We shouldn't underestimate the extra pressure on Coach Pinkle moving to a new Conference. It's like moving to a new High School in your Junior year. You need to start all over with a whole new Group of guys. So, I.m not suprised at times he sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder. He proved himself in the Big 12 and now he needs to do it all over again in the SEC. Not easy for a Coach who believes he has already earned the respect he deserves.
Over a pair of answers and about a 10-minute span, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel revealed what appeared to be a chip on his shoulder regarding the analysis — and he said there’s been “analysis of the analysis” — of how his program will fare in the big, bad SEC:
“The transition has been significant for me. We’re doing things we never thought we’d be doing in this transition that’s taking place… I think the continuity of our staff has been real important. You know we have a staff that’s been in place and we do what we do. Are we changing how we recruit? No. Are we changing how we train our players? No. We do what we do. We believe in what we do. And that certainly will get tested and that’s fine…
You know our offense is a spread offense and people know about it. We can do a lot of different things. You know we were top 15 in the nation last year in rushing the football. So we can go a lot of different ways with our offense depending on what we need to do in our personnel. We’re gonna get tested. We’re playing some great defenses. We understand that. But we’re going to do what we do and adjust accordingly as we always do as he season wears on so that we can play our best.
Taking note of the chip that seemed to be on Pinkel’s shoulder, one writer followed by asking if Missouri fans really have a chip on their shoulders because people seem to think they’ve been playing “JV” football and they are now headed to “the big league.” Pinkel’s reply:
“You get a lot of ‘we’re playing SEC now and it’s this great league’ and — as I go around this summer, I’ve got a place down in Florida — and people come up to me and act like we’ve been playing a bunch of high schools teams. We played in a pretty good league. I don’t think it’s a chip necessarily. To me it’s being a competitor. I think as a competitor you get challenged a little bit… Bottom line you got to go out and prove yourself and I’m fine with it. I have no problem with it… You gotta go out compete and earn respect. You gotta go out and compete to win. And the only way you’re gonna get respect is winning games. That’s the only way it’s gonna happen.”
Uh, yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and just call that a chip on the shoulder. Nothing wrong with that, of course. And Pinkel will have to win — just as he says — to earn respect. Even if he took a bit friendlier approach to matters, he’d still have to win games to earn respect.
A few years ago it was suggested that Bobby Petrino’s style of play wouldn’t work in the SEC (and we’re talking about his on-field style of play, mind you). Turns out, he won a lot of games just doing his thing.
If Pinkel can mimic Petrino’s success, I don’t think anyone will be talking about Missouri having to earn anyone’s respect or Pinkel having to change his system.