Entering the 2013 season, there was not much buzz surrounding the Missouri Tigers. In preseason publications, Gary Pinkel‘s team was picked between to finish in the middle of the pack, or lower, by most publications.
Then, Missouri got off to a fast start, winning its first five games. But detractors said that the competition level wasn’t high enough.
In the sixth game of the season, Missouri topped the Georgia Bulldogs, a Top 10 team in the preseason, but doubters said that Georgia had too many players injured to make it a real test.
Missouri would go ahead and win its seventh straight game before losing for the only time this season, to the South Carolina Gamecocks, in game eight. Analysts said that Mizzou would come crashing down to Earth after that game, that they could not sustain their early season success.
But the Tigers kept winning, beating the Tennessee Volunteers and the Kentucky Wildcats to move to 9-1. Non-believers said that Mizzou would stumble in their final two contests, because they could not keep up their high level of play.
On Saturday night in Oxford, Mizzou did it again, beating a Top 25 opponent, the Ole Miss Rebels, on the road to move to 10-1.
Mizzou controls its own destiny in the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division. If they can beat the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday night in Columbia, Missouri would make its first appearance in the SEC Championship Game in just its second season in the league. And maybe then, those than haven’t believed in them all season long would finally realize that this is a really good football team.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.