Can I just say for a second that I’m digging how Mizzou Athletics’ graphics team is doing this year? There’s almost a psuedo-trashy/gritty collage feel to a lot of their visual graphics, and it really works. It’s chaotic, fun and works really well with the black, gold and white color scheme.
So Fresh and So Clean, Clean
Looks like the Tigers will honor the university’s 117 veterans who died in WWI. They’ll do it with a traditional black uni with a new lid, as is the motif for this year’s squad. The helmet features the state seal instead of the tiger logo.
What the “experts” are saying
- Both Jack and David took a look at Missouri’s defense, explaining why it may be even better than they’ve shown these past two weeks. Jack also looked at Vanderbilt’s defense, which seems particularly susceptible to a solid ground game.
- Anchor of Gold is very upset about the current temperatures in Fair Missouri, and knows the offense is dangerous when things are clicking.
- Alex Schiffer at the KC Star has a lot of positive things to say about Vanderbilt, noting that their record isn’t a direct reflection of their talent level (what a novel concept!)
- Dave Matter wants fans to pump the brakes on taking too much away from last week’s win, but he’s high on the future in his latest Quick Hits Q&A.
- Mitchell Forde analyzes the Pro Football Focus match up grades, and finds that Vanderbilt’s offense won’t be an easy chore for Ryan Walters’ crew ($$.)
- The Tennessean’s four writers are all picking a Missouri win, though not necessarily a blowout.
Man, oh man, there is nothing like a road win against a ranked team to turn the collective tide of feelings about a program. Let’s hear some thoughts about how Saturday’s win changed - or confirmed - your feelings about the program under Barry Odom.
Josh Matejka, Editor: Odom has talked a lot about “culture” since he’s been at Missouri, and it’s always been pretty evident that his culture has set in. Players have good chemistry, speak highly of their coach and generally avoid the off the field problems. It’s a clean, well-run program... that — before last week — didn’t have much in the way of wins to show off. So obviously last week was a big step in the right direction. The next step? Carry that momentum through the end of the season. That’s something Missouri has been able to do (see: second half, 2017), but only the end result of this season will tell the full story.
Mitch Hill, Social Media Editor: I’ve always liked Odom. You can see the players like him, respect him and want to win for him. The wins just have not always been there, especially against quality opponents. The South Carolina and Kentucky games will sting, but that was a win Odom needed to get that narrative out of the way. It was a well played and well coached game from start to finish. There have been times where it seems like he has tried to out think or out smart the situation, but with this win and the aforementioned narrative being put to rest (at least for a little bit), that should help Odom and Co. a lot moving forward.
Chris Bohkay, Featured Writer: I’m very hesitant to say that anything has changed for me, mostly because this team is wildly unpredictable from one game to the next. That said, Barry Odom’s third team got a road win in the SEC over a ranked opponent and that’s a great next step for him as a coach. Gary Pinkel always talked about steps that teams would take, and this is the next big step for Mizzou football under Coach O. The concerns I have surrounding the decision making by the coaching staff persist, only because we haven’t see this staff win a close game. Luckily, it didn’t come to that this weekend in the swamp, but I am kind of hopeful that Mizzou gets into a close game where we can see Coach O et al either put together a game winning drive or a defensive stand that clinches sweet sweet victory. So I’m still waiting to see how the season plays out before coming to an conclusions about Coach O and his staff.
This season has wildly fluctuated in terms of what we expect week-to-week, but it’s looking like Mizzou has a good shot to run the table and get a decent bowl. Let’s start dreaming now: what bowls are you looking forward to and which ones are you not interested in?
Josh Matejka: The hardest of passes on the Texas and Independence Bowls. It’s not really affecting me since I won’t be traveling, but lord help the players that need to spend all that time in Houston or Shreveport. It would be fun to get back to Tennessee, so I’m up for a trip to the Liberty or Music City Bowls. And in terms of pure entertainment online? Nothing beats Belk.
Mitch Hill: Not interested in the Independence Bowl at all. Not a fan of the Texas bowl, because that did not work out so well last year. The destination is what I am all about. The Music City Bowl would be fun because I love Nashville, and the Liberty Bowl in Memphis would be fun because that’s also a fun spot. But let’s have a bowl game somewhere tropical and warm, right? That’s what I am dreaming about until I can start dreaming about the CFP and New Years Six Bowls.
Chris Bohkay: Since we have to be realistic and must take affiliation into consideration... Not counting the playoffs or the Sugar Bowl, I’d love to see Mizzou get a Belk Bowl invite for the Twitter action alone. Second I’d love to see Mizzou in the Liberty Bowl — it’s a close drive for the Fans, it’s in a fun city and we would get a matchup with a Big 12 team. Finally, I’d say, give me the Outback bowl, because Blooming Onion. If affiliation played no part, I’d say the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, because of their mascot a stupid funny looking potato.
Bowl games I would love to never ever ever see Mizzou in would be the Texas Bowl, I’m sick and tired of this Bowl game and it never ends well. Also, Texas sponsoring a bowl just doesn’t flow well. Also, the Independence Bowl — we’ve been there enough to never ever want to go back. Shreveport and Mizzou could use a break from each other, sorry L’Damian Washington... I’M SORRY!!!
Of all the Tigers’ remaining games, Vanderbilt may be the toughest - they’ve hung around with Kentucky and Notre Dame this year. How can the Tigers avoid spoiling all their good will from last week against the Commodores?
Josh Matejka: Missouri’s defense has steadily improved week to week (sound familiar?), and this should be a clearer test of that improvement. Florida is a much better team, but they lack much semblance of quarterback play. Kyle Shurmur isn’t a back-breaker, but he’s experienced and has the capability to make you pay for mistakes — it wasn’t that long ago that the Tigers were making backups look like Heisman candidates. If the pass rush can keep steady pressure on him, and the secondary decides to stand firm, Missouri shouldn’t have much of a problem dispatching the Commodores.
Mitch Hill: That offense you saw against Florida? That’s the offense that needs to be there on Saturday. They cannot afford to let up and come in not ready to play against a well coached Vandy team
Chris Bohkay: Just do what you did against Florida, run your offense and don’t get caught up in thinking you’re better than Vandy, because they’re all nerds with a hideous basketball court. Really, keep featuring the running game, wear down their front four with Rountree, Crockett and Badie and then hit them out on the flanks with Lock’s arm. On the defensive side of things, keep doing what you’ve been doing!
PICK ‘EM! Let’s get a score and which player needs to show out if Mizzou is to become bowl eligible.
Josh Matejka: If Drew Lock is playing his B+ game, Vanderbilt won’t be able to keep up, and I think last week’s win is the confidence booster Lock has been looking for. Give me Missouri, 41-24.
Mitch Hill: Drew Lock needs to show out. As he goes, this team goes. Mizzou wins and the offense keeps it rolling with a 38-17 W.
Chris Bohkay: If Mizzou can bounce back following the loss to Kentucky, I think they’ll be able to stay hungry, stay humble (shout out to Jon Rothstein) and take care of business against the Commodores, but it’s a close one. Mizzou 24 - Vandy 17.