Is it time to start paying attention to Missouri?

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 28:  Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Missouri Tigers scrambles as Jeff Wheeler #84 and Richard Johnson Jr. #97 of the Kansas Jayhawks defend during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

All the talk in the Big XII this season has justifiably been about Nebraska and Oklahoma. But is it time that we start looking at Missouri as a legitimate contender in the conference?

The Tigers are unbeaten, and putting a beating on Texas A&M in College Station. I know the Aggies are not the greatest team in the conference, but they’re still a tough team to play against, and they’ve always been tough at home. So for Missouri to be blowing them out is quite an accomplishment.

But maybe we shouldn’t be that surprised. Missouri has highly-touted quarterback Blaine Gabbert under center (or in the shotgun), some very good receivers in T.J. Moe and Michael Egnew, as well as solid backs in Henry Josey and De’Vion Moore.

This was a team that a year ago had a little bit of hype around it. That balloon was deflated, of course, when Ndamukong Suh had his coming out party at the expense of Gabbert and the Tiger offense on a Thursday night. But the talent is still there, and the Big XII is wide open outside of its top two teams.

Of course, we’ll have a much better read on the Tigers after the next two weeks, as they play host to Oklahoma, and then travel to Nebraska. I wouldn’t expect them to even split those games, but the thought of it doesn’t seem as ludicrous today as it did a week ago.

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