(Missouri Football App) - Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel is the ultimate "one game at a time" kind of coach. He refuses to discuss the possibility of Missouri reaching the BCS National Championship game until after the Tigers play Auburn for the SEC title.
"That's the challenge," said Pinkel. "Can you stay focused to do what you do, day by day, so you can play your best? I'd like to think we're doing that. We've done it all year. Hopefully we'll focus on the right things, the preparation, so we can play our best. Probably sounds redundant, sounds boring, but it's the facts."
Even if Mizzou beats Auburn and wins the SEC championship they'd likely need help to get into the BCS title game. The Tigers will be pulling hard for Michigan State to beat Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game, and for Duke to score a huge upset over Florida State in the ACC title match-up. Florida State and Ohio State are both unbeaten, and one of them would have to lose for Mizzou to have a realistic chance of getting into the BCS title game.
"We do know this," said Mizzou Athletic Director Mike Alden. "You're not going to be in the national championship discussion unless you beat Auburn. Coach has done a good job of coaching me saying let's just make sure we're all focused on beating the Auburn Tigers and get out there and play our best game of the year."
An SEC team has won the national championship seven years in a row. There's a school of thought that the winner of the Mizzou/Auburn game deserves a spot in the BCS championship game even if there are two other schools, Ohio State and Florida State, that finish undefeated. Both Mizzou and Auburn have played considerably tougher schedules than FSU and Ohio State. Pinkel was biting on any national championship questions when asked about it at the news conference on Friday.
"I'm going to focus on the game tomorrow,” said Pinkel. "That's where my focus should be, that's where my team's focus should be, and that's where it's going to be."