2011 College Football Preseason Rankings: Why Missouri Won’t Last in Top 25
The Missouri Tigers may begin the 2011 season in the top 25, but they won't make it out of the Big 12 gauntlet still holding onto that ranking.
Replacing a first round quarterback is never easy, and while I was one of the Blaine Gabbert downers, he did play a major role in the success of the Tigers last season.
In addition to that, they lost their best pass rusher early to the NFL as well and the NCAA didn't seem to care.
Looking ahead to the 2011, and Missouri should rank somewhere in the mid-to-late teens, their schedule will ultimately chew them up and spit them out.
They open the season with Miami of Ohio which is all fine and dandy, but they have to travel nearly 1,500 miles to play an upstart Arizona State team that is looking to make a statement early in the Pac-12 with a major win over an out of conference power.
And even if they survive that game, two weeks later they are back on the road to play Oklahoma in Norman, a team potentially carrying the No. 1 ranking in the country.
And then once that slippery slope starts it has a funny way of not stopping.
Come mid-October they play a four game stretch against teams will all find a way into the top 25 before they meet the Tigers.
First is a visit from Oklahoma State, a potential top 10 team, followed by a trip to College Station to take on the Aggies and the 12th man, another potential top 10 team. Then, to make matters worse, they'll travel to Waco to battle Baylor before returning home to play Texas.
Goodness gracious. Three of those four teams - the exception being Texas - were in the hunt to win their respective Big 12 divisions late last season.
Other than Texas, they all have proven quarterbacks with the potential to absolutely dominate competition. Giving Garrett Gilbert of Texas the benefit of the doubt - assuming top recruit Malcolm Brown proves to be a better runner than Gilbert himself - he should improve mightily this season.
If all goes wrong, and remember Missouri is not sporting a first round quarterback this year, in fact, likely a freshman, the Tigers could be staring at as many as four to six losses, not including the remaining Big 12 games against Texas Tech and Kansas to round out the year.
There is a lot of talent in the Big 12 this season, but Missouri looks overmatched by the talent and schedule alike.
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