Columbia, Mo. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel knows how the mighty have fallen already this season. And as the fourth-ranked Tigers prepare for today's Big 12 opener at Nebraska, he's imploring his team to be prepared.
Missouri (4-0) had a bye last weekend and watched as top-ranked Southern California, third-ranked Georgia, fourth-ranked Florida and No. 9 Wisconsin were all upset.
The losses helped Missouri move up two spots. Pinkel hopes the upsets caught his team's attention. Quarterback Chase Daniel agrees that in the Big 12, there are no easy games.
Nebraska appears much improved under first-year coach Bo Pelini. The Cornhuskers are 3-1 after a 35-30 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday.
"Players have to listen because it's all about respect and all about preparation and it's that simple," Pinkel said. "Our job as coaches is to motivate players and remind players and educate players to get their leadership together because if you don't play your best you increase your chances of losing."
Daniel is a friend of quarterbacks Mark Sanchez of Southern California and Matt Stafford of Georgia. He said the Tigers must learn from what happened to those teams and make sure it doesn't happen to them.
"They said it was the worst feeling in the world and told me to not let my team feel like that," Daniel said. "You have to expect anyone can beat anyone on any day and bring your A-game all the time."
Safety William Moore believes the string of upsets hit home with his teammates.
"It couldn't have come at a better time, I feel personally," Moore said. "I'm glad because it shows our program that anybody can lose so you have to go in and respect everybody that you play."