SouthernTiger's Thoughts Week 4. THE SKY IS LITERALLY FALLING


At least that is probably what you might have thought if you were looking at social media during and after the game. There is a reason I try to not look at certain social platforms regardless of the outcome. Far to often it is full of either #HOTTAKES or just simply overreactions. However, curiosity got the best of me last night and maybe I just like to torture myself but I did decide to look through Twitter, Facebook, and Post Game Instant reaction thread. I saw lots of things ranging from worse defense ever, worse loss of the Pinkel era, #FIREEVERYBODY, OMG INDIANA, and if you thought of it odds are it was there.
Normally I would choose to ignore some of these but there are a few that I think should be addressed.

Worse Loss of the Pinkel Era

Now I've stated before that I haven't been a fan of Mizzou for the longest time and have even commented more then once on when it started. However, even with my limited scope of Gary Pinkel's tenure (much less Mizzou) this wasn't his worse loss. That honor is held by either 2004 teams loss to the Troy Trojans or the 2005 teams loss to New Mexico. For 2004 loss it was against team that had only been a division I-A program for four years, and oddly enough, Mizzou was ranked 17th going into the game as compared to 18 yesterday. In 2005 it was a shootout in front of the home crowd where the Tiger D couldn't stop one player (thats grossly overly simplifying everything but I don't have time, or the memory, to go over it).

Winning, and also who you get those wins against, does a funny thing to fan bases. It honestly wasn't that long ago that Mizzou couldn't win a game in Lincoln and hadn't does so for the majority of most of our lives. It hasn't been that long ago that Mizzou has been a team that struggled to gain bowl eligibility. It hasn't been that long since Gary beat a team with a #1 ranking.

So what the point with the two previous paragraphs you might wonder. Well I guess there are actually two points honestly. The first, I don't believe that this loss is the worst because unlike 2004 or 2005, Pinkel isn't in jeopardy of getting the pink slip by the end of the week. Yes the loss stings but Gary isn't in a spot in his career that makes us wonder if he is getting fired this year. Now, there are groups of the fan base that would love for him to go and wonder that every year but we don't question if he is the right guy to rebuild the program. Pinkel has created this program to what it is today. That includes all the success and the short comings and it shows that he was able to take in out of the dumps that it was and bring it where it was today. Second, this is a program that is still growing. Any Don James protegee would probably say you never truly stop building a program and honestly there is some truth to that. College football does that because we only get a player for four years tops. We don't get to have the Brett Farves, Derrick Johnsons, or whoever 10+ year guy you can think of. With college ball you are either recruiting 5* guys to play right away and have them play for two years or develop guys for a couple of years and play them for a couple as well. Yes there are lots of parts of this team that were here last year but there are also lots of parts that didn't play as big of roles that they did last year (and even a few that didn't play as often in those roles). As experienced as this team, in certain aspects, it still has a lot of growing to do.


Part of me doesn't want to address this, but only because I think the issue at hand is far more complex than we realize. I think Coach Ricker honestly is (and will be) a good hire. That being said I think O-line is one of the worse position groups you can have a coaching change in as late in the year as they did. I do think the retooled line might not have as much chemistry as last years did (I mean when you can communicate in grunts thats a big ol' dose of chemistry) at this point. I think the guards being back another foot or so might be causing Evan some issues with being ready for quick contact. However, I do believe these are just growing pains. It sucks that its happening this year as much as it sucks because of the line play we saw last year. I think the O-line will be okay and AJ Rickers tweaks will work for this program. Now the only question is if they will work for this season.


Give it a break, this loss is just as much on Matty as it is on any other player on this team. Sure there are people who will point at similar yards with a lower completion percentage and less interceptions, but that doesn't tell the whole story. THIS IS LITERALLY THE EXACT SAME NARRATIVE FROM THE DEBATE FROM LAST YEAR. IT IS ALSO THE EXACT SAME ANSWER. Matty is more explosive while James was more efficient. Matty still has a higher ceiling but James would still have the higher floor. There is no telling if James would have won that game but you also couldn't say that he would have lost it either. IT IS LITERALLY A POINTLESS DEBATE. FOCUS ON THE PLAYERS YOU HAVE, CAUSE THOSE ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT MATTER. NOT THE ONES WHO ARE GONE OR THE ONES WHO ARE COMMING! /endrant

Now About that Game

I don't know who read my post last week but there were two things I was looking for

1. Can the offense do what it does?
Indiana on the defensive side of the ball appears to have roughly picked up from where it was a year ago. So if the Tigers can avoid periods of stalling on offense, convert 3rd downs like last week, and just playing their game in general we will probably be happy with the final score.
2. Can the defense keep Indiana under X amount of points?
Right now I think the magic number is 30 points. Last year teams only scored more than 30 points against the Mizzou defense twice (Auburn and Oklahoma State) and only scored 28 points in two more contests (Vanderbilt and Indiana). So assuming there is possibly some time for the backups to get alot more reps in other positions 30 seems like a reasonable number. Indiana's offense still seems to be chugging along as it has been from last year so their is the chance of them keeping this interesting.

Missouri drives this week.
Punt (3 plays, 7 yards), punt (4 plays, 1 yard), touchdown (5 plays, 90 yards), punt (8 plays, 30 yards), touchdown (2 plays, 79 yards), field goal (11 plays, 67 yards), interception (1 play, 9 yards), punt (7 plays, 11 yards), punt (3 plays, 4 yards), punt (11 plays, 18 yards), touchdown (8 plays, 71 yards), punt (6 plays, 17 yards), field goal (11 plays, 70 yards), end of game (4 plays, 43 yards).

A quick glance looks like the offense wasn't very efficient often and had enough moments of explosiveness to stay in it. Lots of things caused this

  • penalties
  • dropped balls
  • high snaps
  • bad passes
  • coverage issues

If Mizzou managed to have one or two of the seven drives that didn't go for 20 yards (or 5 that didn't got for 15) to last a either a bit longer or score, you probably either win the game or at least change the dynamic of it. In other words the first check I was looking for didn't happen.

Indiana's drives

Punt (4 for 18), punt (7 for 31), touchdown (6 for 66), touchdown (16 for 75), punt (4 for 18), punt (3 for 0), End of Half (13 for 69), Missed FG (4 for 1), punt (4 for 17), punt (6 for 25), touchdown (2 for 82), punt (4 for -5), punt (6 for 46), touchdown (6 for 75).

Honestly the offenses don't look THAT much different if you didn't know which team is which. The big takeaways are that they didn't capitalize on the turnover and didn't score at the end of the half. Both offenses stunk but if those last two things change the score looks uglier in a hurry.

Mizzou D

So I've been thinking on this for awhile (and some people might not agree with me) but I think Shane Ray and Markus Golden need each other just like Sam and Kony had each other. Now this doesn't mean I think that either player is less talented and that the production of one is caused by the other. No for the past year or so I've had the thought that a single dominate DT has more direct impact than a single dominate DE. We heard a lot last year about how Clowney wasn't making the impact that he was supposed to. An this past week we saw Shane Ray causing havoc but then he either wasn't getting there fast enough or they were avoiding him. Now, I do believe that 2013 Clowney was checked out, but at the same time there were plenty of times coaches where just taking him out of plays to start and telling the other side of the field to come stop us. Yesterday felt a lot like that Shane Ray, as much has he was trying, was being put in a situation that was set up to stay away from him as far as possible. DT's on the other hand like Sheldon, Suh, Farely, etc. are a bit harder to scheme out of . You can run to the other side of the field but you arn't really increasing distance that much. An while they can still double team its harder to force a QB to have to step to the side and throw as compared to stepping up.
Golden is the best player on the roster right now and if you had switched him for Ray yesterday MAYBE Mizzou wins. Maybe, also my thoughts on dominate DT's and DE's is wrong, (it is only an observation) but it seems to be holding some type of pattern.
Side note I do think that the younger D-lineman have a chance to be dominate, but it even took Sheldon his redshirt junior year to breakthrough.

As much as we complain about the soft corner coverage I don't think it was a reason to think we lost this game. No bad tackling, questionable run blocking, and not able to diagnose the screen quick enough is probably what got us.
This defense doesn't live and die by turnovers but it sure does help them.
Why did I choose 30 points as my spot where Indiana shouldn't reach. As much as I wanted to base it off last years D I also realized that some of it was offensive worries. Did I (and do I still) think the offense can score more than 30 points. The closer I got to game time I wasn't so sure. 28-31 points seemed about right for this offense but the past few halves in games this year made that even seem difficult. This offense will be better than 2012's but I'm not sure they can be better than 2013's. That puts a lot of pressure on the defense. I do believe that the defense will be more suited to SEC play as we have seen the past couple of years but can it hold up?

Finally One Quote To Leave You With

at least for this part of my segment. I found a quote while writing this all up and thought it was kinda interesting.

"We don't have to beat them 365 days, We just have to beat them for one 60-minute segment of history. For that one 60 minutes, Troy was better than Missouri." -Larry Blakeney

This rings true no matter what team you cheer for. Every game every play and every moment if you don't give it your all, ANYONE can win.

Play of the Week:

HIGHLIGHT: Mizzou vs. Indiana Russell Hansbrough 68 yard TD (via Mizzou Network)



If there is one thing Lane Kiffin knows how to do is coach offense. If it hadn't been for turnovers this score could have been even worse. I still think the offense needs to go against Ole Miss before I really believe it hasn't regressed much from last year. The defense is still the same as I thought last week and won't possibly be exposed until October 18th.


They just keep running, running, and running. This team is about to get into the brutal part of the schedule so now the real measure for improvement is about to show itself.


If you get a win from the purple wizard on a Thursday night it doesn't matter how you get it. Kansas State could have just as easily won this game (and you could say they lost it). However, Auburn maybe missing Tre Mason just for his runs between the tackles. Once we get deeper into the schedule and they ask Nick Marshall to do more that might not be a concern.


I said it last week but it keeps looking like 6 wins for this team could be tough. Some of the issue is still because of a lack of WR depth but a new (but not really) issue is that Jeff Driskel isn't a QB who can just take over a game. Even with the new system tuning into the game every now and then it just seemed like he was never able to just stand in the pocket and take shot. Now, that doesn't mean that is the only way to deliver a ball but you need to be able to make the throws the defense gives you and it didn't seem like they were able to really do that.


Poor Troy. Other than watching a bloodbath it was hard to take much from this game. I can't really change any of my thoughts from last week yet.




What I wrote last week came true in one of the four games I thought it might

I'm not buying them as a top 10 team right now honestly and maybe not even as a top 15 either. I think that even though they beat a good Wisconsin team the means they were able to do it isn't sustainable. It will come back to bite them at least once and maybe 4 times.

As of this writing they are currently 18/17 respectfully. Which honestly feels about right. That defense is good enough to be top 10 but that offense on the other hand isn't. LSU is going to be pretty volatile i think now the question is how much does this loss affect them? Do they limit the damage or does it go all the way to 4 I predicted could happen.

Mississippi State:

Still a really good team.
Still don't think they win the west.

Ole Miss:


South Carolina:

That was a more interesting game than it should have been. Mizzou does still have a chance to win this one but if you put Mizzou's team this week against this weeks South Carolina team. South Carolina still wins.




This team has a pulse. It might have taken Mason far to long to figure out what to do but he has seemed to figure out at least some of it. Oddly enough next weeks game against Kentucky might tell us if this week was a glitch, or more of what we could expect. (I think its somewhere towards the former but not Temple levels).

Big 12-2-1+1-1+1

Pretty quite weekend for the conference with only 4 teams playing. OU still looks venerable but really not much has changed.


Florida State is a complete mess and less and less likely to go undefeated in league play (I already said I think they get knocked off in non-conference). However the only two teams I think that beat them are Boston College and Duke, and Duke would only play them in the conference championship game.

Big 10+1+1+2

The BIG only lost one game this weekend and that was to the Pac12.
Not as bad as the media made them. Check
Still think they are the weakest power 5. Get back to me this I could be wrong on

Pac 12

Quiet weekend really. The pirate almost got a win against the Ducks but really that isn't something that makes me worry for them. Starting next week in the Pac 12 things could start to actually get interesting.

Final Thoughts

Honestly this was kinda a boring week in the world of college football as a whole.
There is still no dominate team. Still think 6 as many as 6 teams could argue for a playoff spot by the end of the year.

Early Playoff Predictions (In no order with a shocker this week):

Auburn, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Notre Dame (shudders while typing that)

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