Just one year after shocking their competition in the SEC, the Missouri Tigers are prepped to make yet another run at the conference title.
Ranked No. 26 and just outside of the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll during the preseason, Mizzou finds itself overlooked yet again.
And according to Greg Ostendorf of ESPN.com, head coach Gary Pinkel is still looking for respect in the conference as a whole:
“I don’t really get into that,” Pinkel said. “I don’t get into what is said or what’s predicted. Someone apologized to me a little while ago the way they voted after [SEC media days]. I said, I don’t know how you voted for us, I don’t really care.
“When I became the head football coach at Missouri, I wanted to be respected in the Big 12, and now it’s the SEC, and nationally. Not only do you have responsibility … to your school, but to this league we have responsibility. I just want to be respected.”
The Tigers made the leap from being ranked at the bottom of the conference during the preseason last year all the way to the SEC championship game, which you’d think would bring about the notoriety as a top-tier team this season.
That didn’t happen.
But with a replicated performance from last season, Mizzou could earn that sought after respect.
With 14 returning starters, and an opportunity to reach not only the conference’s top game, but also the first-ever College Football playoff, the sky is truly the limit.