Greenwald: Appreciating Pinkel - KMOV.com

Greenwald: Appreciating Pinkel

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Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel yells on the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) By L.G. Patterson Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel yells on the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) By L.G. Patterson
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 12:  Head coach Gary Pinkel of the Missouri Tigers looks on during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) By Kevin C. Cox ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 12: Head coach Gary Pinkel of the Missouri Tigers looks on during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) By Kevin C. Cox
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 12:  Head coach Gary Pinkel of the Missouri Tigers looks on during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) By Kevin C. Cox ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 12: Head coach Gary Pinkel of the Missouri Tigers looks on during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) By Kevin C. Cox

(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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