Big 12 Media Day: Missouri Tigers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - One of the things about this event is the impressions you get, the feelings that you get from talking to coaches and players because the words so often turn out the same. You have to read between those words. Checking out body language and looking into the eyes of the speakers to determine the sincerity and the confidence in what they are saying.

I am convinced after speaking with head coach Gary Pinkel, quarterback Chase Daniel, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, and safety William Moore that when it comes to the Big 12 North it is Missouri and forget it.

Confidence comes flowing like an ocean when Pinkel, Daniel, Maclin and Moore speak. The offense loves the defense. The defense loves the offense. Pinkel loves them both, and his special teams too. The Tigers embrace their rivalry opener with Illinois in St. Louis. They love the entire schedule and the challenges that it has along the way. These guys are eager to get after it. They'll play anybody, anytime, anywhere.

I also believe great teams, champion teams, have great unselfishness. Chase Daniel was asked twice Monday about the Heisman Trophy in my presence and both times he said he would love to win it, but that he believes he is not the only Heisman candidate on his team. Despite going to New York as a finalist last year, Daniel feels that receiver Jeremy Maclin could be a Heisman candidate this season. He believes that Maclin could be in New York or maybe they could be both be there.

You talk to Maclin and he will tell you that for either to win the big bronze trophy that they both have to depend on and help each other play well. He appreciates the endorsement of Daniel, but would rather help win the trophy for his quarterback.

Pinkel says they are both great. He believes in the ability and the leadership of Daniel, who he says is very unique in his maturity and has been since he first arrived at Mizzou. He then tells you that Maclin is a very special player that physically can do some incredible things.

It's really good to be Gary Pinkel right now and really good to be a member of the Missouri Tigers football team. I picked those Tigers first several weeks ago, and months from now they will prove me and every other Big 12 football expert totally correct. In the North it is Missouri and forget it.

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