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Missouri Tigers Betting - 2011 Missouri Tigers College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/3/2011 6:58:52 PM
missouri tigers betting

The MLB baseball betting gurus who live in St. Louis, Missouri, are aware that the hometown Cardinals are losing ground to the Milwaukee Brewers at the moment. Those residents of St. Louis know that the Cardinals have not fulfilled their potential since they won the 2006 World Series. A similar comparison among sports betting evaluators could take place in the Show Me State. Just look at Missouri football.

The Missouri Tigers have been to six straight bowl games, won at least 10 games in three of the last four seasons, and have moved to the upper echelon of the Big 12 Conference. Moreover, Nebraska – gone to the Big Ten (where Mizzou originally wanted to go, ironically) – is out of the way, making the conference schedule that much more manageable. However, for all of these good-news details, a few inconvenient and disturbing facts linger. Yes, Missouri deserved to make a BCS bowl in 2007 after knocking off Kansas late in the season, but the Jayhawks got the Orange Bowl invitation, thereby leaving Mizzou without a BCS bowl appearance in the Pinkel era. Missouri hasn’t won a league championship. It hasn’t done the kinds of things that the very best college football programs manage to do on (at the very least) a semi-occasional basis. The question is simple: Can the Tigers take the next step into elite national program status? A Big 12 title and a BCS bowl appearance would certainly make that more of a reality.

The Tigers will look to sophomore quarterback James Franklin to lead the offense toward this goal in 2011. After winning a quarterback battle with Tyler Gabbert, who later transferred, Franklin is aiming to become the next lauded quarterback at Mizzou. Following in the footsteps of Chase Daniel and Blaine Gabbert will add pressure to the coming season, but Franklin merely needs to get out of the way and spread the ball around. If he can develop into a wise field general, Missouri could be headed for gridiron riches. The story to monitor for with the Tigers is their propensity to step off the gas pedal after doing something substantial. Last year’s team conquered top-ranked Oklahoma but then let down its guard in a stunning road loss against a Texas Tech. It’s been a continuous habit for this program: Just when it seems that Mizzou is turning the corner, it comes up with a stink-bomb and obliterates much of the momentum it had just begun to build. That pattern needs to stop in 2011.

Fortunately, quarterback and center are the only positions on the offense which need replacing. Nine starters return from a unit that tallied nearly 30 points per game in 2010. Tight end Michael Egnew and wide receiver T.J. Moe were All-Big 12 selections last year and are able targets for Franklin. Kendial Lawrence and De’Vion Moore continue to battle for the starting running back position.

The defense returns six starters but must replace key members of the secondary. Jacquies Smith and Brad Madison, one of the best combos in the country, will anchor the Tiger defensive line. Trips to Tempe to take on Arizona State and Norman to play Oklahoma, both in the month of September, will test the Tigers early. The remainder of the schedule is very manageable. Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech all come to Columbia. The more one looks at this home-heavy schedule (plus the absence of Nebraska from the slate), the more Missouri comes across as the favorite for second place in the Big 12. If the Tigers get there, especially with 10 or 11 wins, they just might be able to sneak away with an at-large BCS bowl ticket. A sports bet should expect 10 wins from this team, maybe nine. Missouri won’t be consistent enough to make a BCS bowl, but the Tigers are at least in the conversation before the season starts. Not every program can say that.

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