No need to dress this one up with a metaphor or allusion. Let’s just get to the takeaways.
Less of a takeaway here and more of a needed release of energy. This sucks. This unequivocally, undeniably, and decisively sucks. There is no excuse for this game, not after getting blown out in uncompetitive fashion two weeks in a row, and then losing your lifeline game at home to a mid-major.
Kentucky is a probably a better team than Missouri at this point, and maybe they win this game anyway. But a two-score game that was clearly not that close? Absolutely not. That’s unacceptable. And everyone involved with this program needs to accept and publicly own that.
2. The apathy is back
All of you still here deserve free food. Or booze. Or something. pic.twitter.com/n15jdPcqfr— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) October 29, 2016
Mizzou attendance: 50,234. That's the lowest for a home conference game since 2005.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) October 29, 2016
3. A Sterk reminder
I wrote a piece yesterday about how Barry Odom doesn’t deserve enough blame for this mess to justify firing him. I should clarify he is obviously to blame for some of it. But I stand by the opinion he was a good choice, and there are other major problems that need to be addressed.
That being said, what does Sterk do in this position? He’s been raking in the donations for a facility expansion since he got here. But you wonder if the money is going to dry up quickly if this on-field disaster continues without at least some outward appearance of change. I don’t know what that looks like, but I’d guess it will have something to do with DeMontie Cross or Josh Heupel. Draw from that not-so-subtle hint what you will.
4. It needs to be said
Maybe people don’t want to say what I’m about to say. And that’s understandable: this is college football. It matters in a way, but it’s not life-and-death.
But I’ll just say it: Missouri played like a team that has quit. You saw it in the way the offense walked back into place after a busted play; the way the defense made half-hearted attempts at tackling; the hanging heads on the sidelines; etc. This is a team completely and utterly devoid of confidence and critically lacking in effort when anything goes against it.
Essentially, this is a team that needs to grow up. If they want any chance of making this a respectable season, they’ll do it starting today (though losing to a mid-major team on homecoming should've been enough of a wake-up call). If not... well, a long offseason can’t come soon enough.
5. A different team
There’s a figure of speech popularly used in sports that goes something like, “This is a different team than before.” It’s easy to see this Missouri team fits that mold to a T.
Coming into this season, this was certainly not a great team. It probably wasn’t even a good team. But you’d be hard-pressed to say it was an awful team. But let’s face it: Missouri was an awful football team against Kentucky. The defense is bad, and the offense is young. The highly-touted kicker struggles to make chip shot field goals. And as much as we all love Corey Fatoney... come on. We don’t want to be talking about him.
As this season has drudged on, Missouri fans have gone from optimistic to cautious, from cautious to pessimistic, from pessimistic to nihilistic. We can only hunker down and hope the light at the end of the tunnel comes sooner rather than later.