Hey, y'all, I'm not exactly new to this blog, I'm just new to having an account and posting things. Basically, I got tired of standing on the sidelines watching commenters have fun making things green. But now I've taken the plunge, so here goes nothin'. I'm all in.
I think it's a pretty commonly accepted fact that Mizzou didn't have a good year in 2012. We saw good things, like a red-zone INT to seal a win vs a Pac-12 team, we saw what I consider one of the most exciting games I've seen in my short 20 years end with an SEC road W at Rocky Top and we saw potential from the youth in DGB and Boehm. Overall however, only 5 wins was a disappointment. With what this program has been building on in the last 8 years or so, 5 wins made me shake my head. I was there for every home game, and I feel pretty confident in saying that Mizzou was 5-10 plays from us singing a different tune this offseason. With that being said, you are what your record is. And 5 wins isn't good.
With the 2013 season not too far off, there's still time to whip yourself up into a frenzy of "Why, with that home schedule we'll win 10 games easy!" or you may want to spend your time building a bomb shelter to protect yourself from the nuclear fallout when the team scrapes together 3 victories.
For me personally, I always have optimism when it comes to my sports team. I believe that's the whole point. Believing your team can win. However, I don't know what to expect from this team. They have to improve offensively, which I think they will. Defensively, they can't have any games like against South Carolina. That's just unacceptable for myriad reasons. The collapse against Syracuse is something that will happen from time to time. Happened to LSU against Alabama, so it sucks, but it happens to the best, too.
Since the Spring Game I've seen several polls with the majority of answers believing 8 wins is the mark for this team. That's what my dad believes, that's what my friends tend to think and apparently it's what everybody on RMN believes, too. When I look at the Missouri Tigers schedule I see a 4-0 start. Anything less than that is shake your head worthy. On the road against Indiana SHOULD be a two-score victory for a team that wants to be taken seriously in the SEC. If Mizzou went there and won something like 27-10 I'd be ecstatic and expecting a victory two weeks later against Vandy, too. Vandy is a good team, but Missouri needs to beat the teams that Bama, LSU, Georgia and Florida beat in the SEC if they want to move towards becoming that. Even after the season, when Vandy had turned in a solid year, I was embarrassed Mizzou dropped that game at home.
Not sure anybody is giving the team a chance @ Georgia. Fair, but I've seen stranger things.
The three game home stretch is nerve-wracking. If the attitude going into this game is the same as it would be for a similar Big 12 home-stretch of Baylor, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State they'll drop all 3 games. I'm very worried that as a whole, the team, school and fans haven't quite adapted to the SEC being a different level of intense on Saturday. I believe this part of the schedule could make or break the season as a whole. Beat any combination of 2 of those 3 and I'll be an extremely pleased fan. Drop all 3 and now the team will have its back against the wall going into Oxford clawing to make a bowl game.
Whereas, in a perfect world, AKA 2007, the Tigers would be 8-2 going down to Oxford. Which at that point, they should beat the Rebs, which would make for one hell of a finale against A&M. A finale showdown against A&M that could very well decide if Mizzou is playing in Atlanta for a championship, (Note: this is a highly unlikely scenario, but the wins are there, and I've watched Gary Pinkel-coached teams play in back to back conference championship games.)
This is the best part about being a fan. I commend Pinkel for bringing the program to this point. I see 3 games that I'm fairly sure the Tigers will lose, but I also see 9 games where Mizzou has the talent to put themselves in a position to win. I'm expecting less injuries, an improved Franklin and hopefully a defense that turns teams over and can get off the field on third down.
It's okay to think this team can only win 3 games, haters have been around forever. But it's also rational to demand 8 wins from this team. I'm demanding 8 wins. That's my expectation. Of course, 10 is possible, and so is 5. With a favorable home schedule, 8 is solid ground for me. Those are my expectations in moderation. Always expect in moderation.