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The mission of the Paul Hornung Award is to recognize and reward versatile, high-level performers in major college football (Football Bowl Subdivision team member); to help preserve the legacy of one of Louisville’s native sons and sports icons; and to promote Louisville as a great sports town.
Gary Pinkel and respect
So I do not exclude myself from the question: How have so many people so badly misjudged the team that will play Alabama on Saturday for the championship of the nation’s best conference? I don’t just mean skepticism after the 34-0 loss to the Bulldogs, when the bandwagon was understandably empty, but week after week and victory after victory, right up until Friday, when Missouri (10-2, 7-1) was a home underdog to Arkansas.
Pinkel earned at least $200,000 in bonuses when Missouri reached 10 wins and earned a berth in the SEC Championship Game. Depending on ticket revenue for the 2014 season, which presumably spiked with MU’s second sellout of the season for the Battle Line Rivalry win against the Razorbacks, that figure could climb higher.
"I think our players, obviously they know what's going on. They watch TV, they hear things. Certainly they're competitors and they have a lot of pride in who they are. I think they drew off of that a little bit, the underdog, maybe not getting the respect that you want to, [and] that's okay a little bit. But honestly, we don't talk about that at all from the standpoint of my coaches with our players. We focus on ourselves and playing well… But our players are certainly aware of what's happening and what's out there."
Markus Golden, the savage
"If they don’t respect us now, they’ll never respect us," said Golden, who had two tackles for loss. "Now it’s about our team. It’s about these teammates, about our coaches and about winning the championship for us. We’re done with respect. We want the championship."
Bama will be ready
Pinkel said he expects everyone who played against Arkansas to be available for the title game. That means right tackle Taylor Chappell, who sat out the second half with what Pinkel called a "hyperextended elbow" and running back Russell Hansbrough, who had a "slight ankle sprain."
Pinkel also said quarterback Maty Mauk had been dealing with a "tweak" in his right, throwing shoulder that had been bothering him until recently.
"They're a great team," Alabama defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson said. "They had a great win (against Arkansas). I watched them throughout (and) when we can, we watch any other SEC team. They're a really good SEC team and we're excited to be playing them."
"For the O-Line, (we know about) Shane Ray," Shepherd said. "He's the SEC sacks leader (with 12) and a great defensive lineman. That's all I know, right now."
1) Missouri can beat Alabama: Let me say up front that I’m picking No. 1 Alabama (11-1) to beat Missouri (10-2) in the SEC Championship game on Saturday (4 p.m, CBS) at the Georgia Dome. But if you think it’s going to be a walk in the park for the Crimson Tide, then you haven’t been paying attention to the Tigers. Yes I know they lost to dreadful Indiana (4-8) . I know they lost 34-0 at home to Georgia. I know that the seven SEC teams Missouri did beat had a collective conference record of 17-39. But I also know that Missouri won at Texas A&M, won at Tennessee and beat Arkansas to lock down the SEC East. I know that Gary Pinkel, Nick Saban’s teammate at Kent State, is a top-notch coach. I also know that Alabama gave up 630 yards and 44 points to Auburn. Alabama wins, but it won’t be easy.
Mizzou Rankings and Bowl Game Scenarios
AP voters have Missouri ranked anywhere from No. 9 to No. 21, according to APPollStalker.com.
The line may have changed since, but Mizzou likely be at least a two touchdown underdog vs Alabama this weekend in Atlanta. Mizzou was apparently a one point favorite last year vs Auburn but we all remember how that went. Much is being made about Mizzou being 0-3 vs the field and against the point spread and I'm not a gambler so I can't offer much more comment than to say Mizzou has been underdogs most of the season and prevailed regardless.
If Mizzou wins SECCG but doesn't go to the CFB Playoffs: They are guaranteed to go to Fiesta, Cotton, or Peach Bowls
Cotton Bowl sounds unlikely due to Mizzou having been there last year. The Fiesta Bowl also unlikely because they'd probably pick Arizona, ASU or UCLA which are closer for fans.
That leaves the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. Great for recruiting the Georgia/Florida area and a win with good fan turnout would likely reinforce recruiting gains Mizzou has made in the Southeast. The matchups would be a Big 10 school, either Ohio State, Wisconsin, or Michigan State.
If Mizzou loses SECCG: The most likely option sounds like the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. Again the opponents would come from the Big 10 and Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota or Nebraska seem like potential opponents. A win over a B1G school would offer some redemption for the Indiana game, improve bowl record and impress recruits in Florida where Mizzou is still establishing roots.
If Mizzou loses SECCG and is not picked by any of the above bowls: Their bowl options consist of a "Group of Six" including Outback, Belk, Liberty, Taxslayer, Texas and Music City. The SEC and departing commissioner Mike Slive would likely endeavor to put Mizzou in the most favorable matchup and desirable location for Mizzou so something like the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida (hello recruiting!) against the bottom choices from the Big 10 (Minnesota or Nebraska).
You know who has to be pretty happy with all the focus on football? Kim Anderson.
Anderson didn’t think Williams’ injury was serious, but the Tigers would certainly struggle — even more than they have already — if he is forced to miss any time. The 6-foot-9 sophomore forward has made more starts in black and gold than any other player and is averaging 9.2 points and 4.3 rebounds. He looked like the only player ready to match Purdue’s aggressiveness in the first half on Tuesday while scoring 10 of MU’s 20 first-half points.
"I was very concerned going into this game," Pingeton said after her team’s 68-55 victory at Mizzou Arena. "Looking around the scoreboard, seeing how many SEC teams and BCS schools have been upset by midmajors, I just wanted to make sure that didn’t happen to us."
OT: My fortune cookie tonight. I kid you not. pic.twitter.com/V3j6C8HUWm— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) December 1, 2014