Missouri Loves Company Preview

Missouri Loves Company is one of the premier fall college tournaments. It draws teams from all over the country, and this year, six teams that qualified for 2011 College Nationals; Carleton, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Colorado College, and Illinois are making the trek to Columbia.

Power Pool A

This pool is interesting as it has Carleton, Iowa, Colorado College, Minnesota, and Michigan State. Carleton is the defending national champion, but historically they use the fall to build experience rather than playing the top seven in order to win. Iowa and Colorado College are both good and either team could take the top spot out of the pool.

Power Pool B

The winner of the Colorado vs. Wisconsin game will probably determine the winner of the pool. Illinois and Michigan are both good teams but do not have the same depth of bench. Missouri, the hometown team, while improved from last year, will have trouble matching up with all these teams. However, teams tend to do better at home tournaments and Missouri will use that advantage as much as possible.

Ozark Team Match-ups:

Oklahoma vs. St. Louis: The Apes of Wrath have lost Mike Rice but still have a majority of their starters returning. The Apes beat Loki 13-9.

Arkansas vs. Missouri State: Ludicrous is coming off a big win from Harvest. Missouri State is rebuilding again this year and several of their starters are not at full strength. Abe Coffin goes crazy and completes long bombs to Matt Jackson. Arkansas 13 Missouri State 7.

Kansas State vs. Washington University: The Huckstables lost to the Contrabears twice last year, including the Ozark Conference championship game. Even though Kansas State lost Chris Youderian and Pat Shriwise, Washington no longer has Evan Winograd or Joe MacDonald. Kansas State eeks out a win over Washington, 13-11.

Other Ozark Teams:

Kansas: Kansas really wants to put last year behind them. Doing well at Missouri Loves Company will be a good step in that direction. Wisconsin-Whitewater and Carleton GOP are ready and willing to make sure that Kansas starts off this year on a bad note too. Wisconsin-B is not a pushover either. Coming together as a team at MLC will be crucial for the HorrorZontals.

Oklahoma State: Ultimato did not compete in the series last year because they missed the roster deadline. At Harvest Moon last week they showed they had improved some from last year and walked through their pool. This week will be a little bit harder and will show just how much Oklahoma State has improved and how far they have to go.

Editor’s Thoughts: There is some talk that Missouri should not be in the power pools, but Missouri Loves Company is the name of the tournament and it is their home tournament. In college basketball, Chaminade plays against the Div. I powerhouses every year at their home tournament. No one really bats an eye about that and being able to play against the best teams is helpful for learning and finding out where your team stands. In addition, this is the fall preseason, not the last regular season tournament right before the series. If other teams want to guarantee they get in power pools perhaps they should become a power team, or start a tournament of their own.