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After all of this and the joy/hate people have gotten from my post I will be making an article just as opinionated about Mizzou and SEC basketball. I am dedicating it to all of those folks on the message boards having field days about me. (I never knew it would blow up like this. So let us all enjoy the ride.) Also I had to make a few changes considering I made a blind guess to the schedule and lo and behold we do not play Miami of Ohio.
Well lets look at the whole SEC first and the possibilities of a team like Mizzou winning it. For starters let us look at Mizzou since Pinkel took over the program about a decade ago. Against the SEC Mizzou is 4-1 in that time span with our only loss coming to Arkansas in 2003. But let us not focus too much on history, I mean we can look at the fact Mizzou has a losing record against only one team in the SEC (Except A&M) but it does not mean much if it was 50 years ago. History from 1960 is irrelevant, but history from the last 10 years can really help us look at this. History only helps if we realize the importance of what happened.
Over the past ten years the SEC has proven to be a powerhouse conference. Seven straight national titles does not lie (Sorry if you think my stat is wrong, I am not counting the 2004 season when So Cal won because it was vacted by the NCAA and there was no champion.) It has also taught us one other thing, the SEC does not do well against the spread offense. Now I know, I know, some of you all are saying bullshit to this. What about Arkansas? They did not win verse Bama or LSU last year. True, but I will get to that later and why they failed, and why Missouri won't. What about the teams that played from Big 12 in the BCS title game and lost? Well, let me put it this way. It is easier to prepare for a team in a month than in a week. Now wait there are other teams that use the spread in the SEC that are not that good Paul. Well, you are right if you say team but wrong if you say teams. Miss state does have one and so did Auburn and Florida in the past 10 years. Most of the teams in the SEC though use a multiple, or pro style offense. The one team that truly uses the spread does not have the best history, but their is one other factor besides just the spread that is key.
The key to making the spread work is a quarterback who can RUN! So lets take a short view of the spread in the SEC.
Let us analyze the last two seasons for them. 2011 2-6 in conference play not that great but wait...remember I said it only works with a QB that can run. Their QB, Chris Relf, only ran for 375 yards last year compared to Franklin's 981 yards. Not to mention 100 of those yards were versus Auburn. While in 2010 Relf ran for 713 yards and Miss St. while in conference they went 4-4 and ended up ranked #21 at the end of the season. States losses came to Arkansas (spread), Auburn (spread Newton), LSU, and Bama. Well than the SEC caught on in 2011 and shut him down right? No, Relf and Miss St opted to not run as much. Relf wanted to show he has got what it takes as a throwing QB for the NFL. If you are thinking that well the spread did not bring them a title, Miss. St did not have the defense or the other players to help that out. States receiving core and tight ends were nothing to boast about.
Now Auburn still does run the spread but not the same way it did when they had Cam Newton. Remember him? All I have to say is 1473 yards rushing the year he attended. Auburn is National champs of 2010. 2011 Auburn's quaterbacks, (in new inverted spread, no huddle), Moseley and Trotter combined for -20 yards rushing. Auburn still goes 4-4 in conference.
Dare I say his name....ugh...Tim Tebow is the final aspect of this equation. He won a national title for Florida in 2008 and almost did it again in 2009. Hell, when Tebow was Florida's Quarterback their record was 35-5. Only his sophomore year did he lose more than one game. 2008 Florida beat Bama in conference championship and went on to win National title. Now in 2009 Bama won in the conference championship because they had more time to practice their defense against that spread and probably took it a bit more serious. That being said that was only the second loss in two years for that team. Not bad. Oh yeah over 650 yrds rushing in '08 for Tebow and over 900 in '09. Also if you look at '08 and '09 Florida scored massive amounts of points. In those two years they outscored their opponents 1113-355. Now take away a couple cupcakes still a huge gap in their.
Alright, her we go folks. I said I would get to the Arkansas spread and here it is. Well as history provides Arkansas did not really go to the spread until 2010. So within the two years of running the spread UA is 21-5. Not bad, but why could they not beat Bama and LSU? Simply put look at the rushing yards by the QB. -3 yards total for the year for Tyler Wilson in 2011. The defenses are better in the SEC, though, in Bama and LSU. Yes and no. Depends on how you run your offense. Ask Tebow and Newton.
As for Missouri. Out of all the teams listed Missouri probably runs the spread better than most. The team is accustomed to it and our offense is built around it. Franklin serves as that dual threat package and our receiving core will be one of the best, if not the best in the country. With hopes Henry Josey comes back in 2012 to help our running game out, our rush could be just as effective. Now even if Josey is not back, we have a young guy who red shirted last year that can absolutely move it. With so many offensive targets it will be hard for the SEC to slow this team down. Quite honestly this team has what it takes to be a mixture of a Cam Newton and Tim Tebow team. When game day comes a lot will wonder if they are not better. Having Franklin for two more years will not hurt either. So it is possible you could be looking at a repeat team. Now only two defenses have boded well against the spread and that is Bama and LSU. The reason those two can cover the spread well is simply because their defenses are powerful and ridiculous. The offense on the other hand are usually right in the middle of the pact. Lets face it when we think explosive offense Bama and LSU are not the first two teams we think of. Those two teams leave windows of opportunity for a spread to get under their skin. Just ask Bama about the Iron Bowl 2010.
You can not compare James Franklin to Tebow or Newton!!!!!
Or can I? So let us look at the numbers...I took Cam's Senior Year (National Title), Tebow's Junior Year (National Title), and Franklin's Sophomore Year (Big 12 which theoretically more balanced for the spread offense) and compared them. If I am correct not only will Franklin's Stats improve in 2012 in the SEC but he will have a better receiving core with DGB, Moe, Washington, and a ton of other talents. Not too mention in 2013 Darius White joins that group.
So here are the numbers:
Tebow Passing (Junior Year)
Season Team GP Rating Att Comp Pct Yds TD INT Sack
2008 Florida 14 172.4 298 192 64.4 2,747 30 4 15
Att Yds TD
176 673 12
Newton Passing (Senior Year)
Season Team GP Rating Att Comp Pct Yds TD INT Sack
2010 Auburn 14 182 280 185 66.1 2,854 30 7 23
Att Yds TD
264 1473 20
James Franklin passing (Sophomore year)
Season Team GP Rating Att Comp Pct Yds TD INT Sack
2011 Mizzou 14 139.9 376 238 63.3 2,865 21 11 18
Att Yds TD
211 981 15
Do we see any similarities? I hope so the one thing I will say is that Franklin's Rating is not as high but once he works out the kinks and is in the SEC that will fix itself. Looking at the numbers it is fair to say Franklin is right in the middle of Tebow and Newton and it is only his Sophomore year.
Now lets analyze each game of the schedule for MIZZOU. In and out of conference.
I will be rating each game by level of difficulty for the tigers. 1-star being an absolute win to 5 stars of Mizzou needs to play perfect to win. Now Mizzou has two games that can be very scary, but they are not the two you think they are.
The first two games listed are speculation games. I am 99% sure Mizzou will play these two teams even though it has not been scheduled yet. I will leave the dates blank.
Southern Illinois (Scheduling Conflicts May Change) (FCS)- Home Game Toughness rating- 1 Star
This should be a simple game for Mizzou. Never have a problem when we face this team. Hopefully it is at beginning of year so team can start to feel each other out. Should be a day the offense just runs all over the field.
What to watch out for: This team should be taken seriously just like any other game. If we go in big headed could hurt us but I do not see that happening.
Predictio: Mizzou 63 SIU 6
Georgia Bulldogs- Home Game 9/8 Toughness rating- 3 Stars
Ahh yes, the Georgia Bulldogs, they are a very storied and great team of the SEC. They did well last year and went to SEC championship. Many believe they will win the east again. So why are they at a toughness rating of only 3 stars? Well it is Missouri's first home game and their first in the SEC. The place will be over sold out so Missouri will have a 12th man in the crowd that shows up. Also, Missouri is going to know it has something to prove to the nation. Do not expect much from DGB, especially if he does well in his first two games, as I see a major double coverage on him. Do expect Franklin to have a big game rushing. Missouri's defense may have a tough time slowing down the offense of the Bulldogs but, if history serves me right, it is only Georgia's second game and their defense will not be as set either. The first half will be tight but Mizzou will pull out in the second half due to Franklin's versatility. Georgia does not fare well against the spread and gives up a lot of points when a QB can run.
What to watch for: Georgia has a lot of guys coming back. They are serious contenders and have some lethal offensive weapons and defensive power. Expect them to score just not as much as Mizzou.
Prediction: Mizzou 42 UGA- 31
Arizona State, Home Game 9/15 Toughness Rating- 2 stars
Arizona state was a pain in our sides last year but do not look for the same this year. Firstly, they are on our turf this year and secondly, they just got a new coach. Do not expect to see the same team we played last year. Our receivers will have a big day as Arizona looks to stop the QB run after analyzing the tape of the Georgia game. All in all, expect Az St. to start their season the way it ended last year, losing. It will not come down to overtime or even the fourth quarter this time.
What to watch for: Watch how Mizzou handles themselves in this game. Now that ASU's gigantic Quarterback is gone it should be a pretty easy win. If Mizzou stumbles, look at this game as the format for the next couple.
Prediction: Mizzou 44 ASU 17
South Carolina, Away Game 9/22 Toughness rating- 5 Stars
This one is going to be tough. South Carolina comes into 2012 with a lot of talent left over from last year. The game might be in Columbia but not our Columbia. This will be our first SEC road game and the environment at SC can be pretty intimidating. Not to mention SC returns with that 6'6 DE Clowney. They are explosive on offense, but as years past have shown us, are not quick to adapt to the spread offense on the defense side. They give up a lot of points. Arkansas managed to get 44 on them. This will be a shoot out. At the end Mizzou will prevail in the 4th. Franklin has another big game and so do the receivers. Look for Josey(if healthy, if not our younger RB) to make a huge impact as well. He will be the key in the 4th along with our tight ends. T.J Moe sets us up huge this game.
What to watch for: Look for an explosive offensive game. SC will be tough but will get worn down in the end. More than likely it will look bleak for the tigers at the half. As long as they keep their heads high they will prevail in the 4th.
Prediction: Mizzou 43 SC 34
Central Florida, Away Game 9/29 Toughness Rating- 2 stars
Look! It is Gabbert! Tyler Gabbert that is. Do you remember him? You know the guy who is Blaine's little brother, who was mad because he was not playing so daddy and him transferred. Well, he went to Central Florida and yes he will be playing this game. UCF has not been that great as of late but Gabbert may want to prove something. Honestly, he may but I do not see it truly happening. He is not as good as his big brother and needs to realize that. If he connects it could be a tough game. I see him cracking and Missouri winning this one big.
What to watch for: Gabbert is going to have a chip on his shoulder. Let's just hope we did not start him for a reason. If he has a big game expect some unhappy people.
Prediction: Mizzou 36 UCF 17
Vanderbilt, Home Game 10/6 Toughness rating- 2 Stars
This game should be a win but not a simple game for Mizzou. Although Vanderbilt has the reputation of being a lower tiered football school in the SEC, it is also an up and coming squad. They have a great coach in James Franklin (no that is not a typo. His name is James Franklin), and a bunch of guys with a lot of heart. They can be an exciting team and as Tiger fans you will learn to respect these guys. Their talent has to be smart on and off the field. With all of their young talent and good recruiting class, they will be a force to be reckoned within a couple of years but for now they are horrible on the road. Coming into Columbia will be difficult for them. Mizzou will keep them at arms length the whole game. Mizzou will come out on top. If this would have been at Vandy it would be a tougher game.
What to watch for: Vandy has a great coach and some young talent. They will be overwhelmed by the Tigers though. Just pay them their due respect because they are on the verge of passing Tennessee as the better football school in the state.
Prediction: Mizzou 41 Vandy 20
Alabama Crimson Tide, Home Game 10/13 Toughness Rating- 4 Stars
Now if any Bama fans are reading this right now I am pretty sure you are pissed at me for saying 4 stars. Now let me explain. There is one reason Bama does not get that 5th star. They are going to go into COMO the same way, thinking they are the hardest team we have ever faced. These players will not remember the history of our two teams. That being said, Mizzou lost the last game Bama and Mizzou played by getting beat in the second half. The two previous match ups Mizzou won easily. One thing Mizzou has done to Alabama every time they have played is score. Now not to take away from that overwhelming defense but Bama is coming to our turf. Also Bama does not have the same mental game with us as it does any other SEC team. If you look at it we have a clean slate with all these teams. There is no, Bama hurts us every year or anything like that. I mean if anything we have the edge on that level. We are 2-1 on them and were very close to being 3-0. Bear Bryant did not scare us then what makes you think a Nick Saban team will scare us now. That is not the whole picture though. This game will be a low scoring affair. Mizzou's defense will be able to shut Bama down but Bama will also shut us down. Remember that getting prepared for the spread takes more than a week for SEC teams. Guess what. Bama's bye week is right before this game. Bama is a tough team but not explosive on offense like we are used to seeing in the Big 12. Also teams like Ole Miss have hung in their with Bama, when Bama is away from home, until the fourth quarter. Mizzou will make a statement to the world this night, not one of offensive proportions, but of defensive. We will score because we always do against Bama, just not a ton. Also a lot of our points will come in the second quarter sending a message to Bama early in the game. Bama will come out the second half stronger but their offense will continue to struggle. Look for us to score 21 in the first half. Bama is the only team in the SEC who have adapted to the Spread well. But I see their offense as weaker than years prior and teams will always have a window of opportunity against them. Mizzou needs to take it in the second quarter.One other thing about this time of year in COMO, it can get cold. If it is a cold weather day, look for Bama to possibly struggle.
What to watch for: A lot. This is no cupcake team. Send a message and send it early or it could be lights out for us.
Prediction: Mizzou 24 Bama 13
Kentucky Wildcats, Home Game 10/27 Toughness Rating- 1 Star
Sorry Kentucky fans. I am really not taking away from your team here. I think UK has a pretty good future just not this year. Simple as this. Kentucky is coming for our Homecoming. As we all know no one throws a homecoming like M-I-Z-Z-O-U. After all we invented the damn thing. It is a road game for UK and a big one at that. Look for DGB and Franklin to connect big in this game. Look for many turnovers by our defense. This game will be over by half but the party won't. UK has never fared well against the spread.
What to watch for: We have a losing record historically against UK so make sure if at half it is close to change our game plan. Never know maybe UK just knows how to make us work.
Prediction: Mizzou 56 UK10
Florida Gators, Away Game 11/3 Toughness rating- 5 Stars
Welcome to the Swamp COMO. This is not considered one of the toughest places to play in the country for no reason. Combined with an atmosphere most schools could only dream about, Florida is returning a Ton of players and talent. They are a young team and will be a better team than 2011. They will have a good offense and their defense is no slouch. Missouri needs to make a statement early. Now Florida can score some points and proved it last year. Their problem is they get too frustrated by a good defense. Missouri will have one of those defenses next year. Florida does know how to take care of a spread offense though. The key to this game will be to run the ball, a lot! Florida gave up a lot of points to LSU and Bama, but not to South Carolina, and Georgia. Need to use the QB run as well. All in all Mizzou will get the victory in the end. Depending on our game plan the game could be over by the 3rd quarter or not until the very last second. With the atmosphere of the crowd, it can make it hell for any offense. You have heard of the 12th man, Florida and our next opponent may as well have 13. Get out of this one alive boys. That is all I ask.
What to watch for: The atmosphere will be amazing and sometimes overwhelming for Mizzou. Need to take the crowd out of it early or it could be a long game. Florida has a lot of young talent and if someone decides to step up it could be a heart breaker for Mizzou. If Mizzou loses this is the game they lose.
Prediction: Mizzou 24 Florida 17
Tennessee Vols, Away Game, 11/10 Toughness Rating- 4 stars
Welcome to Knoxville, TN Mizzou. This by far will be the game that shows you what the SEC fan club is all about. The state of Tennessee is probably your source for the heart of the SEC. It is a mere 2-4 hour drive to almost every campus of the SEC east and fans from all parts of the SEC live in TN. UT has one of the most storied and traditional teams in the SEC and before the game tailgating and the atmosphere will be like non ever experienced in the Big 12. As welcoming as the fans are before...during the game it is cut throat and LOUD. UT fans are always there to support their team no matter what. Look at last year. A team who went 5-7(1-7) in conference averaged 90,000 fans for their home games. 90,000!!!! for a below .500 team. Neyland Stadium is a tough one bu expect to see some friendly faces their game day. I personally know a lot of Mizzou fans in the area and I will be dressed in black and old gold for this one. Now taking the atmosphere out of the way UT has been rebuilding. Last year some of their bigger name players got hurt and expectations were low. Look to the fact if UT is 5-5 or 4-6 at this game that it will be a hard fought game possibly. Their coach will be under a lot of pressure to make sure this team gets to a bowl. game. The one downfall of the team is that if they are not in the race for #1 the players could well just not care. The last couple of games in their regular 2011 season they lost big to a powerful Arkansas team, barely beat an overachieving Vanderbilt team, and lost to a very poor Kentucky team. Reports were some players said they would not take a small bowl game seriously if they got in. It was a very sad year for such a great program. If Derek Dooley does not get this team together this year it will be the end of his career at UT. A new defensive coordinator steps into UT this year and may surprise everyone. Sal Sunseri is the man responsible for the notorious Alabama linebackers last year. Just do not expect him to be effective right away and it still does not solve UT's offensive problems. Not to mention UT's recruiting class was not one of the best this year. Want to win this one pass the ball, and pass, and pass, and oohh run a little, and pass some more. Mizzou will win but if UT has 8 or more wins by this game expect my prediction score to be lower. I just don't see that happening anytime soon.
What to watch for: A passionate coach who does not want to lose his job will be pushing his players as hard as possible. A new Defensive Coordinator who unleashed Bama on the world for two NC's. A group of players who may lack motivation if team has a bad record.
Prediction: Mizzou 38 UT-17 (If UT 8 + wins Mizzou 21 UT 17)
Texas A&M, Away Game 11/24 Toughness Rating- 3 Stars
Does this count as an SEC game or does the Big 12 want to count this one for them selves. Ah, what can I say here? Kyle field always hard. Texas A&M knows us better than any of our new conference foes and well they have the series lead 7-4. All that being said A&M just lost their coach and is going through some rebuilding phases. The spread offense will work as it always has against them and their spread will work against us just as it always has. Going to be a bit of a shootout but A&M's young talents are not ready and they are going to have to get used to a new coach which is always hard. I do not see A&M doing much this year but we know how hard it can be going to Kyle Field. Look for two offensive games. It will be a lot like last year but Franklin is more mature and DGB will be a factor. Our Defense will be able to handle them a tad better also.
What to watch for: If by this time we have wrapped up the SEC East this game will not hold as much bearing to us. Hopefully the guys focus on the game at hand and not the conference championship. If focus gets out of whack expect an upset. Hey, you never know. A&M may have already won the west by this time too. So we would play this game and then the next game vs each other but unlikely.
Prediction: Mizzou 45 A&M 34
Conference Championship Game, Atlanta Georgia, 12/1
Rating 5 Stars???
Louisiana State Tigers
It is the battle of the Tigers. I know a lot of people were hoping I would say Arkansas but there are two reasons I did not. #1. LSU has a lot of their talent coming back. #2. Arkansas has yet to prove they can beat Bama or LSU with their spread. (Wilson can't run) I see it panning out this way. LSU loses to South Carolina. Bama loses to LSU and Mizzou and Auburn, Arkansas loses to LSU, Bama, Texas A&M. A&M loses to Bama and LSU and Mizzou.
So what about the game? How do you see Mizzou pulling this off?
Well in this one LSU's defense is going to be the key. LSU will not be the high scoring offense as it was last year. Their offense may reflect more of the BCS title game than anything. Jordan Jefferson is gone and it takes away the big run/pass threat they had. Maybe they would have beat Bama in the NC if he could connect with a fucking pass. Either way. The defense will out match all others in the west. Now LSU will have some close calls by Bama, Arkansas, and A&M. So it is quite possible you can see an Arkansas or A&M team slip through especially if Bama loses to Mizzou and A&M beats Mizzou.
So this game will be all about defense then is what you are saying?
Ugh...no. Mizzou will win because LSU will not do what it needs to to stop the spread. After playing Tyler Wilson and then the Aggies, LSU will not be prepared for the dual threat spread. After making adjustments in the second half, LSU will be able to control the Tigers scoring better but it will be a little too late. Look for some deep passes and quick touchdowns and a ton of rushing yards this game by Franklin. Let's just say after this game, the media will not say anything bad about Mizzou for awhile. LSU has always had trouble with the spread that had a QB that could run.In '08 they got Tebowed for 51 points, '10 they got Cammed for 24, 2011 they gave up 27 to Oregon.
What to watch for: An SEC trophy.
Prediction: Mizzou 35 LSU 15
National Title Game: #1 Missouri VS # 2 Oklahoma----------WHAT THE F****
This is highly likely folks. Oklahoma will be in a watered down Big 12 next year and should have no problem going undefeated. No one should be able to compete with OU next year. Baylor, and Ok St lost the man that made them so good last year while OU keeps Landry Jones. That being said this will be the day Missouri smacks the Big 12 in the face for what happened and deny Landry Jones a title. Screw you Stoops. Pinkle will fly his helicopter all over Oklahoma after that game as a reminder of who is above who now.
If there is a 4 team playoff look for these matchups:
#1 Missouri VS #4 South Carolina (What two teams from the East you are Crazy) Too much competition in the west. SC's only loss to Missouri
#2. Oklahoma VS #3 Oregon (Sorry Boise St you did not make the short list)
Anyone can feel free to contact me about this article....leave a comment in the forums here or simply email me firstname.lastname@example.org All fans of other schools who happened to fall on top of this send your hate mail to the same address. Please remember, we may disagree but we play the game to find a winner. If it were as simple as saying this team would win we would not play