September 30, 2008

Media Day Notebook: Tigers on upset alert

Chase Daniel was torn. It wasn't that he wanted to see his friends fail, but…

"I don't like to see quarterbacks that I know lose at all, but you know, in the long run, of course if it's gonna help us out, then sure," Daniel said. "You don't root against the quarterbacks, you might root against the teams."

In the last few years, Daniel has become royalty in the fraternity that is big time college quarterbacks. From his days at the Elite 11 camp in high school through this, his senior season, the Missouri signal caller has gotten to be friends with players like USC's Mark Sanchez and Georgia's Matthew Stafford. Both of those players quarterback top five teams that were upset last week while the Tigers were off.

"I talked to Mark Friday night and I talked to Matt Stafford yesterday and just asked them 'How does it feel,'" Daniel said. "They said 'It's the worst feeling in the world, we don't want to feel this ever again. Don't let your team do it.' So I can promise I'm not going to let our team have a letdown."

And therein lies the lesson for the Tigers. Though they did not play, certainly all the players were aware of the upsets that swept college football's top ten last week. Throw in Florida losing to Ole Miss and Michigan dropping Wisconsin and four of the nation's top ten teams came up losers last week.

The Missouri coaching staff has certainly spent time telling the players just what can happen if they go into a game unprepared.

"The players have got to listen, too. That's the other side of it," Gary Pinkel said. "It's the fear that every coach has. Some good coaches got beat this week and I'm sure they were getting the message out to their players. It's all about respect and preparation. If you cheat either one of those, you won't play your best."

"You've got to go in expecting anyone can beat anyone on any given day," Daniel said. "You've got to bring your A game every time. If we bring our B game, okay, maybe we can win. But we don't want to leave it to maybe."

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