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Ryan Walters steps in to a mighty big role.

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

1. Ryan Walters Steps into some BIG shoes

Walters, just 32, now holds the same title as some of the game’s elite defensive coaches when you canvas the rest of the SEC’s coordinators. Auburn’s Kevin Steele, Georgia’s Mel Tucker, Arkansas’ John Chavis, LSU’s Dave Aranda and Mississippi State’s Bob Shoop.

Some might scoff and compare the current setup to Odom giving the same duties to Cross at the onset of the 2016 season, which proved to be a disaster for the defense in more ways than one. One clear difference this time: Odom and Walters have history and trust. This time, Odom won’t hand over his defense and allow his coordinator to waver from his overall vision and philosophy. When Odom hired Cross, his former teammate from 20 years earlier, they’d never worked together as coaches. That’s not the case with Odom and Walters.

Salient note from Dave Matter on Walter’s age and his contemporaries, backed by the difference between Odom giving up his duties to Cross versus Walters. You certainly have to expect with an All League caliber Quarterback, a ton of offensive line starts, and plenty of returning touchdowns the offense will be suitable (at least).

But the defense is the biggest question and concern and also Barry Odom’s hallmark. He’s yet to fully put his imprint on the defense and now he hands it all over to his long time friend and the only non-Pinkle holdover to still be on his staff in year three. Pretty remarkable circumstances.

No MPJ means the news cycle is quieter for Cuonzo Martin

I’ve already written about the lack of hoopla surrounding Mizzou basketball now that Michael Porter Jr. has moved on. Yesterday Dave Matter wrote about how Cuonzo Martin is noticing is as well.

Last year, the Michael Porter Jr. hoopla continued to percolate from the spring to the fall. And as Martin’s first roster came together with all its celebrated parts, the program benefited from the constant buzz.

This year, with his coaching staff and standards firmly established, Martin can appreciate a more routine summer spent on the practice courts.

MPJ is a huge talent and personality. The egos on the team now are much more subdued and more suited to Martin’s style of coaching. There’s no making up for talent, but this team will be plenty gritty.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Not really a Mizzou thing but certainly a Columbia thing, Legendary Columbia College head coach Bob Burchard’s son Bret is the new head coach of the Northern Arizona Suns, the Phoenix Suns G-league team. Pretty cool.
  • When Mizzou’s Basketball target is friends with a Mizzou Football target you get tweets like this: