It’s Tuesday, the day where Coach Drinkwitz normally speaks with local media and the packet of information for the week’s game gets distributed to the media. That packet tends to contain player stats, historical figures, opponent information, and - of course - an updated depth chart.
Except, not this week.
The packet has lots of fun and useful information still — that hasn’t changed — it’s just that this time there isn’t a depth chart.
Now, the “official” depth chart handed out to media for the past five weeks has been the same 30 names in the same 30 slots so that’s not a big deal. It’s been a bit of a running joke in the Rock M slack that if any of the starters got injured they’d still be listed in the same slot they were put in at the beginning of the year.
However, our intrepid beat reporter, Kortay Vincent, brought up an interesting point while we were discussing the missing depth chart issue. Essentially, this team is so bad right now that the coaching staff has no confidence in slotting anybody at any position and this could lead to some new faces getting snaps on Saturday (assuming they practice well).
Now, as the lead engineer on the “play the youth for a long-term build” train for many months now I fully endorse this decision. But certainly, after the ass kicking the Tigers received on Saturday, what exactly is the point of continuing to play the elder statesmen of the team who are completely unable to stop an average SEC offense?
BK and I have said on the podcast that the backups aren’t playing because, as we saw against SEMO, they ain’t ready. Do you know what could help their development? Game experience.
And if you’re worried about what that could do to this team, a.) have you seen Missouri play this year? and b.) what exactly are the goals for the year right now? Six wins and a low-tier bowl game (that you’ll probably lose)? Is it worth sacrificing some wins with young guys getting experience in order to be better in the nearer-future over playing older guys who will be gone next year just to salvage a trip to Shreveport?
Bowl games provide extra practices, yes, but you could replicate those practices right now, in season, with all the young talent that has been brought in over the past two years. Trade in present wins for (possible) wins in the future. Isn’t that much more fun to think about then wondering how badly Kevin Harris and South Carolina are going to viciously trod all over the Tiger defense we saw on Saturday?
Here are the guys who will not be around next year:
- Tyler Badie*
- Keke Chism
- Daniel Parker, Jr.*
- Mike Maietti
- Case Cook*
- Chris Turner
- Kobie Whiteside
- Akial Byers
- Blaze Alldredge
- Akayleb Evans*
- Allie Green IV
- Grant McKinniss
*indicates those that could, technically, come back but probably won’t
I understand it would super suck for those guys - especially the transfers - to find out that your senior season will be spent sucking out loud and losing a lot in order to have youth play and develop so the team can be good in a few years.
At the same time, this team is not any good right now and it’s Drinkwitz’s responsibility to play the guys that he thinks will help them win. You can interpret that however you like, but clearly the two-deep as it is currently constructed is not getting it done.
So, yeah, show me what Johnny & Arden Walker can do with extended playing time. Let Mekhi Wingo get the majority of snaps. Play Will Norris and Jamie Pettway and Chad Bailey. Show me what Ish Burdine and Chris Shearin can do. Let’s see Connor Tollison and Luke Griffin get some action on the line. Brush off the dust accruing on Elijah Young’s head and get him some extended series. And, for god’s sake, take the Ferrari out of the garage and see what Tyler Macon can do against SEC defenses. I’d much rather win 4-5 games with a young team that’s trying than barely scrape to six with an old team that’s ineffective.