The Missouri Tigers have not gotten off to the promising start they had hoped for in their first year competing in the SEC. The Tigers have already been dealing with a brewing quarterback controversy between James Franklin and Corbin Berkstresser, and now, as they head into their third SEC conference game against the Vanderbilt Commodores, the Tigers have suspended five players for allegedly smoking marijuana on campus near the stadium. That list includes wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckam.
Green-Beckham is the main player who will miss Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt, as all five suspended players are freshmen. Levi Copelin and Torey Boozer were arrested by campus police after allegedly smoking marijuana near the school’s football stadium. They will miss this one game, as will Harold Brantley and Brandon Holifield, who were not arrested, but were present at the time of the incident.
Once thought of a great opportunity for Missouri to pick up its’ inaugural SEC conference victory, the Tigers could now struggle a bit without Green-Beckham, who was the No. 3 overall recruit entering the 2012 college football season. While not off to the fastest start, Green-Beckham is Missouri’s fourth-leading receiver with seven catches for 128 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown in last week’s victory against UCF.
The Tigers are 3-2 overall, but 0-2 in conference play. The Commodores are also 0-2 in SEC games this season, but are just 1-3 overall. But aside from their blowout defeat at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs, the Commodores were competitive in their other two losses against the South Carolina Gamecocks and Northwestern Wildcats. All three of the team who defeated Vanderbilt are currently in the Top 25. They may not be as bad as their record may lead you to believe.
For Missouri, this game against Vanderbilt is their best chance to pick up their first ever SEC win. It is at home, and two of their next three game are against the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators, so things do not exactly look as if they will get any easier for the SEC newcomers. They do have a game with the Kentucky Wildcats in between Alabama and Florida, so if they fail to defeat Vanderbilt on Saturday, they could be a few weeks away from picking up their first ever SEC victory in conference play.