Having a bad taste in their mouths from last season's 35-13 loss to Navy in the Texas Bowl, the Missouri Tigers came out with something to prove in 2010, and they couldn't have gotten off to a better start. Boasting a 2-0 record, with an impressive 23-13 victory over rival Illinois and a 50-6 pummeling of McNeese state, the Tigers are now ranked #25 in the USA Today Coaches' Top 25 Poll. However, their early ranking will be tested right away during their matchup with the San Diego State Aztecs this Saturday, September 18, with kick-off set for 6:07 PM at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo.
Out of the Mountain West Conference, the Aztecs are also holding onto a 2-0 record after defeating formidable foe New Mexico State 41-21 and shutting out Nicholls State 47-0 to open their season.
Despite having their hands full, Mizzou and its fans should have several reasons to believe in their team this year. The first is that highly touted junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who threw for 3,593 yards and 24 touchdowns last season despite an ankle injury, is fully healthy and ready to take the Tigers to the next level. Another reason for encouragement is that Mizzou made its fifth straight bowl last year under Coach Gary Pinkel, despite the team being Pinkel's youngest squad yet. Thirty four of the 44 Tigers from last season were freshmen or sophomores, and with another year under their belts, they have the experience it takes to compete for a Big 12 North Title, and possibly higher aspirations. Only time will tell before the Tigers fall out of the Top 25 or continue to climb among the elite schools in the country.