Season Report Card: Missouri Tigers
So, to say that Missouri's 12-2 record and run to the SEC title game in 2013 was a surprise would be a bit of an understatement.
Gary Pinkel's team was the talk of the league this season in winning the SEC East and being a win away from playing for the national championship. While we didn't expect much of them going into the season, we probably should have given all the pieces they had in place on both sides of the ball.
Let's take a look at how the Tigers pulled off an outstanding season by handing out grades for the team:
While the Missouri offense started with all-world quarterback James Franklin, it didn't end with just him. The Tigers had so many weapons on offense, with running back Henry Josey leading the way on the ground, and wide receivers Dorial Green-Beckham and L'Damian Washington both catching double-digit touchdowns this season.
If you look at the statistics, Missouri's defense allowed a ton of yards this season. But the reason why it were successful is because they didn't allow a lot of points. Teams were normally playing from behind against the Tigers, which resulted in inflated offensive numbers. Take out the dreadful performance against Auburn in the SEC championship, and this defense was pretty solid for the most part. Senior linebacker Andrew Wilson anchored the unit, leading the team with 113 total tackles on the year.
A year after struggling mightily, some wondered as to Pinkel's future with the Tigers. Well, those doubts can be put to rest now after this memorable season. He and his staff did a fantastic job getting this team prepared week in and week out, and if not for a performance for the ages by Connor Shaw, Missouri would have finished the regular season undefeated.
Things simply couldn't have went much better for Missouri football this season. After a lackluster season a year ago, it rebounded emphatically. There's no doubt that the Tigers would have liked a better defensive performance in the SEC championship game, but they couldn't help that they ran into a buzzsaw in Auburn. Overall, this year was nothing but positive for Pinkel's squad.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Missouri football? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!