The 2012 SEC Football schedule was released today and Kentucky will travel to play Mizzou for the first time since 1965. Missouri brings their incredible tradition and passionate fans to the conference. But what else can we expect?
–A clumsy mascot. On Monday, Missouri mascot Truman the Tiger dropped the Indepenence Bowl trophy before the team got a chance to hoist it after their win over UNC. Truman was taking a picture before the game with the trophy, it slipped and the top portion shattered. Luckily, there was a jeweler close by that was able to replace it and Truman was off the hook.
–An outstanding football team. Mizzou will fit right in the SEC when it comes to football. Under current head coach Gary Pinkel, Mizzou has made a bowl game in seven consecutive years. Pinkel has an 85-54 record during his tenure at Missouri and most notably won the 2008 BCS Cotton Bowl over the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Tigers recently topped North Carolina 41-24 in the Insight Bowl ending a two year skid in bowl games.
Being an SEC school in the midwest will also give Missouri the upper hand in the recruiting in states like Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Kids can stay close to home but face the top competition in the nation while doing it. Here’s a look at Mizzou’s 2012 SEC football schedule:
Sept. 8: GEORGIA
Sept. 22: at South Carolina
Oct. 6: VANDERBILT
Oct. 13: ALABAMA
Oct. 27: KENTUCKY
Nov. 3: at Florida
Nov. 10: at Tennessee
Nov. 24: at Texas A&M
–A tougher basketball schedule. Mizzou has consistently been one of the top basketball programs in the last couple of years. They are coming off of a 78-74 win over No. 25 Illinois and are currently ranked 8th in the nation, higher than any other SEC school besides Kentucky. They can attribute their recent success to former coach and now Arkansas coach Mike Anderson who was hired in 2006. Anderson, who took over a Missouri team that was coming off of a number of recruiting violations, led the Tigers to the NCAA tournament in his last three years as head coach including an Elite eight appearance in 2009. Frank Haith, former head coach at the University of Miami, was hired to replace Anderson and has not lost a game yet during his tenure (9-0). With the addition of Missouri to the SEC East it will not only help the Wildcat’s RPI -a plus for NCAA tournament seeding – but also increase the level of competition that Kentucky will see before March Madness.
–A different atmosphere. Kentucky hasn’t traveled to play Missouri since 1965 and you can bet there will be a ton of blue in the stadium on October 27th to welcome the Tigers to the SEC. Columbia is an outstanding Midwestern city and quite the contrast from cities such as Athens or Knoxville. Columbia, MO, or CoMo as the locals call it, is known as a traditional college town and is dubbed by some as College Town, USA. It is also the halfway point between St. Louis and Kansas City, which is also a great opportunity to do more sight-seeing while in town for a UK game.
The SEC found a perfect fit in terms of up and coming sports programs to add to the conference. Missouri is becoming one the programs that are competing in every major sport and not focusing on just one. SEC fans should be excited to have Mizzou because the competition just got better.
…Just keep Truman the Tiger away from the trophy cases.