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What I Think I Know: I Want to Believe Barry Odom’s turnaround narrative

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I think Mizzou can’t lose the bye week ...but I don’t KNOW that.

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OK guys, here is the narrative. Alright, so get your camera phones ready for screenshots. Let’s talk real life and what I think I know.

I want to go back to September 23, 2017 and get one thing real straight: I don’t believe Barry Odom. Don’t get me wrong, I want to, but I’m left confused after another piss-poor effort out of his team over the weekend. But most of all, confused by that head-scratcher of a post-game press conference. Confused about what in the hell that “state of the union address” was really about. Confused about what I or any Mizzou fan is supposed to realistically take away from that rant. Confused about the “turnaround.” Confused about about his Memphis “parallels.” Confused about his team’s trip to the hospital, and why that is relevant to, ya know, anything related to football. Confused because, well, it didn’t make any damn sense. I just have a hard time buying in to anything he said Saturday night. Worse than that, I don’t think I believe in him anymore. If you want to hear an actual journalist perfectly sum up my thoughts on last weekend’s presser, check out the Zoulogy podcast, especially David Morrison beginning at the 6:50 mark. Preferably, listen to the entire podcast. Oscar, Dan, and David do solid work and hit all the nails on all the heads again this week.

Fast-forward to today. I THINK I have a lot of thoughts. I KNOW you do as well. So as always, flood the comments with what YOU think you know about the state of Missouri Football and your predictions for the bye week. Before I dive into my thoughts and feelings, to which there are many, let’s rewind and take a look back at a few WITIK’s from last week.


What I Thought I Knew Last Week

I THINK I will have very little in the way of actual football talk until I am given a good reason to talk football. I KNOW that’s not asking for much.

For example, today we talk press conferences. The only entertaining highlight (low-light?) from Saturday.

I THINK firing ***m immediately fixes nothing.

Even after Auburn and that horrendous press conference; firing Odom right now accomplishes nothing. An assistant promoted to interim head coach whom has next-to-no shot at keeping the job at season’s end seems futile in my book. To me, that’s an actual step backwards.

I THINK it’s entirely too early for me to entertain realistic replacements to Barry ***m. However, I KNOW it’s not too early to entertain fictional replacements. So, who ya got?

From RMN commenter MUJD: “What do I know? Not a blessed thing.

I will nominate R. Lee Ermey for head coach. At least the post game interview would be entertaining.”

M-I-Z... R-LEE-ERMEY

There ya go, MUJD. All your mildest dreams are coming true!


Fast-forward: What I THINK I KNOW (about Mizzou Football in general)

  • I THINK it stinks. Actually, I KNOW it stinks. #analysis
  • I THINK the Auburn game went about how we thought. I KNOW the post-game press conference did not.
  • I KNOW it’s finally the bye week. I THINK we can all use a Mizzou Football break.
  • I THINK Oscar should publicly apologize for calling Tropical Liqueurs “T-Liqs.”
  • I THINK there is no better beer right now than Octoberfest brew. I KNOW Sam Adams makes a damn fine one.
  • I THINK I’m running out of things to say about football. I KNOW I don’t want to talk about basketball… yet.
  • I THINK that’s all I have to say.

Rewind: What I THINK I KNOW (about that Barry Odom press conference)

  • I THINK I want to KNOW when he wrote those talking points. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this post-game tirade was planned out well before the Auburn game kicked off. Might explain why the team, once again, looked defeated before the first quarter ended.
  • I THINK the entire spectacle kind of pissed me off. I KNOW he was providing “dark days” context by reminding us of Aaron O’Neal… but c’mon.
  • I THINK this post-game talking-to was nothing more than self-preservation. I KNOW I want it to be more than that, though.
  • I THINK this speech was political spin 101. I KNOW Odom literally tried to control the narrative.
  • I THINK we get so caught up in what, or how a person says something, that it can blind us from reality. Speeches are neat, but they are not actions. I KNOW I’ve been burned by “motivational” sermons from positions of power before.
  • I THINK the 3rd team left tackle from Rock Bridge should show himself… so we can follow him on Twitter.
  • I KNOW this “turnaround” will not be easy (bangs podium repeatedly). I THINK I want to fast-forward to 2022.
  • I KNOW this current Missouri team is not an improvement over last year’s. I also KNOW the offense returned most of it’s starters yet somehow took a mighty leap backwards in 2017. Again; how, Heupel, how!?
  • I THINK I understand the defense still being woefully bad; there isn’t much talent there. But… the offense!? I KNOW Odom can’t blame that on empty cupboards, or rebuilds, or hospital visits, or 2015. Not when the 2016 offense showed potential and now they look lost.
  • I KNOW I’ve heard the “run through a wall for him” line – in reference to Odom – uttered one too many times for my liking – especially in the days since this post-game presser. I THINK I’ve yet to see any proof of that mentality on the field.
  • I KNOW I’m curious as to how often the phrase “this could be the turning point in his career” is used by sports media types after a coach’s post-game rant. I THINK “turning points” happen on the field, not in a damn press conference.
  • I THINK I’m for giving coaches 3-4 years to build a program but, that’s not my job. I KNOW the responsibility of hiring, firing and retaining coaches falls on the shoulders of one Jim Sterk. And, I don’t THINK I KNOW what he’s going to do in this situation.
  • I KNOW I want to believe in Barry Odom but, again, that’s not my job. I THINK that’s the job of his players and coaching staff.
  • Truthfully, I KNOW I will root for Coach Odom to succeed at Mizzou and I KNOW I want to believe in him. I just don’t THINK I do anymore.

What do YOU think you know?

(Bye Hard – Barry Odom, coach of the Missouri Tigers, tries to save his job from an angry fanbase during a September Christmas party at Faurot Field.)

Let’s fast-forward again: What I Hope to Learn from the Bye Week

  • Nothing. Just like playing an FCS school, no good lessons come out of a bye week. Usually bye week news is reserved for injuries, suspensions, and firings. Though, some of you would be happy with the latter.

What do YOU hope to learn?

PREDICTIONS (for the bye)

  • Regardless of what that a-hole above tweeted, Mizzou will have the best darned week of practice any college football program has ever had!
  • Barry Odom will not be fired
  • That won’t stop the influx of wildly unrealistic “Top 10 Coaching Candidates” lists assured to saturate my Twitter timeline over the next few weeks (side note: I will, however, take your Top 5 fictional coaching candidates)
  • I will finally watch Wonder Woman, Baby Driver, The Big Sick, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 and if I’m lucky, IT.
  • Oscar will not apologize [EDITOR’S NOTE: correct]
  • Tennessee will beat (#7)Georgia 27-24 because football is both great and stupid sometimes
  • Eric Beisel will donate his guillotine to charity and spend the weekend hunting Connor MacLeod because gladiators actually want to be Highlanders

What are YOUR game predictions?


BONUS CONTENT

If you enjoy bye weeks as much as I do, here are a few titles to check out while you bye hard this weekend.

Bye Hard 2 – Barry Odom attempts to avert disaster by avoiding competition for a week.

Bye Hard With a Vengeance – Barry Odom and an offensive coordinator are targeted by Missouri fans and media in Columbia, where they plan to fire him during… the bye week.

Live Free or Bye Hard – Barry Odom and a young Tigers team join forces to take it free and easy for a week.

A Good Day to Bye Hard – It’s basically like the previous Bye Hard’s but, ya know, it’s newer.

This is a poll