Mizzou Volleyball Schedule Released -- Who's Afraid of Whom?

Mizzou released their 2014 schedule, and can be summed up in one word: Short.

2014 Mizzou Schedule

Short on Home matches: 14 (vs. 18 last season)

Short on competition: only 3 of 15 Non-conference opponents have season-ending RPI ranking better than 90. No Big 10, No Big-12, no Pac-12 competition. Extra credit if you know where MUVB opponents Mississippi Valley State (RPI #321), Eastern Washington (#230) or Northwestern State (#98) play.

Short on rivalries: By SEC scheduling, 3 teams don't come to Mizzou each year. This year's quirk: Their 2 biggest rivals, Florida and Kentucky won't be here. So don't expect any top-10 showdowns at Hearnes.

All of last year the criticism of Mizzou's perfect record was that they didn't face any competition. Then, the deflating "See, we told you so" home loss to Big 10 Purdue in NCAA. Has Mizzou done anything to silence such criticism?

So, are the big teams afraid to play Mizzou? Or is this considered a rebuilding year after the departure of the dynamic Kreklow/Henning duo? I thought last year was the rebuilding year after the 2012 meltdown.

Are these pre-season tourneys set so far in advance that better berths weren't available? Or is Mizzou content to wade in the shallow end of the pre-season pool, until their "tough" SEC schedule begins with MSU (#136), Tennessee (#184) and Ole Miss (#114)?

Just as a point of reference, Mary Wise has her Gators playing seven top-20 opponents, including #2 Texas -- twice!!

It looks from here that Mizzou has the returning talent and will be racking up another slew of sweeps. But faced with this slate of opponents will they be met with the same national scepticism as last year? And should they lose to even one of these teams -- other than the Gators -- will Hearnes be hosting NCAA's come December?

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