The Tide and Tigers met in the 1968 Gator Bowl.
Here’s a surprising stat. Missouri actually leads the all-time series with Alabama 2-1 — one of the few programs in America to do so. Dan Devine’s Tigers were victorious in the 1968 Gator Bowl 35-10 over Bear Bryant’s Tide and Missouri won the second meeting in 1975 in Alabama 20-7. The Tide returned the favor in 1978, winning in Missouri 38-20.
Alabama is a three touchdown favorite to even the series tomorrow afternoon in what should be termed the Don James Bowl as both Nick Saban and Gary Pinkel are former James players and assistants at Kent State. Could someone sneak a Golden Flashes trophy down to Columbia?
Missouri visits the other Columbia in conference this Saturday at 3:30 pm EDT. The Tigers own a 2-0 all-time record against South Carolina, defeating the Gamecocks 24-14 in the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl and 38-31 in the 2005 Independence Bowl.
The most recent matchup saw South Carolina blow a 21-0 first quarter lead in what was the biggest comeback in Independence Bowl history as well as Missouri history. The Tigers were led by QB Brad Smith, now a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, who ended the day with 432 yards of total offense (282 passing yards and 150 rushing yards). Smith held 69 different Missouri, Big 12 and NCAA game, season and career records when he finished his career as a Tiger, starting for four seasons.
The 2005 Independence Bowl team was the first South Carolina team led by Steve Spurrier, finishing 7-5 overall and 5-3 in conference for 2nd place in the SEC East and derailing Florida’s chances of a division championship with a 30-22 November win over the Gators in Columbia, S.C. It was Urban Meyer’s first year at Florida’s helm also.
Highlights from the 2005 Independence Bowl:
Pinkel was Toledo’s head coach before his Missouri days.
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel and Georgia head coach Mark Richt are each in their 12th seasons with their respective programs. Only five head coaches — none in the SEC — in the country have been with their programs longer. During that time, Richt is 107-38 at Georgia while Pinkel is 86-54 at Missouri, a program that suffered losing seasons in 15 of the 17 seasons before Pinkel’s arrival in Columbia.
Richt, then Florida State’s offensive coordinator, actually interviewed with Missouri athletic director Mike Alden in November 2000 for the head coaching vacancy that then Toledo head coach Gary Pinkel eventually filled.
Richt served as FSU’s offensive coordinator during three consecutive national championship games from 1998-2000.
While both head coaches have shown consistency to remain with their programs for 12 years, Richt’s true road record has fallen to 8-6 from 2009-2011 after a sterling 30-4 true road record from 2001-2008. Two of those six recent losses came in Big 12 territory, losing to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., in 2009 and Colorado in Boulder, Colo., in 2010. Meanwhile, Pinkel brings a 9-2 record with him against current SEC foes. That record is aided by his 5-1 mark against Texas A&M, however.
Missouri also boasts a 35-6 record in its last 41 home games.
The Tigers’ spread welcomes “Old Man Football” to Columbia Saturday.
In the only meeting between Georgia and Missouri, the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers 14-0 in the 1960 Orange Bowl. Led by future NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton at quarterback, Georgia claimed the 1959 SEC Championship at 10-1 overall in the regular season and was awarded a berth in the Orange Bowl. However, #2 Ole Miss and #3 LSU, both ranked higher than Georgia though the Bulldogs had a better conference record, re-matched in the Sugar Bowl with the Rebels claiming a 21-0 victory, avenging their only loss of the season and finishing second nationally behind Syracuse.
Tarkenton cuts it loose against Missouri in the 1960 Orange Bowl. (Credit: OrangeBowl.org)
Meanwhile in Miami, #5 Georgia met #18 Missouri, which was 6-5 overall and second in the then-Big 7 to Oklahoma.
It was Georgia head coach Wally Butts’ last of four SEC championships as he would retire following the 1960 season. Missouri was led by second-year head coach Dan Devine, who would lead the Tigers until 1970 before leaving for the Green Bay Packers and later Notre Dame. Butts’ overall record in 21 years at Georgia was 140-86-9, marking him second in wins behind Vince Dooley, while Devine finished with a 93-37-7 record (.704 percentage) in 13 years at Missouri.
Ironically, Devine was in his last game as Notre Dame’s head coach in the 1981 Sugar Bowl when the Bulldogs beat the Irish 17-10 to claim the 1980 national championship.
Another notable SEC name on Georgia’s 1960 Orange Bowl team was former Auburn head coach and Augusta, Ga., native Pat Dye, who performed for the Bulldogs as a first-team all-SEC lineman.
“He’s the next Herschel Walker.”
That’s an infamous phrase that’s been uttered by Georgia fans over the past 30 years or has been uttered about Georgia fans during that time frame, mocking their surety that another Herschel Walker is guaranteed in Athens. Walker took college football by storm as a freshman in 1980 — with the help of the late announcer Larry Munson’s narratives (“My God, a freshman!”) — leading Georgia to the national championship. Ever since his record-breaking career, which concluded with the 1982 Heisman Trophy, Bulldogs fans have been clamoring for a repeat.
But that isn’t going to happen because, quite simply, there isn’t another Herschel Walker.
Tim Worley runs away from Florida defenders in 1985.
However, Georgia’s been the beneficiary of an excellent line of running backs who followed Walker. Two of those were Lumberton, N.C.’s Tim Worley and Cartersville, Ga.’s Keith Henderson, who were freshmen in 1985. Stacked a year behind sophomore running back Lars Tate, the two freshmen were much anticipated by Bulldogs fans after the dismissal of running back Andre “Pulpwood” Smith, a highly touted flash-in-the-pan. They didn’t disappoint, pairing up to down #1 Florida 24-3 as both ran for over 100 yards.
Like Tim Worley, Georgia returned to the state of North Carolina this year to grab freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Like both Worley and Henderson, they sit a year behind a sophomore running back in Ken Malcome and are also being counted on to replace a dismissed player, Isaiah Crowell.
Todd Gurley faces his first test Saturday night. (Credit: Kevin Liles, US Presswire)
Their first test is Saturday night at 7:45 pm EDT in Columbia, Mo. against the newcomer Missouri Tigers.
Welcome to the SEC, Texas A&M and Missouri. Or should we say welcome to Texas A&M and Missouri, SEC. It seems as if the newest members of the conference are ready to throw down the gauntlet. Only a day removed from Labor Day, the Aggies and Tigers are showing significant chutzpah (maybe) before this week’s games with Florida and Georgia, respectively.
This billboard has shown up in Gainesville, Fla. this week. However, Texas A&M officials are claiming it wasn’t placed by the University and is investigating, according to ESPN.com.
If you can’t decipher the billboard, it reads “Howdy Gainesville: You’ve been annexed by Aggie Nation, The Best Academics & Cleanest Program in the SEC. WHOOP! Real Football. Real Tradition.”
Richardson gave SEC reporters, fans and teams plenty to talk about. (Credit: Spencer Kane, Columbia, Mo.)
Not to be outdone, Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson, when asked if he had watched the Georgia-Buffalo game, said “I watched that game. I turned it off too. It’s like watching Big Ten football. It’s old-man football.”
Richardson didn’t stop there.
“If we execute,” he said, “nobody [emphasis added] in this league can touch us. Period.”
Of course, Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said Richardson “just got carried away a little bit.”
Well, then. The week just took a turn…