2012 SEC Previews: Missouri with Rock M Nation
We’re previewing the upcoming season with help from SBNation.com. Today, Rock M Nation tackles Mizzou’s transition to the SEC.
Coming off its eighth bowl appearance in nine years, Missouri opens the 2012 campaign as a member of the vaunted SEC. The Tigers draw their two highest-ranked opponents at home. Sixth-ranked Georgia visits Columbia Sept. 8, while No. 2 Alabama comes to town Oct. 13. Missouri looks to improve on a 3-36 record versus Top-10 teams since 1991 before hitting the road for its final three conference games.
2011 Record: 8-5
2011 Bowl: Independence Bowl, Win vs. North Carolina, 41-24
2012 Bowl Projections:
- Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): Music City Bowl vs. Georgia Tech
- Phil Steele: BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Pittsburgh
History in Orlando:
1981 Tangerine Bowl, Win vs. Southern Miss, 19-17
Q&A with Bill from Rock M Nation
Describe the 2011 season in two words.
Which is greater: Excitement for Gary Pinkel’s offense with James Franklin and Dorial Green-Beckham or trepidation for fielding three new offensive line starters against SEC defenses?
It’s the beginning of the season, so the excitement trumps the fear. It helps that a) two of the three new line starters have already proven themselves to some degree (center Mitch Morse had a phenomenal spring, and guard Evan Boehm was one of Mizzou’s most highly-ranked recruits under Gary Pinkel), and it helps that guard Jack Meiners should be returning soon, meaning it’s really only TWO new starters. But yeah, even if the attrition up front were worse, the passing game is very exciting, especially considering that Dorial Green-Beckham isn’t even expected to become the No. 1 guy immediately. He has to work his way past quite a few exciting receivers.
On paper, what looks like the toughest game this season?
Oh, Alabama. I don’t care who they lost from last year’s team. They’re still going to be ridiculous.
2012 marks the first time since that the Tigers haven’t seen Kansas on their schedule. How will the lack of natural rivals affect the Tigers’ acclimation in to a new conference?
This year is all about new car smell. We’ll be too busy getting to know so many new teams that nobody will have time to notice Kansas being gone. And then, I assume, it won’t be too hard to throw a lot of the Kansas hatred at new permanent rival Arkansas.
Best case/worst case scenario for the postseason.
The spread here is pretty enormous. If you think Mizzou can put a Top 15 team on the field (which is typically what happens when they return their starting quarterback), then almost every game is winnable, and 10 wins is a possibility. But if the Tigers are only Top 30-40, then 6-6 or, depending on breaks, 5-7 could easily be in play.