Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel spoke during today’s SEC Media Teleconference and was asked if he is surprised by what he has seen from the talent level in this conference. Pinkel said, “We anticipated this (playing good teams), but we recognize we can play better ourselves, but there are no surprises about how good they (Georgia and South Carolina) were.”

Pinkel said they didn’t have much of a choice with the scheduling of non-conference teams, and said they would never schedule a team like Arizona State in between conference games like Georgia and South Carolina. Pinkel calls it “intelligent scheduling.” The non-conference dates were already in place, when Mizzou announced the move to the SEC.

Pinkel certainly isn’t making excuses about the schedule, but moving to a new conference and facing teams that were ranked 7th in the nation as their first two conference games, sandwiched around Arizona State, certainly didn’t help the Tigers early on.

AUDIO Gary Pinkel’s teleconference (6:00)