You've seen the magazines promoting season previews on the stands at bookstores and grocery stores, right? Well, it's about that time again, and one of the most popular preseason magazines' digital edition is currently available. Phil Steele's College Football Preview has been going strong for 20 years, previewing thousands of players and teams since it's inception. Steele tackles every Conference and Team Outlook in the FBS, gives his Bowl Projections, and lists his top players at each position in 2014.
Among the Top 40 Wide Receiver's is not a current Tiger, but former #1 recruit Dorial Green-Beckham, who comes in at #8 on Steele's best receivers in 2014. "DGB" hauled in 87 receptions for 1,278 yards and 17 scores while with the Tigers in 2012-14. Evan Boehm follows at #10 of the Top 20 Centers in 2014, and is the biggest of the 20 at 315 pounds. So far in his Missouri career, Evan has started all 26 games on the Offensive Line, taking over at Center last season. Now we jump over to the Defensive side of the ball, Shane Ray and Markus Golden make their appearance at #18 and #23 of the Top 30 Defensive Ends respectively. Both combined for 11.0 sacks and 94 Tackles in 2013, and should spearhead the Tigers front seven this fall. Senior Matt Hoch lands at #28 of the Top 30 Defensive Tackles, returning for his Senior year after pulling in 3.0 sacks and 21 Tackles last year. Hoch injured his ankle earlier this Spring during a scrimmage, but should be back by game one in August. Finally, checking in at #7 of the Top 10 Punt Returners for this upcoming season, Junior Marcus Murphy. While his special teams performance dropped in favor of more carries out of the backfield in 2013, Murphy is still a threat at returner as is shown by his Punt Return TDs in 2012.
In Phil Steele's SEC Preview, seven Missouri Tigers were selected to the All-SEC teams, ranging from the second team to the fourth team:
- DL Markus Golden
- KR Marcus Murphy
- LB Kentrell Brothers
In his outlook for the Tigers, Steele points out how the Tigers are returning only eight starters for 2014, losing big names such as Henry Josey, Kony Ealy, and Michael Sam. They also lost their Top 3 Wide Receiver and 6 of their Top 9 Tacklers. However, the schedule favors the Tigers with no Alabama, Auburn, or LSU on the table, and states that they are still a contender in the east.
- In Individual Unit rankings, Missouri was ranked 39th in Quarterbacks, 24th in Offensive Line, 28th in Defensive Line, and 39th in Special Teams
- Steele ranked the Tigers as having the 31st toughest schedule for 2014
- Steele's Bowl Projections have Missouri traveling to Memphis to take on Air Force in the Liberty Bowl
- Missouri is just outside of the Preseason Top 40 at 41st overall.