ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 4: Head coach Gary Pinkel of the University of Missouri Tigers looks on from the sideline against the University of Illinois Fighting Illini during the State Farm Arch Rivalry game on September 4 2010 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Missouri. The Tigers defeated the Fighting Illini 23-13. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Missouri kicks off the 2012 college football season with a home date against Southeastern Louisiana on September 1st.
We are getting ever so closer to the beginning of the 2012 college football season, and with just under two months to go we will look at the opponents of the locals squads. We start with taking a look at Missouri's first opponent, Southeastern Louisiana. Obviously with the switch to the SEC, for many Mizzou fans it will seem like the entire season is nothing but non-conference games.
First up will be a September 1st tilt at Faurot Field against the Lions who compete in the FCS, and are a member of the Southland Conference. Coming off a 3-8 season, it doesn't seem that the Lions will be striking fear in the minds of many of the Tiger players. Southeastern Lousiana did play two FBS programs last year, losing on the road at Tulane (47-33) and at Southern Mississippi (52-6).
The Lions have a new head coach heading into the 2012 campaign, with former Division II coach Ron Roberts taking over after a successful stint at Delta State. DSU was the Division II runner-up in 2010.
To their credit, Roberts will have an experienced squad this fall with nine starters returning on offense and eight on defense. 6'2" senior quarterback Brian Young passed for 2,855 yards last season with 15 touchdown passes.
Behind Roberts, in the backfield the Lions return a 5'9" 180 lb running back named Sam Fairley that ran for 579 yards and is the top returning running back. However they must replace three graduated wide receivers who had at least 60 receptions each. To help fill the void they have added a 6'6" junior college wide out by the name of Roosevelt Morrisset.
Defensively the Lions allowed 223 yards a game on the ground last year, and nearly 450 yards of total offense a contest. This matchup certainly looks to bode well for Coach Gary Pinkel's first game as an SEC head coach.
The Southeastern Louisiana roster does feature a few transfers from FBS programs, with Todd Washington being the top one. The transfer from Memphis started seven games for the Lions last year and finished with 15 tackles and an interception.
There is also one former Missouri prep on the Lions roster in 6'4" 200 lb junior defensive back Theo Alexander. Alexander is a transfer to the school from a junior college in New York. He played his high school football at Gateway Tech in St. Louis.
For more detailed Tiger discussion as Mizzou gets ready for their first season in the SEC, make sure to head on over to Rock M Nation.