Greenwald: Appreciating Pinkel

Greenwald: Appreciating Pinkel

Credit: Getty Images

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07: Head coach Gary Pinkel of the Missouri Tigers takes the field before playing against the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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by Dan Greenwald / Missouri Football App

KMOV.com

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 15 at 12:55 AM

(Missouri Football App) -  Now that the dust is settling on an 11 win season, it is time to look at how lucky Mizzou is to have Gary Pinkel.

It is very easy to praise Pinkel after a remarkable season that brought the Tigers within one win of the national championship game, but this assessment goes far beyond that.

Pinkel has resurrected a program that was in the gutter when he arrived in 2001. At that time, Mizzou had been to five bowl games since 1980. That’s right: five bowl games in 20 years. In that time frame, the program went through four head coaches who were mediocre at best.

Pinkel has taken the Tigers to a bowl game 9 times, a conference championship game three times, and has been within one win of national title game twice; his team has also been ranked #1 once during his 13-year tenure.

All of that has added up to 101 wins, which ties him with the legendary Don Faurot for the most in school history. Along the way, Pinkel’s teams have accomplished something not seen in Columbia since Dan Devine was patrolling the sidelines.

While critics can argue his team needs to fare better in big games, there is no doubt that Pinkel has brought the program a long way.

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