COLUMBIA, MO -- Here stands Gary Pinkel, signature visor atop his head, characteristic sound bites spilling from his mouth.
"I'm responsible for this program," he says, probably for the thousandth time. "I took this job over to make Missouri a great team. Am I driven? That would be an understatement."
In less than three weeks, Mizzou kicks off its second season as a member of the Southeastern Conference. That newness contrasts with the length of Pinkel's career. This will be his 13th season in Columbia, his 23rd as a head coach.
And therein lies a potential rub.
The Tigers got chewed up and spit out in their SEC debut. They were injured more than any squad Pinkel has every fielded, and they finished 5-7 with just two conference wins.
Because the SEC is big and bad and brand new, calls for change rang out. Change assistants. Change schemes. Change plays. Change something. Anything.
Pinkel originally rejected the idea of switching assistants. When former offensive coordinator Da...