Posted: Aug 15, 2012 11:05 AM by Associated Press
COLUMBIA (AP) -- Missouri has joined the Southeastern Conference and coach Gary Pinkel is doing his best to downplay the transition from the Big 12.
Before the first day of fall camp, he didn't mention the SEC to his players. They don't need to told about the challenge ahead.
The preseason SEC poll has the Tigers finishing fourth in the East behind Georgia, South Carolina and Florida even though they're coming off an 8-5 season and enter the September 1 opener against Southeastern Louisiana on a four-game winning streak.
The lack of recognition has the players burning to prove themselves worthy of membership in a conference that has produced the last six national champions.