December 28, 2008

Cementing a Legacy

Finish this sentence: Chase Daniel's legacy is....

Ask five people, you'll get five different opinions. Read the Internet and you'll get more than that. No one will dispute that Daniel and Missouri's senior class have put Tiger football on the map in a location it has rarely if ever been.

"These guys have a legacy here," Gary Pinkel said. "They've done, really, historically, what nobody's ever done here in many, many areas."

The first area is wins. This senior class has won 36 games in four years. No other class has matched that, ever. These Tiger seniors have also played in four straight bowl games, something that hasn't happened since 1978-81 at Mizzou. They have written and re-written the record books.

But at the same time, this is a senior class that is reeling. The Tigers have lost two in a row. Going back a little further, Mizzou has lost four of eight, following a run in which the Tigers were 17-and-2 over 19 games. So tomorrow's Alamo Bowl, the seniors know, it's a big one.

"We don't want to be remembered as someone that's lost three of the last three games. We don't want to do that," Daniel said. "It would definitely leave a bitter taste in everyone's mouth."

Pinkel says the legacy of this class is cemented...and maybe it is.

"I can't say enough about all those guys, guys that really put this program where it is," Weatherspoon said. "It's come a long way since the first time I heard about Missouri."

"I think the fans will remember the Class of 05 came in, the Class of 04 came in and had a good run," Ziggy Hood said. "Right now, I think it's all good, but I really don't think they'd be too hard on us if we go out the wrong way in this game. I think our fans appreciate everything we've done."

But a loss would leave the Tigers 9-and-5, losers of three straight. A win would cement Mizzou's second consecutive ten-win seasons. More games or not, that's never happened before at Missouri. This group, one that has been so instrumental in the revival of Tiger football, does not want to take the chance of finding out if a loss would tarnish its legacy.

"One of the best, man. We already in that category, we just got to get it set in stone," Moore said. "We came in winners, we're leaving winners."

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