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

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

Friday, Sept. 5

Warrenton at Washington    7 p.m.

Borgia 13, Maplewood-Richmond Heights 0 (forfeit)

*Sullivan at Union    7 p.m.

*Pacific at St. Clair    7 p.m.

*Hermann at St. James    7 p.m.

Owensville at Cuba    7 p.m.

*Montgomery Co at Wright City    7 p.m.

Softball

Monday, Sept. 1

Hermann at Warrenton    4 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 2

*Union at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at Pacific    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 3

*Duchesne at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Windsor    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 4

*Rosati-Kain at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

Lutheran S at Washington    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*New Haven at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

*Sullivan at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 6

Owensville Tny    TBA

St. Clair at Potosi Tny    TBA

Sullivan at Seckman Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 8

O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

St. Clair at Windsor    4:30 p.m.

Hermann at Van-Far    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Union    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

*New Haven at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Borgia at Trinity    4:30 p.m.

Volleyball

Tuesday, Sept. 2

*Borgia at St. Dominic    5:30 p.m.

Mehlville at Union    5:30 p.m.

Eureka at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

Hermann at Father Tolton    5:30 p.m.

Waynesville at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Belle at Owensville    5:30 p.m.

Rolla at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Chamois at New Haven    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Pacific at Washington    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 4

*Ft. Zumwalt N at Washington    5 p.m.

Hermann at Fatima    5:30 p.m.

Owensville at Salem    5:30 p.m.

Bourbon at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at CAGSL    5:30 p.m.

Union at North County    6 p.m.

Montgomery Co at New Haven    6 p.m.

Incarnate Word at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 5

Sullivan at Whitfield    5 p.m.

#ECC vs. Labette    5 p.m.

Patriette Lights at Crosspoint    7 p.m.

#ECC vs. Pratt    7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 6

Borgia Tournament    8:30 a.m.

Owensville at Fulton Tny    8:30 a.m.

#ECC vs. Independence    9 a.m.

#ECC vs. Southeast    1 p.m.

St. Clair, Pacific, Sullivan at North County Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 8

Warrenton at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Fox at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

Hillsboro at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Tolton at New Haven    6 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Pacific at Rockwood Summit    4:15 p.m.

Crosspoint at Rivers of Life    5 p.m.

Washington at Owensville    5:30 p.m.

Montgomery Co at Union    5:30 p.m.

Rock Bridge at Hermann    5:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Belle    5:30 p.m.

St. Clair at Kingston    6 p.m.

Crosspoint vs. Community Christian    6 p.m.

*Duchesne at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

*ECC at Mineral Area    6:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer

Tuesday, Sept. 2

*Jefferson at ECC    4 p.m.

St. James at Laquey    4:30 p.m.

St. Clair at Fatima    5 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Fulton SA at Barat    4:15 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Thursday, Sept. 4

ECC at Maple Woods    4 p.m.

North County at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at CAGSL    4:30 p.m.

*Ft. Zumwalt N at Washington    5 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Friday, Sept. 5

Jefferson City Lightning at Crosspoint    5 p.m.

Fulton SA at Tolton    5 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Saturday, Sept. 6

St. Charles at Washington    11 a.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Sunday, Sept. 7

ECC at Blue River    noon

Monday, Sept. 8

Christian Academy at Fulton SA    4:30 p.m.

Pacific at Washington    5 p.m.

*Sullivan at St. James    5 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Sullivan at Valley Park    4 p.m.

*ECC at St. Charles    4 p.m.

Crosspoint at St. Louis United A    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Union    5 p.m.

St. Clair at Belle    5 p.m.

Mehlville at Pacific    5 p.m.

*Borgia at Duchesne    6:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Washington at Warrenton    5 p.m.

Cross Country

Saturday, Sept. 6

New Haven Short Course    8:30 a.m.

Pacific at SLUH Inv    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Sullivan Invitational    4 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 11

Pacific, Sullivan at Steelville Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 13

Forest Park Inv    9 a.m.

New Haven, Hermann, Owensville at Linn Inv    9 a.m.

Monday, Sept. 15

St. James at Bourbon    4 p.m.

Girls Golf

Tuesday, Sept. 2

Borgia at Westminster    4 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Borgia at Washington    3 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 4

*Borgia at Lutheran St. Charles    3:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 5

Washington at Troy Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 8

Washington at Timberland    3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

*O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Washington at Troy    3:30 p.m.

Boys Swimming

Friday, Sept. 5

Washington at Oakville/CBC    4:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Washington at Kennedy    5:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

Racing News