SEC has 3 teams featured in latest USA TODAY 'Misery Index'
Missouri’s had a miserable last two weeks, so it’s no surprised that Tigers are featured prominently in the latest USA TODAY ‘Misery Index.’
Back-to-back losses on the road at Vanderbilt and at Kentucky have left frustration to be a key word around Columbia. Dan Wolken points out that Missouri is a decent team at home and an utter disaster any time it leaves the state.
At home, Missouri is 5-0 and has averaged 40.4 points a game. On the road, Missouri is 0-3 and has averaged 17.3 points.
“Though the Tigers are waiting to hear from the NCAA about whether a postseason ban for some years-ago academic violations will be rescinded, it’s almost besides the point,” Wolken wrote. “The whole point for Missouri was to set itself up for meaningful games against the SEC East heavyweights in November, and instead we are talking about a team that trips all over itself at the sight of a visiting stadium.”
The Wyoming loss was almost given a pass, but Vanderbilt and Kentucky were glaring problems.
“It’s an awful look for Barry Odom, an alum who has done a solid job overall but has underachieved spectacularly with this team,” Wolken wrote. “It’s not always easy to win every game you’re supposed to win in college football, but losing three ruins a season. And that’s why the Tigers are No. 1 in the Misery Index, a weekly measurement of knee-jerk reactions based on what each fan base just watched.”
At Mississippi State, the problems continue to mount each week as Joe Moorhead can’t seem to find answers. The latest example came against Texas A&M.
“When you’re out of answers as a program, gimmicks are the last resort,” Wolken wrote. “And it sure looked gimmicky Saturday when the Bulldogs came out a half-hour before their game against Texas A&M, formed a circle at the goal line and appeared to perform a “bull in the ring” type drill where two players get in the middle and just go at each other. If that was intended to promote toughness, it sure didn’t show up after kickoff as Mississippi State got thrashed 49-30 in College Station.”
Auburn’s offense contrasted with its powerful defense is making some fans restless. The decision to go with Bo Nix over Joey Gatewood, and Gatewood’s playing time are being called into question.
“Add it all up and you’ve got an Auburn team that might be top-10 in quality but has been reduced to spoiler coming down the stretch,” Wolken wrote. “The emotions of Auburn’s fanbase run as hot and as cold as any in the country; so just as wins over Georgia and Alabama saved Malzahn’s job two years ago, losses to those two teams this year to finish 8-4 could very well start the buyout rumors all over again.”