- Wiggins Commits to KansasPosted 7 days ago
- Back to BasicsPosted 7 days ago
- Jets Need to Cut SanchezPosted 8 days ago
- Gronkowski To Need Fourth, Possibly Fifth SurgeryPosted 13 days ago
- Thoughts of a Blues FanPosted 14 days ago
- Chris Kluwe Released by Vikings, No One SurprisedPosted 15 days ago
- Lebron vs Carmelo; Who Is Real MVP?Posted 15 days ago
- Jason Collins; Talk Will Do NothingPosted 20 days ago
- NFL Draft; Winners and LosersPosted 22 days ago
- Jason Collins: 1st Major Active Male Athlete to Come OutPosted 22 days ago
#MIZSEC: Mizzou Set for SEC Debut
- Updated: August 3, 2012
theSPORTSfeast takes a closer look at Mizzou’s move to the SEC conference and the upcoming season!
A lot has been made since the University of Missouri decided to move to the Southeastern Conference. With the start of training camp this past week, and the opening game against Southeast Louisiana only four weeks away, theSPORTSfeast attempts to dissect that move and preview the Tigers upcoming season.
Everyone outside of Columbia, the state of Missouri, and the faithful fans seem to think that the transition to the SEC will be full of question marks. Can the Tigers compete? Will they have enough speed? Are the offensive and defensive lines big enough to compete in a conference that is built around the lines? Can the spread offense be successful in the SEC? Will the passion be there from the fans to match the fanatical environment of an SEC “game day”? We here at theSPORTSfeast believe that the transition will be better than most of the national media outlets seem to think. While there will certainly be some players that need to step up, the Tigers have experience on both sides of the ball.
We can start by looking at the newly named captains for the upcoming season. Elvis Fisher (OL), Will Ebner (LB), Zavier Gooden (LB), and TJ Moe (WR) bring loads of experience into this inaugural season in the SEC. Fisher and Ebner were both awarded an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA. While both are returning from injury, they will no doubt serve as almost an extra coach out on the field for their side of the ball. Gooden, who has already graduated from the University and is now working on his graduate program, is entering the season as a three year starter. He was the third leading tackler last season and is poised to have a huge season for the Tigers. Finally, Moe, who wowed the crowds with his playful appearance at the SEC media days, also returns for his third year as a starter. Moe can do so many things to help this team. His versatility will be seen in his receiving, running, returning, and maybe even throwing at some point.
The other big topic that everyone seems to be talking about is the Tigers having to adapt to the style of play in the SEC. Yes, the offenses in the SEC run a more “pro” style of offense, but that is a traditional type of game. Do you think that Gary Pinkel and his staff aren’t prepared to game plan for ISO’s and sweeps. The bigger question may be how the defenses in the SEC adapt to Mizzou’s untraditional offense. Sure, Florida has had a quirky offense in the past, but Mizzou will bring a new element that defenses will have to game plan for. The SEC certainly has some great defenses, but the Tigers will be able to spread the field. Their receivers are great at running option routes to find the holes, Franklin is a true dual threat quarterback, and the team proved last year that they can run out of that spread offense with great success.
This move will also help the University financially going forward. I don’t have all the details about how much more the University feels it can make, but let’s just say it will be substantial. It is assumed that the SEC will create its own television network similar to the Big Ten that will only increase that potential revenue. In addition, there have been major donations that have been made to the University that will not only improve the football facilities, but also provide financial support to upgrade other athletic facilities on campus.
The move to the SEC not only will be good for the University from a financial standpoint, but it has energized the fan base to a new level. I remember Mizzou football in the ‘80s and early ‘90s that was dreadful. You certainly couldn’t watch games on TV, and most Saturdays I would turn the radio off by halftime. The University has done a tremendous job of building a brand over the last decade. There is a product that energizes the fan base and creates excitement. This move to the SEC has only enhanced that excitement. The ticket office had to create a waiting list to handle new season ticket requests. It has already been announced that the Arizona State home game is sold out. I seriously doubt that any conference home game tickets will make it to the general public. Certainly the first home game in the SEC against the Georgia Bulldogs on 09/08 won’t make it to the general public, nor will the Tigers hosting the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide on 10/13. I’ve been to some exciting home games over the last few years at Faurot Field. I remember the throw back pass to Brad Smith that ended the losing streak against Nebraska in dominating fashion. I remember when College Gameday came to Columbia and Gahn McGaffie sent an already raucous crowd into a tizzy with his kickoff return for a touchdown. And to a lesser extent I remember last year Gary Pinkel saying so long to the Longhorns with his first win against them. Having been to all of those great games I am more looking forward to this year than any year in the past. I joined the waiting list, purchased my tickets and will be there every Saturday to support my University. I’ll do my best to try and share with you each week the game day experience and the highlights of the game. We’ll see you in 4 weeks. I, for one, can’t wait.
Written by Mark Schoene
Photo contributed by Jim Ross and eagle102.net