November 19th, 2013 10:41 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Missouri, Ole Miss, Texas A&M
Tags: East Division, Johnny Manziel, Maty Mauk, SEC
As expected, Missouri’s starting quarterback slot will be filled by senior James Franklin when the Tigers roll into Oxford, Mississippi this weekend. Back from an injury to his throwing shoulder, Franklin will reclaim his starting gig from backup Maty Mauk (who handled things pretty well in Franklin’s absence).
The Tigers are 9-1 on the season, ranked in the top 10, 5-1 in the SEC, and on path to reach the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Mizzou’s only loss came in overtime to South Carolina as Mauk served as fill-in. Gary Pinkel said last week that Mauk will still be used in some capacity on Saturday.
“I pretty much feel like my legacy’s already been determined. I’m not really concerned about how these last few games are gonna go.”
Regardless of what he means by that, you can bet many Tiger fans won’t like reading it. And we can assure him that Missouri’s finish will indeed impact his legacy. Players and coaches — unfairly — are only as good as their last game these days. That’s no longer just a saying, it’s a fact. And if the Tigers stumble down the stretch, Franklin — and Pinkel for playing him — will take some heat.
To capture the East Division title, the Tigers need to win on the road at Ole Miss and then beat Texas A&M and quarterback Johnny Manziel. That’s a stiff challenge. So stiff that no one should say MU chocked if they don’t win them. (If they’d beaten those two early in the season and then lost to a Kentucky or Tennessee that would have been a choke job.) Mizzou simply got no late-season break from the SEC schedule-makers.
But tough schedule or no, Tiger fans will be ready to celebrate or jeer Franklin depending on the outcomes of the next two Saturdays.
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