SEC Power Rankings: Georgia, LSU Do Battle To Keep SEC, National Championship Hopes Alive

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Sep 21, 2013; Bloomington, IN, USA; Missouri Tigers wide receiver Marcus Lucas (85) makes a catch against Indiana Hoosiers safety Mark Murphy (37) but is ruled out of bounds during the second half at Memorial Stadium. Missouri defeats Indiana 45-28. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

8. Missouri Tigers

Record: 3-0

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Last Week: Missouri 45, Indiana 28

This Week: vs. Arkansas State

Next Week: at Vanderbilt

Missouri aced their first test of the season on the road against Indiana, blowing out the Hoosiers despite turning the ball over three times.

Mizzou racked up 623 yards in total offense and took advantage of the fact Indiana did not have an answer to Missouri’s size and speed. And while the Tigers turned the ball over three times, Indiana gave it back three times themselves, with the highlight being a Kony Ealy 49-yard interception return for a touchdown.

After a pushover Arkansas State matchup this weekend, Missouri starts a key month-long stretch that may define the fate of Gary Pinkel. Mizzou has back-to-back road games against Vanderbilt and Georgia, before coming home to host Florida and South Carolina. Going 1-3 over that stretch isn’t going to be good enough, even if it does set them up to return to bowl season. Missouri has to prove they belong in the SEC by coming up with an SEC-sized win. Recruiting is down, and patience is wearing thin for many Missouri fans. A 7-5 record may not be enough to save Pinkel’s job.