What’s not to love about supreme optimism?

It’s the best time of the year for college football fans, especially those favoring the SEC. Dreams of a national championship aren’t yet crushed and homers abound can all take a stab at guessing wins and losses on their respective team’s schedule.

‘Best Case Scenario’ Series

  • Friday: Alabama
  • Saturday: Florida
  • Sunday: Arkansas
  • TODAY: Mizzou
  • Tuesday: Auburn
  • Wednesday: Kentucky
  • Thursday: Texas A&M
  • Aug. 8: South Carolina
  • Aug. 9: LSU
  • Aug. 10: Georgia
  • Aug. 11: Ole Miss
  • Aug. 12: Vanderbilt
  • Aug. 13: Mississippi St.
  • Aug. 14: Tennessee


2013 record: 12-2, 7-1
2014 best case: 11-2, 6-2
Closer look: The defending Eastern Division champions got zero love in the preseason coaches poll despite bringing back several key contributors on a spirited defense and a rising star at quarterback in Maty Mauk. Gary Pinkel is one of the SEC’s best at preparation and he’s using the lack of respect as a motivational tool — similar to 2013 — for this year’s team. Outside of a road game at South Carolina who has won 18 straight contests inside Williams-Brice Stadium and a midseason trip to the Swamp, the Tigers could run the table the rest of the way with superior talent in almost every matchup. The pivotal point is Oct. 11 against Georgia. If Mizzou can win that game with an extra week to prepare, another division crown will be within reach.
Silver lining: The Tigers played with a Sasquatch-sized chip on their shoulder last season following an uninspired 2-6 mark in the SEC during their inaugural campaign in 2012. Regardless of last year’s achievement, the ‘why not us’ mentality will continue this fall and it’s always better being the hunter. Should Markus Golden, Shane Ray and Braylon Webb have All-SEC caliber seasons on a very capable defense under assistant coach Dave Steckel and a wideout emerges early to replace Dorial Green-Beckham, Mizzou will be a threat down the stretch.