Hello. The Missouri Fightin’ Football Tigers play the number one team in the nation on the road this week.
In Week 3 the same Missouri Tigers ranked 65th in SP+ and were considered 3.2 points better than an “average” Division I football team. Their opponent in Week 3, the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks, ranked 199th in SP+ and were considered 14.2 points worse than an “average” Division I football team. The point differential quality between Missouri and SEMO - as seen by SP+ - was 17.4 points; the Tigers went on to win by 31 points.
It is now Week 10. Those plucky Tigers currently rank 73rd in SP+ and are considered 2.6 points better than an “average” Division I football team. Their opponent in Week 10 are the Georgia Bulldogs, currently ranked 2nd in SP+ and considered 29.1 points better than an “average” Division I football team. The point differential quality between Missouri and Georgia - as seen by SP+ - is 26.5 points.
Essentially, the matchup between Missouri and Georgia is one featuring two teams that are further apart in quality than the matchup between Missouri and FCS foe SEMO.
And since Georgia is apparently unwilling to meet at a mutual destination, equidistant from both campuses, to simply sign a contract agreeing on a score between both parties and sparing each team the indignity of having to play this lopsided matchup, this will be the scheduled Missouri athletics entertainment on Saturday. Good times.
You want to see what a dominant team looks like? This is what a dominant team looks like:
Four ranked (at the time) teams, one game where their post-game win expectancy was less than 100%. 100%! As in, the highest level you can play as a football team!
Meanwhile, here’s little ol’ Mizzou:
At least we can guarantee that, if a team is ranked 90th or worse in SP+, Missouri will absolutely get a win. Any team with a pulse, however, will probably beat the brakes off of the Tigers. And, in case you haven’t been paying attention, Georgia absolutely has a pulse.
When Missouri Has the Ball
The good news is that while, yes, Georgia has more blue-chip recruits starting on their defense than Missouri has on its entire roster, they also run the most sound, technically proficient, and dynamically destructive defense ever constructed in the history of college football. Oh, wait. Did I say good news? Hm. Well.....sorry?
So what can Mizzou do against such reckless hate? Uh...
Be The Best Version of Mizzou Possible
Against Kentucky, Missouri had a rushing success rate of 60.9%. Against North Texas, they averaged 8.2 yards per carry. Against SEMO, the Tigers had a passing success rate of 56.8%, a 75.7% completion percentage. and averaged 11.9 yards per attempt.
Missouri is going to need to do all of that against a defense that ranks 1st in damn near every major statistical category - traditional or advanced.
Finish your dang drives
The only defense that Georgia has played this year that comes closest in “quality” to Missouri’s is Vanderbilt.
Georgia’s offense put up 62 points on ‘em.
Missouri will need at least 8 scoring opportunities and average 7 yards per opportunity to keep up.
When Georgia Has the Ball
J.T. Daniels has been listed as the starter all year but Stetson Bennett IV has taken the majority of the snaps at quarterback. It doesn’t really matter, though. Either one is effective at running this offense and OC Todd Monken will probably just call 50 rushing plays for Zamir White and end this game in the first eight minutes.
Create Opportunities for the Good Guys
There’s no way that Missouri’s defense will be able to stop Georgia conventionally so they’ll have to rely on turnovers to get the job done. Rip at the ball at every tackle. Jump every route possible. Sell out for turnovers and try to generate at least four. It’s literally the only hope at this point.
Don’t Get Injured
I’m serious about this one. If a bowl game is still an actual goal for this team to achieve, there is no reason to trot out your best players to get demolished by one of the most talented college football teams on the planet. Give the effort, go down by four scores early, then pack it in and try again against a team where you have an actual shot at winning.
Go to a farmer’s market. Take a nice walk. Make brunch for the family. Have a picnic at a park. Do some yard work. Dust. Repair something. Go driving. Or watch this game. Your choice. But whatever you do, choose something that will make you happy.