Campus Corner

Lack of preseason All-SEC love is nothing new for Missouri football

Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Nate Sudfeld was chased by Missouri Tigers linebacker Kentrell Brothers (10) in the second quarter at Faurot Field on September 20, 2014, in Columbia, Mo.
Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Nate Sudfeld was chased by Missouri Tigers linebacker Kentrell Brothers (10) in the second quarter at Faurot Field on September 20, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. The Kansas City Star

Missouri didn’t receive much love in media voting for the Southeastern Conference Media Days preseason All-SEC football team.

Senior center Evan Boehm and senior linebacker Kentrell Brothers were third-team picks. That was the extent of the Tigers’ selections.

It continues a trend since Missouri joined the SEC.

Preseason hype remains elusive for coach Gary Pinkel’s squad, which has never had a preseason first-team selection and boasts only one second-team preseason honor in four years in the SEC.

Of course, the more important awards are doled out after the season, and the Tigers have fared much better in that respect.

Missouri has received eight third-team preseason honors, and defensive end Markus Golden was a second-team preseason pick in 2014, but the Tigers have garnered eight first-team honors and 15 total honors in postseason voting.

Missouri had two third-team All-SEC picks in the 2012 preseason voting, but neither cornerback E.J. Gaines nor offensive tackle Elvis Fisher, who suffered a season-ending knee injury, made the cut in the postseason.

The Tigers instead were represented by defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson among the postseason first-team picks. He went on the next year to win the NFL defensive rookie of the year.

Only Gaines, a third-team pick, made the preseason cut in 2013, but Missouri had four first-team picks, two second-team selections and an honorable mention after winning the SEC East division title that season.

The Tigers received a little more love during the preseason in 2014, with three third-team picks and Golden as a second-team selection, but it paled in comparison to the postseason honors.

Missouri had three first-team picks, two second-team honors and two honorable mention selections after repeating as SEC East division champions last season.

What is reasonable to expect in 2015? Using history as a guide, there will be more Tigers on the postseason awards list in December.

Let’s start with a couple of obvious candidates as preseason All-SEC snubs.

▪ Senior left tackle Connor McGovern, who recently set the Missouri all-time squat record, is the next in line of great offensive tackles.

Both Justin Britt and Mitch Morse, who are McGovern’s predecessors at the position, became second-round NFL Draft picks.

McGovern has the requisite experience, strength and aptitude to emerge as a star. He’ll get his love at the season’s end, barring injury.

▪ Missouri’s starting cornerbacks, senior Kenya Dennis and junior Aarion Penton, continue to fly under the radar, but both are in line for outstanding seasons.

Dennis is a hulking specimen with underrated cover skills and should benefit from a more aggressive style on the boundary under new defensive coordinator Barry Odom.

Penton, meanwhile, is reminiscent of Gaines. He’s strong against the run and has the skills to be a lockdown guy with the versatility to play in the slot as well.

▪ Brothers is getting some much-deserved preseason love at linebacker, but junior Michael Scherer also had a fantastic season a year ago and could turn some heads with another strong season at middle linebacker.

▪ Losing defensive tackle Harold Brantley for the season due to injuries suffered in a June 21 car wreck is a significant blow, but don’t be surprised if defensive end Charles Harris or defensive tackle Josh Augusta emerges as a legitimate all-conference contender under defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski’s tutelage.

▪ With strong seasons, junior quarterback Maty Mauk, senior running back Russell Hansbrough or sophomore wide receiver Nate Brown also could garner increasing attention as the season trundles along, especially if Missouri is in the thick of the SEC East race again.

Missouri’s all-time postseason Associated Press All-SEC selections

2014

First team

WR Bud Sasser

AP Marcus Murphy

DE Shane Ray*

Second team

LB Kentrell Brothers

S Braylon Webb

Honorable mention

DT Harold Brantley

DE Markus Golden

2013

First team

OT Justin Britt

DE Michael Sam*

DE Kony Ealy

CB E.J. Gaines

Second team

WR Dorial Green-Beckham

LB Andrew Wilson

Honorable mention

DE Markus Golden

2012

First team

DT Sheldon Richardson

* indicates SEC defensive player of the year


Missouri’s all-time SEC Media Days preseason All-SEC selections

2015

Third team

C Evan Boehm

LB Kentrell Brothers

2014

Second team

DL Markus Golden

Third team

C Evan Boehm

K Andrew Baggett

RS Marcus Murphy

2013

Third team

DB E.J. Gaines

2012

Third team

OL Elvis Fisher

DB E.J. Gaines

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @todpalmer.

  Comments