COLUMBIA, Mo. (Missouri Football App) -- With Missouri’s football season most likely finished, head coach Gary Pinkel delivered his season wrap-up press conference Tuesday morning to reflect on the season.
Missouri finished 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the first season as a member of the Southeastern Conference and Pinkel’s not surprised by the results.
“I don’t think there was a learning curve at all,” said Pinkel. “Everything that happened in this conference I expected. I knew this league was going to be tough and had great, competitive teams.”
Many would agree with Pinkel’s sentiment that the SEC is extremely competitive. Currently, the SEC has 9 out of 14 teams bowl eligible. The conference also has 6 teams ranked within the top-10 in the most recent BCS standings.
Some fans have discussed the possibility of Pinkel not returning to coach in 2013. When asked by a member of the media Tuesday morning, Pinkel responded firmly.
“I love my job,” said Pinkel. “My daughter called me recently and said she heard rumors I was retiring. I responded to her surprised, ‘I am?!’ I have a responsibility here. This program was handed to me. We may have slipped this year and it’s my job to bounce back.”
Injuries and other issues led to some struggles within the SEC in 2012. Mizzou fans became very frustrated with the lack of production and success this season, and some blamed Pinkel.
“I’ve been very fortunate here at Missouri,” said Pinkel. “I want to make sure I get the numbers right, but since 2007, we’re ranked 13th in most wins. We had the 2nd toughest schedule this season. I think it’s great that people have high winning expectations for our team; I want that. It wasn’t like that when I got here. We have one poor season and people start to forget that.”
Missouri heads into the offseason with much to reflect on from its first season as a member of the SEC. Despite struggles throughout the season, the team looks to make major strides within the conference next season and beyond.