By: Mickey White
This week I caught up with Mizzou fan and blogger of all things Mizzou sports, Matt Jeffrey as well as Tiger's Lair Coordinator Steve Goldberg. Both men and I talked about what this season and the SEC holds in store for Mizzou among other things. The Tigers are coming off of a 8-5 season that ended in an Independence Bowl romp of North Carolina. This season Saturday in Columbia with a new conference, new uniforms and a cupcake opponent in Southeastern Louisiana.
Key losses from last season include Kenji Jackson, Dominique Hamilton, Michael Egnew and Wes Kemp. Jeffrey, who is known around Boone County by the moniker "Mizzou Matt", considers the best returning starters on each side of the ball to be T.J. Moe on offense and Brad Madison on defense. He did add that "the defense will revolve around [Will] Ebner." Goldberg, on the other hand, considers James Franklin and Sheldon Richardson to be the key players returning on offense and defense for the Tigers.
Henry Josey, who at the time of is injury last season against Texas was leading the Big 12 in rushing yards, will not be back this season. This is a bigger shame when you take into consideration that Josey is widely considered one of the more down to earth players on the team. Those sentiments were echoed by Goldberg, who has interviewed Josey while doing work for Columbia's NBC affiliate, KOMU.
In February, the Tigers signed top Wide Receiver recruit, Dorial Green-Beckham out of Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Missouri. Green-Beckham, better known in as "DGB", will be on the field in his true freshman season. He will primarily play at the Y, or slot receiver position. Goldberg commented that "[Dorial Green-Beckham] will serve as an effective weapon in the red zone" and to "look for [Green-Beckham] on the inside post route." Jeffrey predicts that DGB will make the All-Freshman Team.
Both Jeffrey and Goldberg agree that the Tigers will go 8-4. This may be a stretch considering considering they are in the SEC. However, last season they played against three quarterbacks that are starting in the NFL on Week 1 in Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden. A fourth, Brock Osweiler, is backing up Peyton Manning in Denver. The Tigers are also in the SEC East and will not see LSU, Arkansas, Mississippi State or Auburn this season.
Both Jeffrey and Goldberg agree that the new video that hit YouTube portrays Mizzou students as cockier than most students actually are about their new SEC program. The video in question (http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=d4E8mUxELNY) was made by several members of the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity at Mizzou, which was described by one Mizzou student as "the laughingstock of the Interfraternity Council."
You can follow both of the interviewees on twitter at @MZUMAT and @SG_Mizzou15