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Mizzou Links: Turning down the basketball hope machine and hiring a safeties coach

You should keep watching Mizzou basketball this year, but with the hope machine turned down to its lowest setting. Results don't even slightly matter right now. Also: Mizzou has evidently hired a safeties coach! And Wrestling is No. 2 in the country!

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Mizzou Tigers pennant
I guess a good offense isn't going to magically fall from the sky...

So I'll save most of my thoughts for the Study Hall post later today, but one reminder after last night's basketball loss: it doesn't matter how bad things get right now. All that matters for Mizzou Basketball right now is what happens after the season ends.

I obviously spend a good majority of my job talking, writing, and thinking about college football, so I can at the drop of a hat point out tons of year-zero situations in that sport -- Lou Holtz going 0-11 in his first year at South Carolina, George O'Leary going 0-11 in his first year at UCF, Sonny Dykes going 1-11 in his first year at Cal, et cetera. Holtz went 17-7 in his next to years in Columbia East, O'Leary went 8-5 in Year 2, Dykes improved to 7-5 this year. From a quality standpoint, Kim Anderson probably isn't Lou Holtz, but we don't know that he's not O'Leary or Dykes.

Or hell, a Mizzou example: Mike Anderson's second Tiger team lost 11 of 16 games down the stretch in the wake of Athenagate. A year later, his third team was playing in the Elite Eight. Obviously this current team is at a much lower point than the 2007-08 Tigers, but a good offseason, good continuity -- something Mizzou hasn't had since 2012 -- and a couple of new, interesting pieces can make next year's team a completely different one.

If Mizzou retains a good portion of this team's core and adds another decent piece or two in spring recruiting ... and if the young core of this team keeps the right attitude and has a great offseason ... then nothing that happens right now matters. It would be a lot more fun if Mizzou were to improve and at least win three or four games down the stretch, but even if the Tigers lose out, as long as they nail the offseason, then nothing else matters.

I encourage you to continue watching the games, of course, because no matter what, you're watching the core of next year's team trying to figure things out. The defensive effort and general energy where at a decent level last night, but this team has completely lost the plot offensively, and solutions probably won't magically show up right now. Keep watching because it's Missouri and these guys really do seem to care about digging out of the hole. But this is one of those times where turning the emotions and hope machine down to its low setting might be beneficial. I don't mean that in a "ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER" kind of way, but this season is lost -- focus your hope on next year, and you can remain healthy watching the final third of this season.

The Trib: Offense stalls again as Missouri's losing streak reaches eight
Post-Dispatch: Alabama hands Mizzou its eighth loss in a row
The Missourian: Missouri basketball drops eighth straight game, worst streak since 1973-74
Fox Sports MW: Cold-shooting Missouri Tigers lose to Alabama Crimson Tide

From earlier yesterday
The Trib (Courtside View): Tigers talked it out after Ole Miss loss (and other notes)
The Trib: Anderson staying positive while trying to help freshmen scale wall

Mizzou Tigers pennant
No. 2! No. 2! No. 2! College DI Wrestling Rankings - USA Today/NWCA Coaches

1. Iowa (11-0) (12 first-place votes)
2. Missouri (18-0)
3. Minnesota (10-1)
4. Ohio State (11-3)
5. Penn State (10-2)
6. Cornell (12-1)
7. Oklahoma State (6-3)
8. Iowa State (7-2)
9. Virginia Tech (10-2)
10. Nebraska (9-1)
11. Lehigh (10-4)
12. Virginia (10-4)
13. Pittsburgh (7-4)
14. Illinois (11-4)
15. Edinboro (12-4)

MUTIGERS.COM: Tigers Visit Buffalo And Eastern Michigan For Final MAC Roadtrip

Mizzou Tigers pennant
It appears Mizzou's hired a safeties coach

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Report: Ryan Walters to be MU's new safeties coach

Odom, who Pinkel hired to replace Dave Steckel on Dec. 23 after Odom spent the past three seasons as Memphis' defensive coordinator, said Wednesday that the staff had a "pretty good lead on some guys" to replace Grinch.

Post-Dispatch: Report: Mizzou hires Memphis assistant

Mizzou Tigers pennant

MUTIGERS.COM: Mizzou-Eastern Michigan Agree to Two-Game Football Series
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou, Eastern Michigan sign two-year football agreement