On Saturday, Missouri capped off their 2011 regular season with a 24-10 win over Kansas. Missouri finished the season at 7-5, after closing the season on a three-game win streak.
On Monday, Coach Pinkel spoke to the media, and addressed a number of topics.
Coach Pinkel indicated that winning the final three games was "real important to us". He said that his team was "really banged up", and that getting as "healed up" as possible will be a priority this week and next. The team will lift this week, and bowl practices will begin sometime next week. He said that the coaching staff is out recruiting very heavily right now.
"We had a lot of guys playing hurt at the end of the season," explained Coach Pinkel. "We had more injuries (this season) than we've ever had. Now that the season is over, I can say this. We had more injuries than I've ever had as a head coach in 21 years. We had more guys miss games, more guys out for the season, those type things, than I've ever had."
Coach Pinkel talked about how his team had battled through adversity this year.
"We had a lot of adversity," said Coach Pinkel. "I always talk to the team about dealing with adversity. One thing I tell them is that we're going to have it, there's no question about it. But, most important is how we react to it, is going to be the difference. We had a lot of injuries………………………………. We lost a bunch of close games, one by three, two by seven, one by ten. And so, we persevered. We battled through. You know, we were sitting there at 4-5, with three games left. Now, we're 7-5. In yesterday's BCS (Standings), we're #25. So some recognize that we've done a lot of good things. And, I'm very, very proud of our staff and our players for battling, and competing. I think it says a lot for them, and certainly the kind of people that we have in our program. I'm real happy for them."
Coach Pinkel indicated that he believes that the way that this year's team battled through adversity, bodes well for the program moving forward.
Coach Pinkel was asked if he expected the Big 12 to "go to bat" for Missouri in the bowl selection process?
"I would like to think that they're going to do what is right," replied Coach Pinkel.
Coach Pinkel was asked about the two-year tenure of Turner Gil at Kansas?
"That's very unusual," replied Coach Pinkel. "I'm glad I had Mike Alden here, when we started building our program here, at the beginning. I had somebody who could stand up for me. There's no way in the world that you can start building your program, a program that's been down, and flip it that quick. You don't have a chance to flip it that quick. So, I think it's real disappointing."
Coach Pinkel talked about transitioning to the SEC.
"Certainly recruiting-wise, we've already made a couple of adjustments," explained Coach Pinkel. "We're going to put a coach in Atlanta, and we're putting two in Florida. That's adjustments that we've already made the last few weeks. We've had to jump ahead, and do that right away. That will, more so, be for next year, in terms of when it will be complete. But, we still have to get into those areas this year, too, from a public relations standpoint, maybe from a marketing standpoint. So, there's going to be quite a bit going on around here. But, we're also working very hard to do that. It's exciting! And, we're looking forward to it."
"The foundation of who we are is not going to change at all," continued Coach Pinkel. "I think the recruiting- marketing standpoint of it is going to be hugely significant, and also selling your brand. You know, you go into a couple of different areas recruiting. Certainly, we're going to be in all of those states, in terms of Mizzou, the branding part of it, and how we market it, and what we send to high schools. We've already been doing that for the last month or so. You know, just developing trust, all of the things that we did when we went into Oklahoma and Texas recruiting. We're still going to be in Texas recruiting, and Oklahoma, too."
Coach Pinkel cited the success that they've had in recruiting, and indicated that they'll continue to do the same things, but within additional areas.