Pinkel, SEC Coaches Meet with ESPN Media
BRISTOL, CT -- After spending last Tuesday at his first SEC Media Days, Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel took part in ESPN's "Car Wash". Pinkel was one of just seven Southeastern Conference head coaches who met with the ESPN Media on Monday.
The media event gets its "Car Wash" name based on a whirlwind day with the coaches meeting with 12 different ESPN programs in a time frame of four and a half hours. Pinkel along with Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin, Auburn's Gene Chizik, Tennessee's Derek Dooley, Vanderbilt's James Franklin and LSU's Les Miles took part in the first day of SEC interviews. The remaining seven coaches will meet with ESPN on Tuesday.
On ESPN Radio's College Football Podcast, Gary Pinkel addressed the similarities and differences in the challenges of first taking on the coaching job at Mizzou and now moving into the SEC. "That challenge [starting at Mizzou] was astronomical. I wondered in the first two-three years why I took the challenge," Pinkel said. "I have great respect for the coaches and players in this league, this is certainly the best college football conference in the nation. But yet, we have great pride in who we are and we understand we're going to play great teams. The beauty of this is you have to prove yourself. I think anytime you are new somewhere you have to go out and prove yourself. The great thing about college football is you play football games. We just focus on the process of preparing."
Pinkel on Mizzou's offensive plan for the year, "You hear about the defenses in the league, and it's true. We have a scheme that we believe in offensively and defensively. We were top 15 in the nation last year in rushing so it's not just a spread offense that you throw the ball for 350 yards a game. We're very versatile. Will we make adjustments as the season goes on? Ya, we will, but we intend to run our offense and see where it goes."
Pinkel on Mizzou QB James Franklin's recovery process, "He's doing well. Drew Brees had the same surgery prior to him going to the Saints and we had the chance to talk to their medical staff. James's shoulder isn't as severe. He was ready to play in five weeks after surgery. We feel comfortable that we're doing the right things. He feels 100%, my trainer says that he will be ready. Now ready and being able to throw the ball well, throw accurate are two different things. Physically he'll be ready."
Pinkel on the first SEC game vs. Georgia for Mizzou, "To say our fan base is thrilled about being the SEC is an understatement. It's been remarkably bigger than what I ever thought it would be. Coach's never talk about the second game of the year and the only reason I am is because it's going to be a historic game as the first SEC game for the University of Missouri. It's going to be against Georgia at Mizzou in Columbia. If we had 200,000 tickets to sell, we'd sell 200,000...that's how big it is."
Missouri will face Georgia on September 8th at 6:45 p.m. at Faurot Field. The game can be seen on ESPN2.