Today, that’s not the case. Mizzou’s coach appears comfortable today and he’s not bristling at all (so far) at the questions being lobbed at him. For example, asked if MU’s 5-7 finish last year was indicative of the Tigers’ place as a program inside the SEC, Pinkel coolly replied:
“We lost five of our top 10 offensive lineman and our starting quarterback and we still had a chance to overcome it. And I’m paid to overcome anything that happens to us. But like anything else you’ve gotta prove yourself. We’re hungry. We’re excited to get back in and compete. It’s a great league. I love being in the league… if you love to compete against the best.”
Some coaches on hot seats might get their dander up over such a question and start reciting their career winning percentages. Pinkel kept his cool and delivered a good, honest answer.
Last year, Pinkel and his players seemed a little testy when asked again and again (and again) about their readiness to join the league. Pinkel seems a lot more open to questioning today.