There was one major question about Missouri's staying power in the SEC East after they upset Georgia on Saturday: What about James Franklin, the starting quarterback, who spent the last part of the game on the sideline in street clothes? It appears that the answer to that question is the one Missouri did not want to hear.
#Mizzou QB James Franklin is expected to be out for at least the next 6 wks, probably longer w a Grade 2 shoulder separation, per source.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) October 12, 2013
That's perhaps bigger news about the next two weeks than about the four after that. Missouri hosts Florida and South Carolina in back-to-back contests that will either cement their status as the front-runners in the SEC East race or knock the Tigers out of division contention for good. It also makes it extremely unlikely that Franklin will be ready to go in time for the season-ending interdivision collision with Texas A&M, a game that could have major ramifications for both divisions if the Aggies and the Tigers manage to get through the rest of their respective schedules without two SEC losses.
It's also got to be a case of deja vu for Mizzou fans, who watched Franklin and other players go down last year in a series of injuries that essentially capsized the season. That cost the Tigers a bowl, something that won't happen this year; the win against Georgia locked up bowl eligibility for Missouri.
But that win also seemed to raise the range of what was possible for the Tigers. Franklin's injury could bring those expectations crashing back to earth.