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Predicting the 2014 SEC Football Season: Missouri Tigers

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With less than 20 days until the college football season begins, it's never too early to look at the 2014 football schedules and make wild blind predictions.

Russell Hansbrough will be looked on to up the running game.
Russell Hansbrough will be looked on to up the running game.
Jamie Squire

The eleventh in a series leading up to Week 1 takes us to the surprise SEC East champs.
Missouri_medium
Missouri 12-2 (7-1) in 2013

Synopsis:
I am not going to lie, I did not see the success Mizzou had in 2013 coming. After head coach Gary Pinkel's arrest for DWI in November 2011 and the inaugural 5-7 SEC season that followed - that included a home loss to Syracuse - it would be easy to write them off as a "TV Market" or a "Basketball School". But the Tigers had other ideas. The SEC East division was down last season and Missouri took advantage of it pouncing on an overconfident UGA team and exposing the Florida fraud. They averaged 238 rushing yard per game (16th in the nation) and 39.1 points per game (14th).

That said, this team lost a lot of playmakers that put up those yards and points including the top three receivers, QB James Franklin, and leading rusher Henry Josey. Quarterback Maty Mauk showed great promise and became the starter when Franklin went down to injury but he can't do it all himself.

The defense was good enough and returns some good athletes but they have to replace two defensive ends, two linebackers, and most importantly two cornerbacks.

Key losses:
OT Justin Britt, (Round 2, Seahawks), DE Kony Ealy (Round 2, Panthers), CB E.J. Gaines (Round 6, Rams), DE Michael Sam (Round 7, Rams), QB James Franklin, RB Henry Josey, WR Marcus Lucas, WR L'Damian Washington, WR Dorial Green-Beckham (pot arrests, allegedy hit girls, transfer to Oklahoma).

Key returnees:
QB Maty Mauk, RB Russell Hansbrough, RB Marcus Murphy, SS Braylon Webb, C Evan Boehm, DL Markus Golden, PK Andrew Baggett.

Key newcomers:
OT Andy Bauer, LB Brandon Lee, WR Nate Brown, CB Raymond Wingo.

Schedule:
Aug 30 vs South Dakota St - W
Sept 6 @ Toledo - W - a road trip to Toledo? Did someone lose a bet?
Sept 13 vs UCF - W - This pick 'em likely favors the home team.
Sept 20 vs Indiana - W
Sept 27 @ South Carolina - L
Oct 11 vs Georgia - L - unless Mark Richt chooses this game as his annual faceplant.
Oct 18 @ Florida - L - home team.
Oct 25 vs Vanderbilt - W
Nov 1 vs Kentucky - W
Nov 15 @ Texas A&M - L - This is a winnable game but location, location, location.
Nov 22 @ Tennessee - W
Fri, Nov 28 vs Arkansas - W

Let's Go Bowling? Yes, Liberty maybe?

........

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