By Bill C.
Missouri and Oklahoma State battle in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Friday evening, January 3, 2014.
Missouri's Cotton Bowl media guide is out (PDF). Here are some notes on the (as of December 16) depth chart.
- Finally completely healthy after a late-season hip injury, Duron Singleton is listed as the No. 2 free safety behind Matt White. Even while getting playing time, he was usually listed behind Cortland Browning.
- That's pretty much it, actually. Michael Sam and Shane Ray are still listed as "OR" starters at defensive end, as are Harold Brantley and Lucas Vincent at nose guard. A lot of teams see suspensions at this time of year, either for academics or generic "violations of team rules," but so far it appears Missouri has not fallen victim to that. Knock on wood, of course.
Other tidbits from the game notes:
- This is Gary Pinkel's second stab at overtaking Don Faurot on Missouri's all-time wins list. Granted, the SEC Championship would have been an incredible venue for such a win, but the Cotton Bowl ain't bad. And a win would not only give Pinkel his 102nd as Missouri head coach, it would also give him his 175th overall, tied for seventh among active coaches with Troy's Larry Blakeney (and either two or three behind Kansas State's Bill Snyder, depending on whether or not KSU beats Michigan in the BW3 Bowl). Plus, it would give Missouri its 12th in a season for just the second time ever.
- This is Missouri's third trip to the Cotton Bowl, though it's obviously the Tigers' first since the bowl moved from the actual Cotton Bowl. At the old venue, Missouri lost a 40-27 shootout against Texas on January 1, 1946, and destroyed Arkansas, 38-7, on January 1, 2008. In all, this will be Missouri's 11th January bowl game.
- The SEC has won nine of the last 10 Cotton Bowls over the Big 12, but the only win for the Big 12 was by Missouri. So ... current SEC members are 10-3 in the last 10 (Texas A&M lost in 2005 and 2011), and current Big 12 members are 0-6 (Nebraska also lost in 2007). Confused? Good.
- Missouri leads the all-time series with Oklahoma State, 28-23. That also happens to be the score of OSU's 2008 win over Mizzou, which turned the tables in the series a bit; OSU scored the upset that year, then won the teams' final two battles as conference mates as well -- 33-17 in 2009 and 45-24 in 2011. In all, seven of the previous 10 battles between MU and OSU were decided by one possession, and three (1996, 1997, 2001, all MU wins) have gone to overtime.
- Missouri has forced a turnover in 43 consecutive games. That really is ridiculous.
- Career starts for Mizzou's projected starting offensive line: 119. It will be 124 after next Friday, obviously, and the Tigers will return 67 of those starts next fall after Justin Britt (36) and Max Copeland (23) have left.
- Somehow, Henry Josey is just the second Tiger to post two 1,000-yard seasons on the ground. The first was Tony Temple in 2007-08 (and we remember how his Cotton Bowl trip went). And another 100-yard game would be Josey's 12th as a Tiger, second-most all-time behind Brad Smith (18).
- Incest! Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Henson is an OSU grad, while OSU receivers coach Jason Ray was a captain on Missouri's last Cotton Bowl squad. Mizzou safeties coach Alex Grinch was an assistant with Ray at Wyoming from 2009-11, while Mizzou receivers coach Pat Washington was running backs coach for Southern Miss in 2010 when current OSU receivers coach Kasey Dunn coached Golden Eagle WRs.
- There are 32 Texans on Missouri's roster, including eight projected starters: James Franklin, Josey, Eric Waters, Mitch Morse, Michael Sam, Donovan Bonner, Braylon Webb, and Matt White. Franklin, Waters, Sam, Bonner, and White will be playing their final games as Missouri Tigers. (And I guess technically Josey might, too.)
On January 3, Missouri and Oklahoma State kick off at 7:00 p.m. CT on Fox with Gus Johnson and Charles Davis on the call.