August 29, 2007

Powered Up: Another St. Louis statement?

Will Franklin was there the day Missouri football began to matter again. August 31, 2002. Gary Pinkel was opening his second season as head coach of the Tigers. And he had a skinny, no-name quarterback set to take on the defending Big Ten champions.

"Brad," said Franklin, who was a junior at Vashon, sitting in the stands that day. "He really helped put Missouri on the map. I think about that, I think about Brad."

That would be Brad Smith, who had won the starting quarterback job over the incumbent, Kirk Farmer, over the summer. The Tigers were coming off a 4-and-7 season and no one really knew what to expect of the team or its coach.

"Here's this young guy that, not that I was criticized for naming him the starter, but there were a few people," Pinkel recalled. "It just happened to work out."

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