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  1. The Big Show: Blake Toppmeyer

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    Blake Toppmeyer joined Matt and BK on The Big Show to preview Mizzou softball’s upcoming Super Regional matchup against UCLA. Can the Tigers make a run to the College World Series?

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  2. The Big Show: Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride

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    Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride joined Matt and BK on The Big Show to discuss Chiefs rookie mini camps, where Mitch Morse fits in along the offensive line, expectations for Jeremy Maclin, and is this the best supporting cast Alex Smith has ever had around him? All of that and much more in Thursday’s conversation.

  3. Uni Watch ranks NFL uniforms

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    It’s that time of the year again. It’s mid-May, after the NFL Draft, but before any meaningful NFL practices. It’s around this time of the year when you get stories like this ranking the NFL uniforms.

    For those wondering, the Kansas City Chiefs came in 10th on the rankings. Here’s what Uni Watch had to say:

    “Much like the Bills, the Chiefs are a good-looking team that’s lost points by going mono. Their red pants — arguably the single best uniform component in the entire league when paired with the white jersey — should never be used to create the blood-clot look (which the team has now experimented with for two consecutive seasons). Come on, people, you know Lamar Hunt would want you to use the red pants for good, not evil.”

    Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. I love the Chiefs red-on-red look. And their white-on-white uniforms are one of my favorite combinations in all of sports. However, I do think 10th is just about right in terms of overall uniform rankings.

    The St. Louis Rams were not as appreciated by Uni Watch, not showing up in the rankings until all the way at number 19. Here’s what Uni Watch had to say:

    “There’s potential here — the helmet design is still the class of the league, for example — but there are too many problems. The neck roll has got to go (especially on the throwback jersey, where it makes absolutely zero sense), and the Rams go mono-blue too often — four times last season alone. The truth is that even one time would be too many, but four is way out of hand. Also: My kingdom for the return of the gold pants!'”

    So there you have it. The Chiefs come in at number 10, the Rams at number 19. The full list can be seen right here.

    What do you think? Fair list? Or completely unreasonable? Hit us up on Twitter @KTGRBigShow or on The Big Show’s Facebook Page.

  4. Is D-Line Zou at risk?

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    Markus Golden coined the phrase “D-Line Zou” in his time at Missouri, and it’s taken the nation by storm.

    But, as KTGR reported on Wednesday, D-Line Zou has taken a hit. Sophomore defensive end Marcus Loud, the presumed starter and replacement for Golden, has been dismissed from the Missouri football program. A position that already had very little experience coming back from 2014 just got a little less experienced.

    In fact, the only defensive end on the Missouri roster with playing experience – not starting experience, but the only one to play a down prior to 2015 – is Charles Harris. Harris played in all 14 games for the Tigers last year, starting one in Golden’s absence. He totaled 19 tackles, 4 tackles-for-loss, 2 sacks and 4 hurries on the year.

    The rest of the Missouri defensive ends – a trio of redshirt freshmen and an incoming junior college transfer – combined for zero snaps, much less tackles, in 2014.

    For some context on just how rare of a situation this is for Missouri and defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, lets take a look back at past Missouri defensive ends combinations.

    2014: Markus Golden & Shane Ray: Golden backed up Michael Sam the year prior, racking up 6.5 sacks. Ray backed up Kony Ealy in the previous year, adding 4.5 sacks to his resume. Both had 2 years as lettermen. Golden finished 2014 with 10 sacks, Ray broke the Missouri single-season sacks record with 13.

    2013: Michael Sam & Kony Ealy: This was the golden year for Missouri defensive ends. Sam & Ealy split time with one another the year prior, seeing time in 12 games. Sam was the team’s sack leader (4.5) the year prior, Ealy added 3.5 of his own. Sam finished 2013 with 11.5 sacks, Ealy with 8 sacks.

    2012: Michael Sam & Brad Madison: Madison was a junior and started for the Tigers in the year prior & was a rotational player in 2010. He had plenty of experience. Sam was a rotational player in 2011, and was splitting time with Ealy in 2012. Madison finished the season with 4 sacks, Sam finished with 4.5 sacks.

    2011: Jacquies Smith & Brad Madison: Madison entered his junior season after spending a year splitting time with Aldon Smith. Jacquies Smith was entering his 2nd year as a starter, his 3rd receiving playing time. Madison finished the season with 4.5 sacks, Smith finished with 5 sacks.

    2010: Jacquies Smith & Aldon Smith: The Smiths entered the season as the starters, but Madison also played a lot due to Aldon’s injuries. Jacquies’ experience heading into the season was primarily backing up Aldon in 2009. Madison finished 2010 with 7.5 sacks, Jacquies had 5.5 sacks and Aldon finished with 4.5 sacks.

    2009: Brian Coulter & Aldon Smith: Coulter was a senior, and backed up Tommy Chavis the year prior. Smith was a sophomore, after having played extensively in his redshirt freshman season. Coulter finished with 2 sacks, but Smith broke out with 11.5 sacks.

    2008: Tommy Chavis & Stryker Sulak: Chavis and Sulak were both starters the year before. They had a ton of experience. Chavis finished 2008 with 3 sacks, Sulak broke out with 10.5 sacks.

    2007: Tommy Chavis & Stryker Sulak: 2007 was Sulak’s 2nd year as a starter, and Chavis came into the year as the starter after splitting time inside & outside in 2006. Chavis finished the year with 5 sacks. Sulak finished with 6 sacks.

    2006: Brian Smith & Stryker Sulak: Smith started the year prior, Sulak split time with Xzavie Jackson. Sulak finished with 5 sacks while Smith added 7.5 sacks.

    A decade of defensive ends in which the starters coming into the season had extensive playing experience in the prior season. Never once did a redshirt freshman or junior college transfer start in his first season in the program.

    For better or worse, that’s exactly what will take place in 2015. The task of starting at one defensive end position will fall on Harris. The other spot is up for grabs.

    The top candidates to start at the open defensive end position seem to be one of three redshirt freshmen: Walter Brady, Spencer Williams or Rocell McWilliams; with Brady being the early favorite. The other option would be junior college transfer Marcell Frazier. Thankfully for Missouri fans, Frazier will come in with a body that’s ready for SEC action at 6’4 and nearly 260 pounds.

    I’m sure coach Kuligowski would have liked another year developing Brady, Williams, McWilliams and Frazier as rotational players. Instead, at least one is likely to be thrust into the starting lineup when the Tigers take the field to play Southeast Missouri State on September 5th.

    D-Line Zou will continue churning out talent, and there are reasons for optimism; Harris showed signs of dominance at times in spring ball. But to overlook the loss of Marcus Loud would be foolish. This is a significant loss for a position that was already lacking in experience.

    Will it be the downfall of the defense? Probably not. Missouri returns two starting defensive tackles, three starting linebackers, two starting cornerbacks and a starting safety. There is plenty of talent throughout the defense to cover up for the occasional “rookie mistake.”

    But, again, this is uncharted territory for Missouri. We haven’t seen a defensive end with zero playing experience come in and start right away in quite some time. That’s going to change this year.

    Can D-Line Zou continue to overcome?

  5. Gary Pinkel ranked among top 25 college coaches

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    Sporting News has released its annual college football coach rankings, and Gary Pinkel made a big jump from where he was on the list in 2014.

    Pinkel, who led the Tigers to back-to-back SEC East division titles, is ranked the 16th best coach in college football by Sporting News. Of the top 25 coaches, only TCU’s Gary Patterson and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze made a bigger jump than Gary Pinkel (+21) from their 2014 to 2015 Sporting News ranking.

    Earlier this week Sporting News ranked each and every SEC coach from 1-14. Gary Pinkel was fourth, behind Alabama’s Nick Saban, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema.

  6. Marcus Loud dismissed from Missouri football program

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    KTGR has confirmed that Missouri defensive end Marcus Loud has been dismissed from the football program for a violation of team rules. David Morrison of the Columbia Daily Tribune was the first to report the news.

    Loud played in all 14 games for the Tigers in 2014. He finished the season with 14 tackles, 1 tackle-for-loss, 0.5 sacks and a QB hurry. Loud was one of two Missouri defensive ends returning in 2015 that had prior SEC experience, along with fellow redshirt sophomore Charles Harris.

    The top defensive ends remaining on the Missouri depth chart are Charles Harris, JUCO transfer Marcell Frazier and the trio of redshirt freshmen including Walter Brady, Rocell McWilliams and Spencer Williams.

  7. Expectations for Chiefs rookie wide receiver Chris Conley

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    The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up their rookie mini camp this week, and one player seems to be standing out. That player, of course, is 3rd round draft pick and former Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley.

    That Tweet is from ESPN NFL Insider Louis Riddick. Praise is pouring in from media analysts nationally, and locally.

    Anytime you have a big-time rookie performer at a mini camp, the crazy predictions and outlandish expectations are not far behind. As the camp came to a close, Danny Parkins of 610 Sports afternoon radio program, The Drive, asked what I find to be an interesting question.

    It’s a fair question, and it’s one that a lot of Chiefs fans asked themselves after the Chiefs drafted Conley in the third round. “What should we expect from this Georgia guy?”

    Lets take a look back at what receivers for the Chiefs have done in the past, shall we? Here is the complete list of Chiefs wide receivers that have racked up 700 yards and 5 touchdowns in the past 15 years: Derrick Alexander (2000), Eddie Kennison (’03-’06), Dwayne Bowe (’07, ’08, ’10 & ’11).

    But that’s the Chiefs’ list, and Andy Reid didn’t show up until 2013.

    It’s true that Andy Reid runs a particularly receiver-friendly system. In fact, if you look at the Eagles under Andy Reid, they’ve enjoyed far more success from their receives than the Chiefs. Here are the Eagles receives that put up 700 yards and 5 TDs in a single season: James Thrash (’01), Todd Pinkston (’02), Terrell Owens (’04 & ’05), Donte’ Stallworth (’06), Reggie Brown (’06), Kevin Curtis (’07), DeSean Jackson (’09 & ’10), Jeremy Maclin (’10-’12).

    Needless to say, the Eagles list is quite a bit longer than Kansas City’s.

    But Conley is a rookie. And, although we’ve seen rookie receivers have some success in recent years, that’s not the norm. The Eagles drafted 13 wide wide receives in Andy Reid’s 13 years with the team. Of those wide receivers, only Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Reggie Brown finished the year with more than 300 receiving yards. No rookie wide receive caught more than 4 touchdowns under Andy Reid. In fact, DeSean Jackson only caught 2 touchdowns in his rookie season.

    What does it all mean? To answer Parkins’ question, yes, 700 yards and 5 touchdowns does seem that unrealistic.

    I like Conley as a prospect. I think he has the potential to be a really good wide receiver. But if Andy Reid’s history is any indication, realistic expectations for Conley in 2015 are somewhere around 20 receptions for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns.

    That’s not what Chiefs fans are hoping for, but, hey, at least the Chiefs would end the season with a receiving touchdown.

  8. Mack Rhoades hires Wren Baker as deputy athletic director

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    New Missouri athletic director Mack Rhoades has been searching for a deputy AD since Rhoades was hired on March 10. According to a report by Jason Smith and Phil Strukenborg of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Rhoades has found his guy: Wren Baker. The University of Missouri has since confirmed the report.

    The press release from Missouri states that Baker will begin in his new position of deputy athletic director on Monday, June 8th.

    “I am honored to be joining the Mizzou family and am grateful to Mack Rhoades for the opportunity,” Baker said in a press release. “The University of Missouri has a tremendous reputation and Mack is considered one of the best and brightest leaders in collegiate athletics. Our family is looking forward to returning to the ‘Show-Me State’ and joining Mack’s team as we build on a proud and prestigious athletic tradition.”

    Baker has served as the deputy athletic director at the University of Memphis since February of 2013. According to Smith and Strukenborg’s report, Baker has been credited with setting department records for fundraising. The release states that Baker was involved in launching a $40 million “Time to Shine” Capital Campaign. Memphis also set new records forsuite sales and multi-media rights revenues.

    “We are very excited Wren is becoming a member of our team,” Rhoades said in the release. “He is regarded as one of the up-and-coming administrators in the nation and has established an impressive track record of success at every stop of his career path. Throughout his career, Wren has demonstrated terrific work ethic, the ability to genuinely connect with people and uncompromising integrity. He is a high-energy person who will provide great passion and leadership for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. We are thrilled Wren, his wife Heather and two daughters, Addisyn and Reagan are joining the Mizzou Athletics family.”

    According to Baker’s Memphis bio, he has led 13 head coaching searches. Those searches resulted in coaches who have combined to win over 70% of their games.

    Prior to his stint at Memphis, Baker spent time as the athletic director at Northwest Missouri State, Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma. Before getting into administration, Baker spent five years as a basketball operations assistant at Oklahoma State.

    Baker received his bachelor’s degree in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2001 and his master’s degree in education leadership from Oklahoma State University in 2003. He and his wife Heather were married in 2005. They have two daughters, Addisyn (4 in July) and Reagan (7 months).

  9. Ehren Earleywine: “We need to be aggressive”

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    Mizzou softball coach Ehren Earleywine caught up with us on The Big Show as his team preps for another Super Regional, this one against UCLA. The Tigers take on UCLA in Los Angeles on Saturday. What does coach think about his team’s chances? Check out the podcast.

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  10. Mizzou baseball advances in SEC Tournament

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    Missouri beat South Carolina 5-1 in the first round of the SEC Tournament to advance into the double-elimination portion of the bracket.

    The Tigers got a gem of a start out of pitcher Reggie McClain. McClain made it through 7 innings, gave up 1 earned run, 6 hits, 4 strikeouts and no walks.

    Trey Harris, Shane Benes and Jake Ivory each hit a double for Missouri. The RBI’s came from Harris, Benes, Ivory and Zach Lavy (2).

    Missouri will take on the top-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores on Wednesday at approximately 1:00 pm Central. Complete coverage can be heard on your home for the Tigers, ESPN 103.1 FM KTGR.