those posts, and I'll join in by ripping up my own column. You may remember: the notorious, nefarious Nov. 13 essay that ridiculed the notion of "progress" being made by Missouri in collegiate football. But now I'm making good on my pledge to recant if the Tigers won their final two games to finish 5-6. Done deal. The Tigers whupped Baylor and Kansas and scored 91 points in the process, terminating a gloomy, flat-line streak of five three-win seasons. Progress. Mizzou won five games for the first time since 1987. Progress. Mizzou won consecutive games for the first time since 1992. Progress. The Tigers won three of their final five games. Progress. Mizzou had three conference wins for the first time since 1987. Progress. Mizzou had a winning (2-1) non-league record. Progress. After flattening the Jayhawks with a 412-yard surge on the ground, Mizzou will finish 1996 ranked among the NCAA leaders in rushing offense. Progress. A $12 million renovation of Faurot Field soon will begin. Progress. Next up is a $6 million project to expand the weight room and training center. Progress. A $6 million indoor practice facility is planned. Progress. The football-squad graduation rate is 67 percent, third-best in the Big 12. Progress. In 1997, the Tigers will return 16 players with significant starting experience. Progress. There was a rare, big-game feeling in the air Saturday afternoon. It was imperative for Missouri to beat Kansas and provide evidence of tangible improvement. Athletic director Joe Castiglione called the result "a breakthrough game. …


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