Ready to rebound
The Bowl Championship Series standings have spoken, which means Mizzou’s opponent in the Big 12 Championship has been decided. Oklahoma has emerged from a three-way tie with Texas and Texas Tech, setting up a rematch of last year’s championship game.
Oklahoma beat No. 11 Oklahoma State 61-41 on Saturday to narrowly move ahead of the Longhorns in the standings. Mizzou lost 40-37 to Kansas in a game that came down to the wire. Fortunately for the Tigers, Missouri already had clinched the North crown.
For the game against Kansas, Mizzou donned old gold jersey tops for the first time since 1984. In that game against Notre Dame, the Tigers also lost by a field goal, 26-23. Chad Moller, manager of sports information, says black, gold and white pants were all designed to go with the new tops, but the black by far looked best.
Mizzou’s recent success on the field means members of the coaching staff outside of coach Gary Pinkel are the subject of several coaching rumors. Pinkel, who received a contract extension last week, turned down an interview with Washington, where he worked as an assistant for several years. Offensive coordinator Dave Christensen was promoted to head coach at Wyoming. And defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus interviewed for the head coaching position at Toledo, where he served as coordinator under Pinkel before coming to Mizzou. The coaching staff will likely remain intact for the remainder of the season, Athletic Director Mike Alden says, as the team prepares for the championship game and a bowl trip.
“We’re in the championship game,” quarterback Chase Daniel says. “Not Kansas, not Kansas State, not Baylor. We’re in the championship.
“Would we have liked to keep the momentum up [with a win against Kansas]? Sure. But it’s a big week — championship week.”
The Tigers know their preseason goal — winning the Big 12 Title and playing in a BCS bowl — is still out there if they knock off Oklahoma on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ABC. It’s just time, as is emphasized everywhere around the stadium and practice facilities, to finish.