Saturday marks the halfway point of the Missouri Tigers’ 2019 season, and Barry Odom has never been in a better position record-wise as Mizzou’s head coach. With the opportunity to move to 5-1 against Ole Miss, Missouri is riding high on momentum right now, and we haven’t even entered Odom’s best stretch of his career— the second half of the season.
Head coach Barry Odom’s first halves have been... well... a disaster.
2016: 2-4 at the halfway point of the season.
2017: 1-5 (1-5!) at the halfway point of the season
2018: 3-3 at the halfway point of the season
That’s a combined 6-12 in the first half prior to this season.
In the second half, however, Barry Odom is a combined 13-5. Talk about night and day. This is where I bring up Odom’s biggest strength as a head coach. While previous seasons’ first halves have been pretty disastrous (just look at that data above), Odom simply doesn’t just “lose” his teams.
2016: There wasn’t a bowl game to play for, but in the final game against Arkansas, rallying from a 24-7 halftime deficit was a promising sign to enter the 2017 season
2017: Going from 1-5 to 7-5 was just a remarkable turnaround— I don’t even care who they played
2018: After the dreaded Kentucky loss last season, Missouri managed to rally off four straight wins
Results like these just don’t happen regularly, and when a head coach does something special like Odom has done in these past three seasons, you have to give credit where credit is due.
Barry Odom is in a far different (better) position this season with a 4-1 record at the moment, but he still has another challenge in front of him.
With the loss of Cale Garrett, the leader of the defense, how exactly will this team respond?
That remains to be seen, but it’s just going to be another chapter of how Barry Odom and this team will handle adversity. Saturday presents another opportunity for Odom and this program. Missouri is 18-7 in their last 25 games and is on the cusp of a Top 25 ranking. The Tigers have outscored their opponents 164-31 in their last four games, and the defense has scored more points than they’ve allowed.
Ole Miss isn’t the greatest opponent – but it’s Homecoming, it’s a night game, it’s expected to be a near sellout at Faurot Field, and it’s the finale of a five-game home stand. The excitement around this fan base is certainly back where it needs to be.
A win on Saturday, and Barry Odom will be sitting in a really good position entering what has historically been the best stretch of his career.