BCS Roundup: Missouri Learns the "Kicker Lesson" the Hard Way

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How fragile is a college football season?

Well, let's ask the University of Missouri.

Heading into Saturday night's home game against the 21st ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, the fifth-ranked Tigers were one of three teams that theoretically controlled their own destiny in getting to the BCS National Championship, Alabama and Oregon being the other two.

Win out, including a victory (improbable as it might have been) over Alabama in the SEC Title Game, and the Tigers become the ultimate Cinderella story, playing for the national championship just one season after going 5-7 in their inaugural year in the SEC.

Beat the 'Cocks (sophomoric double entendre alert!), and at the very least Mizzou would hold the head-to-head tie breaker and at least a two game lead over every other team in the SEC East. Coming off a 2-6 season in the SEC in 2012, head coach Gary Pinkel's redemption story would have been an all-timer!

It's fun to think about, and unfortunately for Mizzou, after Saturday night, that's all the Tigers' dreams are now -- just unfulfilled, empty thoughts.

Up 17-0 early in the fourth quarter, Missouri appeared to be on their way to finishing up their business for the night. Burn some clock, get some stops, and it's on to the next one.

Then South Carolina scores a touchdown to make it 17-7, Missouri misses a field goal (file that away), South Carolina responds with a field goal of their own, and eventually they tie the game up 17-17 with under a minute to go in regulation. In overtime, Missouri still had a chance to close the game out and go home with a 24-17 win if they stop a South Carolina 4th and 15.

Nope. Touchdown, South Carolina. 24-24.

Story continues on next page.



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