With the 2008 college football season almost two months away, I decided that it was time to get the ball rolling in the Missouri Tigers football community. This is the start of a position preview series.
I'll break down the team into 12 parts by each position, give a final recruiting update before the season starts, and then give a game-by-game breakdown of how I feel the season will unfold.
When you're returning a Heisman finalist, the team is in pretty good shape. Chase Daniel might be the best player, if not the best quarterback, ever to don the black and gold.
He's extremely talented, with a cannon arm, great scrambling ability, and intellect only found in the best signal-callers. He has also supposedly improved his play-calling and pocket passing during the offseason, setting himself up to make his senior year his best.
Backup Chase Patton is no slouch either. He's somewhat of a Golden Boy in Columbia. A Como native, Patton was highly touted out of high school and decided to stay at home to play his college football.
Although his career hasn't turned out as most planned, he's definitely a good option as a backup.
Patton has an absolute gun for an arm and great size to match. If Daniel went down, he could probably lead the Tigers against some of the lesser Big 12 teams such as Baylor or Iowa State.
The third string option is where it gets hazy. Dominic Grooms has officially left the team, so the spot is up for grabs.
Super freshman Blaine Gabbert will probably be the official third-stringer, but that doesn't mean he'll burn his red shirt. When was the last time a third-stringer took a meaningful snap and the team's season wasn't in trouble?
Here's how I picture it.
Jimmy Costello, a walk-on QB from Liberty, Missouri, will probably get some garbage time if all goes well this season. If both Daniel AND Patton go down—something that is extremely unlikely—Gabbert would start a game before Costello, but not unless he was forced to.
If all goes well this season, Daniel will be back in New York for the Heisman ceremony, and Gabbert uses his redshirt. Patton gets to play some exciting snaps in Columbia in a touching goodbye tour, and Costello gets valuable experience.
This position is a definite area of strength for the Tigers, filled with talent and experience.