The “Battle Line Rivalry” between Missouri and Arkansas has long been dismissed by fans and players as a “manufactured” rivalry created by the SEC. Offseason hires and the 2020 Early Signing Period, however, have helped make it a more “real” rivalry, at least in the opinion of new Tigers head coach Eliah Drinkwitz.

According to Power Mizzou publisher Gabe DeArmond, Drinkwitz was asked “if the series with Arkansas will be a rivalry based on Barry Odom’s hire and recent developments.”

Drikwitz responded, “Did you see signing day? It’s going to be a rivalry.”

Two Mizzou commits – RB Dominique Johnson and OL Ray Curry Jr. – flipped to Arkansas and signed with the Razorbacks on Wednesday, the beginning of the Early Signing Period. Odom and former MU offensive line coach were already on Sam Pittman’s staff (as defensive coordinator and offensive line coach) entering the Early Signing Period. On Thursday, Pittman added former Mizzou defensive quality control assistant Sam Carter as Arkansas’ new cornerbacks coach.

Adding to the rivalry fun is the fact Drinkwitz’s comment has already gotten Odom’s attention:

Mizzou and Arkansas are set to meet again on Nov. 28, 2020. The Tigers have won the last four meetings (2016-19).