“I coached (at Washington) for 12 years and Don James is my mentor and all those things. And I’ll be quite frank; I’m staying at the University of Missouri. With the administration’s help, I’ll continue to build a national program and seek national championships. I’m a Missouri Tiger and I’m going to stay.”
Gary Pinkel, in an interview with Mike and Mike Thursday morning, when asked about the possibility of him taking the recently vacated Washington job, ESPN Radio
GH: What a difference a year makes – and a trip to the SEC Championship game. A year ago Pinkel and his Tigers were done with their bowl-less season and things looked bleak. Today, Pinkel is one win away from having his name added to the stadium walls.
“I’ve got (Christmas music) on right now! I didn’t listen to any last year. I was punishing myself. I didn’t want to feel good. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m a weird guy.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked by Kevin Kietzman what his favorite artist is for Christmas music, 810 AM
“(Pinkel) sounded like he meant absolutely every word he said right there.”
Mike Golic, after replaying Pinkel’s comments, ESPN Radio
GH: While Pinkel sounded like a man of his word, not everyone believes what they are hearing out of Alabama’s head coach. Read on.
“I would not put (taking the Texas job) beyond Saban because we’ve heard him deny everything in the past. When his wife denies it, you’ve got a better chance of it (being true).”
Gary Barnett, when asked if there is any truth to the rumors Saban might leave Alabama for Texas if Mack Brown steps down, 810 AM
“You might look for an announcement coming from Mack Brown the next day or so that might affect that game.”
Gary Barnett, who will be the color analyst for the Baylor/Texas game on Saturday, 810 AM
GH: Barnett believes Brown will make the announcement that he is stepping down at the Longhorns’ head coach prior to the Baylor game. That will create quite a bit of movement in the coaching ranks as the dominoes fall. Do you think Texas would be interested in taking Bo Pelini off of Nebraska’s hands?
“What’s Auburn got left in the tank (after) Auburn, Georgia, Alabama? Can they turn around and do it again? We’ll see.”
Brett McMurphy, ESPN
“I think that will be a real concern. … I think I’d be a little bit concerned from Auburn’s standpoint.”
Tom Osborne, when asked by Mike and Mike if Auburn might have a difficult time rebounding for their SEC title game against Mizzou after such an emotional win over Alabama, their rival and the top-ranked team in the country, ESPN Radio
GH: Does Mizzou hold an emotional edge over Auburn for this game? Will Auburn take the former Big 12 team lightly? I just don’t think that’s possible for a team that has been living on the edge like Auburn.
“James Franklin is definitely the leader of this team.”
Darren Hellwege, Sports Director for KBIA Radio of Columbia, MO, 610 AM
“Missouri’s a very fine team. As you know they played with (Maty) Mauk for most of the year at quarterback. And he’s a good player and did well but he’s not as talented as the guy who started the year and is playing for them now. So Missouri is probably a little more dangerous in the latter part of the season now than they were the majority of the season. So Missouri is a legitimate contender and a very fine football team.”
Tom Osborne, when asked about Missouri’s chances in the SEC title game versus Auburn, ESPN Radio
GH: Nebraska doesn’t get a lot of love from the Show-Me State but there is plenty of respect in the Cornhusker state for what Pinkel has done at Missouri. I’m betting a lot of Husker fans will be rooting for MU to win their first SEC title.
“I’d say 90% of the SEC people would prefer for Auburn to win the game and not Missouri.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
GH: Doug Stewart reported that one survey has only two states picking Missouri to win this SEC title – Missouri and Alaska. Compare the difference on how Texas A&M and Missouri have impacted the SEC and how little influence West Virginia has had on the Big 12. Would the SEC prefer TAMU and Mizzou to be as easy a mark at the Mountaineers have been to this point? I can’t get excited at all yet over WV as a member of the Big 12. But MU and TAMU have provided the SEC with all kinds of excitement. Now, that doesn’t mean the SEC is ready for a former Big 12 school to wear their football crown… But why wouldn’t every Big 12 school outside of Kansas be rooting for MU to win it all?
“I think the good news for Missouri is that Auburn seems to be a lot more preoccupied with the computer polls and (who will play in the BCS title game).”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
“I think Auburn will have a difficult game with Missouri and I’ll also say that Ohio State will have a difficult game with Michigan State. I think both of those games will be tightly contested games.”
Tom Osborne, ESPN Radio
GH: Osborne declined to give his opinion on whether a one-loss SEC champion would deserve to jump an undefeated Ohio State of Florida State. I disagree with Osborne on the Big Ten title game. I think the Buckeyes will roll overrated Sparty and put an end to all speculation. Michigan State’s defense is merely Big Ten good and the Spartans’ offense is dreadful.
“I know the Missouri people think they are being left out of this (BCS Championship talk) and I understand why. Missouri is much closer to having no losses than Auburn – who was just beaten fair and square on the road at LSU. However, (Missouri) doesn’t have the same wins. Auburn has a win against Alabama and a win over Missouri would also be a huge win. To me, (Auburn’s) argument is a little bit better than Missouri because of the quality of their wins.”
Mike Greenberg, on how a one-loss SEC team might gain a spot in the BCS title game, ESPN Radio
GH: Missouri would be much better off playing an undefeated Alabama in the SEC Championship than Auburn. A win over Bama would have made them all the more credible up against Florida State’s and Ohio State’s undefeated records. Could Mizzou beat Bama? I don’t think there is much difference between Auburn, Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina, LSU or Georgia. They are all really, really good. Florida State, Ohio State and Oklahoma State might be just as good or even better – we just likely will never know.
“Every single opponent that Missouri played this season, their fan base is down on their season. Missouri had the perfect-storm season.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Is that the criteria for who is and who is not a good team – whether or not a fan base is happy? How happy are Alabama fans with their 11-1 season? Do you think Georgia is a quality team? How about South Carolina? Is A&M suddenly awful because they lost to Auburn, Alabama, LSU and Mizzou? I don’t understand a Kansas City-based sports talk show host belittling what an 11-1 Mizzou football team accomplished this season. But that is exactly what Kietzman appears to be trying to achieve this week. Would he be working this hard to discredit an 11-1 Kansas State team that was ranked fifth in the BCS?
“I think the Missouri defense may be better suited to stop the Auburn running game maybe than Alabama was.”
Mike Bellotti, ESPN
GH: We have heard a lot of the national media talk about Missouri as if they are the underdog. But not everyone thinks Auburn is the favorite in this game.
“I think the biggest mismatch on the field Saturday is Missouri’s receivers against Auburn’s secondary. You can say that about anybody’s secondary really because of the size and speed they have out there. I think that’s going to really stretch an Auburn secondary that has played over its head at times, but certainly has been a source of concern for the Auburn coaching staff throughout the season.”
Matt Stinchcomb, ESPN
GH: Auburn will need to run the ball and Missouri will need to pass the ball. The game is in a dome, so weather will not be a factor – unless you’re driving to Atlanta. Be safe.
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