Campus Corner

Missouri checks in 24th in early preseason football rankings

Missouri Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel reacts after Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Markus Golden (33) and Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Lucas Vincent (96) dumped Gatorade down his back as the final seconds ran off of the clock in the fourth quarter during the University of Missouri and University of Minnesota Citrus Bowl football game on Thursday, January 1, 2015, near Orlando, Florida. Missouri beat Minnesota 33-17.
Missouri Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel reacts after Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Markus Golden (33) and Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Lucas Vincent (96) dumped Gatorade down his back as the final seconds ran off of the clock in the fourth quarter during the University of Missouri and University of Minnesota Citrus Bowl football game on Thursday, January 1, 2015, near Orlando, Florida. Missouri beat Minnesota 33-17. Kansas City Star

Obviously, a lot can change between now and August when the 2015 college football season gets underway.

Even more will change in the next 11 months before the second championship of the College Football Playoff era is decided.

For now, Missouri is at least getting a little respect after winning back-to-back SEC East championships.

The Tigers — who are 23-5, including a 14-2 record in the Southeastern Conference the last two seasons — are ranked No. 24 in ESPN’s way-too-early 2015 Preseason Football Power Index.

Of course, Missouri, which also is ranked No. 24 by ESPN college football writer Mark Schlabach, only checks in 10th among SEC schools and third in the SEC East.

Reigning national champion Ohio State leads the pack followed by traditional SEC powers Alabama and LSU with Baylor and Oregon rounding out the preseason top five.

No. 9 Georgia and No. 14 Tennessee also are ranked ahead of the Tigers, who also behind Mississippi (eighth), Arkansas (10th), Texas A&M (11th), Auburn (18th) and Mississippi State (22nd).

Schlabach’s top five is a bit different with TCU, Southern California, Alabama and Baylor lining up behind the Buckeyes in his estimation.

He has Missouri eighth in the SEC, but still behind Georgia (eighth) and Tennessee (20th) as well as the Crimson Tide, Auburn (12th), Mississippi (14th), LSU (16th) and Arkansas (22nd).

Kansas State is slotted 39th and Kansas is 112th, last in the power five conferences, among 128 NCAA Division I football teams.

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

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