Let us take a moment to travel back in time.
It’s six weeks ago. Mizzou is in a foreign place some led us to believe was not a hostile environment.
*Narrator: It proved to be very hostile.
The Tigers were up by a score of 14-0 against Wyoming in a game that looked very much like what we were all expecting. Mizzou was dominating.
So, I sent a Tweet.
The Tigers would then go on to be outscored 34-3 over the next two-plus quarters. It was my nightmare. We all know how this story ended. Mizzou lost, I got justifiably crushed for my tweet, and we all tried to pretend the game never happened.
Well, I’m here to say that I’m back to where I was early in that first quarter against Wyoming nearly six weeks ago.
Mizzou is good, you guys.
I’ve been looking over the numbers. I’ve re-watched the games. The Tigers are really, really good. They’re not on the level with Alabama or Georgia or Clemson or Ohio State. But this Mizzou team could play on a neutral field against just about any team not currently ranked in the top six and have a shot to win.
And most of that comes from the defense. Because, let me tell you, this defense has been absolutely dominant.
And when I say dominant, I mean up there with the likes of Wisconsin, Ohio State and Iowa kinds of dominant.
BIG 10 KIND OF DOMINANT!
The Tigers defense is 10th in the country in points allowed per game. Mizzou is 11th in yards allowed per carry, 2nd in yards allowed per pass attempt, 3rd in total yards allowed per play, and the Tigers are 2nd in explosive plays allowed (plays of 20+ yards).
Long story short, this has been a top 10 defense by nearly any statistical measure. And, oh by the way, the Tigers rank in the top 20, scoring 39 points per game.
Yeah, this team is pretty, pretty, prettyyyy good.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take the word of some of the most respected ratings systems we have available to us.
Football Outsiders’ FEI ratings have Mizzou rated as the 14th best team in the country.
The Massey Ratings have the Tigers ranked as the 19th best team in the country.
Bill Connelly’s S&P+ rankings have Missouri slotted as the 10th (!!!) best team in the country.
ESPN’s Football Power Index has MU ranked as the 17th best team in the country.
And ESPN’s team efficiency rankings have Mizzou rated as the 13th best team in the country.
That’s five different rankings systems from five completely neutral perspectives that each view Missouri as somewhere between the 10th and 20th best team in the country.
This team is really good. It’s going to remain really good moving forward.
The first game of the season threw us all off the scent. It appeared from the outside looking in that Mizzou was about to royally Mizzou this one. As Missouri fans, we’re pre-programmed to wait for the other shoe to drop. It appeared early on that it happened in the first week of the season.
Except this time, things are different.
The Tigers have rebounded. They’re headed for what could be one of the Tigers’ best seasons in program history. This program has double-digit wins just six times in its history. This year very well could be the seventh.
So go ahead, jump on the bandwagon. There’s plenty of room. It’s going to be a fun ride.
Mizzou is good, you guys.