2011 Record: 8-5; 4-4 Big 12
2011 Bowl: 41-24 W vs UNC @ Independence Bowl
Head Coach: Gary Pinkel
Odds to win BCS: 150/1
Odds to win SEC: 40/1
Odds to win SEC East Div.: 14/1
Betting Futures from Bovada
QB James Franklin sustained a shoulder injury in spring that requires surgery in March. All signs point to the fact he has recovered and should be ready for the opener against Southeast Louisiana.
“James is doing well,” head coach Gary Pinkel said. “We expect, without question, for him to be 100 percent.”
That’s good news for Tigers fans, but there is bad news too: Henry Josey is out for the season, and he was their top rusher last year with 1,168 yards and 8.1 yards per carry, in his sophomore season. Taking Josey’s place will be senior Kendial Lawrence who rushed for 566 yards in the final four games last season.
At receiver, the only with significant experience is T.J. Moe. Moe caught 146 passes for 1,694 yards the last tow seasons, while freshman Dorial Green Beckham should be an instant impact player after setting the national high school mark for receiving yards with 6,353.
It will help immensely to have end Brad Madison and tackle Sheldon Richardson back in the fold, after both suffered off season shoulder injuries. Madison led the Tigers with 12 sacks last year, and Richardson was a JUCO transfer who at one point was a top recruit coming out of high school.
The Tigers lack depth at LB. Zaviar Gooden is entering his third season as a starter on the weak side and Andrew Wilson led the squad with 99 stops last year. Will Ebner has an extra season of eligibility after suffering an ankle injury last year in the opener that held him out for the season.
At CB, they have E.J. Gaines and Kip Edwards, both of whom bring a lot of experience and talent. Gaines ranked 2nd in the country in breaking up passes, with 16.
Trey Barrow will handle both the kicking and punting, but he struggled with his accuracy in spring, which may mean freshman Andrew Baggett sees some of the duties. Barrow averaged 44.8 yards per punt last year.
Missouri has moved to the SEC from the Big 12, and they are expected to have their difficulties in a tougher conference, with a 3-5 prediction by Athlon magazine for conference play. Playing Georgia in week two will be a good measuring stick for seeing how they stack up against the elite in the SEC. Missouri returns 10 starters and two others who started in 2010, but a lot of their success will hinge upon how well Franklin’s ankle has healed.