COLUMBIA – For the fourth straight year, the Missouri football team has completed the non-conference portion of the regular season unbeaten and boasts a 4-0 record. However, you wouldn't know it just by looking at the rankings. The Tigers' climb to make it into the AP and Coaches' polls has been slower than it was last year.
Currently, the Tigers rank No. 23 in the country in the Coaches' Poll, and have been unranked by the AP each week but one. A number of coaches are selected each year to vote in the Coaches' Poll, while the AP Poll is made up of media members who cover college football.
Several details help explain why Missouri has not earned a high ranking as of late. Expectations for Missouri were not high when the season began, so numerous teams stood between the Tigers and the Top 25 to start. While the Tigers looked impressive against Illinois in a 37-9 win, the Illini have continued to struggle, losing 30-0 to Ohio State on Saturday. A closer-than-expected home win over Bowling Green did not help Missouri's case, either.
Most coaches do not like to discuss their teams' rankings, so don't expect to hear a word about it from coach Gary Pinkel. But while the rankings are merely guesses now, the Coaches' Poll gets factored into BCS ratings when those begin to be recorded in a few weeks.
Do you think the Missouri football team is underrated by the national media? Or do you think the Tigers' ranking is indicative of their current level of play?