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Published Aug. 9, 2012 Story by Marcus Wilkins. Photos by Nicholas Benner.
The 2012 football Tigers are revamped and reinvigorated heading into their inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference.
By any measure, the 2011 Mizzou football season was successful. It marked the emergence of a sophomore quarterback, the resurgence of a rushing offense that finished No. 9 nationally and the submergence of Independence Bowl opponent North Carolina.
For many Tiger fans, however, convergence with the Southeastern Conference defined the season. Every tailgate within miles of Memorial Stadium buzzed with conversations about the potential move and what it would mean for Mizzou. How would the Tigers fare in the nation’s top league? Which school would be our new conference rival? How would it affect recruiting for Gary Pinkel as he enters his 12th season at Missouri?
Already, the head coach has answered one of those burning questions. “As for recruiting, it has been nothing but tremendously positive,” says Pinkel, who signed one of the nation’s top prospects, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, Mo.) Feb. 1, 2012. “We have found that kids like to play in the SEC. They want to play in the best league in the country.”