Missouri head coach Barry Odom and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel met with media on Monday, and safe to say, they’re probably enjoying these interactions more than they were a few weeks ago. Of course, with success comes a new type of challenge in regard to focus.
“Getting 18- to 22-year-olds to actually do that is pretty tough,” Heupel said. “There’s a lot of outside noise, whether it’s on their phone or people who they come in contact with, their family, people on campus. The thing we stress is, hey, go about your daily business, your preparation is going to lead to your opportunity to be successful on Saturday. You still have to go earn it on Saturday.
“But we’re only as good as our next performance. When everybody tells you you’re not worth a dang, worry about the next performance. When everybody tells you you’re doing pretty good, worry about the next performance.”
Still, a bowl is the goal, and the Tigers understand that it’s increasingly more realistic if they keep on playing at this level.
“Getting closer to getting in a bowl game — that’s definitely in our heads, too,” senior Ish Witter said. [...]
“We understand that there’s a lot of opportunity for us,” Odom said Monday. “But if we start looking too far ahead or too far behind, then we won’t get where we need to be.”
Be it symbolism or an actual force of change — we’re always going to lean toward the former when we’re looking to craft a narrative — things have turned around since Barry Odom’s post-Auburn rant.
“I could see change happening and going on, we weren’t getting it done on Saturday,” [Odom] said. “We’ve still got a long ways to go but I just want us to continue to execute and prepare the right way.
“More than anything the investment that it takes from the time that game was over Saturday to try and get to kickoff the next Saturday is the most important time. For us to understand that as a program, we’ve embraced it a little more.”
My updated Missouri statistical profile is up, and using S&P+ win projections, Mizzou now has a very nice 69 percent chance of reaching six wins, not to mention a 24 percent chance of reaching seven. It’s crazy how much that’s shifted since before the Idaho game, when I believe the odds were at six percent. But Missouri’s improvement shifted gears at that point, and, well, everybody else on Missouri’s schedule got demonstrably worse. That’s a nice combination.
More Football Links:
- Anthony Sherrils’ best game in two years earned him SEC defensive co-player of the week honors.
- Mizzou is a double-digit favorite against Tennessee. That has not been the most common thing of late.
- Damarea Crockett’s almost certainly not returning this week.
- Next week’s Mizzou-Vandy game will be yet another 6:30 kickoff.
- Mizzou’s going in hard for JUCO running back and former Louisville commitment Greg Bell. The effects of losing Nate Strong, I guess.
- Keep it rollin’ indeed.
- Preseason awards season has been very good to Michael Porter Jr. Go figure. On Monday, he was named to the Oscar Robertson Award watch list, and he was named a preseason first-team All-American by the AP.
BREAKING: Miles Bridges of Michigan State headlines preseason AP All-America hoops team by wide margin with 61 of 65 votes. Full team: pic.twitter.com/eZW4ri6A6K— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) November 6, 2017
- He, uh, also posted this ridiculousness:
Michael Porter Jr. just posted this rather nasty poster dunk from the Missouri State scrimmage on his Instagram story. pic.twitter.com/vxyzyVr3bv— Keegan Pope (@ByKeeganPope) November 6, 2017
- The second Mizzou Women’s Basketball scrimmage went off without a hitch. Mizzou led McKendree, 31-7, after one quarter (tacking on a field goal to go with the four touchdowns was just overkill in my opinion), on the way to an 80-30 win. Better yet, Sophie Cunningham didn’t hurt herself again! She was diagnosed with a bruised hand after her first-scrimmage fall but scored an easy 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting in this one.
- McKendree University is based in Lebanon, Ill., by the way. I share this because I had absolutely no idea.
- Want to see a photo gallery from Mizzou Wrestling’s outdoor dual with Illinois? Of course you do. Or is video more your thing?