Given that South Carolina overcame a 17-point Missouri advantage to ruin the Tigers' D R E A M S E A S O N, it's no great surprise that the Gamecocks have been on their mind in the intervening months. The Mizzou contingent at SEC Media Days spoke at length about the double-overtime loss, and it sounds like they are eager for their next shot at South Carolina on Sept. 27.
Missouri's Evan Boehm's said losing to SC left a "nasty taste in our mouths." Talked about disappointment of losing big in 2012 too.— Avery Wilks (@AveryGWilks) July 16, 2014
Mizzou center Evan Boehm: "South Carolina is the only SEC East team we haven't beaten yet, and it stings. Doesn't feel good knowing that."— Ryan Wood (@rwood_SC) July 16, 2014
Mizzou senior Markus Golden on South Carolina: "I want to get them at least one time before I leave. I can't wait to play them. Can't wait."— Ryan Wood (@rwood_SC) July 16, 2014
A very specific moment haunts Mizzou quarterback Maty Mauk:
Maty Mauk said the hardest he's ever been hit was when Skai Moore @SkaiMoore_10 clocked him in the USC game last year. #Gamecocks— Avery Wilks (@AveryGWilks) July 16, 2014
@GABAttack @SkaiMoore_10 Not sure how much this will help, but Mauk said it was "play 61 on first and 10 going toward our lockers."— Avery Wilks (@AveryGWilks) July 16, 2014
.@GABAttack He said he watches it on film all the time. Probably memorizing it as a part of a "how to not get lit up" exercise.— Avery Wilks (@AveryGWilks) July 16, 2014
Watch the play here at the 02:03:55 mark (while noting that the Moore probably got away with an uncalled targeting penalty) and then go back and watch the whole game again because this is the best game ever:
When Missouri joined the Southeastern Conference in 2012, many geographical purists viewed the Tigers as an odd fit. Indeed, the road trip to Columbia, Mo. is farther beyond the Mississippi River than any SEC West schools save Arkansas. Barring a re-shuffling of the SEC's divisions or a geological calamity that results in the abrupt relocation of the other Columbia, this feeling of strangeness is unlikely to go entirely away. But after the instant classic at Faurot Field last October, the 872 miles between the two Columbias sure does feel like a much shorter distance.
Rivalries have to start somewhere. If two schools don't have recruiting territory to fight over, the spark will have to come from something other than geography. A controversial call in an important game. Coaches calling each other out in the media. Or a few nationally important games with finishes half as thrilling as this one:
What do you think? Is there any chance this game could turn into something Gamecock fans would put on the level with Georgia, Florida, or Tennessee?