This moment isn’t about a great event from a great season. This is a more human moment. A moment when the culmination of Gary Pinkel’s Head Coaching career came into balance.
The 2015 season at Missouri was one rocked with disappointment. The team finished 5-7, they struggled to score points, their starting quarterback was kicked off the team, later reinstated, then kicked off again. Freshman Drew Lock was forced to step in early and struggled to move a lethargic offense. Meanwhile, the defense was playing out of its mind in order to keep the team in games.
Missouri’s defense finished the season ranked 3rd in SP+, behind just Georgia and Alabama.
The week before the game was a bit of an odd week and here’s about how things went:
- Mizzou loses to Mississippi State 31-13 on a Thursday night game
- On Sunday, members of the Football team, in solidarity with an on campus protest, went on strike saying they would not play football until there was a resolution
- Monday morning, Mizzou President Tim Wolfe resigned
- Later that day, the strike ended
- Then on Friday, Head Coach Gary Pinkel and the school announced he was resigning at the end of the year to battle lymphoma
- On Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mizzou played a football game against BYU
The game wasn’t pretty, but Missouri did win.
From Bill’s post-game recap:
1. The story book has, at worst, a good ending.
The postgame coverage following Missouri’s 20-16 win over BYU was awesome. The SEC Network simply stood back and watched as Gary Pinkel’s players surrounded him, danced around him, coaxed a little dance out of him, and headed back toward the locker room. There were grins and a few tears.
That this happened at Arrowhead Stadium, the site of Pinkel’s greatest moment about eight years ago, was poetic.
If this was Gary Pinkel’s last win, that’s a pretty awesome ending. Obviously we hope for another win or two (or three). And with the improvement Missouri has shown in recent weeks, the Tigers will have a fighting chance at that. But that’s the ceiling. The floor is now settling for last night as Pinkel’s last wonderful moment, his “Faurot carried off after beating Kansas.” I’ll take it.