Gary Pinkel has created a completely new dynamic to the Mizzou football program. The most important may be the young tradition of great quarterbacks.
The three quarterbacks before James Franklin are all earning a steady paycheck in the NFL. The only other SEC program that can make that claim is the Georgia Bulldogs. Steve Spurrier hasn’t had a quarterback drafted yet at South Carolina.
During the Larry Smith era, Mizzou experienced one good quarterback, Corby Jones (sidebar; I bartended at a bar in Columbia during college and became Corby’s go to guy. Mainly, in part, because I refused to charge such a legend of a man. As pathetic as it sounds, it was like living out a childhood fantasy. Right behind having sex with the original pink power ranger). The following Tigers also took snaps for Mizzou in the 90s:
1990: Kent Kiefer – Threw for a little over 2,000 yards and 11 touchdowns
1991-1992: Phil Johnson – Threw for a little over 2,000 yards and 14 touchdowns
1993-1994: Jeff Handy – Threw for 1,900 yards and 12 touchdowns
1999: Jeff Dougherty, Kirk Farmer, and Justin Gage – That’s right folks, Gage was a quarterback for the Tigers at one point. The three combined for 1,900 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. Nice.
Side note, I have said many times that Kirk Farmer falls under the cinematic quarterback name club. The club is home to;
Shane “Footsteps” Falco – The Replacements, never could shake that damn Sugar Bowl
Johnny Utah – Point Break, after a knee injury ended his career, he took on Swayze
Johnny Moxon – Varsity Blues, the only player in football history to lead a mutiny at halftime. That is leadership. I don’t want, your life…
Joe Kane – The Program, Heisman pressures lead to alcoholic lifestyle
I digress, obviously, the list above shows that Mizzou was not known for its quarterback talent. Pinkel changed that when he decided to start a redshirt freshman against Illinois over the heavy lettuced senior, Farmer.
Since Brad Smith took the reins, Mizzou has garnered recognition amongst many as a “Quarterback University”. Disclaimer: I am not saying Mizzou is at USC’s level, but they are gaining a reputation. Let’s review the quarterbacks to play for the Tigers under Gary Pinkel.
Brad Smith 2002-2006
Smith is the only quarterback in NCAAFB history to throw for 8,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards. He led the Tigers past Nebraska in the fateful 2003 rain game, only to outdo himself by putting up over 500 yards on the Huskers in his senior year. Smith also led a 21 point comeback against South Carolina in the 2003 Independence Bowl. Just recently, the Buffalo Bills signed Bradley to a 4 year/15 million dollar deal. Fun fact, Brad just had a son in 2010, Bradley Jr. Let’s hope he is a pigeon footed-phenom like his old man.
Chase Daniel 2005-2009
Chase really took the quarterback success to a new level while bringing the program along for the ride. Daniel was 30-11 as a starter at Mizzou and won the biggest game in Mizzou football history. Of course, I am talking about the 2007 Border War, where Mizzou beat Kansas 36-27. Daniel was a Heisman finalist as well in his junior year. One thing I can understand is how much Kansas fans hated Daniel. As a Mizzou fan, I have to be honest with myself. Chase did in fact wear a skull cap and he did have earrings. However, that still does not touch the douchiness of Scott Pollard. Daniel ended his career with over 12,000 yards and 101 touchdowns. He is currently understudy for Drew Brees, learning the craft of the short quarterback.
Blaine Gabbert 2008-2011
Gabbert was certainly the most hyped quarterback to come to Mizzou. He was a 5 star and an Army All American. Not to mention, he had some tender lettuce. Although never putting up crazy numbers, Gabbert had all of the tools of a first round NFL quarterback, something Mizzou had never seen before. Blaine was recently drafted 10th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and started the second half of the season. Gabbert only did one thing wrong that I think everyone on this site can agree with, he was born in St. Louis. Scummy.
Personally, I think Franklin has the ability to certainly carry on the Pinkel tradition. Last Year, James had over 2,800 yards passing with 21 touchdowns. Not to mention, he ran for 981 yards and 15 more touchdowns. Franklin is the key component for the Tigers’ SEC run. If he can stay healthy and continue to improve, he could be a first team SEC quarterback his senior year. As far as pro potential, I think if Franklin can harness his passing game over the next two years, he could be a 3rd-6th round draft pick.
Maty Mauk is supposed to be the next quarterback in line, along with Trent Hosick to follow and maybe compete. In Mauk’s senior year, he threw for 5,413 yards and 68 touchdowns. Oh yeah, and he ran for 1,768 yards with 24 touchdowns. Those kinds of numbers would make John Clayton cream in his pants.
Fun Missouri Football Facts of the Week:
- Most Punts of Over 50 yards: 23, Kyle “The Pool Man” Pooler 1994
- Most Passing Yards in a Game: 480, Jeff Handy 1992
- Mizzou is 22-5 all time against SEC opponents (excluding Texas A&M)
- First night game played at Mizzou, 1992 vs. Colorado (portable lights)
- Mizzou has won 10 straight season openers
- Mizzou was 28-24 on the Big 12’s FSN, and is 1-3-1 on CBS
- Mizzou is 82-89-1 all time in televised games
P.S. – Saw Aldon Smith at the All-Star game rocking a SF Giants jersey. From what I could tell the bleeding has stopped from his stab wound. Also, bumped into Chris Gervino and proudly yelled like a child, “That’s Chris Gervino!” Christopher promptly power walked away from me as fast as possible. Celebrities, right?