The Missouri Tigers football team is 7-0 as they prepare to host South Carolina this week. There was concern heading into last week as they were without starting quarterback James Franklin and Maty Mauk had his chance to shine. It was only one game and against a Florida Gators team that is just hemorrhaging players due to injuries, but he played well and the Tigers won comfortably.
All of a sudden, the Tigers went from looking like a team that could have its run ended to a team that looks to be able to keep its stride going and the question is will the Gamecocks have enough firepower to keep up in this game. And if they do not, Missouri has the ability to potentially go undefeated in the regular season.
Of course this will be an extremely difficult undertaking but the fact that this is a legitimate topic of discussion is just how far Missouri has gone in one year. Last year, the Tigers went 5-7 in their initial season in the SEC. A year later, the Tigers are a prohibitive favorite to win the SEC East and go play in the SEC Championship. This season is already a huge success for the Tigers and head coach Gary Pinkel, but this ride is not over yet and the Tigers can increase their aspirations for this season with every win.
If the Tigers can get past Jadeveon Clowney and the rest of this Gamecock defense, they host Tennessee before going on the road to play Kentucky and then Ole Miss. The Tigers could trip up in any of these games but they will be a substantial favorite to win all of them. The overall difficulty that is the SEC could wear on Missouri, but that run of games is as kind as it could get for the Tigers. If they can get through that slate, they are suddenly undefeated and hosting Texas A&M.
While Texas A&M has an incredible amount of firepower and have been able to put up a ton of points against every opponent they have played against, the two games they have lost, Alabama and Auburn, were both able to put over 40 points in the game. Missouri has shown that same ability, so while that will be a really tough game, the Tigers have the team makeup to win that game and potentially finish the regular season undefeated.
The Tigers, short of an unexpected collapse, will be representing the SEC East in the SEC Title game. They just have to get through these last five games with a 3-2 record to do it. The fact is, the Tigers are a threat to go 5-0 and finish the regular season 12-0 and a team that most took as a cute story at first is evolving into a better and better football team by the week. And while it is easy to say Missouri cannot beat Alabama in the SEC Championship, that is becoming harder and harder to say with a straight face. Missouri is a really, really good football team.