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Missouri’s Barry Odom will be coaching against his former boss on Saturday

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

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For nine seasons, Barry Odom looked up at Dave Steckel on Gary Pinkel’s Mizzou Football organizational chart.

  • When Steckel was the Tigers’ linebackers coach, Odom was a GA, then director of recruiting, then director of football operations.
  • When Steckel got promoted to defensive coordinator, Odom got promoted to safeties coach.
  • When Stec left to take over the Missouri State program, Odom took his office.
  • A year later, he took Pinkel’s.

On Saturday, he’ll be looking across the sideline at his old superior.

When he worked at Memphis, Odom was on the opposite sideline of his younger brother in games against Houston, where Brian Odom was a strength coach. Saturday’s game will be similar, Odom said.

“Just to be frank, I really don’t like this one either, to be going against guys you care about and you know and you’ve known for a long time,” Odom said. [...]

“The thing I loved about Barry and the thing I really respected about Barry was he worked his way up the ranks,” Steckel said. “Everybody says, ‘Here’s this guy who just gets this head-coaching job.” But guess what, he worked his (butt) off for that job. I said this a long time ago, when he became the safeties coach: He’s not a microwave generation guy. He had to go in the oven and get baked and cooked the right way.”

On my weekly KTGR appearance, we talked about how Steckel is doing and what Mizzou fans can learn from Saturday’s game.

Odom and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel spoke to the media yesterday as well. Some takeaways:

Preview season ends

The Trib’s Sunday preview package finally made it online. A rundown of the Mizzou pieces:

Mizzou Network just managed to squeeze in its last two unit previews before the season began. Here are the DBs:

And here are the specialists:

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I probably should have put Tucker McCann on the 5 Most Important Tigers list from a while back. He’s got the place-kicking job, come hell or high water. (Last year it was both.)

Coming into college, Tucker McCann had already shown off his leg talent. He hit a 60-yard field goal in a high school game, and he made field goals of more than 50 yards in each of his last three seasons before coming to Missouri.

But when the kicker got to Columbia last fall, he had a hard time on the field. McCann only connected on 50 percent of his field goals and struggled with extra points. [...]

“I know the things that he’s done over the course of the last three weeks looked better than at any point last year,” Odom said in a conference call. … “He’s crossed some hurdles there to be a much better, consistent kicker.”

Here’s to hoping.

Finally, are you a sucker for the “overcoming a hard childhood to thrive” stories? Because if so...

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