Beware SEC: Mizzou’s guaranteed wins this season
“People act like we play a bunch of high school teams. We’ve played in a pretty good league.” -Mizzou Coach Gary Pinkel
— Saturday Down South (@SDS) July 17, 2012
The time for amicable greetings and welcome handshakes are over. It’s time for Mizzou fans like myself to start throwing our weight around in the smack talk ring. And while our weight probably can’t hold a candle to bar-b-que infested states that make up most of SEC country, hopefully we can develop some friendly rivalries that will flourish with time.
Will Mizzou make much noise in the SEC in 2012? Who knows, but one thing that is guaranteed is my illusion/viewpoint that they will at least be able to compete every Saturday. Below is a list of the Tigers’ 12 games for the upcoming season, their projected point spreads, and a quick explanation of why Mizzou will send your team home in tears.
Southeastern Louisiana at Mizzou (-42.5)
The season opener pits Mizzou as a six touchdown favorite against the FCS Lions from Hammond, Louisiana. FCS opponents typically mean a ‘padding the stats’ game for the Tigers, and this one should be no different.
Georgia (-3) at Mizzou
Mizzou’s SEC opener comes in week two when the Bulldogs come to Columbia. UGA is a top-10 team in the preseason polls, while the Tigers sit somewhere out in the 30s. The line is much tighter than that, however, probably because the Dawgs are projected to be without a few of their defensive starters due to suspension. These players’ model citizenry, coupled with the electricity of it being the first SEC game at Faurot Field, should give the Tigers a good shot to give Georgia the Isaiah Crowell treatment.
Arizona State at Mizzou (-16.5)
Mizzou should take it to the Sun Devils so bad that Todd Graham will be bailing for another job after visiting Columbia, where the Tigers will try and exact revenge for last year’s overtime loss in Tempe. The thrashing of AZ State will also be the first of two non-conference opponents for the Tigers that are against BCS schools, a novel concept for some SEC schools.
Mizzou at South Carolina (-5)
The Tigers’ first road SEC game is another brutal early season test, as they will have to travel to one of the armpits of America and see what a true SEC town is all about. Hopefully the good food and funny accents don’t throw Mizzou off their game too much; as they will have to deal with some guy named Marcus Lattimore, who I hear is pretty good. Look for a Steve Spurrier-Gary Pinkel staring match to see who is allowed to be ‘King of the Visor.’
Mizzou (-1.5) at UCF
Mizzou will travel south for the second week in a row, this time going to Orlando to take on the Golden Knights in another respectable non-con matchup. It doesn’t matter how many lies George O’Leary tells on his resume, for this one, however, as his squad will be outmanned and simply hoping that the Tigers had too much fun at Disney the night before.
Vanderbilt at Mizzou (-10)
James Franklin, meet James Franklin. The Mizzou QB and the Vandy coach of the same name will match wits in Columbia as Mizzou starts a run of five straight conference matchups. For as much as the Commodores were improved last year, they still finished the season below .500, a true testament to how horrible they have been over time. The superior intellect of their players and fan base will be no match for Mizzou’s athleticism, as the Tigers will once again prove that speed will run by any good angle taken from a slow guy.
Alabama (-13.5) at Mizzou
Harvey Updyke and his band of ‘Bama fans will bring their third grade reading level to Columbia to show us how to tailgate, make obscene statements, and explain why Bear Bryant is Nick Saban’s guardian angel. If the pre-game shenanigans aren’t entertaining enough, we will then get to see Bama’s menacing defense try to slow Mizzou’s fast paced offense. Will they be able to? We’ll see, but either way, I’m sure Saban will be administering tongue lashings to anyone who will listen on the Memorial Stadium sideline.
Kentucky at Mizzou (-17)
It’s cute that the SEC lets Kentucky play football in their conference, kind of like letting your non-athletic little brother be all-time center in the backyard game. The Wildcats will probably replace Kanas as the team that Mizzou gets to whip up on in football, then mostly lose to in basketball. I’m confident the basketball fan bases are equally obnoxious. By the time this game takes place, Joker Phillips will probably already have put the finishing touches on his resume, and Cats fans will be claiming that Bill Parcells is considering taking the job for 2013.
Mizzou at Florida (-7.5)
Mizzou will go the Sunshine state for the second time in 2012 for a contest in the Swamp. The Gators are ranked in the preseason polls, which I find humorous since they didn’t beat an FBS team last year that was over .500. I guess that’s what past championships will do for you. While most think the Gators will be improved, Mizzou should be able to hang in Gainesville, so long as the Tebow statue doesn’t come to life.
Mizzou at Tennessee (-2.5)
Gary Pinkel and his staff need to blare ‘Rocky Top’ through the practice stadium’s speakers in preparation for this one, as the folks in Knoxville are guaranteed to have a boot stomping good time when they welcome the Tigers to town. While the Vols have more winning tradition than Mizzou could even dream of, they have been down ever since Lane Kiffin ripped their hearts out after one season. This bodes well for the Tigers chances in stealing a conference road game, no matter how many ‘Deliverance’ flashbacks they may have.
Syracuse at Mizzou (-17)
Unless Jim Boeheim decides to use some of his shady recruiting tactics to help out the football team, Mizzou should be able to handle a team that really fails to capture the intimidating factor of having a color as your team mascot. While the matchup against the Orange isn’t exactly the mid-to-late season cupcake that most SEC schools schedule, it probably will be a step down in competition, allowing the Tigers to get a ‘W’ and make some snooty Big East jokes along the way.
Mizzou at Texas A&M (-3)
Mizzou has won in College Station the last two seasons, and due to a scheduling quirk, will have to win there for a third time in a row in 2012. Believe it or not, the Tigers have not been distracted by A&M’s male cheerleaders, and have taken down the Aggies in back-to-back years, once in a beat down, and once in an overtime victory. This year, they get Kevin Sumlin instead of Mike Sherman, but the coach is indifferent to Mizzou, who thrive on seeing all those dudes in their uniforms leaving Kyle Field with disappointed looks on their faces.
“I know they won the last six national titles. But all 12 teams didn’t win it. Just one did.” -TJ Moe (Mizzou WR) on SEC
— Saturday Down South (@SDS) August 20, 2012