A confession: I thought Missouri was more apt to lose its final three games than to win them all, but the Tigers prevailed at Texas A&M and then in Knoxville, and today they’ll play Arkansas in Columbia West, and if they win … well, you know what happens if they win.
I have no doubt that Georgia is a better team than Mizzou — winning 34-0 without Todd Gurley in Columbia West is an leading indicator — but the Tigers have done what the Bulldogs could not. They won in Columbia East and, more to the point, beat Florida the way Georgia should have beaten Florida. But the Bulldogs didn’t beat Florida at all, which is why they’re hoping, for the third time in 13 days, that somebody else can beat Missouri for them.
Thirteen days ago, I’d have thought Arkansas was the least likely of Missouri’s final three foes to do the deed, but the Razorbacks have beaten LSU and Ole Miss without yielding a point, and now the team that went more than two years without a victory in SEC games has become a road favorite against Mizzou. I’m still not that high on the Hogs — I saw them trail Georgia 38-6 at the half in Little Rock on Oct. 18 — but I do think they’re capable of winning today.
I would say this, though: We’ve underrated Missouri for two years, but those Tigers keep winning. They lost at home to Indiana, which is one of the worst losses of the year, and were outclassed by Georgia, but they’re one game from claiming the SEC East for a second consecutive season, and they’ve done it without a half-dozen big names — Franklin, Josey, Washington, Green-Beckham, Sam and Ealy — who powered last year’s run. Gary Pinkel, I’ve decided, must be a halfway decent coach.