2012 Missouri Tigers Football Preview
2011 Record: 8-5 (5-4 Big 12)
Head Coach: Gary Pinkel, twelfth season (85-54 at Missouri) (158-91-3 overall)
Projected Returning Starters: 13
Spring Game: April 14th (Second Team 34 First Team 10)
Notes: Missouri enters the SEC after 16 seasons in the Big 12. The Tigers enter the SEC conference as the least experienced team in 2012. Coach Gary Pinkel put together a pretty nice recruiting class in the off-season, including center Evan Boehm, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, and middle linebacker Donavin Newsom, all in-state signees. Maty Mauk, a four star quarterback from Kenton, Ohio, also signed with the Tigers. After a rough first four seasons in Columbia, the Tigers have been to seven consecutive bowl games, posting a 4-3 mark during that stretch.
BVTSB Take: Missouri is pretty banged up at the moment. Many of the Tigers’ experienced players, such as quarterback James Franklin and running back Henry Josey, did not participate in the spring game due to injuries. Franklin had shoulder surgery in March and is expected to resume football activities in July. Josey is recovering from knee surgery. Still, the fear is he may require another surgery, which would likely put him out for the 2012 season. Corbin Berkstresser filled in for Franklin in the spring game, hooking up with T.J. Moe for a touchdown catch. Kendial Lawrence looks to be a suitable replacement for Josey – Lawrence had 566 rushing yards on 119 attempts with five rushing touchdowns in 2011. While Missouri loses tight end Michael Egnew to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, the Tigers do have wide receiver T.J. Moe returning for his senior season (649 receiving yards, 12.0 yards per catch, and four receiving touchdowns). Marcus Lucas could be a suitable receiver opposite Moe. The Big 12 played nine conference games in 2011, a true round robin. As such, Missouri faced three non-conference opponents, beating Miami (OH) and Western Illinois, but losing on the road to Arizona State. Missouri returns to an eight game conference schedule in the SEC, meaning there are four non-conference games. The Tigers will host Southeastern Louisiana, Arizona State, and Syracuse during the season, while traveling to UCF. The non-conference schedule has the capability of producing four wins for a relatively young Tigers team. Missouri will need all the wins they can get, as they play Georgia week two and South Carolina at Columbia week four. Other marquee matchups include playing host to Alabama and traveling to Florida, Tennessee, and Texas A&M, to round out the year. The injuries are concerning and the schedule is daunting. My projection is on the high end – temper your expectations for year one in the SEC.
2012 Early Projection: 8-4
To see the 2012 SEC composite schedule, click here.
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