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Pinkel: Mizzou to Stay Course Despite SEC Flop

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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:15 am

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Like most football lifers, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is a creature of habit.

So rather than linger over a disappointing SEC debut that saw the Tigers go 5-7 and break a seven-year streak of bowl appearances, the 60-year-old coach showed up ready for work on Monday, starting with his usual 5 a.m. weightlifting session.

“I love what I do,” Pinkel told reporters Tuesday, quickly dispelling rumors of his pending retirement or even a change by his bosses. “I couldn’t wait to get into work.”

Pinkel said he has no plans to make dramatic changes to the team’s once-prolific spread offense or other schemes and will retain his entire coaching staff, most of whom have been by his side for years. That doesn’t mean more modest modifications aren’t in order.

“I embrace the foundation of our program when things get tough,” he said. “But then, we evaluate every single thing we do here, all the time, always. That’s never changed.”

The season began with high expectations for Missouri, which left the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference in hopes of building a national brand, gaining more long-term stability and reaping more TV revenue riches.

Instead, the coach’s 12th season in Columbia turned into one of his most trying, from lopsided losses to SEC powers Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, to off-field challenges such as the early season drug arrests of several freshmen players, and Pinkel’s divorce from his wife of nearly 40 years.

Faced with a shot to salvage the season with a .500 record and another bowl bid, Missouri fell flat in its final game, a 59-29 loss at Texas A&M — another Big 12 refugee — that saw the Aggies open a 42-0 lead late in the first half.

Missouri’s only conference wins in eight tries came against Kentucky and Tennessee, two schools that wound up firing their coaches.

Pinkel’s comments were largely measured on Tuesday, with the coach who normally wears Mizzou workout gear instead dressed in a suit and tie for a friend’s funeral later in the day.

He was more open with his disappointment one night earlier, telling a statewide radio audience during his final weekly coach’s show that the subpar season “just destroys me personally.”

He offered qualified support for junior quarterback James Franklin, who missed all or parts of nearly half the team’s games with shoulder and ankle injuries and a late-season concussion.

His replacement, redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser, was erratic, but both played behind an offensive line wracked by injuries.

The third-string quarterback, highly touted recruit Maty Mauk, took a redshirt and didn’t play this season

“Quarterback is no different position for us than any other,” Pinkel said. “The best player plays. There’s no pecking order. Everybody will have an opportunity to win the job.”

On defense, Pinkel seemed fairly certain that defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson will not return for his senior season, calling the mercurial lineman who missed a narrow home loss to Syracuse for violating team rules a likely first-round pick in the NFL draft.

“If I was a betting man, I’d think he’s going to go,” Pinkel said.

And while Pinkel didn’t discuss next season’s opponents, Missouri has a more forgiving 2013 schedule than in its inaugural SEC campaign, with home games against Murray State, Toledo, Florida, South Carolina , Tennessee and Texas A&M and road trips to Indiana, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Area Scoreboard

Football

Friday, Aug. 22

Washington 26, St. Clair 21

Borgia 48, Owensville 12

Parkway West 49, Union 39

Pacific 28, De Soto 20

Park Hills Central 34, Sullivan 27

St. James 12, Cuba 6

Hermann 61, Montgomery Co 12

Warrenton 26, St. Dominic 23

Trinity 28, Wright City 24

Friday, Aug. 29

Sullivan 30, Washington 8

Borgia 56, Union 13

Ozark 41, St. Clair 0

Potosi 34, Pacific 13

Hermann 54, Cuba 12

Blair Oaks 42, Owensville 0

St. James 36, Houston 18

Warrenton 28, Troy 0

Orchard Farm 36, Wright City 18

Volleyball

Tuesday, Aug. 26

Potosi def. Union, 18-25, 25-18, 25-15

Francis Howell C def. Washington, 25-19, 25-22

Farmington def. Pacific, 25-23, 22-25, 25-8

New Haven at Cuba    5:30 p.m.

Owensville at Bourbon    5:30 p.m.

St. James at Salem    5:30 p.m.

Borgia def. Cardinal Ritter, 25-3, 25-3

Wednesday, Aug. 27

ECC def. Central Methodist JV, 25-12, 25-14, 25-15

Thursday, Aug. 28

Potosi at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Borgia def. Notre Dame, 25-15, 25-8

*Washington def. Ft. Zumwalt South

Union def. Battle, 25-17, 25-11

Pacific def. Seckman, 25-17, 20-25, 30-28

Hermann at Jefferson City    5:30 p.m.

Belle at New Haven    5:30 p.m.

Linn at Owensville    6 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 29

Mississippi Valley at Crosspoint    5 p.m.

Softball

Saturday, Aug. 23

Union Tournament

Union Sports Complex

G1 Washington 21, St. Clair 0

G2 Pacific 15, Liberty 3

G3 Farmington 15, Union 0

G4 Park Hills Central 4, Borgia 2

G5 Liberty 6, St. Clair 5

G6 Union 9, Borgia 2

G7 Washington 5, Pacific 4

G8 Farmington 5, Park Hills Central 2

Consolation — Union vs. Liberty Postponed due to heat

Seventh Place — Borgia 16, St. Clair 0

Championship — Farmington 5, Washington 0

Third Place — Park Hills Central 7, Pacific 6

Monday, Aug. 25

*Borgia 5, Notre Dame 4 (8 innings)

Union 14, Rolla 7

New Haven at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

St. James at Salem    4:30 p.m.

Belle at Owensville    5 p.m.

Sullivan at Westminster Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Aug. 26

*Ft. Zumwalt S 5, Washington 2

Warrenton 4, Union 3

Duchesne 10, Pacific 5

Steelville at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

Vienna at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Wright City 6, St. Clair 2

New Bloomfield at New Haven    5 p.m.

Hermann at Montgomery Co    5 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Borgia at Pacific, PPD to Sept. 5

Thursday, Aug. 28

St. Clair 3, Borgia 2

*Ft. Zumwalt N at Washingto, PPD

Bourbon at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

Owensville at Linn    4:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 29

Pacific at Lutheran South    4:15 p.m.

New Haven at Wellsville    4:30 p.m.

Belle at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Washington at Battle Tny    TBA

Saturday, Aug. 30

Washington at Battle Tny    TBA

Boys Soccer

Tuesday, Aug. 26

*Union 1, St. James 0

Fredericktown 4, St. Clair 1

Pacific 2, Hillsboro 0

Sullivan at SLUH    5 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Borgia at Union, PPD

Thursday, Aug. 28

Union at De Soto    5 p.m.

Pacific at North County    5 p.m.

*St. James at Sullivan    5 p.m.

*St. Mary’s 4, Borgia 0

Friday, Aug. 29

Mississippi Valley at Crosspoint    4:30 p.m.

ECC at McKendree JV    7 p.m.

#Washington at Francis Howell North, 4:15 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 30

Washington at Pky W/Northwest Tny    TBA

Cross Country

Friday, Aug. 22

Sullivan at Fleet Feet Inv    4 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 28

Borgia at Parkway Central Inv    TBA

Friday, Aug. 29

St. Clair at First Capitol Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 30

Washington at Lafayette Inv    9 a.m.

Girls Golf

Monday, Aug. 25

Borgia 215, Washington 241

Thursday, Aug. 28

Borgia 280, Lutheran St. Charles 284, Washington 292

Boys Swimming

Friday, Aug. 29

Borgia, Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E Inv    3:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

@Fort Scott Tournament

#Parkway West/Northwest Tournament

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