Nobody cared to listen to Gary Pinkel.
The Missouri coach, a 22-year head coaching veteran, knew that's how life goes for men in charge of 5-7 teams.
"Last year we went into a new league, and when we were struggling, the injuries, I don't care how many we had, it didn't matter," Pinkel said. "It was, 'The SEC overpowered them.' That was just the take and everybody ran with it."
The Tigers had won at least a share of the Big 12 North three times since 2007 and played for the Big 12 title in 2007 and 2008. After the 2012 season, Mizzou packed its bags for the SEC. In the inaugural season, Pinkel was home for the postseason for the first time since 2004.
By the end of 2012, Missouri was left with redshirt freshman Brad McNulty at center. Quarterback James Franklin, then a junior, was in and out of the lineup, leaving the Tigers to depend on redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser to seize control of the offense.
"Our offensive line was decimated. I've never been a part of anything like i...