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There is usually one week per season that kills the Predictions Dept., and Week 5 may have been it. Upsets in the Alabama-Georgia and Florida-Ole Miss games, coupled with Missouri’s typical midseason awakening, conspired to send the Dept. home hovering around the .500 mark. This week, a small slate of games is once again headlined by Alabama, which hosts Arkansas, while Florida travels to Missouri in a prototypical trap game.
Missouri has earned the respect no one wanted to give it when it first joined the SEC. For each of the last two years, the Tigers have played the upstart role in the SEC East, taking out heavily-favored Georgia and, at least briefly, getting itself into the national championship discussion in 2013. In 2015, though, the personnel losses of the previous year may be too much to overcome. Missouri is rebuilding its skill talent on offense and its front on defense. Sketchy special teams will add to the drama, but history would demand the Tigers not be counted out just yet.Continue reading …
Missouri was by far the biggest overachiever in the SEC in 2013, when good quarterback play, a solid running game and the emergence of three receivers helped the Tigers win the SEC East and likely save Gary Pinkel’s job in the process. But 2014 will bring change – the quarterback, running back and all three of the team’s top wide receivers are gone, and Missouri is beginning to deal with talent deficiencies on defense.Continue reading …