Ever wondered what a Mizzou team that was comprised of only Missouri kids would look like? Or wonder how good an only-Texan Mizzou squad would do? Well, you’re in luck! This offseason, the Rock M Masthead is assembling the best team of Mizzou players by state that they graduated high school from. We compiled a list of the significant starters on every team from the year 2000 on and voted on the best players at their position group in order to create three “All-State” Mizzou squads: Team Missouri, Team Texas, and Team USA. Over the next nine weeks you’ll read about these Mizzou Greats that hailed from the respective regions and, hopefully, come away impressed with just how good these fictional teams could actually be.
Special teams is the oft-overlooked third element of football and one that can help snag a few wins in close games or against tough opponents. Here’s who the masthead saw as the best of those unsung heroes.
I learned something while putting this exercise together: the vast, vast majority of special teamers (namely, the kickers) hail from the great state of Missouri. It’s not something I thought much about, granted, but it does make sense. Up until recently, special teamers were typically walk-ons to the program and walk-on players tend to come from the home state that the school resides in. The era of scholarship-worthy special teamers is a recent development, one that Missouri started practicing in 2015 with Corey Fatony and then Tucker McCann in 2016.
The Masthead ended up in yet another tie between Andrew “DOINK” Baggett and Grant Ressel. Baggett benefits from two things: 1. he was way more accurate that our last 4-year kicker, Tucker McCann, and 2.) he had some big-time clutch kicks (and one noticeable miss).
Between him and Ressel, however, the decision on who was the greatest from Missouri is a no brainer. Nothing against Baggett and his career 73% accuracy on field goals and 94.6% accuracy on extra points, but “Resselmania” was one of the greatest kickers Mizzou has ever seen.
- For his career, Ressel was 114-116 on extra point kicks, good for a career mark of 98.3% accuracy.
- Went 26-27 on field goals in 2009 and 17-19 on field goals in 2010.
- His career accuracy of 83.9% (counting XPs and FGs) is second all-time* in Missouri history behind Scott Knickerman (who played from 1995-1997 with an 85.7% accuracy).
- In 2009 he made 96.3% of his kicks, best single-season accuracy in Mizzou history (Jeff Wolfert is second with a 90.0% accuracy in 2006) AND NCAA history (until Nebraska’s Alex Henery bested him the following year). That lone miss, by the way, came in the torrential monsoon that was the 2009 Nebraska game.
- For good measure, Ressel’s 2010 tour is the third-most accurate season for a kicker with an 89.5% accuracy.
- Was a 1st Team All-American in 2009!
*Our dear Thiccer, Harrison Mevis, is currently second in career kicking accuracy but has only played for one year so I’m not counting it yet
The mark against him is the 2011 campaign where he acquired a serious case of the yips, going 9-16 (56.3%) on field goals. But the fact that he could do so poorly for an entire year and still be one of the most accurate Tiger kickers of all time speaks to how good he was when he was on (and how many more records he could have shattered had he not been mentally destroyed in that disastrous trip to Arizona State).
Regardless, he’ll have to settle for “greatest single-season kicking performance” and “second-most accurate career in Mizzou history” and enjoy the fact that he should never have to pay for a drink in Columbia for these heroics:
(Your intrepid writer is the one who is wearing the black coat and white pants, framed in between the goal posts with arms extended as the ball lifts off Ressel’s foot. It was a good day).
Walk-ons making an impact is always a good story. Late game heroics are fun. Being the best, not only in school history but NCAA history, is incredible.
Ressel was all that. And now he’s Team Missouri’s Specialist.