Don't Kill The Mellinger

Mizzou blows out Vandy, which is nice. But what’s now possible is nicer

Updated: 2013-10-06T07:23:37Z

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

— I mean, all of a sudden, Mizzou’s game at Georgia next week looks a little different, huh?

Missouri beat the bejeezus out of Vanderbilt here on Saturday, 51-28, pushing the Tigers to 5-0 and (presumably) into this week’s top 25s. The Tigers’ third SEC win since joining the league last year is their most impressive, and the morale around the program has to be as high as it’s been in a while.

They’ve already matched last year’s win total, and next weekend’s game at No. 5 Georgia has a new tint.

"I don't think we've played our best game yet," Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel says. "So that's good. I think they know that, too. We can certainly improve as a team."

Georgia needed overtime to beat Tennessee, and it’s tempting to see Tennessee and Vanderbilt at about the same level. College Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, for instance, ranked Tennessee 34th and Vanderbilt 40th entering the weekend. Jerry Palm’s projected BCS standings had Tennessee 53rd and Vanderbilt 63rd. Mizzou, if you’re curious, was 11th in SRS and 23rd with Palm.

Whatever. We’ll know soon enough how Mizzou stacks against Georgia, and, obviously, the Tigers will need to play their best game of the season to have a chance against one of the top teams in the country on the road.

But, as people have pointed out, beating Vanderbilt (especially in a blowout) gives Mizzou the chance to play for a great season instead of a good one.

Along with Florida-LSU, Oregon-Washington, and Texas A&M-Ole Miss, Missouri will be playing in one of college football’s showcase games next weekend.

This is the kind of thing that had so many MU fans excited about joining the SEC.

 

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