STADIUM: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field (71,004 - FieldTurf surface). Opened in 1926. MU is 262-169-20 there alltime and has won 35 of its last 42 overall and is 45-12 there since 2003 (1-1 in 2012).
RADIO: Tiger Network. Mike Kelly (play-by-play), Howard Richards (color), Chris Gervino (sidelines), Scotty Cox (producer), Matt Winegardner (director). Carried on over 50 stations across the Midwest, and on the Internet at mutigers.tv.
The game will also be available on satellite radio (Sirius 93 & XM 209).
TV: ESPN2. Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Matt Millen (analyst), Shelley Smith (reporting), Steve Ackels (producer).
SERIES: Tied, 3-3. ASU won 37-30 in OT last season in Tempe. MU won the last meeting in Columbia, 30-9 over #21 ASU in 1989.
COACHES: MU:Gary Pinkel (Kent, '75), 86-55 at MU (12th year) and 159-92-3 overall (22nd year). Pinkel is 0-1 vs. ASU and 0-0 vs. Todd Graham. ASU: Todd Graham (East Central University, '87), 2-0 at ASU (1st year) and 51-26 overall (7th year). Graham is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.
TIGERS HOST SUN DEVILS LOOKING FOR PAYBACK
The Missouri Tigers (1-1 overall), will look to return to their winning ways Saturday evening in the final game of a three-game homestand to open the 2012 season, as they play host to the upstart Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0). Kickoff for the nationally televised game (ESPN2) is set for 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field.
Saturday will be part of Mizzou's Family Weekend, where parents and family members of MU's students are encouraged to come to Columbia and spend time with their future MU graduates. For more information on MU's Family Weekend, please visit Mizzou's Family Weekend site.
On the gridiron, Mizzou is looking to bounce back from a tough 41-20 home loss last Saturday evening to 7th-ranked Georgia in what served as the first-ever conference game for MU in its new home of the Southeastern Conference. The final score wasn't indicative of the competitiveness in the ballgame, as Mizzou never trailed until just :51 seconds remained in the 3rd quarter, and they were down by only 7 points, and had possession with 8 1/2 minutes left in the game. A pair of costly turnovers deep in their own territory in the final 8 minutes led to Georgia touchdown drives of 1 yard and 5 yards, which made the final margin a little deceptive.
If that wasn't enough motivation by itself, many of the same Tigers are back from last year's squad which dropped a 37-30 overtime heartbreaker in the desert at Arizona State, and they'll look to avenge that loss on Saturday, as well.
It certainly will be a big challenge for the Tigers, however, as ASU comes into Saturday's contest a perfect 2-0 for 1st-year Head Coach Todd Graham. The Sun Devils opened their 2012 campaign with a 63-6 pasting of Northern Arizona, and followed with a second home win over Illinois by a convincing 45-14 margin. Arizona State is led by 1st-year starting QB Taylor Kelly, who comes into the game ranked 7th in the NCAA in passing efficiency (188.99 rating). As a team, the Sun Devils rank in the top-25 nationally in just about every major offensive and defensive category through two games.
TIGERS WENT TOE-TO-TOE WITH #7 GEORGIA; LATE MISTAKES COSTLY
Last Saturday was an historic occasion, as the Missouri Tigers played host to the 7th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in what was Mizzou's first-ever SEC conference game. A frenzied sellout crowd of 71,004 at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field was on hand and provided an energy perhaps never seen in Columbia, and they were treated to a heck of a ballgame, despite the final score that read Georgia 41, Mizzou 20.
Don't let the score fool you, the outcome of the game was in doubt until a pair of MU turnovers in the final 7:33 of the game (both caused by UGA's star LB Jarvis Jones) gave Georgia the ball at the MU 1-yardline and the MU 5-yardline. Those miscues turned into a pair of short TD runs for the 'Dawgs, and they stretched a tenuous 27-20 lead into the final margin.
Prior to that, the Tigers more than held their own, and appeared poised to make a big statement in their SEC debut. Mizzou never trailed until the 0:51 mark of the third quarter, and had the ball three times in the 4th quarter while trailing by just one score. After a scoreless opening period which saw both defenses clamp down, the Tigers drew first blood, converting a Donovan Bonner interception of Aaron Murray into a 38-yard Andrew Baggett field goal - his first career three-pointer - for a 3-0 lead at the 12:07 mark of the 2nd quarter.
Georgia wouldn't lead until only 51 seconds remained in the 3rd quarter, when Murray hit Marlon Brown for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 24-20 in favor of the 'Dawgs.
In between, the Tigers traded blows, landing two big ones by QB James Franklin. The junior signal caller found WR Marcus Lucas over the middle for a 41-yard TD pass with 1:31 left in the 2nd quarter to put the Tigers up, 10-3. Mizzou's defense, which held Georgia off repeatedly in the first half, finally buckled a bit, as the Bulldogs got a quick score right back. Murray hit Marlon Brown on a 2-yard TD pass with just 0:30 seconds left in the 1st half to draw UGA to within 10-9. That's the way the score stayed at half, however, as Bulldog kicker Marshall Morgan was wide right with the point after try (just five minutes after he drilled a 52-yard field goal).
Things got even better for the Tigers early in the 2nd half, as the defense forced a punt on Georgia's initial series, followed by another long strike by the offense. Franklin floated a perfectly-placed ball down the left seam to lanky speedster WR L'Damian Washington, and Washington caught the ball in stride behind the defense and raced untouched 69 yards for a touchdown which gave Mizzou a 17-9 lead with 11:48 left in the 3rd.
With Memorial Stadium about to explode in excitement, the veteran Bulldogs responded once again, as they took their ensuing series for a 12-play, 75-yard drive which culminated in the 2nd of Murray's 3 passing touchdowns, this one a 7-yard strike to Tavarres King with 7:27 left in the 3rd. A successful 2-point conversion tied the game.
Franklin led the Tigers right back downfield, reaching the Bulldog 7-yardline, before the drive stalled. Baggett nailed a 25-yard field goal with 2:39 left in the 3rd quarter to give MU back the lead, at 20-17. For the third time on the night, however, Georgia's offense answered a Tiger score, and this one - Murray-to-Brown for 11 yards - gave them their first lead, at 24-20.
Mizzou tried some trickery after its next series stalled, but P Trey Barrow was stopped for a 3-yard gain on a fake punt on a 4th-and-11 from the MU 35, and the Bulldogs converted that into a field goal and a 27-20 lead.
After the teams traded punts, the Tigers took over on their 12-yardline with 8:23 to play, just one more long strike away from tying the game. But it wasn't to be, as Georgia's Jones picked off Franklin over the middle, returning the interception to the Tiger 1-yardline. After Georgia punched it in for a score and a 34-20 lead, Jones sacked Franklin, jarring the ball loose, with the Bulldogs taking over on the Tiger 5-yardline. Three plays later, another short Georgia TD run sealed the deal.
The Tiger mistakes late in the game overshadowed what was a gritty performance in their first-ever SEC contest. After Mizzou took its last lead at 20-17 late in the third, Georgia rode its offense and defense to 24 unanswered points to leave Columbia with the victory.
9-17-05 vs. Troy
11-20-37 vs. Wash. (Mo.)
11-18-44 vs. Iowa Navy Pre-Flight
9-12-81 vs. Army
10-1-83 vs. East Carolina
9-8-01 vs. SW Texas
9-10-05 vs. New Mexico
MIZZOU HAS WON A RECORD 17 STRAIGHT NON-CONFERENCE GAMES
The Tigers will take to Faurot Field Saturday night looking to defend a nice streak of 17 consecutive home wins against non-conference opponents. The streak is a school record in "modern day times" which we consider began in 1936, when the Associated Press poll debuted. The current string began in 2005, with a 52-21 win at Faurot over Troy, and the Tigers haven't lost at home to a non-league foe since, including this season's 62-10 win over Southeastern Louisiana.
One other thing to note: Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is a sterling 24-2 (92.3%) in his MU career at home against non-conference opponents. The only losses have been to Bowling Green in his MU debut in 2001 (L, 20-13) and to New Mexico in 2005 (L, 45-35).
The previous school record home win streak versus non-conference foes was 11, way back from 1937-44. At right is a look at the longest home non-conference win streaks in MU history.
TIGERS IN QUICK-STRIKE MODE SO FAR
The Mizzou offense has turned in 7 scoring drives through 2 games in 2012. The first one, which was the season-opening possession in the first game against SE Louisiana, went 11 plays, 75 yards and took 3:52 of clock time (culminating in a James Franklin-to-T.J. Moe TD pass). The last scoring drive by MU was a 13-play, 63-yard drive against Georgia which took 4:41 of possession time, and ended in an Andrew Baggett field goal with 2:39 left in the 3rd quarter which gave MU a 20-17 lead at the time. The average time of those 7 scoring drives has been 1:40.
But between those two longer drives, however, the Tiger offense has been quick-strike. The other five scoring drives have consumed a grand total of 189 seconds, or an average of :37 seconds per possession. Here's a look:
vs. SELA - 1 play, 76 yds, 0:14 TOP (Lawrence 76-yd TD run)
vs. SELA - 3 plays, 25 yds, 0:39 TOP (Lawrence 1-yd TD run)
vs. Georgia - 4 plays, 5 yds, 0:59 TOP (Baggett 38 FG)
vs. Georgia - 3 plays, 63 yds, 0:31 TOP (Lucas 41-yd TD reception)
vs. Georgia - 3 plays, 70 yds, 0:46 TOP (Washington 69-yd TD reception)
MIZZOU-ASU SERIES HISTORY
Mizzou and Arizona State will take the field for the 7th time when they square off Saturday night in Columbia, Mo., and the winner will break a 3-3 deadlock from the previous six matchups. The Sun Devils tied the series up with an exciting 37-30 overtime win in Tempe last season.
Saturday will mark ASU's first game in Columbia since 1990, when MU upset the 21st-ranked Sun Devils by a 30-9 score in Columbia. That avenged a 19-3 loss in Tempe in the year before, which followed consecutive wins by Mizzou in Tempe in 1977 (15-0) and in Columbia in 1974 (9-0).
That 1990 win by Mizzou over Arizona State was significant for a couple of reasons. One, it broke an 18-game losing streak by MU against ranked opponents, which stretched from 1983-90. Secondly, it will forever be remembered by Tiger fans as a big win which gave fans hope that Head Coach Bob Stull was going to get the program off and running - a signature win that would propel them to big things. The next week looked like the good mojo would continue, as the Tigers led at home against 12th-ranked Colorado, only to see the Buffaloes win 33-31 on the final play of the game on a 5th down.
The first-ever meeting between Mizzou and Arizona State was a wild affair in the 1972 Fiesta Bowl, won in 49-35 fashion by ASU in its home stadium. In what was the 2nd edition of the fledgling bowl game, there was 1,129 yards of total offense, including a massive 718 for ASU (MU had 411 yards).
Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel has faced Arizona State only once as head coach, but he's no stranger to the Sun Devils overall, as he went 5-5 against ASU as an assistant coach at Washington from 1979-90.
LAST YEAR'S RECAP: #23 ARIZONA STATE 37, #19 MIZZOU 30 (OT)
TEMPE, ARIZ. - It was one of the most anticipated games of the college football weekend, and the Mizzou-Arizona State game lived up to its billing, as the 23rd-ranked Sun Devils bested the 19th-ranked Tigers 37-30 in overtime before a sellout crowd and a Friday-night national television audience in Tempe, Ariz.
Mizzou might have lost the game, but it walked off the field with its collective heads held high, thanks to an impressive 4th-quarter rally that forced overtime, and nearly won the game in regulation.
Trailing 30-16 with 14 minutes left in the game, the Tigers dug in on both sides of the ball. Forced to punt the ball away with 13 minutes left, Mizzou pounced on a fumbled punt by ASU (Kenronte Walker recovered the muff at the ASU 32-yardline). Three plays later, QB James Franklin floated a beauty of a pass over the middle to sophomore WR L'Damian Washington for a 25-yard TD (Washington's 1st career TD) to cut the deficit in half with 12:00 to play.
The Tiger defense held on its next series and forced a Sun Devil punt. The offense took over on its own 42-yardline with 8:19 left, needing another TD to tie the game. It got just that, as Franklin calmly led an 11-play, 58-yard drive in front of the frenzied sellout crowd at Sun Devil Stadium. He capped the drive with a 4th-and-goal TD pass of 3 yards to All-American TE Michael Egnew, and with 2:50 to play, the Tigers had tied the game at 30-30.
After ASU returned the ensuing kickoff to its own 40-yardline, the Sun Devils appeared to be in prime position to drive for a game-winning field goal. But the Tiger defense bowed its backs again and forced a 3-and-out, getting the ball back one more time for the offense. On the first play, from his own 8-yardline, TB Henry Josey burst around the left end for 39 yards to take the ball near midfield, and all of a sudden, Mizzou was in business.
Three plays later, the Tigers were at the ASU 30-yardline, looking for a few more yards to get reliable PK Grant Ressel a chance at a game-winning field goal. Two passes fell incomplete, however, and Ressel had to stand over a 48-yard attempt with :17 seconds left. After trying to induce the Sun Devils to jump offsides unsuccessfully, Ressel got the kick away and it was plenty long, but it hooked just wide left to send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, ASU took the ball first and converted a big 3rd-and-7 on the way to a touchdown and a 37-30 lead. It was only the 3rd 3rd-down conversion of the game for the Sun Devils. Needing a TD to answer, the Tiger offense was stymied in its overtime possession, and a 4th-and-5 desperation pass by Franklin into the endzone fell incomplete, sending Mizzou to its first September loss since 2005 (breaking a string of 22-straight September wins).
As the score might indicate, it was a night for the offenses, as the teams combined for 993 yards of total offense, with Mizzou going for 501 and ASU 492.
Franklin was a star in just his second career start, as he amassed 403 yards of total offense, including 319 yards in the air and 2 touchdowns, to go with 84 rushing yards and the 1 score.
After senior TB De'Vion Moore was injured and lost for the game on the first series of the night, Josey came off the bench and gave the running game a spark, as he had 94 yards on just 9 carries.
Penalties were rampant on both sides of the ball, as the teams combined for 23 penalties and 224 penalty yards.
Despite converting on only 3-of-15 3rd downs, Mizzou still managed 501 yards of offense and held a time of possession advantage of 32:43-to-27:17.
DEFENSE CLAMPING DOWN OUT OF THE LOCKER ROOM
Mizzou's defense, which enters Saturday's game against Arizona State ranked 26th in the NCAA in total defense (289.00 avg. yds. allowed), has been outstanding thru two games coming out of the lockerroom. Not only have MU's two opponents not scored on their initial series of the 1st half and 2nd half, in those four initial series, MU foes have a grand total of zero 1st downs, and a net total of -19 yards! Here's a look:
1st Q vs. SELA - 2 plays, (-2 yds), 0:38 TOP (Ended w/MU interception)
3rd Q vs. SELA - 2 plays, 2 yds, 0:17 TOP (Ended w/MU fumble recovery)
1st Q vs. Georgia - 3 plays, (-12 yds), 2:17 TOP (Ended w/punt - NOTE - This UGA possession started on the MU 37-yardline)
3rd Q vs. Georgia - 3 plays, (-7 yds), 2:24 TOP (Ended w/punt)
GEORGIA RECAP NOTES
Despite the loss to Georgia last Saturday, there were a lot of positives to take from the game. Here's a recap of some of those noteable performances:
Senior LB Will Ebner, who was listed as questionable coming into the game (neck), led a spirited Tiger defensive effort by making a team-high 9 tackles, including 1.0 tackle for loss.
The 41 points on the scoreboard by Georgia was not indicative of Mizzou's defensive performance overall, as the Bulldogs managed only 355 yards of offense and punted 8 times. Georgia averaged just 3.2 yards per rush, netting 113 yards on 35 carries, as the Tiger defense managed 8.0 tackles for loss (37 yards) and 2.0 QB sacks (15 yards). Mizzou's defenders held Georgia to only 5-of-16 on 3rd-down tries on the night, as well;
Junior LB Donovan Bonner had an impactful night, as he was responsible for both turnovers that Georgia gave up. The first came on a nice play over the middle, when he tipped a ball thrown by QB Aaron Murray to himself, and intercepted it (1st-career INT) at the Georgia 38-yardline. He returned it 13 yards to the UGA 25-yardline, which set up a Tiger field goal for a 3-0 lead in the 2nd quarter. That play was huge, as it came right away after the Tiger offense fumbled the ball away in the red zone. Bonner's second play also gave MU the ball deep in 'Dawg territory, when he forced a fumble on punt coverage that teammate SS Kenronte Walker fell on at the Georgia 32-yardline in the 2nd quarter with the game tied at 3 apiece. The Tiger offense couldn't convert the scoring opportunity, however, as a 43-yard field goal was no good;
Senior DE Brad Madison had both of MU's sacks of Georgia's QB Murray. Both sacks came on 3rd down, and each one ended Georgia's initial drive of each half, forcing a punt. With the pair of sacks, Madison upped his career total to 15.0, which puts him just outside of the MU career top-10 in the category. Xzavie Jackson is currently 10th on the list, with 16.5 sacks from 2003-06;
Junior WR Marcus Lucas had a career night, as his 6 catches for 88 yards both represented career high totals. The signature play of his night was a 41-yard catch-and-run TD pass from QB James Franklin which gave the Tigers a 10-3 lead in the 2nd quarter. It was the 6th career TD catch for Lucas, and his last two have covered 53 yards (2011 vs. Kansas) and 41 yards. His first 4 career TDs covered 10, 11, 24 and 7 yards, respectively;
As is often the case, turnovers - especially the ability to capitalize on them - was the difference in a close ballgame. Georgia won the turnover battle, 3-2, and they converted those 3 turnovers gained into 14 points (all in a 2:17 span in the 4th quarter to break open a 27-20 game), while Mizzou managed only 3 points total on its pair of turnovers gained (both in the 2nd quarter)...
OFFENSIVE LINE CONTINUES TO FIGHT INJURY TROUBLES
The Mizzou offensive line has undergone a big transformation from the pre-season, due to a proliferation of injuries that has sidelined four players who figured to be among the top-10 contributors going into the season. With the knee injury of senior LT Elvis Fisher in last Saturday's game against Georgia (he left the game in the 2nd quarter with an injury to his right knee, the extent of the injury isn't yet known), that could be increased to 5.
Every team has injuries during the course of a season, but it does seem like the Tiger offensive line has had more than its share. When Fisher went down Saturday versus Georgia, that prompted changes at three positions on the line - junior RT Justin Britt moved to LT (where he started all 13 games in 2011) to replace Fisher, while starting C Mitch Morse went to RT (where he had little to no game experience previously) to replace Britt, and redshirt freshman Brad McNulty (with just 1 game of collegiate experience) came in at center. Only LG Evan Boehm (a true freshman making just his 2nd collegiate appearance) and RG Max Copeland (a former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship this past August) remained at their pre-appointed position.
When Fisher went out, that meant the offensive line was out there missing three veterans who were expected to be starters in 2012 - Fisher at LT (where he had 42 career starts), senior RG Jack Meiners (6 career starts, and he holds the school record in the bench press, at 505 pounds) and senior LG Travis Ruth (8 career starts).
That patchwork outfit was asked to battle in the trenches with a fierce Georgia front seven that is considered one of the most stout in the nation. While the Tiger line made some mistakes certainly, they really held up well overall, and helped stake MU to leads of 10-3, 17-9 and 20-17.
To put it another way, if Fisher is unable to go Saturday against Arizona State (and if Jack Meiners is still out with his knee sprain suffered in training camp), then Mizzou has gone from an offensive line which had 4 veterans with a total of 67 career starts entering the 2012 season into a unit which will go up against the Sun Devils with only 1 player who had ever started a game going into the season (Britt w/13).
MURPHY RANKS 2ND NATIONALLY IN PUNT RETURNS
Sophomore Marcus Murphy had quite a 2012 season debut Sept. 1st, as he made history by returning a pair of punts for touchdowns in helping Mizzou to a 62-10 win over Southeastern Louisiana. Two days later, Murphy was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts. Here's a recap of his big night:
Murphy became the first Tiger in history to have two kick returns for scores in a game. His scores were from 70 yards in the 3rd quarter (4:41 mark), and he followed with a 72-yarder early in the 4th quarter (9:45 mark)...
Murphy ended the game with 180 punt return yards on 5 attempts (36.0 avg.), and his yardage broke the long-standing MU single-game record of 156 previously held by NFL Hall of Famer Roger Wehrli, set Oct. 21, 1967...
The only other time Mizzou has had two kick returns for scores in the same game was back in 1965, when Johnny Roland had a 65-yard punt return for a TD and Ray Thorpe had a 79-yard kickoff return for a score in a 14-14 tie against UCLA...
His 72-yarder was the longest by a Tiger since former All-American Jeremy Maclin had a 75-yard punt return touchdown in the 2008 Alamo Bowl against Northwestern. It is also the first time since the 2007 season that a Tiger has had multiple punt return scores in the same year, and just the 5th time in school history that's happened. Other Tigers with two punt return scores in the same season prior to Murphy include Maclin (2 in 2007), Leo Lewis (2 in 1975), John Moseley (2 in 1973) and Don Smith (2 in 1960)...
Murphy, who missed the entire 2011 season with a shoulder injury, also carried the ball five times on offense, and gained 32 yards, for an average of 6.4 yards per attempt...
Despite being held in check by Georgia last Saturday (3 returns, 3 net yards, with a long of 10 yards), Murphy ranks 2nd in the NCAA through 2 games with his punt return average of 22.88 yards. He was also Mizzou's leading rusher against the stout Bulldog defense, as he gained 43 yards on 6 attempts (7.2 avg.).
FRANKLIN BACK FOR THE ATTACK
Junior QB James Franklin is back under center to lead the Missouri spread offensive attack, and if his second year as a starter is even just a slight improvement on his first year, big things will be in store for the Tigers. In his first year as a starter, Franklin helped lead the Tigers to an 8-5 season in 2011, and he did it dynamically, establishing himself as one of the nation's top dual-threat QBs. Franklin finished his initial year as a starter ranked 15th in the NCAA in total offense with just under 4,000 yards (3,846 for an average of 295.85 per game). He accounted for 36 touchdowns (21 passing / 15 rushing), which ranked as the 3rd-best season in MU history. He just missed out on the rare 3,000/1,000 achievement in 2011, as he threw for 2,865 yards and ran for 981 more. Despite a shoulder injury in the spring (labrum tear) which required surgery, Franklin showed no ill effects once fall camp rolled around this August, as he was 18-of-22 passing for 228 yards in the first major fall scrimmage.
Franklin had a solid, if unspectacular, 2012 debut, as he helped lead the Tigers to a 62-10 win over Southeastern Louisiana. His numbers weren't eye-popping, but he still took care of business in the process, as he accounted for 170 yards of total offense (131 passing / 39 rushing) on the night. Franklin ended 13-of-21 passing with 1 TD and no turnovers.
Last Saturday saw 294 yards of total offense in production by Franklin in the 41-20 loss to Georgia that was deceptive in the final margin. Franklin threw for 269 yards, on 25-of-41 passing, and had two long TD passes, of 41 yards to WR Marcus Lucas, and another covering 69 yards to WR L'Damian Washington, the latter of which gave MU a 17-9 lead in the 4th quarter.
According to resident MU historian Tom Orf, the pair of 40-yard TD passes marked only the 12th time in MU history that a Tiger QB has achieved such a feat. The last time was in 2009 (Blaine Gabbert at Iowa State). Gabbert has the most of any Tiger QB, with 3 games of 2 TD passes of 40 yards or more. Chase Daniel and Paul Christman both did the feat twice in their illustrious careers.
PINKEL HAS THIRD-MOST WINS IN MIZZOU HISTORY
Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 12th season at MU (22nd overall as a head coach) and touts a career record of 159-92-3 (63.2%).
Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 64-30 (68.1%) over the past 7+ seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, has a 12-year record in Columbia of 86-55 (61.0%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 58-25 in his last 83 games overall (69.9%). MU's win in the 2008 opener against Illinois gave Pinkel his 50th MU win, and he now ranks 3rd on the coaching wins list at MU, with 86. The win over Kansas in 2010 was the 150th of his career.
Pinkel is in a select group of Mizzou coaches that includes College Football Hall of Famers Don Faurot and Dan Devine, as well as Warren Powers, to be the only coaches to have an MU record of above .500 (with at least one full season coached) dating all the way back to 1935.
In 2007, Pinkel guided the Tigers from unranked in the pre-season to a team which won a school-record 12 games and a final ranking of #4 in the Associated Press Top-25. Mizzou ascended to #1 in the BCS rankings following the regular season, and stood just one half away from playing in the BCS National Championship Game (before Oklahoma pulled away from a halftime tie to win the Big 12 title game). For his efforts in 2007, Pinkel was a finalist for several national coach of the year awards, including the Robinson, Bryant and Munger awards. He was also named the National Coach of the Year by FieldTurf in 2007, and his 7 bowl games is an MU record.
Pinkel has directed Mizzou to 8 winning seasons (8-5 in 2003, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 12-2 in 2007, 10-4 in 2008, 8-5 in 2009, 10-3 in 2010 and 8-5 in 2011), with those representing 8 of MU's 10 winning campaigns dating back to the 1983 season.
The Big 12 North Division titles won by Mizzou in 2007, 2008 and 2010 represent the only football conference titles of any kind Mizzou has won since 1969 - the last time it claimed a share of the old Big Eight Conference crown. In April of 2011, Pinkel agreed to a two-year contract extension, meaning he'll patrol the Tiger sidelines through the 2017 season.