Coaching review: Gary Pinkel and the Missouri Tigers
Missouri has officially shut me up after it knocked off the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Arkansas was one of the hottest teams in the SEC and looked like it would run away with a win against the Tigers, but like so many times before, Missouri found a way to win in the fourth quarter.
You really have to give credit to these kids and this Missouri coaching staff, specifically coach Gary Pinkel. It seems to me that nobody gives Missouri respect and I think that they love that. They don’t get all the five-star recruits. They don’t have top 5 recruiting classes year in and year out. They don’t have the best facilities in the SEC. They don’t have the biggest stadium. They don’t lose very often, either.
As back-to-back SEC East champs, these kids that come to Columbia, Mo., come in with a major chip on their shoulder. Maybe they weren’t rated high enough for the likes of Alabama, LSU, Florida and others to consider offering a scholarship. Coach Pinkel harnesses those chips and turns each one into a hell of a football player.
Pinkel joins coach Steve Spurrier as the only two coaches to be the winningest coach at two different universities. That is a hell of an accomplishment. For those that didn’t know, coach Pinkel is the all time winningest coach at Toledo as well as Missouri.
I guess it’s because of the two losses that Missouri suffered this year that nobody gives them any respect. As the saying goes, “stuff happens” and those two games are a prime example of that. Indiana is just bad, and Georgia blanked the Tigers 34-0 at Missouri’s house.
While I do think that Georgia is a more talented team, as that score indicates, there’s no doubt that Missouri deserves to be in the SEC championship game. Look at Georgia’s losses: Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech. Not exactly a great resume either.
This season has just been so crazy in so many different ways. As far as this SEC championship game goes, I know that Pinkel loves the fact that his team is a 14.5-point underdog. He probably has that number written all over the locker room, getting those chips on his players’ shoulders just a little bigger every day.