Big 12 spotlight pans to Nebraska-Mizzou battle

By John Helsley Published: October 2, 2007
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The teams have been talking with contempt, back and forth since summer, anticipating this first Saturday in October.

Their showdown Saturday is complete with Big 12 championship implications and national appeal and best of all — bodacious bragging rights.

Finally, it arrives.

Missouri vs. Nebraska.

Sorry, Sooners and Longhorns, the gloss is off your meeting in Dallas.

What looked like a national quarterfinal just days ago now carries a much different elimination feel — Big 12 elimination; although in this butt-ugly Big 12, not even an 0-2 start will get you ruled out of contention.

So, at least for cosmetic appeal, heads turn to Columbia, where Mizzou waits for the Cornhuskers and a shot at stamping themselves title worthy.

And, oh, they've been waiting.

"We've got to kill those guys,” Tigers safety Cornelius "Pig” Brown told the Kansas City Star last week. "I just want to kill them. We need to beat them by three touchdowns or more.”

From Lincoln: "We're ready to go,” Nebraska tight end Sean Hill countered. "We're not worried about what they're saying. We'll play as hard as we can. We'll let our pads speak.”

Too late. The banter started months ago, spurred when Missouri was tagged by the media as the team to beat in the North.

The Huskers, the defending North champion, wondered what was up.

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Nebraska's Bo Ruud, center, is hoping to break the two-game losing streak at Missouri's Faurot Field. Associated press

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