James Franklin is back to his familiar position as the Missouri Tigers starting quarterback. Franklin sprained his should October 12 at Georgia and has not started for Missouri since. He was available as a backup two weeks ago against Tennessee (supposedly) and appeared as a backup for two series in the Tigers win over Kentucky.
Here’s what Gary Pinkel told Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star:
“He’s excited about getting back, and the team’s excited about having him back. Obviously, I want him to do really well. He’s had some adversity and he’s battled through it. He did it before, and he’s battled through it again.”
Missouri was 3-1 with Maty Mauk filling in for Franklin, with wins over Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky. The lone loss was an overtime defeat to South Carolina.
Franklin’s return coincides with arguably the most important potential three-game stretch in Missouri football’s history. Mizzou must win each of the next two games – at Mississippi and home to Texas A&M – to advance to the SEC title game. An SEC championship appearance and a good show against either Auburn or Alabama could completely change the course of Missouri football as we know it.
So, you know, no pressure, James.
Mizzou currently ranks 8th in the BCS standings and would almost certainly move up if they were able to defeat 24th-ranked Mississippi and 12th-ranked Texas A&M. Those two wins may be enough to earn Missouri a BCS bowl bid even if they were to lose in the SEC title game.