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Arizona State Vs. Missouri Preview: Can a Loss Cause a Letdown Game?

How much will last week's game matter this week?
How much will last week's game matter this week?

Arizona St. Sun Devils vs. Missouri Tigers, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

This game could serve as something of a test study in how much intangibles matter. The main reason I've heard to choose Missouri is that the Tigers are drained after having given Georgia a run for its money but come up short in the end. And it's not a terrible reason to select one of these teams, in part because I'm not sure we know that much about either of them.

We know that Arizona State is exceptionally good at defending against the pass but has some issues defending the run. We know that Missouri has mixed numbers against the pass and is stronger than ASU against the run. And we know that both of them drummed an FCS team out of the stadium the first week and that Arizona State waxed Illinois while Missouri lost to Georgia. Which is to say, we really have a relatively small data set on either team.

Instead of intangibles, I'll just go with the preseason pick -- which should stand if Missouri can get the run game going. It'll be close; blame that on Missouri having a bit of a letdown this week.

Missouri 34, Arizona State 31