The 2013 season is a very important one for the Missouri Tigers and head coach Gary Pinkel. The Tigers mustered just a 5-7 record last season, its first in the Southeastern Conference, and fans in Columbia are expecting the team to be better in 2013.
Which makes it all the more puzzling that Pinkel and his staff have yet to name a starting quarterback. Senior co-captain James Franklin is the frontrunner and should be the starter when the Tigers face Murray State on August 31. Yet, no announcement has come as to who the starter will be.
Franklin looked good in Saturday’s scrimmage, yet Pinkel would not commit to him being the starter. “When we make a decision, you’ll know it,” Pinkel said after practice.
As a sophomore in 2011, Franklin had an outstanding season in the Tigers’ final year of Big 12 Conference play. At his best, he is a dual threat quarterback who can keep defenses honest. Last season, Franklin struggled with injuries, but he appears to be healthy heading into 2013.
Pinkel is on the hot seat this season. The move to the SEC brought a lot of excitement in Columbia, yet the Tigers fell flat last season. One would think that if his job really is on the line, Pinkel would eliminate the suspense of a fall quarterback battle (between Franklin, Corbin Berkstresser and Maty Mauk) and name Franklin the starter.
Franklin is clearly the best player among the three and, more importantly, gives the Tigers the best chance of winning against a difficult schedule. So the time is now for Pinkel to name Franklin as the starter so he can get more reps with the first team offense as the season approaches.