8-5 overall, 5-4 Big 12 (fifth)• Key starters lost:
WR Jerrell Jackson, WR Wes Kemp, TE Michael Egnew, OT Dan Hoch, G Jayson Palmgren, G Austin Wuebbels, DE Jacquies Smith, DT Dominique Hamilton, DT Terrell Resonno, LB Luke Lambert, S Kenji Jackson.• Key starters returning:
QB James Franklin, RB Kendial Lawrence, WR T.J. Moe, LT Elvis Fisher, RT Justin Britt, DE Brad Madison, LB Zaviar Gooden, LB Andrew Wilson, CB E.J. Gaines, CB Kip Edwards, S Kenronte Walker.• Banking on
Franklin being his old self. Nicknamed “The Tank,” the 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior emerged as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation last season. A torn labrum in his throwing shoulder during spring practice sidelined him for part of the offseason, but he has been running with the first team since camp opened.• Don’t bet on
Making it through this season injury-free. Coach Gary Pinkel has maintained that this is the most banged up the Tigers have been during an offseason. Chances are backups and young players will have to step up.• Smart money is on
Missouri being competitive, at the very least. Missouri has evolved into one of the nation’s most consistent programs under Pinkel. The Sept. 8 home opener against Georgia could set the tone; beating a top-team team in their SEC debut would give the Tigers plenty of momentum and confidence to take on a tough schedule.