University of Missouri

Mizzou honors groundbreaking 2007 football team

Gary Pinkel: 2007 was "very special"

Former University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel discussed the reunion for the 2007 team at the Tigers' game against Missouri State on Saturday September 2, 2017 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.
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Former University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel discussed the reunion for the 2007 team at the Tigers' game against Missouri State on Saturday September 2, 2017 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.

Sean Weatherspoon was the most high-profile player who returned for the 2007 Missouri football team reunion.

The Tigers from that breakthrough squad, who won the program’s first conference division title since 1969, enjoyed dinner together with former coach Gary Pinkel on Friday.

“I told all those guys last night that I don’t know if they understand the impact they had on Mizzou football,” Pinkel said. “... That set the stage for the future.”

The Tigers went on to win four more division championships — two in the Big 12 and two in the SEC — during the next seven seasons.

Fans maintain reverence for that squad as well.

Fans like Bob Howell of Sweet Springs, Mo., who wore his Chase Daniel jersey Saturday outside Memorial Stadium.

“2007 was an awesome year,” Howell said. “I remember the game at Arrowhead against (Kansas) for the No. 1 ranking. That was amazing. and we earned a lot of respect from that season.”

Members of Mizzou’s 2007 team were introduced — generally to rousing ovations, including one as a tweet of quarterback Chase Daniel’s new baby boy was shown on the videoboard — at halftime of Saturday’s 72-43 win against Missouri State.

“That was a team that I watched every single Saturday,” junior quarterback Drew Lock said. “If they lost, I went to school upset. And when they won, I bragged to all my friends.”

Nine true freshmen play

There will be no redshirt season for nine incoming freshmen, who all saw the field Saturday against Missouri State.

Overall, 13 newcomers and 18 scholarship players made their Missouri debut — a group that included safety Tyree Gillespie, cornerback Adam Sparks, safety Joshuah Bledsoe, defensive tackle Kobie Whiteside, linebackers Jamal Brooks and Aubrey Miller, defensive end Chris Turner, and running back Larry Rountree III.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer

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