♫ Just left Faurot Field, dressin’ up formal ♫
A good fit? In the Year of our Lord, 2023?
Mizzou has been on a heater of bad uniform choices this season — which, you know what, I’m not going to complain too much given their record — but they’re finally busting out a good look for their road date in Nashville.
I’m this site’s staunchest defender of white uniforms, specifically with regard to the icy all-whites they like to pull out at least once a year. But I don’t mind the gold helmet with these shirts and pants! I still think the Block M would be cleaner, but the oval Tiger outline actually takes a back seat to the overall combination, adding up to what is (in my opinion) the year’s best fit thus far.
In Case You Missed It...
- Mizzou has an impressive “questionable” list headed to Nashville, though you’d expect guys like Brady Cook and Luther Burden III to be more than likely to play. (editor’s note: both were full participants in practice Thursday)
- A fun little fact that came across the wire today courtesy of Rock M alumnus Brandon Haynes...
NOTE: #Mizzou QB Brady Cook is only 19 pass attempts from breaking the #SEC record of most consecutive pass attempts without an interception.— Brandon Haynes (@BrandonHaynes_) September 29, 2023
Cook, who is questionable Saturday, is at 307 straight passes without a pick. Former #Kentucky QB Andre Woodson holds the record at 325.
- Can you name one famous Vanderbilt descendant that isn’t Anderson Cooper? I have to say, I was pretty surprised to learn this person was a Vanderbilt grad!
- Did you know David Bowie’s kid is a graduate of Vanderbilt University? Now you do!
- Can you tell me how many times in the 21st century Vanderbilt has finished with a better football record than Mizzou? OK, do you have your guess? Here’s the answer!
Another week, another opportunity to refuse an opportunity to use Tennessee Whiskey in a cocktail.
Researching cocktails that correspond to different cities (and opponents’ mascot names) is difficult, if only because any city that isn’t New York or Los Angeles is going to have a more underground cocktail scene. Sure, bartenders will write up recipes for different publications, but that requires a lot of research that could otherwise be spent making a drink. Because of that, this week’s recipe was a bit of a roundabout journey.
I started by looking up Nashville’s best bartenders and their signature cocktails and was led to a riff of And to All a Good Night with an amaro subbing out for the Cherry Heering. As a home bartender with no Heering to my name, I decided to sub out for another sweet, fruity liqueur in Creme de Cassis, which I feel fits really well with both bourbon and tequila. And in the famous words of our favorite taco enthusiast:
I’m not sure what to call this. It’s a deep purple color because of all that cassis, but that doesn’t exactly correspond to the Vanderbilt colors. And none of the three main spirits are in any way related to Nashville. I’m going to go with whatever comes right off the dome: Blood Moon over Nashville.
1.5 oz bourbon, 0.75 oz reposado tequila, 0.75 oz Creme de Cassis, 2 dashes orange bitters, 1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a glass and garnish. Makes 2 servings.
Folks, I’ve made five cocktails for this Pregamin’ bit to varying degrees of deliciousness. And I must say, in a most serious manner, regarding this cocktail:
There’s just no balance to this thing at all. It’s incredibly fruit-forward and has nothing — heat, acid, spice — to balance out all the sugar from the cassis, bourbon and tequila. I can’t imagine who this would be for outside of those who enjoy cloyingly sweet drinks.
If you’re going to attempt this, I’d bump the cassis down quite a bit (maybe a quarter of an ounce) and either add some citrus juice or swap out the bourbon for rye.
Oh well. They can’t all be winners.
Mizzou is undefeated after a month for the first time in 10 years and ranked in the AP Poll for the first time in 4 years. When’s the last time you felt this good about Mizzou Football?
Josh Matejka, Deputy Site Manager: I’m going to say this is the best I’ve felt about Mizzou since Kelly Bryant committed ahead of the 2019 season. Things didn’t work out the way we wanted them to, but there was a palpable sense that Barry Odom had figured things out and, with the addition of a coveted dual-threat QB, would capitalize on the momentum of the 8-5 finish in 2018. The best laid plans, right?
Parker Gillam, Beat Writer: Probably not since Drew Lock and Co. hosted a No. 7 Georgia team in 2018, with both teams being 3-0 entering the game. Tigers sported an all-gold (yellow) look in that game, and the disappointing 43-29 result reflected the uniforms.
Karen Steger, Madame Editor, etc.: Like Josh said, I vividly remember the moment Kelly Bryant committed— I was sitting at the bar at The Berg with my friend Evan, and we were getting ready to go to the Mizzou game. I had my twitter notifications on, and he announced and we screamed. It was a moment. It didn’t work out, but man, it felt great in that moment.
Quentin Corpuel, Staff Writer: Considering that I’ve only followed Mizzou since August 2022, I have never felt this good. The sun has never shined brighter. The vibes have never been higher. I feel like Luther Burden in the open field.
Sammy Stava, Staff Writer: Probably the end of 2018 after ending the regular season with a four-game winning streak, jumping into the Top 25 and making a Liberty Bowl appearance vs Oklahoma State. Despite the bowl loss, things looked to be heading in the right direction with plenty of excitement for the Kelly Bryant era. Then 6-6 in 2019 happened with a bowl ban.
Everyone and their brother and their mother and their cousin has talked about how fun Luther Burden is to watch. But Mizzou has plenty of other exciting talents on their roster. Who has been your favorite Tiger to watch after LB3?
Josh Matejka: The easy answer here is Brady Cook because, let’s face it, he’s been borderline elite through four weeks. He appears to have added deep-ball accuracy to his tool belt, an especially helpful tool when your receivers get open with ease. The threat of his running keeps teams honest, and he’s yet to show any of his previous propensities for putting the ball in danger. We’ve spent a lot of time criticizing Eli Drinkwitz for not developing a QB to take Cook’s place, but maybe Drink was turning BC12 into an elite starter right under our noses.
Parker Gillam: JC Carlies and Daylan Carnell are a tie for me because both are absolute missiles on the field. The duo flies from sideline to sideline, and they are probably the most sure-tacklers on the roster not named Ty’Ron Hopper. Every team needs someone who can lay the lumber in the secondary and cause WRs to think twice about going over the middle. Mizzou has two of those guys.
Sammy Stava: My vote is Cody Schrader. From the St. Louis area and a D-II transfer from Truman to becoming the current SEC leading rusher so far this season. It’s been a lot of fun to watch his journey unfold and he seems like an all-around good guy as well. Easy to root for.
Karen Steger: This is why I often second-guess my participation in these things. I’m going to cop out and instead of listing one name, I’m going to give it to the receiving corps as a whole. The Roadrunner (Marquis Johnson), Mookie Cooper (finally getting some play !), Theo Wease Jr., etc.
Quentin Corpuel: For me, it’s Carnell. I could probably just copy and paste my preseason take on the standout sophomore, where I compared him to Anthony Peeler, a shark and William Moore in the span of two paragraphs.
Through four games, he’s looked like all three. It feels like every time the Tigers need a big defensive stop, Carnell is there to make a play on the ball, whether it be a tackle or a pass breakup. As a defender, being fun to watch is difficult; Carnell is exactly that.
Mizzou is now one-half of the way toward a full sweep of The Volunteer State in college football (MTSU, Memphis, Vandy, Tennessee.) What are the chances they get it done (and would you buy a Rock M-designed tee if it happened)?
Josh Matejka: I still think the chances are below 50-50, if only because they’ve got to beat Vanderbilt on the road (SEC road games aren’t easy, folks) and then topple a good Volunteers team at home. I still wonder if they end up dropping one of those games.
But Tennessee looks as vulnerable as ever under Josh Heupel, and Vanderbilt has been pretty miserable after taking a step forward in 2022. You don’t have to squint too hard to see the possibility of a Mizzou sweep. And you better believe we’ve already discussed a “2023 Tennessee State Champions” shirt on Slack.
Parker Gillam: I would definitely buy a shirt, and frankly I would bet money on it at this point. I’m out on Joe Milton at Tennessee; he hasn’t shown me anything to believe that he has improved upon his days at Michigan. And while the Vols have a stable of quality backs and a solid offensive line, they can’t be one-dimensional against this Missouri defense. On top of that, I think Cook and the offense should have plenty of success against a middling UT defense. It won’t be easy, and I’m definitely not willing to write Vanderbilt off as a win yet either, but the sweep is far more likely than it was before the season.
Sammy Stava: After seeing Tennessee losing on the road to Florida and the way it happened in The Swamp, the Vols are vulnerable, so I like Missouri’s chances of pulling off the sweep at the moment. And yeah, let’s do a shirt if it happens.
Karen Steger: I’ve been clamoring for a Rock M shirt since Parker went on the Sunday Sitdown last year wearing a flannel and a plain t-shirt (sorry Parker, you did a great job). We NEED them. So yes, I think Mizzou will do it, and I’d love nothing more than to see the Tigers take down the Vols. I root for L’s for that ugly orange, Josh Heupel-led team and I’m just tired of it. I went to the game two years ago and froze my ass off and it was so sad the UT fans sitting near me and former Rock M writer Ryan Faller offered up their airplane bottles of whiskey. How sad is that?! I don’t want your pity anymore, Vols fans.
Quentin Corpuel: Dealing with the site of a floating scoreboard will be tough, and Tennessee is still a formidable squad, but both teams look very beatable. I’m not going to guarantee victory of either team, as personal history says that I’m more of a jinxer than a manifester. But the vision of Mizzou conquering the Volunteer State is certainly clearer than it was at the start of the season.
Vanderbilt is one of two universities in the country to use ‘Commodore’ as their mascot. If Mizzou suddenly had to change their mascot to a naval theme, what would you pitch?
Josh Matejka: I think Seattle really struck gold in choosing the Kraken as the name for their NHL expansion team. Deep sea monsters are a personal fascination of mine, but it’s sort of hard to justify any sort of underwater cryptid that would make sense for Missouri.
Instead, I’m going to propose the “Missouri Privateers.” Did you know that pirates once freely roamed the Mississippi River and were driven out of forts near and around St. Louis? I didn’t? I love the idea of Privateers stealing games and planting their flag on enemy turf. It’s a small box to work in, and I think this is the best option we’ve got.
Parker Gillam: I mean, the Sailor Tiger is already a thing. Why not just lean more into that, create a whole new merch line and update Truman’s look to have a sailor outfit? The uniforms would be phenomenal, and I haven’t met many people who are not fans of the Sailor Tiger logo.
Sammy Stava: I don’t know, but Mizzou Musketeers kind of sounds catchy? Not to copy off of Xavier.
Karen Steger: No idea. The Admirals? Sure, let’s go with that. Everyone has a sailor tiger, and I wish for something more original.
Quentin Corpuel: If we’re going with the most sensical one, it’s the Missouri Mariners. It’s simple and, while not very intimidating, rolls off of the tongue beautifully.
If we’re aiming for maximum silly and goofy points, let’s get real eccentric and take inspiration from our friends over in Minor League Baseball. In the MiLB, team names don’t really have to make sense; it’s fine as long as it’s fun. Inspired by the Space Cowboys, Trash Pandas and Rumble Ponies, we’ll go with the Sea Spartans.
Actually, I kinda ate with that one. Badass defenders of the sea? Count me in!
If Mizzou takes care of business at Vanderbilt — no easy feat, mind you — they’ll go into the LSU game ranked and with a chance to clinch bowl-eligibility. That would be the biggest home football game since...
Josh Matejka: I’m tempted to say 2014 against Arkansas, with the opportunity to clinch a second straight SEC East division title, but I also think we all knew Mizzou was limited that year. Instead, I’ll have to go with the easy answer and say 2013 against Texas A&M. A berth in the National Championship Game was on the table at that point, and Mizzou only had to go through Johnny Football and their former Big XII rivals to get to the SEC Championship. Similarly, we don’t know what the ceiling is for the Tigers this year. We may have an idea... but if they take down Vanderbilt and LSU, then I think the roof is off what this team could accomplish. And the atmosphere would reflect that.
Parker Gillam: 2013 vs. Texas A&M is the easiest answer, and frankly, I’ll stick with it. In no other game since then have the Tigers been in a situation where they have to prove that they belong while playing on a national stage as a ranked team. People will still have doubts about this Mizzou team until they take down one of the big dawgs of the SEC, and LSU certainly qualifies for that.
Combine that with the fact that Eliah Drinkwitz is in the midst of his most pivotal season as head coach — and, in turn, the program’s most pivotal season since (arguably) 2019 — and you have a level of pressure that can only be replicated by a game with an SEC title appearance on the line against a ranked foe and Heisman Trophy winner. Oh, and that was only Mizzou’s second year in the conference, can’t forget about that part.
Sammy Stava: The easy answer here is Texas A&M in 2013 or Arkansas in 2014 as Josh and Parker already mentioned.
An underrated one as it felt like a big game at the time, but the Homecoming game in 2019 vs Ole Miss under the lights in a sold-out crowd for their fifth win in a row felt somewhat big. Little did we know that was going to be Mizzou’s last home win in the Barry Odom era.
Quentin Corpuel: Texas A&M in 2013. As Josh said, a National Championship berth was still possible. Even though the Tigers have faced many ranked teams at Fault in the past, the season has oftentimes felt lost. That wouldn’t be the case should Mizzou return to Columbia 5-0.