Missouri, Texas A&M Confident Entering First Season in SEC - The Missourian: Sports

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Missouri, Texas A&M Confident Entering First Season in SEC

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Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 8:30 am

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — The coaches and players at Missouri and Texas A&M have said repeatedly they’re proud to be the newest members of the Southeastern Conference.

They also mentioned being excited, honored and appreciative.

But one thing they are not is intimidated.

The two newest members of the Southeastern Conference made their debut at the league’s media days on Tuesday, a three-day event that hosts more than 1,000 credentialed reporters.

Neither program seemed particularly bothered by the carnival-like atmosphere, instead relishing the challenge of joining a league that produced the past six BCS national champions.

“We don’t want to be overlooked,” Texas A&M receiver Ryan Swope said. “We’re here to win football games.”

Both Texas A&M and Missouri officially joined the SEC in July, leaving many of their traditional rivalries in the Big 12.

Swope said there was some disappointment in not playing heated games against schools like Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech, but there was also excitement about replacing them with the likes of Alabama, Florida and LSU.

“We’re very anxious to get this thing started,” Swope said. “We just can’t wait for kickoff.”

Texas A&M’s schedule during its first year in the SEC is particularly brutal.

The Aggies were thrown into the SEC Western Division, which includes the last three national champions.

First-year coach Kevin Sumlin returns 14 starters from a team that finished 7-6 last season, but must find a replacement for Ryan Tannehill, who was a first-round pick by the NFL’s Miami Dolphins in April.

But Sumlin wasn’t making any excuses, saying his “realistic expectations are to win” despite acknowledging the difficult task ahead. Sumlin comes to Texas A&M after leading Houston to a 13-1 record in 2011.

“You can argue all you want, but there are some of the best coaches in the country in the SEC,” Sumlin said. “Combine that with big, fast guys, some of the best players in the country and it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Missouri appears to have a slightly easier schedule this year. The Tigers are in the Eastern Division, where there’s no obvious favorite. They’re coming off an 8-5 season, including an Independence Bowl victory over North Carolina.

Missouri offensive lineman Elvis Fisher said the Tigers are aware of the talent in the SEC — and called it a “great opportunity” — but said the difficulty of the transition was slightly overblown.

“Nothing’s really changed from the standpoint of a player,” Fisher said. “You’ve got better competition to go against, but you’ve still got to go out there and play football.”

The Tigers return 15 starters, including junior quarterback James Franklin, who accounted for 3,846 total yards and 36 total touchdowns last season and bring in the nation’s top recruit in receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.

Franklin had shoulder surgery in March. Pinkel says his trainer said a couple of weeks ago that the dual-threat quarterback is expected to be 100 percent.

Pinkel said his program’s experience in the Big 12 was plenty of preparation for the SEC.

“People act like we’ve been playing a bunch of high school teams,” Pinkel said. “We’ve played in a pretty big league.”

But the 60-year-old, who is entering his 12th season at Missouri, said he understands why people are speculating. He’s just ready to get on the field and figure out some tangible results.

“Bottom line, you got to go out and prove yourself,” Pinkel said. “I’m fine with it. I have no problem with it. I’m not going to make any predictions. Never have, never will. You have to go out and compete and earn respect and win.”

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

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Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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