Mizzou's 2008 opener against regional rival Illinois will be televised nationally on ESPN. It will again be on the neutral field of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO. The game, scheduled to start at 6:45 PM, on Saturday, August 30th, will be a rematch of last year's thriller that Mizzou won 40-36, that was saved by a final minute interception by Pig Brown with Illinois driving into Mizzou territory. This year's game definitely will be a good one, with both teams going to New Year's Day Bowls last year (Mizzou blowing out Arkansas in the Cotton, while Illinois laid an egg against USC in the Rose). Illinois, though losing some important players like J-Leman and Rashard Mendenhall, still has Jr. QB Juice Williams along with another strong recruiting class from coach Ron Zook. Mizzou, on the other hand, will be starting the season most likely ranked in the top 10 with high hopes of retaining their Big 12 North title and evenmore, winning the Big 12 Championship. Chase Daniel, a Heisman finalist, will be returning, along with outstanding receivers Jeremy Maclin, Tommie Saunders, and Chase Coffman.
It will be interesting to see how Mizzou plays out in its season opener against a good team. If the Mizzou gets a convincing victory over a likely top 25 team, poll voters definiteliy will know this team is for real in 08, not just a flash in the pan from 07. The game being on ESPN will be even better to gain publicity. Overall, this will be one of the best season openers we have had for awhile and I already can't wait for college football season to start.
Mizzou's Jeremy Maclin started out his college career with a bang, scoring two TDs in the '07 braggin' rights game against Illinois.