Missouri Gets Another Chance to Prove It Belongs Here | SEC 2013

Jamie Squire

Missouri has spent a lot of time over the last several months trying to bat down arguments that it doesn't really belong in the SEC. The best place to prove that is on the field

It's time to explode a myth I see pop up from time to time, and one I'm sad to say that SBNation.com has joined in at times: The idea that Kevin Sumlin was the head coach who got hazed at last year's introductory outing at SEC Media Days.

Not to be arrogant and sports columnist-y about it, but I was there. And it wasn't Kevin Sumlin who took most of the flak for coming from the Big 12 -- aside from being asked about Les Miles' "strap it up" comment -- but Missouri and Gary Pinkel. Which I found odd at the time, given that most observers thought the Tigers would have greater short-term success but perhaps less long-term success than Texas A&M.

But as we approach SEC Media Days 2013, it looks like at least some of the skepticism about Missouri was justified. Not the question about joining "the big league" now or any of that nonsense, but the questions about whether the Tigers were ready to play in the SEC. At the very least, it's an open question.

And that's not to slam Mizzou or to question its conference bona fides. Hey, you could make the argument that some of the teams that have been in the SEC since the beginning still aren't ready to play here. We're looking at you, Kentucky. (And, no, having Bear Bryant as your coach during the Truman Administration doesn't count.) The beautiful thing about college football is that Missouri now gets another chance to prove itself. Media Days might bring another tough crowd this year, but the best way to shut them up is to make some progress on the field.

How much progress? Not too terribly much. The health of James Franklin and Henry Josey help, but they are only two players on one side of the ball, and they can only control so much. Progress often starts with incremental steps, and the main goal for Missouri should be getting back to the postseason. Here's guessing that they do.

Place: 5th in the SEC East
Record: 6-6, 2-6 SEC
Could be: 5-7 to 9-3
Best chance for an upset: SOUTH CAROLINA
Bowl: BBVA COMPASS

8.31.13 | MURRAY STATE | WIN
9.7.13 | TOLEDO | LIKELY WIN
9.21.13 | at INDIANA | POSSIBLE WIN
9.28.13 | ARKANSAS STATE | PROBABLE WIN
10.5.13 | at VANDERBILT | POSSIBLE LOSS
10.12.13 | at GEORGIA | PROBABLE LOSS
10.19.13 | FLORIDA | POSSIBLE LOSS
10.26.13 | SOUTH CAROLINA | POSSIBLE LOSS
11.2.13 | TENNESSEE | POSSIBLE WIN
11.9.13 | at KENTUCKY | POSSIBLE WIN
11.23.13 | at OLE MISS | POSSIBLE LOSS
11.30.13 | TEXAS A&M | PROBABLE LOSS

Key (from least likely to win to most): Loss, Likely Loss, Probable Loss, Possible Loss, Possible Win, Probable Win, Likely Win, Win

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