Now that the season is winding down, what are the expectations coming down the stretch for the Missouri Tigers?

Here is what we predict will happen the rest of the way.

1. Connor Bazelak will be replaced

Bazelak hasn’t played as well as he did at the beginning of the season. If he doesn’t improve in the next week or 2 and the Tigers’ chances of making a bowl game are gone, he could be replaced by backup Tyler Macon, opening up the quarterback competition for the 2022 season.

2. Mizzou will make a bowl

One thing the Tigers have done is take care of business against lesser opponents. So if they take care of South Carolina and Vanderbilt as they should, they may be able to pull off the upset against Arkansas, Florida or Georgia. It will be a tough task, but not impossible.

3. Tyler Badie will be a first-team All-SEC selection

Out of all these predictions, this might be the easiest. Despite his team struggling, Badie has had an All-SEC type of year already, rushing for 735 yards and 9 touchdowns. He will be an All-SEC player, no question about that, but if he continues to have a good year, he will be on the first team.

4. Mizzou will beat Arkansas or Florida

This may not be as bold a prediction as you think. Arkansas and Florida are very vulnerable on defense. The Razorbacks gave up a ton of yardage on the ground to Ole Miss. The Rebels’ Henry Parrish Jr. and Jarod Conner  both had more than 100 yards rushing, and quarterback Matt Corral had 94 yards on the ground plus 287 in the air. So if Mizzou doesn’t turn the ball over and lets Badie take over the game, the Tigers have a good chance of winning.

As for the Gators, they’ve shown they are vulnerable through the air, and they have a tendency to turn the ball over a lot (see LSU game). LSU’s Max Johnson and Alabama’s Bryce Young both threw 3 touchdowns in their victories over Florida. So depending on the Gators’ mindset when this game comes around, the Tigers may have a legit chance to upset them.

5. Eli Drinkwitz will make more changes on his staff

One thing we have learned about this coach is that he is not afraid to make changes on his staff, even if it is in the middle of the season. Coach Drink is going to have to make a few more changes if he wants this team to improve next year. The defense needs a lot of help, and there definitely needs to be a major change on that side of the ball if this team wants to improve by 2022.

6. Drinkwitz will be on the hot seat next year

SEC fans aren’t known for their patience, and if Drinkwitz doesn’t start showing some improvement soon, he will be on the hot seat. Mizzou fans are just like any other SEC fan base — they want to win. They will allow Drinkwitz to do what he needs to do to make some improvements and adjustments. But at a certain point, they are going to get frustrated, especially if they continue to see programs like Ole Miss and Kentucky continue to rise and they stay at the bottom.

7. Bazelak will transfer if he is benched

Although he is struggling, if he is benched, he will transfer elsewhere. Bazelak, who was the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2020, has the potential to be a great quarterback in this league. But make no mistake about it — if he is benched the rest of this season, he will find himself at another school by the start of the next one. There are plenty of teams within this conference that would gladly take him.

8. The Mizzou defense will improve

I know a lot of Mizzou fans are rolling their eyes right now reading this, but even in the Tigers’ loss to Texas A&M last week, they did show some improvement. They allowed the Aggies only 2 more touchdowns after letting them jump out to a huge lead in the 1st quarter, they got a few sacks and they kept quarterback Zach Calzada in check most of the game. The rushing defense still needs a lot of work, but at least there was some improvement.