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Mizzou’s Pinkel Not Surprised By The SEC, Not Gifting QB Job Back To Franklin

gfx - they said itMissouri’s 2012 football campaign went about as poorly as a debut season in a new conference could go.

The Tigers’ offensive line was decimated by injury from the start of the season to the final whistle of the final game.  Dual-threat quarterback James Franklin was in and out of the lineup due to his own injuries and, in one case, his decision not to take a painkilling shot.  Franklin’s struggles helped prevent all-everything receiver prospect Dorial Green-Beckham from living up to the hype that surrounded him.

Mizzou’s first two SEC games — Georgia at home, South Carolina on the road — resulted in 21-point losses.  There was a home loss to Vanderbilt.  There were blowout losses to Alabama and Texas A&M.

About the only positives were victories over Kentucky and Tennessee, but those teams combined for just one league win last year and that was the Vols’ victory over the Wildcats.  So topping UT and UK was hardly worth celebrating.

With spring practice opening up in Columbia, Gary Pinkel finds himself in a different position… on a bit of a hot seat.  But as badly as 2012 went, the longtime Tiger coach says he wasn’t surprised by anything the SEC had to offer:

 

“The league was no different at all than what I expected.  It was no different.  They have a lot of really, really good teams and last year probably had as many as they’ve ever had.  But that wasn’t a surprise.  We knew that going in.  I don’t think that’s in any way affected us.  I still think it’s a great move for us.  I think it’s a great move for the University of Missouri,”

 

While the longtime coach maintains his confidence about his program’s place in the SEC, he doesn’t sound quite so sure of Franklin, his returning starter at quarterback:

 

“Our program, how we handle quarterbacks is this: If you have a returning veteran starter like James a year ago, he was healthy going into the spring, and he came off a year with 22 touchdown passes, 15 rushing, MVP of the bowl game, he comes in and he’s going to be with the ones. … Whoever’s No. 2 can certainly beat him out. It doesn’t mean he keeps his job, but he comes in with that status.

In this situation, without what I’d call the term ‘an established quarterback,’ we pretty much will, with those top three guys, go even reps with ones, twos, threes and keep rolling them right through. That’s how we’ve always handled that…

(Regarding Frankin)

Well, what happens is, when you don’t play well, you don’t practice or your practice isn’t very good. You’re hurt. There’s a lot of things that goes with, ‘Well, he’s back for a game. He should be 100 percent, be perfect.’ There were certainly a lot of carryover things. There’s things about not transferring his weight in practice, so he goes down to Florida and the ball just sails on him, just gets away from him because he is compensating for it in practice, throwing off his back foot, not transferring his weight.

There’s a lot of things you look at, but I’ve coached the position for a long time, and I’ve never had a quarterback get beat up like he did. Tears his labrum, comes back, reinjures his shoulder in that joint, has strained ligaments in his knee and can’t play a couple weeks, has a concussion that keeps him out. I’ve never seen anything like it. In 34 or 35 years coaching college football, never even came close to seeing anything like it. To say you can evaluate his performance, we’re not going to evaluate his performance as a player. He didn’t play as well, but he was also hurt and missed half the season.”

 

According to at least one Tiger insider we’ve spoken to, Franklin isn’t exactly Pinkel’s favorite player on the team.  The coach wrongly called Franklin out last year for not taking a pre-game painkiller shot and both player and coach took heat over the incident.  Now Pinkel is making it clear his QB was injured, but we hear the coach still worries about the toughness of his team leader.

And if Missouri and Pinkel can’t find someone to run their offense more effectively in 2013, a repeat of 2012 remains a possibility.

 


8 comments
buddha22
buddha22

Chase Daniel coming back to Missouri! Outstanding, another year of eligibility? What? Ohhh, KC, Missouri. Well, that's the 2nd best place for him! :D

WarHog38
WarHog38

Missouri gets a lot of grief from posters on these boards as to not belonging or not fitting in the SEC.  I think a lot of this is blow back to a vocal B1G element in Missouri's fan base and in a lot of cases it is just B1G fans in those surrounding northern states that make those pro Missouri in the B1G comments. Some of these SEC fans just do not know the history of Missouri and it's past relations to the South. I get tired of all the pro B1G chatter concerning Missouri as well.                                                                                          

Missouri has always been torn culturally in this matter all down through the history of this country. Missouri probably does not have the 90% plus type SEC support in it's fan base of the other SEC schools. However Missouri surely does have a large majority of it's fan base who fully support Missouri in the SEC. Missouri does fit in the SEC because in the South is where they have always stood. How can any SEC fan now take history out of context to now be against Missouri when they again chose the South as they always have? 

buddha22
buddha22

@WarHog38 The "whiners" are becoming less vocal, but truly the overwhelming sentiment is decidely pro SEC.

bpa_kc
bpa_kc

2012 was just a woulda/coulda/shoulda type year.  If Sheldon doesn't skip class and get suspended,  then they very likely beat Syracuse and finish 6-6.  If Franklin is even remotely healthy, then they probably beat Vandy and finish 7-5 which would be considered a decent first year in the SEC... 

 

I will say that I believe Missouri is a long ways away from competing with USC, UGA, or UF on a consistent basis (not to mention some of the killers over in the west).  Will they eventually get there??  I'm honestly not sure.  Recruiting will certainly have to get a  LOT better in the coming years.  

 

* to be fair... they could have easily lost to ASU, UCF, and Tenn to finish 2-10 on the year which would have been a true disaster.

buddha22
buddha22

I find it a little humorous that half the time MU fans are told they are "not" part of the SEC yet and indeed, a number of fans chanted "SEC" at the end of games this year and yet the other half try to read into the "they" that coach has yet to assimilate. We are here, the team will play better and I'll take the under on the number of Off Line injuries this coming year vs last. The problem with MU's spread was not the scheme, period. It was injuries, QB injuries/experience and speed of decision making by the QBs. Can the spread work in the SEC? I laugh that this is still a question, of course it can and does. Do you need a solid Off line and QB with quick decision making, absolutely. That is why Franklin will NOT be the QB. Corbin is not accurate or quick enough with his decisions. My money is on Mauk and if he can use the experience he gained with the system as a red-shirt, offensively MU will be able to utilize all it's weapons and they have quite a stock of them at WR and RB. MU will be much stronger offensively in 2013. Defensively, the young players will have to step up or that is where they will be vulnerable.

JansonRoberts
JansonRoberts

 

 Injuries can make or break anyone's season. Especially the number of injuries and the positional players that Missouri had go down.

Being from the south, I for one have no problem with Mizzou coming to the SEC. Actually once A&M was announced as #13, I thought at that time that Mizzou was the best team out there to bring in as #14. Mizzou met every item that the SEC had on their list and then some. Having a less then stellar season out the gate doesn't change my mind when viewed for what it was, an unfortunate season with unbelievable injuries. I really am impressed to see some  investments that MU are making in their program. I am very interested to see how MU/Pinkel addresses recruiting challenges and what adjustments can be made on the defense. I would not worry too much MU fans in regards to the offense. Mizzou has a proven system on offense. The real difference between the Big 12 and the SEC is on the defensive side of the ball. 1 season does not show squat. Ask Saban how his first year at LSU or his frist year at Bama went for him. Sure it is disappointing to have a set back, but what you want to see is adjustments being made and investments being made to strengthen those areas that show up. What fans should not do is bicker and badmouth the program in the transition. It hurts recruiting and distracts current players and faculty from giving their best for the program.

Welcome Mizzou.

Go Dawgs.UGA

AGator
AGator

"They have a lot of really, really good teams and last year probably had as many as they’ve ever had."

 

When he refers to the SEC as "they" it makes me wonder how well Missouri has adjusted to their new conference.

bradleyglenncarr
bradleyglenncarr

It just seems so unrealistic for GP to continue to regurgitate the line "The league was no different at all than what I expected.  It was no different.  They have a lot of really, really good teams and last year probably had as many as they’ve ever had.  But that wasn’t a surprise.  We knew that going in.  I don’t think that’s in any way affected us." Really? Who's being disingenuous? Wake up, Gary, and smell the difference between playing in the Big XII and the SEC. You are not going to last long. For those of Mizzou grads who were realistic before 2012 began we might have thought there was a skinny chance we could go 7-5. This year, 6-6 looks kinda good. We will not be on par with So. Car., Fla. or even UGA. It's going to take longer than two years and much better recruiting, not just from Dallas and Chicago (which he mentioned in the Columbia Tribune story).

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