...on October 17, 1991, I attended my first Mizzou game, a 41-7 romp of an impossibly bad Oklahoma State team that ended up going 0-10-1. I sat on the Rock M with my dad, watched some pretty bad football (though I didn't necessarily think it was that bad at the time), and watched some kids slide down the muddy hill in the second half when everybody stopped paying attention to the game. It moved Mizzou to 3-2-1 on the season, and the 13-year old naive optimist in me thought that the dominant team I saw on the Omniturf that day would pretty easily be able to get past the Iowa State's and Kansas's on the schedule and make their first bowl since I was old enough to pay attention. Here are the results from the rest of 1991:
Nebraska 63, Mizzou 6
Iowa State 23, Mizzou 22
Oklahoma 56, Mizzou 16
Kansas State 32, Mizzou 0
Kansas 53, Mizzou 29
Final record: 3-7-1.
In light of this, I'd like to mention that Missouri is currently #2 in the country, their starting QB has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice in the last 11 months, and their starting QB AND backup QB are on the cover of ESPN the Magazine right now. They have two of the top 5-6 Heisman candidates (including the leader), and they have potentially six All-Americans on the roster.
Roughly six weeks after my first trip to Faurot, I had learned my first lesson about putting hope in Mizzou football. I would keep learning "lessons" about getting my hopes up well into my undergraduate and grad school years. I don't have much of a point to make beyond this...I just felt like further reiterating that this upswing we're on right now? Pretty damn cool. Not that we couldn't still have a couple soul-crushing moments this very season or anything, but...for now, it's pretty damn cool.