Mizzou football: How did this season turn this south, this quick?
There was a time before the 2019 season that people circled the Missouri Tigers’ game on Nov. 9 at Georgia as one where both teams could be 8-0. That seems like a lifetime ago, though, as Mizzou fell at Wyoming in the opening game. (Georgia didn’t hold up its end of the bargain, either, losing in Athens to South Carolina.)
Momentum built once again, as the Tigers rattled off 5 consecutive home wins after losing to Wyoming. Then, as it often does for Mizzou, things inexplicably got much worse.
An embarrassing loss at Vanderbilt started the misery in Missouri, followed by a 29-7 loss in the rain at Kentucky. Then, on Saturday night, the Tigers were shut out in unacceptable fashion by the Bulldogs, losing 27-0.
Yes, the Tigers were without starting QB Kelly Bryant, but that doesn’t excuse a shutout. Redshirt sophomore backup QB Taylor Powell has been with the program for 3 years. If 10-for-22 for 84 yards and an interception is the best he can manage, then OC Derek Dooley needs to make some big changes.
Speaking of Dooley, the Tigers only ran for 50 yards in Athens. To say that won’t get the job done would be a major understatement. Mizzou’s defense actually played pretty well, even in the continued absence of star LB Cale Garrett. The Tigers held Georgia QB Jake Fromm to a completion percentage under 50%. He went 13-for-29 for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. They also held star RB D’Andre Swift under 100 rushing yards.
Now the Tigers are 5-4 and staring a mediocre season in the face. Coach Barry Odom’s seat is heating up at a rapid pace, and Dooley should be on thin ice, too.
Oh, and to make things even worse, the NCAA still hasn’t made a ruling on Mizzou’s appeal of a 1-year bowl ban. What’s the holdup, you ask? No one seems to know. Mizzou officials seem just as confused as fans.
A decision supposedly was going to be made in August, or, at the very latest, a couple of weeks into the regular season. Here we are preparing for Week 12 and the Tigers still don’t know their fate.
Is that weighing on the team? It’s hard to make that case, as Mizzou still hasn’t clinched bowl eligibility, but it is a bizarre situation. And, if we’re being honest, it seems unfair to the school and the athletes for the NCAA to drag its feet like this. Mizzou self-reported a violation, got hammered by the NCAA and is now seemingly being punished further for having the audacity to appeal the suspension.
Will the NCAA be held accountable for this display toward Mizzou? Readers, you and I both know it will not.
Whatever the case, there are games to play. Florida comes to town this weekend in a game that will really put the Tigers’ 5-0 home record to the test. Then, Tennessee visits Columbia in a game that looks much tougher now than it did in August.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Tigers will head to Little Rock to play an Arkansas team that is an absolute mess after firing Chad Morris. However, Mizzou has yet to win on the road, so even that game looks more harrowing than it should.
What can Mizzou fans do at this point? All that’s left to do is sigh, let out a deep breath and continue to support the team to see if it can pick up elusive win No. 6.
Maybe then the NCAA will issue a ruling. But it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Tigers win and then immediately be ruled ineligible for the postseason. Such is life as a Mizzou fan.