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.

    Do you think Cook is the reason why Mizzou hasn’t thrown the ball down the field? Or is it Drink choosing not to from a scheme standpoint? I can understand if Cook lacks abilit.
    K-State was dropping seven and eight defenders deep most of the game. Tom Brady wouldn't throw deep against that kind of coverage. It's not sound football. But they tried in the second half. It just didn't work. Through two games, Cook has averaged five deep shots (targeted 20 yards or more) per game - 10 total.
    Guess how many 20-yard shots Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young has attempted through two games? Four total.
    How about Georgia's Steton Bennett? Nine total.
    Kentucky's Will Levis? Six total.
    Arkansas' KJ Jefferson? Five total.
    Tennessee's Hendon Hooker? He's attempted 15 but completed just four. 
    So, the data tells me that Cook is taking more deep shots than most of the best QBs in the conference - and it's just a myth that Mizzou never throws deep.
    I guess it must be but I feel like I have to ask the question: is it that hard to find another coach like Gary Pinkel or even Larry Smith to take the program to the level that seems could be achieved? That level being perennial contention. Or are the resources (money, interest, fan participation, etc.) just missing and Mizzou is doomed to unending "also ran" status?

    There are a lot of good coaches out there. Why can't Mizzou find him?

    Thanks, Dave.
    I'm not here to tell you Eli Drinkwitz is going to turn this thing around. I'm truly unsure. I picked this team to go 6-6 and I could be way off. He's 12-13 through two seasons and 8-10 in league play. He didn't get the luxury of playing three noncon softies his first year. Here's Drinkwitz lined up against the last three MU coaches through their first 25 games:
    Drinkwitz: 12-13
    Barry Odom: 11-14
    Gary Pinkel: 11-14
    Larry Smith: 6-18-1
    Maybe we'll look back and say the Drinkwitz hire didn't work. We certainly don't say that about Pinkel. I believe Smith was a good hire. But we wouldn't have said that after their first 25 games. 
    I talked to DRF leaving the stadium and she said, “I’ll be shutting down this circus after the Arkansas game”
    Well, that is the last game of the year. And, no, she didn't say that.
    i am excited about the future of MU football under Coach Drink and the recruiting classes he's brought in. I hope he and his staff are able to develop these players and that the MU admin give him time to do so. It's clear that the QB position does not have the talent this season to produce on the field. But after watching the KSU game, either our OLine is not good or KState is primed for a run at the Big 12 title. What do you think?
    The O-line is a weakness right now. Tollison really struggled. The entire interior had a rough day. I would strongly consider playing some younger guys in some spots - but not center. 
    As for K-State. After a small sample size, I'd still put Oklahoma and Oklahoma State ahead of K-State to win the Big 12. Maybe Baylor. There's no shame in losing to BYU. It's going to be a good race in that league - and should be next year with BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF.
    The OL seems a bigger concern than QB to me. Is there hope that those 5+ individuals can up their play enough this year to have a smoother-running offense?
    If not, they've got to look at other options. Foster's not going anywhere. I'd keep Tollison in there and let him grow through experience. You've got seniors at the guard position. And maybe not if Delgado's hurt long-term. Might be time to consider younger guys with more upside.
    Rank the worst losses-

    2022 K State
    2017 Purdue
    2016 MTSU
    2021 Tennessee
    2019 Wyoming
    It's hard to put the K-State in a ranking without knowing what comes next. Losses can  be defined by the fallout, which we don't know yet. What if K-State wins the Big 12 and makes the playoff? Then maybe it won't sting so bad.
    But if I'm just ranking the worst on-field performances regardless of fallout, I'd go with ...
    2017 Purdue as the worst. Offense and defense both helpless.
    2016 MTSU. You can't lose homecoming to a Group of Five team that only went 8-5.
    2022 K-State. Defense not great. Special teams worse. Offense more worse.
    2019 Wyoming. The offense moved the ball just untimely turnovers.
    2021 Tennessee. Terrible start. Worst defense I've seen MU play in person in 25 years.
    Dave, let me take a crack at why the fans are not excited about Drink. The team has no identity and doesn’t seem to have any momentum in getting one. Three defensive coordinators, an offense that is neither physical nor efficient. I for one have no idea what his philosophy is. Look at a lot of other programs and it’s clear they have a philosophy, even if they don’t win every week (Kentucky, Illinois now, Iowa, Kansas State, Arkansas). Agree?
    Maybe all that is true, but what's fascinating to me is many, many fans talked about him as if he walked on water JUST A WEEK AGO. I've never seen this fan base go head over heels for a coach like they did with Drinkwitz from his first few days on the job - mostly because of his social media presence and his one-liners. 
    And I've also never seen a fan base turn on a coach overnight like they did last week. It's not just social media noise, which has been deafening since about 2 pm last Saturday. I'm talking about my emails, story comments, PowerMizzou messages, this chat, etc. It's unlike anything I've ever seen. And a lot of the same voices that were so smitten by him - I had fans tell me he needed a raise and extension after his first 5-5 season! - are the loudest voices now tearing him to shreds. It's remarkable. I'm not saying anyone here is right or wrong. Saturday was a big step backward for this program and did not inspire any hope this season can be a success. But the fan response has been incredible. 
    I think you said last week that Tauvorus Jones didn't even make the trip to KSU? That doesn't sound encouraging. I know he's been trying to recover from a lingering injury, but I thought someone in his situation still travels with the team.
  • He had a hamstring injury in camp. If you have zero chance to play - either because you're hurt or you're buried on the depth chart - you don't travel. Teams are limited in how many players can make road trips.
    I think Mizzou hired the wrong Appalachian State Coach. How many times can Drink keep calling the jet sweeps, bubble screens n ect plays to realize they're going to work against the better teams?

    Brady Cook? I'll wait to see the Auburn game to judge him. Do he have the IT FACTOR ? If not politely sit him down and tell to explore his portal options

    If things get really ugly the lose column, do you think MIZZOU makes a coaching change? Your thoughts on Bobby Petrino resurrected his career at MIZZOU
    I would not envision a coaching change this year, unless we're talking about an absolute disaster, like 1-11, 2-10 with multiple off-field issues. Mizzou would owe Drinkwitz $8.4 million to fire him after this season. (70% of what's left on his contract.) That's a lot of money to start over from scratch after the last guy signed back to back top 20 classes. 
    My guy Frederickson spent a day with Bobby Petrino in Springfield and came away impressed, but hard pass for me on him ever coaching at Missouri. He's never left a program/team/franchise in good shape or on good terms. 
    Hi Dave,
    I know as the beat writer you'll be noncommittal, but what does your gut tell you about this coach? Does he turn it around? I was on the fence but after Saturday, I think he's in over his head. Probably a few years too early for him to run a power 5 team, much less in the SEC. Unfortunately I see a few more slobberknockers ahead.
    A few concerns I have about long-term success here:
    * The staff turnover. Gary Pinkel's staff continuity was more of an outlier than the standard, but it's much harder to develop young players into productive SEC players when many of them have a new position coach and/or coordinator every year.
    * The road struggles. This team consistently looks unprepared for adversity on the road. You're guaranteed four SEC road games every year. That isn't changing.
    * Three years and the QB situation still isn't great. You can't get that position wrong.
    Drinkwitz inherited more talent than each of his last three predecessors. Odom left him two NFL starters (Borom, Bolton) plus a couple running backs who'd go on to have record-setting seasons. This wasn't a complete rebuild-from-scratch job when he took over. 
    Regarding a topic discussed last week about whether MU should schedule games out of their region or not, I'm personally in favor of them doing that for the occasional non-con game and was actually disappointed when Drink said last season before the BC game that he was against scheduling games like that. First of all, as you said Dave, the MU fans who can travel to such games usually have an enjoyable time exploring the home team city throughout the weekend of whereever MU is playing--in a place they otherwise might have never gone to. Secondly, I don't understand why ED wouldn't look at it as an opportunity to perhaps make some kind of recruiting venture out of it. I mean, why not see if there are potentially desirable recruits in high schools around the area that they can maybe say hello to while they're in town that week?
    Mizzou has upcoming road games scheduled for San Diego State, Florida Atlantic, Memphis, Army, Miami-Ohio, Northern Illinois. Based on conversations I've had with folks in the department, I wouldn't book flights to those cities. For one, the SEC is going to blow up schedules once Texas and Oklahoma join the league and possibly shift to nine SEC games, which means everyone will have to drop at least one noncon game.
    The current regime favors more regional games that fans can easily attend and in more favorable recruiting areas, like K-State, Illinois, Kansas, etc. 
    Hey Dave,

    Eli has proven to be a good to great recruiter, as far as rankings are concerned, however his play calling has shown to be lacking. Where is the harm of letting a Offensive Coordinator call the offense? I understand he was hired for his offensive mind, but clearly he has too much on his plate as head coach to game plan effectively. Would it not be fair to say that most highly successful coaches (Saban, Meyer, Pittman, etc) are more managers than creating game plans?
    He makes $4 million a year. His plate should be full.  
    Lots of head coaches call plays on offense. Like Drinkwitz, it's what made them appealing as HC candidates in the first place. 
    I just don't see him ever hiring a coordinator, to the point where it's not worth wasting breath or keystrokes discussing. He's not the type of coach who will stand on the sideline and watch his team run plays that another coach designed and called. That's not how he operates. Hiring an OC would simply be a cosmetic move - and a costly one.
    For some successful head coaches, the CEO title works. Like Sam Pittman. But Arkansas doesn't hire Pittman unless he's telling them up front he plans to hire a proven play-caller, as he did on both sides of the ball.
    Lincoln Riley, Mike Gundy, Mike Leach, Jimbo Fisher, Steve Sarkisian, Billy Napier, Josh Heupel, Lane Kiffin. They all call their own plays. And they all have plenty on their plates, just like Drinkwitz.
    Brady Cook spoke to hitting deep passes through spring and fall camps. During the LaTech game, when he had a chance to go deep, it looked like he didn't have the arm strength to get it to the receiver downfield. Are my eyes (reading his comments and visually observing) deceiving me (us) or is there other factors that (beside play calling) that prevents him from proving the spring and fall camp statement to be true? Again, thanks for the chat Dave!
    As the data I posted earlier, Cook has attempted more deep shots than most QBs in the SEC. He doesn't have elite arm strength like a Drew Lock or Blaine Gabbert. But he's also overthrown his targets deep a few times. So it's not exclusively an arm strength issue. I'd say it's more about timing. It hasn't been good so far. Needs to get better.
    What do you think Dave--if a team is going to lose a game, well obviously no such thing as a good loss, but is it better to be blown out to smithereens as MU was last Saturday, or to lose an agonizingly close one? I always assumed the latter, because no matter how much of a heartbreaker-type loss it is, it at least shows your team is competitive and not horrible and might just need a few tweaks here and there so as to be able to win such games like that(against good competion of course) in the near future.
    Then I saw Scott Frost's overall record in one-score games....yikes! Now I don't know what to believe anymore!
  • If I were a fan of a team I'd rather be competitive every day of the week and have chances to win games.
    Any insight as to why Michael Cox doesn’t get more carries? When he gets the chance he looks to me like he’s a punishing runner. Got to think that would pay off in the 4th quarter if they’d let him play more.
    Not sure exactly but they clearly like the other guys better.
    HCED is an under .500 coach just starting his 3rd season. Is he doing a good job compared to neighboring states’ colleges? The Illini are 2-1. They could be 3-0 with a changed refs call. Arkansas is 2-0 and rand 10th and went to a more prestigious bowl than the Armed Services Bowl. Tennessee is 2-0 and ranked 15th. KSt is 2-0 and unranked, but they whipped the Tigers 40-12. And our friends at KU are 2-0, unranked but with a startling 13 point upset win at West Virginia. KU is in first place in the Big 12 since they won the only conference game so far. There have been many times in the past few years that I wished KU was on the Tigers schedule, but am glad they don’t play until 2025. It’s bad enough MU loses to them in BB every year. Al Onofrio got fired for losing too many times in the 70s even though he won away games against Alabama, USC and Ohio St. There was a lot of excitement when MU’s recruiting class was in the top 20 and even more when Luther Burden chose Mizzou and then we absorb another miserable drubbing. Did Mizzou pick the right guy to get this train back on the tracks?
    Schools in some neighboring states are certainly off to a better start. Not sure the Illini is winning the Big Ten anytime soon, but the day he was hired I said I liked the Bielema hire - and even more after he hired Ryan Walters. Pittman is the perfect fit at Arkansas. Heupel is winning at Tennessee because he's got a QB and the playmakers to score a ton of points. I feel like Mizzou is still trying to find an identity under Drinkwitz. Easier said than done.
    Are punt returners going to catch the ball for once this week? Also any signs that LB will begin returning punts?
  • Are we going to see a repeat of the first 2 weeks of the season with the next 2?
    Possibly. I'm not sure what to expect from Auburn. They didn't exactly pull away from mighty San Jose State last week. Big test vs. Penn State on The Plains this week.
    Was the kstate defense really that different and why we were unable to get the passing game going? Do we see any defenses like that again this year?
    Arkansas plays a similar structure. The interior of the O-line really struggled. K-State has two D-linemen who could play major snaps on any SEC defense. They controlled the line of scrimmage and kept Cook uncomfortable.
    Mark stoops to Nebraska? Would love to no longer play against him and Kentucky to take a dive.
    I don't know why he'd take that job unless they pay him an ungodly amount of money. He's already got a better job. Stoop[s wins nine, 10 games a year at UK and he's a hero. And he can do that regularly now the way he's got that program positioned. Frank Solich averaged 10 wins a year at Nebraska and got fired. Bo Pelini averaged more than 9 wins a year at Nebraska and got fired.  
    But if I'm Nebraska I'm making him say no. I like Matt Rhule for that job, too, if I'm a Husker.
    Dave - When Gary Pinkel was in the booth during the La. Tech, he said it takes a good four year to build a winning program. Do you think that still hold true for ED and where he is at with this program? Thank You
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