Photo via Bill Carter.
Mizzou Football Links
Mizzou Network: 1 on 1 with James Franklin
Dawg Sports: Rockin' the M-I-Z: Previewing the Georgia-Missouri Game
4) Some folks think Gary Pinkel and Mark Richt are generally a lot alike. How hot is Gary Pinkel's hot seat? Is is merely kind of hot or is it smoking hot? Could you please give some examples of things Gary Pinkel has lost control of? Thanks in advance.
Gary Pinkel was Mark Richt before Mark Richt was Mark Richt. After a terribly disappointing 2004 season, Pinkel's seat was quite hot, and Mizzou fans remained annoyed about 2004 well into the subsequent rebound. Even now, he's TOO STUBBORN!!! and CAN'T WIN THE BIG GAME (OTHER THAN THE ONES HE'S WON)!!!
Luckily, even the most intolerant Mizzou fans now know they cannot legitimately call for his head. So instead, they call for the offensive coordinator's head every time Mizzou punts. You have BLAME BOBO, we have FIRE YOST. (They're too scared of the former Marine who holds the defensive coordinator position to call for HIS head. So they just call for Yost's head every time opponents score touchdowns, too.)
(Ed. Note: FIRE MIKE BOBO. And yes, I'm kind of scared of Todd Grantham. That is all.)
The Trib: Georgia defends its flavor
The Trib: Mark Richt has learned to persevere at Georgia
The Trib: Rallying SEC fans
The Missourian: Before Georgia, coach Mark Richt almost found a home in Columbia
PowerMizzou: Powered Up: A New Era
To me, Saturday isn't so much about the game. Don't get me wrong, in the short term, that's the important part. Scoring more points than the Bulldogs is what Pinkel and his players will be focused on. It is what fans will remember.
But ultimately, Saturday is about everything else. Everything before the opening kickoff. […]
I remember November 6th last year. I had just flown back from Waco, Texas after watching Heisman winner Robert Griffin III (speaking of things I never thought I'd see, a Heisman Trophy at Baylor? REALLY?) dismantle Mizzou. The Tigers had sent out a somewhat anti-climactic press release as I sat on the runway in Waco that they had joined the SEC. By that time, we all knew it was coming. It was just a matter of when.
That night, I filed into the student center on campus along with every other media member who was within driving distance of Columbia that morning and a few thousand rowdy, rollicking fans. Brady Deaton talked. Mike Alden talked. And then SEC commissioner Mike Slive took to the podium and told the fans "Welcome to your new home."
Confetti rained, chants broke out and a new age of Mizzou athletics began. And again, I thought, "I never thought I'd see this."
KC Star: SEC newcomers feeling the hype
KC Star: Mizzou players, coaches say Georgia defense has bite
Georgia’s 3-4 defense isn’t anything the Tigers haven’t seen before; Henson said the Aggies ran the same scheme last year. But the size of the Bulldogs’ interior line is certainly unique. Senior nose guard John Jenkins is a prototypical NFL space-eater at 6-3, 358 pounds, while his backup, junior Kwame Geathers, is 6-6, 355.
"They’re probably bigger at tackle than anybody we’ve seen in a while," Yost said.
Starting senior ends Abry Jones (6-3, 308) and Cornelius Washington (6-4, 268) aren’t small, either. Yost said MU hasn’t seen a defensive tackle with Jenkins’ size and skill set since the Tigers faced Baylor’s Phil Taylor in 2009. Missouri lost that game 40-32, though it did limit Taylor — who stood 6-4, 340 and went on to become a first-round NFL Draft pick — to only two tackles.
"But they didn’t have Jarvis Jones coming off the edge," Yost said.
Yost also implied that the 23 points Georgia gave up last Saturday against Buffalo is probably a little deceiving. The Bulldogs allowed the Bulls to gain 347 total yards, including 199 on the ground.
"I’m sure against Buffalo, they didn’t bring out all the stops," Yost said. "I’m sure we’ll see some other looks and other packages from them. We’ve got to prepare for everything we saw on video from them last year and anything we’ve ever had issues with."
Post-Dispatch (Bernie Miklasz): Mizzou measures up in its SEC division
There's intense pressure on both sides. Georgia, led by the perpetually persecuted coach Mark Richt, doesn't want to become the first SEC team to go down to Mizzou. They've fired coaches for less. SEC pride is on the line.
For Mizzou, the first game offers an immediate credibility check. The Tigers have made a rather noisy arrival. They stuck their chests out at SEC Media Days. The MU players were defiant and proud and unwilling to kneel down in a ceremonial show of respect for the SEC.
The Tigers made it clear: they fear no one. They plan on proving that they rate a spot in the new neighborhood, and won't be intimidated. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson popped off last weekend, referring to Georgia's brand as "old man football."
That's good. If you act scared, bullies pick up on it. And you're defeated before the competition begins. The SEC doesn't mind bravado. The SEC welcomes bluster. The members of the SEC believe they have the biggest, baddest conference in all of college football. No one was offended by Mizzou's brashness. If you're going to join the SEC, then act as if you belong.
Post-Dispatch: Georgia's Richt downplays Richardson comments
Post-Dispatch: Pinkel: Richardson 'wrong and irresponsible'
Post-Dispatch: 3 young backs make Georgia dangerous
CBS Sports: Keys to the Game: No. 7 Georgia at Missouri
Hank's Sports Blog: Know Your Enemy: Georgia
Georgia’s defensive line is so good that it may alter Missouri’s gameplan. The combination of nose guards John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers last season moved the Bulldogs from 56th nationally against the run in 2010 to 11th. Grantham has tinkered with his defensive line, occasionally moving the more athletic Jenkins to defensive end with Geathers at nose. The challenge for Missouri will be sticking with the run. Pinkel has to get creative with running the ball. Expect him to involve Dorial Green-Beckham, TJ Moe, Franklin and Kendial Lawrence early and often in the run game through options and end-arounds.
This could be a big game for DGB and the Missouri offense. Georgia has a depleted secondary and Franklin’s speed should help offset their advantage along the defensive front.
I Can't Believe It Took So Long For Somebody To Write This Story
The Trib: Franklin and Kreklow are almost inseparable
"They're, like, attached at the hip," said Elvis Fisher, Missouri's left tackle.
Said Wayne Kreklow, MU's volleyball coach and Molly's uncle: "You rarely see one without the other outside of the practice gym."
Last month when the SEC volleyball preseason awards were announced, Franklin wrote to his 8,700 followers on Twitter, "Congrats to my bestie and girly on pre-season all SEC." He followed that message with 16 smiley faces and "Molly," spelled with 15 "Y's."
"The guys in the locker room give him a hard time," tailback Kendial Lawrence said, "because we'll be talking guy things — football, movies — and he'll be like, 'Me and Molly did this, me and Molly did that.' "
So he's a guy who gushes about his girl. Asked to describe the relationship, Franklin smiled and didn't hesitate.
"Spectacular," he said.
And A Different Take On James Franklin
CBS Sports: Mizzou QB Franklin's father was saved by football, despite coaches giving up on him
Could Willie Franklin happen these days? How an athlete-turned-preacher couldn't read until age 25 sort of reflects badly on the system that produced him.
But football saved his life, because Willie turned the system in on itself. He used football to get an education. He succeeded because others wouldn't let him quit. That's what he preaches these days. When football cut him loose, he still persevered.
"So many of them," he says now of the modern landscape, "their lives fell apart because they had all their marbles in one bowl."
Maybe there is another child somewhere who will see the qualities of a father in Willie. The qualities that saved a boy and made him a man. Willie Franklin should be bitter. He should never want to see Chuck Fairbanks again. But he did, he does.
If Missouri beats Georgia, James will owe some small piece of gratitude to his father's former tormentor/coach. A few years ago, James took some tutoring from an elderly man who was also working with a grandson at Dallas-area Midlothian High School.
"I used to meet James at 7 in the morning and work with him for an hour or two," Fairbanks said. "I would teach him basic fundamentals. I've been following him even before I started working with him."
Fox Sports MW: Mizzou CB Gaines ready for SEC challenge
The Missourian: Baggett hoping that first field goal for Missouri comes soon
The Trib: New conference helps Missouri sell out season tickets for the first time
Georgia To Eighth, Mizzou To 24th
Football Outsiders: Week 2 F/+ Rankings
Big Cat Country: Maurice Jones-Drew Sees Difference In Blaine Gabbert
We Are Mizzou: Mizzou Tiger Walk
We Are Mizzou: Mizzou Nike Uniforms
Other Football Links
Great History Piece
Land-Grant Holy Land: Chicago's Big Ten Team: The Forgotten Story Of The Chicago Maroons
Mizzou Diamond Sports Links
SimmonsField.com: SxSE: Mississippi State Baseball 1885-2012
Other Mizzou Links
MUtigers.com: No. 10 Tigers Close Non-Conference Play Thursday at Ohio State
The Trib (Ross Dellenger): The Scouting Report (volleyball, soccer)
MUtigers.com: Volleyball Heads to MSU Eagle Challenge
Mizzou Men's Golf
MUtigers.com: Long Ranked Among NCAA Golf's Top 50
- Mizzou Women's Golf
The Missourian: Positive attitude bolsters redshirt freshman on Missouri women's golf team