For the last few years as a Missouri Football fan it’s felt dangerous to hope. Nate Edwards dared for a minute before the season started, but as has been said by famous actors in movies than run often on syndicated channels, “Hope is a dangerous thing, it can drive a man insane.”
There have been many times where I’ve felt like I’m going insane watching an Eli Drinkwitz-coached football team. For the most part, we have had trust Eli Drinkwitz could put it together. Each season there have been signs of growth. It wasn't much but just a moment here and there. Enough to give a few optimists hope.
But hope was nearly dashed early this season when Mizzou sleepwalked through their game last week against Middle Tennessee. They looked like yet another version of a team that might slink to skimming just past bowl eligibility, and do so in the most frustrating way possible.
But then the joy of college sports took over, and a stern reminder that the word ‘STATIC’ does not exist when it comes to collegiate sports. What is true one week is almost never the truth the next. What looked like the truth about Missouri two days ago has changed all thanks to a 61-yard bomb off the right foot of Harrison Mevis.
I’ve always felt that the success of a season largely hinges on a few things going your way early in the season. You need a break or two to fall in your favor and then there becomes a belief that a win is inevitable. For the longest time, Missouri hasn’t gotten those breaks. Last year they lost to K-State in week 2, and then Auburn happened in week 4. Two years ago Missouri lost to Kentucky in week 2 by a touchdown and then Boston College in week 4. The trend of getting kicked in the shins early was something which felt destined for this team after last week’s stumbling effort against Middle Tennessee.
As an aside. I’m not sure if anyone noticed last week that Texas beat Alabama and everyone anointed the Longhorns as being ‘BACK’ after the win. Texas struggled a bit with Rice in week 1, and then last night they were tied 10-10 in the 4th quarter with Wyoming at home. Additionally, Boston College lost to Northern Illinois, then beat Holy Cross (!!!) by just 3 points last week, and nearly took down the Florida State Seminoles last night. FSU, meanwhile, was just two weeks removed from whipping the LSU Tigers.
My point here again is that nothing is static in college sports. Maybe this win means Mizzou is a better football team than we thought; maybe last week proves that they’re also quite fallible. But fallibility isn’t destined, only the next week’s game.
Missouri has the ability to be a pretty good football team. I believe that. Brady Cook, Luther Burden III and Harrison Mevis all proved that much by beating a good football team in a hotly contested game. They made mistakes, they overcame adversity, they did enough to win the game. In doing so they restored hope to this fanbase.
Even before the season we knew the defense would be good. I think a lot of us expected the playmakers to be solid at least. Even the Brady Cook doubters would have to admit that Cook is an adequate college quarterback. Perhaps the last part of it was if this team could get past a few early humps. A few early breaks for a team with this makeup might be enough to make a very good season.
Getting to 3-0 was the first step. Kansas State provided a huge early test. Mizzou looked like the better team for most of the day. They looked like a team that could have a special season. They overcame the kind of missteps which might’ve handicapped them in the past and won the game. Mizzou passed the test.
Mike Kelly is a legend.
Other SEC Scores:
- Georgia (1) 24, South Carolina 14
- Alabama (10) 17, South Florida 3
- Florida 29, Tennessee (11) 16
- LSU (14) 41, Mississippi State 14
- Ole Miss (17) 48, Georgia Tech 23
- Texas A&M 47, UL Monroe 3
- Auburn 45, Samford 13
- UNLV 40, Vanderbilt 37
- BYU 38, Arkansas 31
- Kentucky 35, Akron 3