SEC: Missouri football

Gary Pinkel felt fine letting a quarterback competition go on through spring and early fall camp, but when mid-August arrived and the start of the season was only a few weeks away, Missouri's head coach knew it was time to call the race and name James Franklin his starter.

With his health concerns hopefully behind him, Franklin was the obvious choice to take the reins for the Tigers. He was one of three players to represent the school at SEC Media Days in July and was already voted one of the team captains on the first day of preseason practice two weeks ago. As Pinkel said in a news release on Wednesday, "James has shown that he's very capable of leading this team at a high level, and we fully expect him to do that."

Redshirt freshman Maty Mauk's unimpressive scrimmage performances, completing 18 of 37 passes over two such affairs, was likely the final straw for Pinkel. Though Mauk may develop into the quarterback of the future in time, that time isn't now. He'll take some snaps this year, but the job will be Franklin's, who only two years ago threw for 2,865 yards and finished fourth in the Big 12 in passing efficiency behind future NFL picks Robert Griffin III, Brandon Weeden and Landry Jones.

For Tigers fans, the hope is that the disappointment last season was a fluke, a confluence of poor health and unfamiliarity with a new conference as Franklin saw his completion percentage, yards per attempt and touchdown-to-interception ratio numbers drop on the Tigers way to a 5-7 record. Should he regain his 2011 form, Missouri should be much more competitive. He'll have help from the running game with Henry Josey, Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy. The feeling is it's only a matter of time before Dorial Green-Beckham develops into the All-American receiver everyone thought he'd be when he was the No. 3 overall recruit in the country in 2012.

Now a senior with sights on a future in the NFL, Franklin can put a quarterback competition behind him. He can now focus on the final two weeks before the start of the season as the Tigers scrimmage for the final time on Thursday and then turn to the task of facing Murray State Aug. 31.

TideNation links: Lacy's backfield

October, 10, 2012
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Alex Scarborough writes: Waiting patiently for his turn, then working through nagging injuries, Eddie Lacy is finally leading the Alabama ground attack, pain or no pain.

Scarborough Insider: Missouri defender Sheldon Richardson, who made headlines for calling the Georgia Bulldogs’ style “old man football,” has paid quite the toll for the early-season comment, but that doesn’t mean Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron is going to dismiss the Tigers’ defense this weekend.

Greg Ostendorf writes Insider: ESPN watch list offensive lineman Andy Bauer is a Missouri commitment, but dozens of schools are still offering the 2014 prospect, who has an eye on Alabama.

TideNation links: Mizzou recruit battles

October, 9, 2012
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Greg Ostendorf writes Insider: There hasn’t been much to speak of historically in the way of Alabama-Missouri recruiting battles, but with the Tigers joining the SEC that’s bound to change soon.

Ostendorf Insider: Class of 2014 wide receiver DeMarcus Bingham has yet to receive his first scholarship offer, but the junior knows that’ll happen soon enough. Meanwhile, the Foley, Ala., prospect visited Tuscaloosa and Auburn recently, and noted which Alabama program outshined the other.

Alex Scarborough writes: Alabama is on top of the college football world heading into a trip this week to Columbia, Mo. That doesn't mean anything, though, as the Tide were in the same position two years ago before losing to South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

Scarborough: Nick Saban says the only predictable thing about the 2012 season is its unpredictability.

DawgNation links: Jones nabs spotlight

September, 9, 2012
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David Ching writes: With four defensive stars still suspended in a high-stakes SEC opener on the national stage, Georgia could count on, among plenty of others, linebacker Jarvis Jones, who rallied the Bulldogs with his seemingly endless stifling of James Franklin and Mizzou in their conference debut.

Ching Insider: 3 up, 3 down

Ching Insider: Random thoughts on Georgia at Missouri -- Finally, against Missouri and after four years of waiting, Georgia fans might’ve seen receiver Marlon Brown’s big breakout game?

DawgNation links: D-line a downer

September, 6, 2012
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David Ching writes Insider: With four returning starters up front, Mark Richt expected the Bulldogs to boast a better defensive line than it showed against Buffalo.

Radi Nabulsi: UGA players Michael Bennett, Aaron Murray, Christian Robinson, Richard Samuel and John Jenkins join head coach Mark Richt in discussing what they learned about their team after the first game against Buffalo.

Ching: With star freshman John Theus injured, what Georgia will do to shore up the O-line remains a question mark heading to Missouri.

Ching: 5 storylines -- Georgia Insider ...
Missouri Insider

Nabulsi: Class of 2014 DE Dante Sawyer turns heads

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