If Luther Burden's decision is coming down to crowd size, then Mizzou would never be one of his final choices. He'd be looking at Alabama, Penn State and Michigan. But he's not. Mizzou is in the mix for other reasons. The proximity and relationships with MU's coaches are clearly factors for him. Mizzou's fan base is what it is at this point. The sellouts will come AFTER a great season, not during it. That's the reality. Mizzou has tried new ADs. Tried new ticket sale strategies. Tried new fundraising incentive policies. Tried new suites. It's all been tried. But the truth lies in the history. Mizzou hit 70,000 capacity just once in 2007. Some big crowds, yes.
Coaches notice. Current coaches notice. They've learned quickly.
Drinkwitz's tone about attendance has shifted dramatically in recent weeks. He's gone from challenging fans to fill the stadium to thanking the ones who show up. He knows what he's up against. There's a loyal base of fans that will show up every week. He's grateful for their support. But Mizzou could hire a the JV coach at Hickman High and that same base would show up to support him every week. Filling in the margins is more difficult. To fill the stadium - even at a reduced capacity - won't happen until after Drinkwitz proves he can win at a national level. And until then, MU won't have anything close to that full home-field advantage like other SEC programs.
And I don't mean that as an indictment on Mizzou fans. It's just the reality of having a college football program in a pro sports state in 2021.