The Missouri Tigers have a lot of reasons for optimism after a narrow 40-34 loss at Kentucky on Saturday night. It was arguably Mizzou’s best performance of the season.
But the momentum from that game will likely be lost quickly, as the Tigers travel to Georgia for a game against the No. 4 Bulldogs this weekend.
The Tigers haven’t beaten a top-10 team on the road since 2013, but that was a win over No. 7 Georgia at Sanford Stadium, so Mizzou has beaten the Dawgs in Athens before.
It’s been even longer since the Tigers have beaten a top-five team in any capacity, though, as you have to go back to a 2010 home victory over No. 3 Oklahoma for that.
However, that Mizzou team was a much different one than coach Barry Odom is working with this year, so it’s looking like Georgia will cruise to another easy win this weekend.
Yes, Iowa State just pulled off a massive upset against No. 3 Oklahoma last weekend, but don’t expect the Tigers to do the same thing to the Bulldogs on Saturday night.
In fact, here are 10 things more likely to happen than a Mizzou win in Athens:
10. New York Giants win a game
Eli Manning and the Giants have started the year 0-5 and lost star WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall in a Week 5 loss to the San Diego (er … Los Angeles) Chargers.
It’s looking like a lost season for New York, so there’s no incentive for the team to actually win a game. With a trip to Denver to play the Broncos coming up on Sunday night, it’s probably safe to say the Giants are looking at an 0-6 start.
9. Jon Gruden takes the Tennessee job
The #Grumors are hitting full force in Knoxville, as displeasure with current coach Butch Jones reaches an all-time high.
Never mind the fact that Gruden hasn’t coached since 2008 — the Volunteers’ fan base is still clamoring for the Monday Night Football broadcaster to come in and right the ship.
8. Nick Saban compliments the media
Nick Saban goes on rants about the media when coverage is too negative, and now his new thing is saying that positive press is “rat poison” to his players.
It’s a no-win situation for those who cover the Crimson Tide, but maybe, just maybe, if Alabama wins a national title, Saban will say something nice about the press before the offseason starts.
7. Paul Finebaum says something nice about Mizzou
A couple of weeks ago, Paul Finebaum flat-out refused to talk about Mizzou football on his show, and it’s hard to blame him.
The Tigers were coming off a string of huge losses, and there wasn’t much to say about Odom’s hapless squad.
Even when trying to compliment Auburn’s offense after Gus Malzahn’s team picked up a huge 51-14 in Columbia, he only did so with a sarcastic shot at Odom and his staff:
— Matt Barrie (@MattBarrie) September 24, 2017
6. Peyton Manning wins a Senate seat
Manning has recently said he has no interest in taking over outgoing Senator Bob Corker’s seat, but that may not stop Vols fans from writing the legendary quarterback’s name on their ballots.
Manning has also been linked to Tennessee’s other Senate seat, which may come open in 2020. If he decides to run for that position, he still may end up in Washington, D.C., before the Tigers beat the Bulldogs again.
5. Arkansas brings back Bobby Petrino
The current Louisville coach is a hot name on the coaching market right now, especially after all the scandals with the Cardinals’ basketball program.
Petrino’s first tenure at Arkansas didn’t end well (to put it lightly), but Bret Bielema isn’t exactly the most popular person in Fayetteville right now.
The Hogs most successful seasons of the 21st century came under Petrino’s leadership … just saying.
4. Mizzou and Kansas renew their rivalry
The Jayhawks were upset when the Tigers left the Big 12 for the SEC, and the schools haven’t been able to get the Border War back on track.
That’s a shame, because this year the Kansas and Mizzou football teams and basketball teams both look like they’d be good matchups for one another.
3. The Tigers get Michael Porter Jr. to play tight end
Mizzou hasn’t gotten much production out of its tight ends so far this year, but as you may have heard, some of the greatest tight ends in NFL history played college basketball.
Could Michael Porter Jr. — all 6-10 of him — be the next Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham? It’s unlikely, but it’s not impossible.
Perhaps Cuonzo Martin would lend MPJ to the football squad for a few weeks before the basketball season starts.
2. Charles Harris, Michael Sam and Shane Ray gain more eligibility
Outside of DT Terry Beckner Jr., the Mizzou defensive line hasn’t been as strong as recent units. A clerical error granting former star linemen an extra year of eligibility is far more likely at this point than a Mizzou victory over Georgia.
Having Harris, Sam and Ray lining up across from freshman QB Jake Fromm would certainly give the Tigers a chance on Saturday night.
1. Gary Pinkel returns to take over as head coach again
Though Mizzou only finished 5-7 in Pinkel’s last season at the helm of the Mizzou program, things have only gotten worse under Odom.
After going 4-8 last year, the Tigers may be even worse this year, as 3-9 (or even 2-10) is a real possibility.
Fans would certainly love to have the winningest coach in program history back in charge of the Tigers, but even as Pinkel’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is in remission, he seems to be enjoying retirement at the moment.