COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -Some Missouri players plan to watch No. 4 Texas take on Kansas during idle time leading up to their Big 12 game at Iowa State on Saturday night.
Whatever happens, they vow it won't be a distraction.
``I might watch a little bit,'' wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. ``But I'm not going to be all happy about it.''
A win by Missouri (8-2, 4-2 Big 12) combined with a loss by Kansas (6-4, 3-3) would give the Tigers their second straight Big 12 North championship two weeks ahead of a long-anticipated showdown against the Jayhawks in Kansas City.
Of course, nothing will be decided unless the 12th-ranked Tigers win.
Missouri's coaching staff hopes their players stay focused, even though Missouri is a 27 1/2-point favorite against Iowa State, which is winless in the conference.
``That's their season,'' defensive end Stryker Sulak said. ``We can't let anything else that's going on in the conference affect us.''
in the sports bar. On days with late starts, they're kept busy with special-teams and position meetings.
``It takes a lot of their time,'' defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said. ``We try to keep them moving, keep them on their toes.''
As for the free time, coaches are counting on players remembering a hard lesson learned earlier in the season. Before a home loss to Oklahoma State ended Missouri's unbeaten start, players may have been peeking ahead to their game at then top-ranked Texas.
``A lot of guys were sitting around watching the Texas-Oklahoma game, the Red River Shootout, and it was like the stage was set for a big game the next week,'' linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. ``We kind of got ahead of ourselves, and it hurt us.
``We can't let that happen again.''
So, Weatherspoon won't be watching.
``Not at all, not at all,'' he said. ``I'll probably get some extra rest. Iowa State's the only game on the schedule.''
Quarterback Chase Daniel said he would be watching Texas-Kansas, but mostly to check out his buddy, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. He admitted, though, that another look at a Longhorns' defense that stuffed Missouri in the first half of a 56-31 blowout last month would not hurt.
, and he does the same with me.''
Tight end Chase Coffman echoed Maclin's belief that it was fine to watch the game if it wouldn't distract them, ``which I don't think it does too much.''
Wide receiver Danario Alexander claimed to be unaware of the possibility Missouri could clinch the North on Saturday, saying the Tigers needed to ``take care of every game, one by one.'' But he admitted he might be watching, if only because of boredom.
``We don't have anything else to do at the hotel, so I'll probably just do that and go to meetings,'' Alexander said. ``It's what we do when we have time off during the day.
``We want to go out and win, period, And if it helps, it helps.''
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