Team preview: Missouri

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(All information as of July 1, 2005)


When it wasn't being mistaken for the Congressional record, the 2004 Missouri Tigers football media guide, all 612 pages of it, profiled extensively one of the most confounding teams in Division I-A football.

Here was a squad headlined by a glistening Heisman Trophy candidate who inflicted serious cases of heebie-jeebies on opposing defensive coordinators, powered by a defensive tackle tandem bookmarked for Sundays in the NFL, and fortuitously placed in a division whose reigning powers were ransacked by recessionary forces.

And what became of the 2004 Missouri Tigers? Spoilers, that's what. By intercepting a pass in the end zone in overtime, Mizzou thwarted Iowa State's bid for the Big 12 North Division title, 17-14, thereby securing its fifth victory of a star-struck season.

Five wins, or one for every 122 pages of media guide. No bowl bid for a consensus preseason Top 20 team. No Heisman for Brad Smith, who wasn't being compared to Michael Vick anymore. And, perhaps fortunately, no more 612-page doorstops to document it all -- the NCAA mandated a 208-page limit on media guides last spring.