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Pinkel Says He Knew What The SEC Was About Before Last Season

MISSOURI MEDIA DAYSIn an attempt to fend off the obvious question that will be hurled at him, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel said he really didn’t learn anything last fall that he didn’t already know about the SEC upon entry:

 

“The SEC is what I thought it was gonna be.  It’s a line-of-scrimmage league…  Offensive line, defensive line, that’s where it starts, I don’t care what skill positions you have.  You’ve gotta be good upfront.  I knew that coming in.”

 

Whether or not the Tigers improve on the offensive and defensive lines will go a long way toward deciding Pinkel’s fate in Columbia.

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Call It What You Want, Mizzou’s Pinkel Has Got A Chip On His Shoulder

Over a pair of answers and about a 10-minute span, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel revealed what appeared to be a chip on his shoulder regarding the analysis — and he said there’s been “analysis of the analysis” — of how his program will fare in the big, bad SEC:

 

“The transition has been significant for me.  We’re doing things we never thought we’d be doing in this transition that’s taking place… I think the continuity of our staff has been real important.  You know we have a staff that’s been in place and we do what we do.  Are we changing how we recruit?  No.  Are we changing how we train our players?  No.  We do what we do.  We believe in what we do.  And that certainly will get tested and that’s fine…

You know our offense is a spread offense and people know about it.  We can do a lot of different things.  You know we were top 15 in the nation last year in rushing the football.  So we can go a lot of different ways with our offense depending on what we need to do in our personnel.  We’re gonna get tested.  We’re playing some great defenses.  We understand that.  But we’re going to do what we do and adjust accordingly as we always do as he season wears on so that we can play our best.

 

Taking note of the chip that seemed to be on Pinkel’s shoulder, one writer followed by asking if Missouri fans really have a chip on their shoulders because people seem to think they’ve been playing “JV” football and they are now headed to “the big league.”  Pinkel’s reply:

 

“You get a lot of ‘we’re playing SEC now and it’s this great league’ and — as I go around this summer, I’ve got a place down in Florida — and people come up to me and act like we’ve been playing a bunch of high schools teams.  We played in a pretty good league.  I don’t think it’s a chip necessarily.  To me it’s being a competitor.  I think as a competitor you get challenged a little bit… Bottom line you got to go out and prove yourself and I’m fine with it.  I have no problem with it… You gotta go out compete and earn respect.  You gotta go out and compete to win.  And the only way you’re gonna get respect is winning games.  That’s the only way it’s gonna happen.”

 

Uh, yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and just call that a chip on the shoulder.  Nothing wrong with that, of course.  And Pinkel will have to win — just as he says — to earn respect.  Even if he took a bit friendlier approach to matters, he’d still have to win games to earn respect.

A few years ago it was suggested that Bobby Petrino’s style of play wouldn’t work in the SEC (and we’re talking about his on-field style of play, mind you).  Turns out, he won a lot of games just doing his thing.

If Pinkel can mimic Petrino’s success, I don’t think anyone will be talking about Missouri having to earn anyone’s respect or Pinkel having to change his system.

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Tide’s Saban Wishes Hogs’ Petrino Well, Talks Motorcycles

Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino returned to practice this week, just two days after wrecking his motorcycle and winding up in a neckbrace.  Missouri’s Gary Pinkel — also a biker — sent his best to Petrino on Tuesday.  Yesterday it was Alabama’s Nick Saban’s turn.

During yesterday’s presser the Crimson Tide coach said, “I wish Bobby well.  I hope there’s nothing serious there.”  He also launched into a story of his own experience with motorcycles:


“I love motorcycles.  I loved motorcycles when I was a kid.  I was not allowed to ride a motorcycle when I was a kid. 

My best friend Charlie Anderson had a Triumph, and I mean that thing was hot.  Where my dad’s service station was, there was a long straightaway, and they used to race.

Every time no one was looking, I’d get on Charlie’s Triumph.  I took it to my girlfriend’s house, and she lived on the side of the mountain, and there was a curve, and the water was running across the street, and a dog was chasing me down the street.

I didn’t get hurt, didn’t hurt the bike, just slid out. 

My dad found out about that, and that’s the last time I’ve been on a motorcycle.”


So how does Saban get his kicks now?  “I try to enjoy life.  I still water ski.  I ride them jet skis as fast as they’ll go, and every two years I get the fastest ones they make to replace the last ones.”

Five million bucks a year will buy a lot of jet skis.

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Sherman’s Job Is Safe At Texas A&M

Last week, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel found himself in hot water after being hit with a DUI.  The coach survived with a suspension and a hit to his wallet.

The other football coach entering the SEC next year — Texas A&M’s Mike Sherman — has found himself on the hot seat for other reasons.  His Top 10 team has turned into a 6-5 mess and that’s led some/many Aggie fans to call for his head.  For now, however, said head appears safe.

A&M president R. Bowen Loftin was asked yesterday if his coach is safe with four years left on a $1.8 million-per-year deal.  “As far as I’m concerned, yes.  We don’t want to make any hasty moves, and we look forward to him being our football coach in the future.”

Texas A&M is 25-24 in four seasons under Sherman.  They are just 15-17 in Big 12 play.  If the Aggies weren’t facing such a major transition this offseason — moving from the Big 12 to the SEC — we believe it’s highly unlikely Sherman’s status would be so secure.

Meanwhile, A&M has received a bill from the Big 12 for its exit fee, but the school continues to try to negotiate that number down.

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