November 15, 2006

Tigers disappointed, but looking ahead

There were two camps into which the Missouri Tigers fell on their first Saturday off of this season. Some were camped in front of a television, their eyes glued to the Nebraska-Texas A&M game.

An Aggie win would have kept Missouri's chances alive for a Big 12 North championship. While some players watched every snap, others chose to ignore the game.

"I actually didn't want to watch any football," said cornerback Darnell Terrell. "I happened to catch the tail end of it. I kind of glanced at it and saw A&M was up, then I kind of turned it off and didn't worry about it. Then I got about 10 or 15 phone calls from teammates and family telling me some of the stuff that went on. That just kind of put even more of a sour taste in my mouth."

That was one thing all Tigers had in common. The Husker win, and subsequent division title, left a sour taste in every mouth.

"You have a goal for a championship," said head coach Gary Pinkel. "When that's done, of course you're disappointed. You can't just move on and say, 'Well, that's done, let's move on.' Shoot, these guys are very disappointed. That's good. That's real good."

The Huskers will play in Kansas City, representing the North in the conference championship game. Nothing the Tigers can do in the final two weeks will change that. Instead, Missouri chooses to look forward to what it can still achieve.

"We've still got to know that we can still have the third-best season in Missouri football history," Daniel said. "When was the last time a team won nine games, or ten games even with a bowl game? That doesn't happen around here very much."

Missouri hopes to get number eight this weekend against Iowa State. Kickoff in Ames is set for 1 p.m. Central time.

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