Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday

Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Dave Matter in a live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    How in the world is A&M only favored by 9 over Mizzou especially considering they're coming off their epic win over Bama and that Mizzou...is Mizzou? Goodness, that shockingly low point spread that A&M is favored by could alone be bulletinboard material for the Aggies this Saturday!
  • I was somewhat surprised to see a single-digit spread, but consider ... 
    * A&M has yet to play a true road game. The Aggies played neutral-site games in Denver and Arlington, Texas. 
    * A&M needed some fortunate calls to beat a bad Colorado team 10-7. (The Buffs are 1-4).
    * A&M was dominated physically by Arkansas and scored 10 points - against the same Hogs defense that gave up 89 points the last two weeks.
    * Mississippi State held A&M to 296 yards and 22 points - at Kyle Field!
    The Aggies have been an underachieving, borderline bad team more this year than a good team. 
    Vegas sees this as a classic letdown game where A&M struggles to win comfortably on the road. Or, more accurately, Vegas is betting that's how enough gamblers will see this game.
    So, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see A&M scuffle around and struggle to put this Missouri team away. 
    Has Missouri had a season in which all the FB games have sold out in the years you have covered the team?
    Nope.
    In 2007, Mizzou won 12 games and had only one home game at capacity. 
    In 2008,  crowd reached capacity for three of six home games. 
    In 2012, MU's first year in the SEC, three of seven home games were at capacity.
    In 2013, three of seven games were at capacity.
    In 2014, two of seven were at capacity.
    I have a pretty unpopular view about the current state of the defense. I think that, even despite the defense being historically bad, people calling for Wilks to be fired are overreacting. I get it, they’ve been terrible and sometimes look clueless on the field but I think people tend to forget that the current defense is an entirely new system than last year, added with the fact that most of linebackers and secondary are either new to the team (first year) or new to the position. In other words, literally everyone is learning. In hindsight, taking that all into consideration and really you have a recipe for a less than stellar season and it does seem foolish that a lot of fans didn’t see any sort of struggle on defense coming. For those who still think I’m a lunatic, I’d just like to point you to Ole Miss’ defense last year. They were absolutely horrendous, a record setting bad defense that often times got bailed out because the offense was on the opposite side of the spectrum, being high octane and elite. Now, Mizzou’s offense is no where near what Ole Miss’ was last year, but in terms of the defense they were almost in the exact same scenario. New defensive coordinator (new scheme) and a lot of new players both at positions and learning the position. The reason I bring this up is that now Ole Miss has a respectable defense to complement the still elite offense. Their last 2 games (Alabama and Arkansas) they haven’t looked the greatest on paper or in the box score, but the defense is miles better than it was a year ago. My hope is that this year is a stepping stone for the defense, and that come next year once nearly everyone is acclimated that the defense will finally be respectable.
    If you want my opinion, I think it would have been a bad look for a second-year, 38-year-old head coach to fire his hand-picked defensive coordinator five games into his debut season. It sends a message that maybe you don't know what you're doing when it comes to hiring staff - especially after you nudged the last DC out the door. It's certainly in Drinkwitz's best interest for Wilks to work out as a solid hire, both from a financial standpoint and for the sake of continuity. If he's coming to his new AD after five games or eight games or 12 games and admits he made a mistake with the most expensive assistant coach hire in the history of the university, then how does she feel about his long-term fitness for the job as an SEC head coach? It puts so much more pressure on him to get the next decision right.
    That said, if you realize by season's end that this system and coordinator is beyond fixing, then you'd have to make a change - with the knowledge you might not be able to afford another mistake.
    A quick note of agreement on the too loud, too frequent, and too obnoxious music at Faurot.
    If I were a fan paying to watch games, I'd like an updated game-day soundtrack. "Welcome to the Jungle" doesn't do it for me anymore.
    Dave - I have been to Kyle Field with a 100,000 fans standing for the entire game. I believe it was a factor in getting to Alabama's first year quarterback. Say what you want about Aggie fans, but they are passionate and loyal. I think an 11:00 game on Saturday in Columbia will be like playing in a cemetery compared to the environment from last week. This could help either team, but I think the Aggies quarterback will have enough support to put up points. With that said, does Mizzou slow down it's offense this week, run the ball and go vertical when they can? Thank You
    I can't imagine the 45,000 or however many fans show up Saturday will impact Zach Calzada and the A&M offense. 
    My hunch is Mizzou throws the kitchen sink at A&M's defense. Maybe more trick plays than anyone has seen this year. Just a guess, based on how Drinkwitz planned for LSU last year. I don't think you want to get into a shootout but take calculated shots.
  • USA Today put out its annual college football head coach salary database today. Drinkwitz, at $4 million, checks in at No. 36 nationally. He's tied for Heupel in the SEC at No. 10.
    That's the same salary as Jim Harbaugh, who took a big pay cut this year, plus Josh Heupel, Greg Schiano, Dana Holgorsen and Matt Campbell.
    Godspeed to the P-D baseball writers right now: Mike Shildt fired
    I know the SEC has rules about providing visiting team seats behind their bench. However, I find it hard to believe that we are required to give 20 rows from the 30 yard line to the other 30 to the visitors. We sit behind there and it seemed like a home Tennessee game with Tennessee people. Sure, we don't sell out the stadium, but surly we could sell whatever we don't have to provide to visitors to some hometown folks. Especially when these are about the only seats you can see on TV. Why don't we cut down visitor seats there to the minimum and put them in the SW stands like we used to? Do you know the exact rule and requirement?
    I don't know. This is a question for Mizzou, not me.
    Let me get this straight. Coach Drink might be afraid to hire the best defensive coach available because he is worried about getting overshadowed? If his ego is that fragile, his time in the sec will be short. Isn’t he supposed to be the head coach and not just the offensive coach?
    I didn't say that was a fact. Just something that could be possible. And I don't think it's uncommon among coaches. I don't know if their personalities would mesh.
    With all due respect to the chatter who mentioned the annoying booming music that is played at Faurot Field these days, unfortunately, I think it's all about playing the kind of music that the players and the students are into these days. The days of Ernie Hayes-like organ music and a simple "Duh duh duh duh duh duh--Charge!" I'm afraid are long gone.
    Dave, do you think that fans had too high of a hope for Mookie Cooper this year. The feeling I got from a lot of fans is that he would be the hero coming home to be the x-factor or saving grace of the Mizzou offense. Granted, he’s been injured for a few games this year but he hasn’t quite shown up and a lot of fans seem to be frustrated with his production. I sense that people had too high of expectations for him, not that he can’t be the player fans wanted him to be, but the expectations I felt were pretty lofty for year one with the team.
    Maybe, but most fans aren't rational when it comes to expectations. I thought he'd be more of a factor this year, but you can't overlook the injury. He's a speed/change of direction guy. Thats his game. And he hurt his foot. Feet are important. 
    He's been close to breaking a few of those sweeps and screens into big plays, but the blocking needs to line up right, he needs to read the blocking and he might have to break a tackle here and there. 
  • Dave - How would you compare where the team stands during the second year of Odom's tenure verses Drinkwitz (without COVID)? Thank You
    Well, I think it's fair to say the 2017 Missouri team had a more explosive offensive corps: Lock, Crockett/Rountree/Witter, Moore/Hall/Albert O. I'd take that group over the current offensive nucleus. 
    On defense, man, I'd give the 2017 team a slight edge. Cale Garrett and Terez Hall were a good linebacker tandem. Marcell Frazier was a better pass rusher than what we've seen from this D-line. Beckner never lived up to the five-star rankings - thanks to two ACL tears - but he was probably better than any D-tackle on this team. 
    That 2017 team was barely competitive against Purdue and Auburn then got hot against a run of bad teams at the end. 
    I'd say this year's team has better young players in the program and committed for the future. But that's more about potential than anything else.
    Dave, do you feel the football team is underrated, overrated, or properly rated. I’ve seen you point out to fans that last year, Mizzou was closer to being 3-7 than they were to be 7-3 when you look at games. This year so far, comparatively, they’re closer to being 5-1 than a lot of people give them credit for against respectable teams in Boston College and Kentucky, but on the flip side they really were playing with fire allowing North Texas and Central Michigan to be as close as they were late in the game, despite what the final score says. So, how do you interpret this team? For all the struggles they’ve had, their a few plays away from being 5-1, but they’re also a few plays away from being 1-5.
    They look to me like a .500 team. And I'm not basing that on the outcome of the games but based on their strengths and weaknesses. This team is good enough to beat bad teams (North Texas, SEMO, Central Michigan), flawed enough to lose to average/above average SEC teams (Tennessee) but also good enough AND flawed enough to play competitively against teams that are equal or slightly below/above in talent (Kentucky, Boston College).
    The toss-up games were always going to define this season: Kentucky, BC, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas.
    I always figured Mizzou would be a decided underdog against A&M, Georgia and Florida ... and a decided favorite over Central Michigan, SEMO, North Texas and Vandy.
    Win the latter, lose the former and win three of five toss-up games and you get to 7-5. Well, they've played three of the toss-up games and lost all three. 
    Only one outcome so far this year surprises me - just how badly Mizzou lost to Tennessee. Go back to my preseason prediction. Yes, I overrated the ability of this defense and had MU at 8-4. But I also expected the UK and BC losses. I thought MU would beat the Vols but wouldn't have been shocked by a close loss ... 62-24 was shocking. 
    Haven't checked the stats, but is there a difference between how the D performs against tempo vs. huddle plays? Seems like when the offense speeds up, the D turns into swiss cheese.
    I don't know where to find split stats that separate huddle vs. no-huddle. The trouble is not all no-huddle offenses are equal. Most teams go no-huddle. Some go much faster than others. 
    Also, BC huddled and played at a fairly slow tempo - and shredded Mizzou similar to Tennessee's up-tempo offense. 
    I have a question about scheme philosophy. Craig Kuligowski’s philosophy for his defensive linemen was essentially to rush the QB every play and stop the run on the way there. This seems like a fairly sound philosophy for defensive linemen, but at the same time this seems like something that would come natural to the position. So, what exactly would a defensive line coach teach or preach otherwise?
    Read the linemen to detect run or pass. Some systems linemen are responsible for two gaps and have to read the play to decide which gap to fill.
    Do you think Mizzou should explore rejoining the Big 12? They could be competitive for conference championships and would then be entered in the soon to be expanded college playoffs. I don’t see the fan base being invested in 1 or 2 conference wins a year. Mizzou’s first 2 years in the league Florida and Georgia were both down at the same time. That’’s not going to happen again. I was at the Tennesse game and to see a supposedly down Tennessee game destroy Mizzou was illuminating.
  • In a word, no.
    There might not be a Big 12 in a few years. And it most certainly won't include an anchor program that will maximize value for TV revenue. 
  • Is the Boston College game in 2024 still slated to be played at Arrowhead Stadium? Additionally, is there any potential that a game is played in St. Louis, either at the new soccer stadium being built or Busch Stadium (or potentially a new NFL stadium if somehow the lawsuit against the Rams leads to yet another NFL team)?
    The 2024 game is scheduled for Columbia. There was some discussion about playing BC in Kansas City, but then Mizzou scheduled the 2020 Arkansas game for KC. And then that game moved back to Columbia because of COVID protocols. Mizzou still owes KC a game at Arrowhead, but the opponent/year hasn't been decided to my knowledge. The schedules are in flux a bit just because it's uncertain (1) when OU and Texas will join the SEC and (2) if the SEC will go to nine (10?) conference games. 
    I'd bet against playing a college football game at the soccer stadium. 
    Dave - I think the bottom line is that Mizzou lost a lot of synergy when the GP era came to an end. Listening to Dave Christensen on your pod cast, they started to build teams with players that really cared for the program as a whole. Yes they had great talent but, GP and his staff brought in the right schemes to move the program in leaps and bounds. Barry Odom just did not have the experience to build on the momentum he inherited - the program suffered from his time at the university. Mizzou is not Georgia, not Florida - it's not even South Carolina - we just don't have that SEC history to rebuild quickly. We have spent hours on these chats talking about what Mizzou needs to do to get 50,000 fans in the stands where most SEC teams don't even give it a second thought. We have to give Drinkwitz time no matter how much pain it takes. He needs solid recruiting classes and coaches that will buy into his vision. Do you see us getting back to the SEC championship within 5 years? If not, do you think Drinkwitz moves on? Thank You
    A lot of things have to work in MU's favor to get to Atlanta anytime soon. 
    Drinkwitz has to upgrade the defense to be better than average. That will take a lot of work.
    You need great play at QB and elite college talent at the skill positions. 
    And, frankly, you need Georgia and Florida to have off years by their standard ... and hope like hell Josh Heupel isn't a home run hire for the Vols.
    You can't ignore gravity. For Mizzou to climb the ranks in the SEC East, someone else to has to slip - if not for a year, then several years. Mizzou played a part in the Florida and Tennessee slippage in 2013-14, but there's no denying the division's traditional powers were down some when Mizzou made its run.
    Will Drinkwitz stick around to see it through? Well, I don't think a .500 record is going to get him another job that's an obvious upgrade. 
    So, odd question, but does the football team even have a gold jersey to your knowledge? I saw the uniform reveal, and people seem to be going nuts that the game Saturday is the gold rush game but the team is wearing black jerseys and white pants. Come to think of it, back when they revealed the new…current uniforms a gold variation was never released. I don’t mean for you to spoil any potential inside information, but there hasn’t been a gold uniform released yet, correct?
    They had gold jerseys in past years, but I don't believe I've seen one with the 2021 designs. 
    Missouri Football: A New Look for the New Zou. Tigers unveil new uniforms
    Aggies have now beat Bama 2X since joining the SEC. What is MU record vs Bama counting the championship loss?
  • Missouri is 2-5 all-time vs. Alabama, 0-4 since joining the SEC.
  • Whats wrong with Welcome to the Jungle? I see it as relative to the Zou (zoo) pun. Am I reaching there?
    Nothing's wrong with it. But I've been to enough SEC games at other stadiums where I think MU can upgrade its game-day scenes and sounds.
    Did I see somewhere J Mac is a coach now? Maybe @ Kirkwood?
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