We’ve seen big upsets before. You know how the underdog takes down Goliath. There’s a moment when it becomes real, that play, the sequence when it starts to become real. Like I said, we’ve seen this all before, in a variety of ways.
Maybe it’s Gahn McGaffie opening the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown. Maybe it’s Riccio to Sesay. Maybe it’s Colt 45 or Michael Sam returning a fumble for a touchdown. Either way there needs to be a moment.
For 60 minutes yesterday, Missouri fought tooth and nail against the top ranked Georgia Bulldogs. They held their own, and lost by 9. So today you’ll probably be reading lots of post-mortem moral victory posts because the plucky underdog Tigers went to Athens and didn’t get embarrassed. And for sure, there are a lot of reasons to feel positive about how things went down, after all we’re Missouri fans and we understand the social contract that comes with being a Missouri fan. Good things are hard to come by, and they require a lot of work.
But this post isn’t a post-mortem moral victory post. This is about how you have to generate your luck against a team like Georgia, and Missouri failed to do that.
The Tigers went toe to toe with Georgia. Each team lined up and played good hard honest football. When you do that against a team like Georgia, you’re probably going to lose. After all, Missouri is a good team, Georgia is more than that. On their turf, in their stadium, Missouri needed more. What they needed never materialized.
Instead of Gahn McGaffie we had Marquis Johnson misplaying a kickoff and getting stuck at the 5 yard line. There were no forced turnovers, and instead of Sonny Riccio, Mizzou ran zero trickeration all game long. Perhaps they deserve credit for simply lining up and playing football; it’s just hard to beat a better team when you don’t throw a wrench into the mixer just to see what happens.
I guess you can give them some sort of credit for just sticking their nose in the fan. Missouri looked like they completely belonged on the field yesterday. They didn’t play their A game and had a chance to win in the 4th quarter (I think you can also give Mizzou fans credit for their votes— they knew it was going to take a better offensive performance to beat the Bulldogs). They were almost there. They proved they were worthy of a top 15 ranking. Mizzou is a good football team.
Depending on your expectations, maybe being good is enough. Kentucky has reached being good on a yearly basis. Realistically maybe being good is enough this season. Missouri hasn’t had that many good years. They’re capable of being good, but it doesn’t happen all that often. Since 1990, Missouri has finished the season ranked in the top 25 just 7 times, with three seasons in the top 15 and two in the top 10. Just two years of being great.
That’s what was left on the field in Athens. The chance to be great.
Since the SEC moved to divisions in 1992, five teams have won the Division Championship. South Carolina has won it once, Missouri twice, Tennessee five times. Then Georgia has 10 division championships, Florida has 13. 75% of the time either the Gators or the Bulldogs win the East. Georgia has 5 of the last 6. You don’t get many chances to truly take down Goliath, and Missouri walked onto the field and gave themselves a chance. They just never found the one play to swing the game.
But! But... there’s still a lot of season left. Tennessee next week and there’s some payback needed. There’s much more to prove.
Other SEC Scores:
- Alabama (8) 42, LSU (14) 28
- Ole Miss (10) 38, Texas A&M 35
- Tennessee (17) 59, UConn 3
- Arkansas 39, Florida 36 - OT
- South Carolina 38, Jacksonville State 28
- Auburn 31, Vanderbilt 15
- Kentucky 24, Mississippi State 3