In what may have been a surprise to some around the nation that don’t follow Missouri football closely, the Tigers have begun to show up in several preseason top 25 rankings looking ahead to the program’s first season without Drew Lock.

Despite getting hit with a one-year postseason ban by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions following an investigation into academic misconduct at Missouri, the Tigers seem to be gaining momentum heading into spring football. In addition to the school appealing those punishments, the program’s fan base appears to have rallied behind Barry Odom and his team entering spring football.

It’s important to note that not a single player has left the program following news of the bowl ban and the NCAA allowing seniors to transfer without being forced to sit out a season. With spring football coming back to Columbia, Odom previewed his latest football team with the school’s official Mizzou Athletics video production team.

“Maybe one of the best things right now in our program, it’s become a players-led group. There are so many guys, on both sides of the ball, that have really grown over the last year or so,” Odom said in the video below. “Now they are in a position where their play allows them to have real true self-confidence in being able to lead. We have a group of guys on both sides of the ball.”

While postseason bans have been known to derail seasons before they even begin, it appears the opposite has occurred this offseason at Missouri.

“Our guys are very purposely driven. They want this to be a special year,” Odom added.

Check out the full segment with the Missouri coach here: