The Missouri football team finds itself in an unfamiliar position. For the first time since the conference began, Missouri (4-1/2-0) has sole possession of first place in the Big 12 North. The Tigers’ 30-10 win over Baylor gave them the top spot as Nebraska, suffered its worst defeat in school history. The ‘Huskers absorbed a 70-10 beating at the hands of Texas Tech and fell to second place. Coming into last Saturday’s games, Mizzou and NU were both 1-0 in conference play. There are still plenty of challenges ahead of the Tigers and dreams of playing in the Big 12 Championship game is too far down the road to even contemplate, according to head coach Gary Pinkel, “You know what? Honestly, I don’t really think about that…I don’t. I’m just focused on Texas. I don’t really get caught up in that stuff that much Just because it doesn’t really mean anything.” This is one lesson, not lost on his players, either. Senior cornerback Shirdonya Mitchell said, “Standings don’t really mean nothing right now. I mean, we are in first place in the conference but that means nothing…it’s entirely too early for that.” Even the younger players are quick to dismiss being in first place right now. Sophomore wide receiver Brad Eckwerekwu said, “That stuff is just a distraction. I think if we go out there and play every week, we’ll keep our spot.” The Tigers are back in the Top 25 for the first time since losing to Troy University on September 9. This week they’re 24th in the coaches’ poll and are just outside the poll at 26th in the AP. Their challenge this week will be a tough one as they take on 9th and 11th ranked Texas in Austin. The Longhorns (5-1/1-1) are fresh off a 12-0 loss to 2nd ranked Oklahoma last week. Mizzou is looking for its first win against Texas since 1996 and its first win in Austin since 1896.
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