The Ozark Conference is split up this week with several teams in action at Mardi Gras and a few more at Midwest Throwdown. Unfortunately, pools and teams keep switching. With that in mind;
Arkansas – Arkansas is an interesting team that still has to work out what kind of team it is and what type of game it wants to play. Upperclassmen Matt Jackson and Eric Kearney can play with just about anyone, but the underclassmen have issues staying focused. If the young guns show up and stay on target Ludicrous Speed can beat anyone, but if the younger players lose sight then it could be a long weekend.
Missouri State – The Bears do not have a great player like they have in years past. There is no Jeremy Meyers or Brad Walton on this team. What Missouri State lacks in a true stud is compensated for in a total team effort. Unfortunately, that can spell trouble when the Bears need someone to step up, like in the finals of Hendrix Ultimate Experience, where they lost to Harding 16-14. The Bears seem to have improved on where they have been in years past, but if they want to be a true contender again they will need to find someway of bending but not breaking.
Oklahoma – Oklahoma played pretty well at Big D in Little D. It was obviously the first tournament of the season and there were some miscues on offense and defense. Regardless, they still took Arkansas to the limit after it looked like they were out early. Matt Carney, Nick Neal, and Mike Rice make a good trio, but there seems to be something missing. Whatever it is, they need to find it soon as there is not much time left in the season and tough competition is right around the corner.
Missouri – The MUtants looked like a good team at Free State Classic. They beat Arkansas handily, took second in their pool, and gave Kansas State a close game in the quarterfinals. Matt Francis and friends have the talent to beat quite a few teams, but do they have the willpower to overcome the tough, close games?
Washington (STL) – The ContraBears are a relative unknown. What is known about them is that they lost, just barely, to Queen City Tune Up Champion and Great Lake Region Contender Michigan. As of this writing, Washington is scheduled to play Iowa State. It would not be the end of the world if Contra lost to ISUC, but it would make life difficult as both Kansas State and Arkansas were victorious against Iowa State.
Kansas appears to have dropped out of Mardi Gras, although the B team is there, and Oklahoma State appears to have dropped out of Midwest Throwdown.