“I’m the minority, but I love that Pinkel went with Mauk in a bowl game, and love that he went back to Franklin. Even with the punt. Pinkel’s loyalty is part of his success. Lot of folks seem to want him to abandon the guy who’s been his better QB this season.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, on Pinkel’s decision to stick with his senior starting QB in the Cotton Bowl despite his uncharacteristic poor play and his freshman backup’s very excellent play, Twitter
GH: I was one of those folks who was calling for Pinkel to not only abandon James Franklin but place him in a lead-lined box on the sideline so that his negative mojo would not affect the rest of the Tigers. And I have been one of Franklin’s biggest fans throughout his collegiate ups and downs. But this game wasn’t about what was best for Franklin and Pinkel. It was about what’s best for Mizzou. Read on.
“Keep this in mind: James Franklin has less than three quarters left in his college career.
Maty Mauk has 3 more years. So just chill.”
Ashley Zavala, @ZavalaA, reporter for Comcast covering Mizzou, chastising those Mizzou fans on Twitter who were calling for Pinkel to replace Franklin with Mauk, Twitter
GH: I saw a number of the media making similar comments to Mellinger’s and Zavala’s – that somehow Pinkel would be performing an injustice to his senior QB if he yanked him from the game. Someone also kept harping about how Pinkel would ruin his relationship with future Texas recruits if he sat Franklin in his hometown. Huh? What recruit wants to play for a coach who isn’t smart enough to play the best players – no matter where they’re from? Texans know football and I have a feeling there weren’t a lot of recruits thinking Pinkel needed to stick with Frank the Tank in this one.
“For the record, I’d give Mauk another series. Not saying I’d play him all game, but give him another series. … And #Mizzou gives it back on a botched exchange between Franklin and Josey. Sorry, but it’s time to make the switch on the next drive. … I don’t even know if I have words for this. Easily the worst offensive half I’ve seen in years.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: These are three tweets from DeArmond that cover the first three quarters of the Cotton Bowl. Gabe saw what most of us saw – that James Franklin just didn’t have it and that Mauk did.
“Sad to see James Franklin’s career end on bench and all, but Pinkel has to pull the plug.”
Joe Walljasper, @JoeWalljasper, sports editor of Columbia Tribune, as Missouri’s lead over Oklahoma State slipped away, Twitter
GH: Pinkel put Mauk back in for one series in the second half but then stuck with Franklin to the almost bitter end. Mizzou pulled out the win but it was anything but easy – and it should have been easy. Franklin fumbled away a botched handoff, he pitched another ball to an OSU defender and he tossed a devastating pick six that was thankfully nullified by a penalty. Franklin owes Henry Josey, Michael Sam and Shane Ray a huge thank you for making us all forget about how poorly he played.
“I was so disappointed in Gary Pinkel (during the Cotton Bowl). I wasn’t even that excited about the end because I was so upset at Gary Pinkel and the way he handled the third quarter. To me he just took the wind out of a very tired Missouri Tiger defense by leaving Franklin in there. I’ve been a Mizzou fan all my life and I thought Pinkel was trying to give the game away.”
Caller Ron, to TJ Carpenter’s Saturday morning show, 810 AM
GH: I don’t think Pinkel wanted to give the game away but he appeared to me to be unwilling to go away from his senior quarterback – despite all the evidence that he must. Some believe Pinkel to be too stubborn to make in-game adjustments. Read on.
“Gary Pinkel is an incredibly stubborn coach. His stubbornness and blind loyalty to James Franklin could have cost him the game – almost did! Maty Mauk, clearly the better quarterback. … He is stubborn to a fault when it comes to personnel and in-game adjustments. It was amazing to me that Gary Pinkel refused to go away from his senior quarterback. The whole country was thinking the same thing – why isn’t Maty Mauk playing?”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: I don’t think Pinkel is stubborn in the least. I think people have misdiagnosed the Missouri head coach. I think Pinkel is frozen with fear on game day that any change he makes will backfire and he will live to regret it. Pinkel has often talked about how nervous he is standing on the sideline of a game. Call it superstitious if you will but I think he just locks up when it comes to adjustments for fear he’ll screw up.
“(Missouri) will have one of the best quarterbacks in the country next year. They’ll have maybe the best wide-receiving corps in the country next year. They’re still going to have a good defense. Their offensive line is going to be full of juniors and seniors who have had 60 starts. They’re set up to be really freaking good next year. Really, really good.”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: While Pinkel is not the best game-day coach, he continues to stockpile NFL talent on the Mizzou sideline, despite one SEC expert’s opinion. Read on.
“(Missouri) is recruiting better than they did in the Big 12. … They are not recruiting as well as they need to be (in the SEC). I am going to make that general statement and feel like it is accurate. (Recruiting) stars do matter. I feel like I’m talking in circles, like I’m saying obvious things. Their recruiting needs to improve. It needs to get better.”
TJ Carpenter, after stating that Missouri ranks near the bottom of the SEC in football recruiting according to Rivals.com, 810 AM
GH: Carpenter is an SEC guy from Arkansas and I enjoy his slanted perspective of college football. He’s a bit sick when it comes to his SEC bias, but he’s young. He might grow out of it. Pinkel’s Mizzou team won the SEC East and finished fifth in the nation this season with recruits he gathered from the Tigers days in the Big 12 – that little football conference where Oklahoma spanked SEC giant Alabama around for four quarters in this month’s Sugar Bowl. Pinkel is mining gold in Missouri, Texas and now in the SEC’s backyard. The NFL is very aware of it even if Rivals.com is not.
“Do you think this (Missouri) team would be in the (preseason) top 10 next year in the Big 12? Nobody would know! Nobody would care! They care now! They’re in the SEC, buddy!”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: Okay, buddy. If you say so.
and Twitter @greghall24