(KMOV) -- Gary Pinkel stood in front of the assembled media Monday afternoon in Columbia in an understated solid white shirt and black jacket. He spoke more softly than usual into the microphone, and his posture and demeanor seemed subdued.
Moments after Pinkel had left the conference room, his quarterback entered, and it was suddenly hard to tell this week was different from any other. Chase Daniel strolled to the podium in his customary casual apparel, his head adorned with the Mohawk haircut he sported during last Saturday night's game at Faurot Field. He opened with his usual "How's everyone doin' today?" and took questions with the same smile he always does.
Their physical approaches were different, but the message from coach and quarterback was once more one and the same: The Missouri Tigers' only concern is their next opponent.
"We want to flush everything that happened last week and move on," said Daniel. "It's over with. We got a big task ahead, facing a great Texas team. We're excited about the task at hand."
What happened last week has left Columbia in a state of shock. The Oklahoma State Cowboys rolled in as two-touchdown underdogs and rolled out as upset winners of a sloppily played 28-23 game that went down to the final moments and featured three interceptions thrown by Daniel himself.
The Tiger faithful may still be recovering from defeat, but the team's on-field leader promised that what's done really is in fact done.
"You woke up and you [went] to lift, and you [saw] some of the guys, which was a great sign," said Daniel. "None of them were too down. Anytime you lose a game, you're going to be upset about it, but it's how fast you can move on. I can guarantee you that after we watched film on that and we started watching film on Texas yesterday, it was done and over with."
The Tigers have dropped to 12th in the national polls, but their coach remained unfazed.
"The only poll I care about is in January," Pinkel said.
He might have been subdued, but he was by no means dejected. The coach and quarterback showed no sign of giving up hope on the national championship goal that has become so closely associated with this Missouri team, and by the conference's end, all seemed back to normal. Pinkel had laughed off a question about a high school player with a quick "Not wise to answer recruiting questions at a press conference," and Daniel had referred to not caring about whether his team was "underdogs or overdogs."
Perhaps the quarterback meant to use the word "favorites." But he wasn't going back to correct himself. Every indication from coach and player was that this season is very much alive and that going forward is all that matters. Which means that these two and the rest of the Tigers are locked in on what lies ahead in Austin.
Steve Weinman is a Journalism student at the University of Missouri