Missouri football’s 10-year trend

This is the 10th in a series looking at the 10-year trends of SEC football teams.

Here is a look at Missouri’s 10-year trend.

Mizzou’s SEC debut did the Tigers no favors as far as the scoreboard was concerned. The Tigers finished 5-7, their first losing season since 2004. Gary Pinkel’s club was just 2-6 in conference play. Plus, the wins came over Kentucky and Tennessee, schools that fired their head coaches¬†(Joker Phillips and Derek Dooley respectively) at the end of dreadful years.

Pinkel has been Missouri’s coach since 2001 and was on an impressive roll before last fall’s ¬† downturn. Missouri had gone 48-19 overall and 27-14 in the Big 12 the previous five years. That included a sparkling 12-2 record in 2007 when Missouri’s only losses both came at the hands of Oklahoma — the first in the regular season; the second in the Big 12 Championship Game. Pinkel’s team finished the year by whipping up on Houston Nutt and Arkansas 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl. Missouri finished fifth in the final AP rankings that year, the first of three appearances. The Tigers finished 16th in 2008 and 18th in 2010.

Overall, Pinkel is 84-54 during his stay in Columbia. That’s the most wins by a Missouri football coach since Dan Devine went 93-37-7 from 1958 to 1970. Consider that Pinkel’s predecessor, Larry Smith, was 33-46-1 from 1994 through 2000.

Fun fact: Pinkel and Alabama coach Nick Saban were teammates at Kent State. They played for Don James, who after his stint at Kent became a legend at the University of Washington, fashioning a 153-57-2 record and taking the Huskies to six Rose Bowls.

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