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.

    I touched on that here. They'd have to get out to a comfortable lead before they empty the bench.
    Thanks for the chat Dave. You’re the reason I get the STLPD. Students are showing up more at the MBB games. It was great seeing DRF throw out ice cream treats to them. She seemed to have as much fun as the kids getting them. This years team is waaaay more fun to watch. Exciting games, lots of running and fast play. Do you see any way to get season ticket holders to show up besides more wins? That empty stadium doesn’t bode well for recruits to come.
    It hasn't been empty. A few sparse sections for sure, but that's going to happen on a midweek game in November/December against a mid-major opponent in frigid weather. 
    The students are required to attend a certain number of these games to be eligible for the Kansas game. Smart move on the athletics department's part. 
    Wichita State is currently listed on ESPN+; do you think there will be another way to watch that game. Also the UCF game has no tv listed???
    I don't anticipate Wichita State game being available any other way. UCF is still TBA for now. Hopefully there's some clarity on that soon. Florida State and St. John's are playing each other on the same floor right after the Mizzou-UCF game and they're broadcasting that one on Bally's Sports Florida. Not sure if that means anything at this point.
    Do you see a way Mizzou could ever be a "player" in NCAA sports and I don't mean just football and men's basketball? Is it all just a question of money? As things stand and project, I do not see Mizzou ever being anything more than mediocre. Thanks, Dave.
    Come on. Gary Pinkel had Mizzou one win away from playing for the national championship game twice in a seven-year span. Of course it's possible - especially in the new 12-team playoff format. Gymnastics and wrestling are national programs right now. Softball has reached multiple WCWS. Life in the SEC isn't easy, but the opportunities are there if you have the right leadership in place and enough fan support to pay the bills.
    Cook had 106 yards on 16 carries, the most rushing attempts by any Mizzou player. I guess the times he is sacked counts as a rushing attempt and negative yardage. Are his attempts scripted QB draw plays or is he ad libbing when he sees a big hole in front of him? They showed on repeplay from behind Cook in a shotgun position. After the ball was snapped the left side of the oline drove the dlineman to the left sideline and the right olinemen drove the dlineman to the right sideline creating the literal hole that you could drive a truck through. Cook needs to be a little more careful and learn how to slide when the defense is coming at him. It was too close for comfort for me a couple of times.
    Most of his runs at Tennessee were designed runs. It's part of his game and one of the few strengths this offense has depending on how teams decide to defend.
    Do you think the QB for next year is on the roster now or do you think we will be portal shopping again?
    I have no idea right now. I'm sure they'd love Sam Horn to earn the job. But he'd have to actually earn the job. If I'm Brady Cook I'm not sure I want to go through another competition all over again after winning the job this year and being voted a captain by my teammates. It wouldn't hurt to explore the market once it's open for business on Dec. 5.
    Do you think when OU and Texas join the SEC, OU will become the Nebraska of the SEC? They had some elite programs back in the day, but I don't really see any reason for them to compete for championships in the future. They both had the best resources in the Big 12, I expect Texas to have some good years due to the number of great recruits who want to play for their in-state program (plus huge resources) but I don't see OU ever winning championships in the SEC. I just don't see a lot of elite recruits still going to OU over Bama, LSU, Georgia etc. Previously they were the elite school in the big 12 but I think their best days are behind them. Do you think they will win an SEC championship (or division) in the first 10 years? Thoughts?
    Possibly, but the infrastructure at Oklahoma under Joe Castiglione - as long as he stays as AD - is too strong for that program to completely fail. I just can't envision college football without OU  being relevant. I know the Venables regime is off to a slow start, but he does have the nation's No. 10 recruiting class right now. Texas has been mediocre for a while, but Sark has the nation's No. 4 class. UT will always have the resources. It's just a matter of having the right leadership and culture in place. I don't know if those programs will win national titles in the SEC any time soon, but with the 12-team playoff model, there's no reason they can't be contenders. OU and Texas certainly have the upside and potential in the SEC - on the same tier as places like Florida and LSU and Tennessee and a tier ahead of places like South Carolina, Kentucky and Missouri.
    So, current basketball players would enter the portal on Dec 5th? Or is that football?
    No, Dec. 5 is the date for fall sports. Here are the new portal windows, from the NCAA: 
    • Fall sports: a 45-day window beginning the day after championships selections are made in their sport, or May 1-15.
      • Reasonable accommodations will be made for participants in the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision championship games. 
    • Winter sports: a 60-day window beginning the day after championships selections are made in the sport.
    • Spring sports: Dec. 1-15, or a 45-day window beginning the day after selections are made in the sport. 
    Mizzou may have questions about who should play as quarterback. An interesting comparison to this issue is an article in an Indiana newspaper I saw yesterday. A story told of a quarterback at Indiana University that played some in the last couple of games and might start this Saturday. He would replace Conner Bazelak as starter and jump over two other quarterbacks who now have injuries. Ya never know what can happen if you put in the time and reps.
    Bazelak returned from an injury last week but was pulled after a few series. Tough break. I was hoping he'd have a good year at Indiana but it's been a rough year for the Hoosiers.
    Just for the record the score in Eli’s 3 games vs Tennessee is now Tennessee 163 Missouri 60. Normally that’s not how SEC coaches get raises and extensions. I don’t know how many points they will score against NMST, but Wisconsin scored 66 and Minnesota scored 38. MU only scored 34 vs Abeline Christian. Is Missouri paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get NMST to come to COMO?
    I don't have the NM State contract handy but a game like this usually costs between $500K and $1.5 million.
    Hello, Dave. From your perspective as a writer, is there a bowl trip that you would prefer Mizzou lands this year (given their limited possibilities at this point)? Naturally, we're a long way from that occurring. But assuming Mizzou wins it's next 2, or somehow gets in at 5-7, what would you like to see? I've heard some interest in the Las Vegas Bowl (plenty to do in the town, you will be back home by Christmas etc). I think that 1 projection with Mizzou playing kansas in the Liberty Bowl definitely had some fans talking. But given that we were just in Memphis 4 years ago, perhaps there could be a more desired location. Again, I know this is a long way from happening. Just curious on your perspective. Thanks.
    Because there will be four SEC teams out of the bowl mix - as long as there aren't any upsets these next two weeks - then a 6-6 Missouri team will land in one of the SEC's Pool of Six bowls and not have to hope a lesser non-SEC bowl has an opening, like last year with the Armed Forces Bowl. 
    Follow me here: Between the two playoff semifinals and the other CFP New Year's Six bowls, they should likely take Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and Alabama. Next up from the SEC is the Citrus Bowl. That's for Ole Miss. 
    Then you've got the SEC Pool of Six: Liberty, Las Vegas, Gator, Outback, Music City and Texas. 
    There will most likely only be five SEC teams to fill those six spots: Mississippi State, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida and the Missouri-Arkansas winner. 
    Now, if Auburn beats Western Kentucky and upsets Alabama, then you've got another SEC team in the mix.
    If Arkansas upsets Ole Miss to get to six wins but loses to Missouri, you've got another SEC team in the mix.
    But, assuming there are no upsets and Mizzou gets to 6-6, then it's all but guaranteed they'll be in the Pool of Six.
    Las Vegas (Dec. 17) vs. a Pac-10 team would be nice. Maybe UCLA, Utah or Oregon? Decided underdog in those but an exciting matchup.
    What about the Liberty (Dec. 28) vs. the Big 12? Kansas?
    I'm not quite sure why so many people are getting so worked up over Drink's extension. It doesn't seem to affect the average fan, other than perhaps a couple dollars increase in next year's ticket or, possibly, as the great Mizzou Econ 51 professor, Walter Johnson taught us, "The cost of anything is the foregone alternative." But, even there, it doesn't seem like a huge deal so why all the fuss?
    I understand the confusion and frustration. I also understand your point. His salary has zero impact on the daily lives of 99.99% of the people in Columbia. But ... it's sports. We live for the debates and the conflicts. 
    If there are no other contract extensions, he'll be ninth in SEC salary next season, just behind Sam Pittman. But of course there are going to be extensions - not to mention a new coach at Auburn.
    Here's what I was told Saturday in Knoxville by UT university sources: Tennessee had already negotiated terms for a new Heupel contract ... until the Drinkwitz deal became public. Heupel's agent - who is NOT Jimmy Sexton - wants to renegotiate because Drinkwitz's deal reset the market again. And that was before 66-24. So, the Heupel family can thank Drinkwitz/Sexton for the upgrade in Christmas presents under the tree this year.
    Hi Dave - if Mizzou makes it into a bowl game, will there be some that won’t play /sat by ED (see Badie)? Still not sure what the true story was with that whole thing.
    True. There will  be opt-outs. It's part of the game now.
    For the record, Badie's father and the rest of the family traveled to Fort Worth last year fully expecting to watch Badie play in the game. Badie took part in all the pre-bowl practices - until Drinkwitz announced Badie wouldn't play in the game. Badie's father, as he told me on the record two days before the game, was very surprised. 
    One thing I will give Drinkwitz credit for is sticking with the best QB. He switched from Robinson to Bazelak fairly quickly his first year. Last year, fans booed Bazelak and called for Macon/Cook but he stuck with Bazelak (I think Bazelak was better than Cook despite his accuracy because he at least had a deep ball threat). We saw both Macon and Cook last year and everyone wanted Cook. Now they have Cook and are calling for the next QB. Good for Drinkwitz for sticking with the QB who gives them the best chance to win. Fans were wrong before and are wrong now in thinking there is currently a better QB on the roster.

    Part (B): is there a chance Sam Horn plays and stick with baseball? He is an unproven college QB and was nearly drafted for baseball out of high school. I remember Drinkwitz high fiving the baseball coach on twitter after Horn signed, do you really think Drinkwitz will (or can) keep him from playing baseball this spring (per your comment last week). He might not be the Star QB mizzou fans are hoping for. I went to MU during the Chase Daniel years and remember students talking about how Chase couldn't win the big game (beat OU). Mizzou fans are fickle and unrealistic.
    Horn is at Mizzou to play football and dabble in baseball when football isn't the focus. The bulk of the SEC baseball schedule comes after spring football practices. He can play some baseball this spring and beyond while spending the majority of his time focused on football. His scholarship is for football, not baseball.
    Cook graduates this year, if he is still the starter at the end of this year, is the expectation he will be back next year? I believe he has 2 years of eligibility. If he returns, is the staff planning on hitting the transfer portal for a different starting QB, or try and build guys up around him and help him improve - do they see him as the starter going forward?

    How high on the new QB (Gabarri?) is the coaching staff? Is he expected to compete for the starting job?
    Johnson initially planned to  be here in January but I believe he won't be on campus until June, so he'll face a similar challenge that Horn faced this summer. It's hard to learn an offense and get ready to play as a freshman when you don't arrive until the summer.
    That said, way too early to forecast what's going to unfold. Cook has two more years of eligibility after the current season. But he graduates in December and can play anywhere immediately that takes him as a graduate transfer. I can't imagine he wants to go through another offseason competition to re-earn the starting job all over again. Maybe he explores his options elsewhere. Just because he grew up a die-hard Mizzou fan and is living out his dream doesn't mean he wants to sit on the bench at his dream school for the next two years. 
    When it comes to people calling for Drink's head because we're currently 4-6, it seems this really all comes down to the fact that he hasn't had a chance to recruit - then develop - a QB. That is, as you've often pointed out - the most important position in the game (perhaps any game) and I would argue that its importance is amplified in the SEC. It did take Drink a year to find/recruit what appears to be a QB with that potential but it will also take at least two years to get him to where he can be a difference maker (in a positive way - he might well be a negative difference-maker if thrown into the mix, now).

    Would it have been nice to have had Horn in the first recruiting class? Sure, but that was asking a lot. And we still don't know if he's going to be a quality SEC QB - so many people in this chat group seem to be projecting success simply off his potential and high school play. But if Drink doesn't get this worked out by 2024, he - and this program - are in trouble.
    He's had time to recruit a transfer QB. In the SEC right now, x starting QBs are transfers: Ole Miss, LSU, Kentucky, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia. That's half the league.
    Earlier in the chat you described Heupels offensive system and strategy pretty well. I have trouble describing Drinks offense. How would you summarize it?
  • Downhill zone running scheme mixed with perimeter passing/screen game that's used to set up play-action and vertical passes. That's how he's described it.
    You mentioned Hodge, Gomillion and Gholston are out of eligibility after this season. Does Juco count toward eligibility? I thought playing at a Juco was like redshirting.
    Junior college years count toward eligibility.
    Compare Drinkwitz with Pittman and Beamer. If you were to rank their performance during their whole tenure, how would you rank them relative to each other?
    Pittman and Drinkwitz have been in place a year longer than Beamer. At some point, your record says who you are. Here are their records.
    Pittman: 17-16
    Drinkwitz: 15-18
    Beamer: 13-10
    Pittman: 9-15
    Drinkwitz: 10-15
    Beamer: 6-9
    Pittman: 1-0 (one canceled)
    Drinkwitz: 0-1 (one canceled)
    Beamer: 1-0
    Vs. AP ranked teams
    Pittman: 3-13 (plays No. 14 Ole Miss on Saturday)
    Drinkwitz: 2-9
    Beamer: 1-4 (plays No. 5 Tennessee on Saturday, No. 9 Clemson next week)
    Yes Dave, I know players could have made plays that would have won us the games that you’re referring to, but I guess I just don’t see or hear other coaches being questioned as much about their poor playcalling, decision making, personnel decisions and half time adjustments by the commentators, (on air or during podcasts after the games), as much as I see them question things that Drink does.
    When does Drink drop the "Macon moves from end to under center" from the offense. It doesn't fool anyone, and it has wasted a yr of Macon's elgibility.
    Macon already redshirted last year so he didn't have another redshirt year available.
    I guess I'm an outlier ... but I just don't get it. I believe you're reporting what is from the Mizzou perspective or what your take on it is (which is cool, cause you're way closer to it than any of us):

    "He didn't have the enhanced staff salary pool before. Heading into this year he could have said he couldn't hire an offensive coordinator because there wasn't money to spend on one. Now that money is there." - I believe you've said (para-phrasing here) "Drink was brought in because of his offensive ability and that if he needs an OC, he wasn't the right guy for the job" ... so that doesn't hold

    "He didn't have a new indoor practice facility when he took the job. He will in June. He can no longer say their facilities are behind." I can't fathom that's had a material impact on wins/losses, game management, etc.

    "He also has an AD who didn't hire him - whose reputation and legacy doesn't hinge on the decision to hire a young head coach with one year of HC experience. The current set-up inherently increases the pressure." I agree. However, my point is that the pressure should have always been there from Day 1 upon his hiring ... If it wasn't from the administration, shame on them; if it wasn't intrinsically with HCED, shame on him.

    I wanted a more seasoned, mature, experienced head coach, thought HCED was too much of a gamble ("can't this this up and coming start get away"), and I believe we've gotten exactly what we've hired.
    Hey Dave,
    I attend all of the Men's home BB games driving up from STL.
    In your opinion, what are some top places to eat in downtown COMO besides The Pool Hall, Shakespeare's, or Heidelberg's?
    Broadway Brewery
    What are Mizzou's prospects of getting a bowl bid with 5 wins and do you think that is something Drink would accept?
  • Yes. I think he would accept. You get the extra bowl practices and you get some bonus pay for your staff.
    If they need some 5-7 teams to fill out the bowl lineups, it's based on APR scores - and Mizzou's APR score is top 30 among all FBS teams. MU should be in the mix. 
  • Dave, do you think Mizzou will actually ever run a play when Tyler Macon comes in on 4th down? 4th and 1…let him roll out and create!
    They did! They did against Tennessee. He tossed the ball back to Elijah Young but Young fumbled. It was the only turnover of the game.
    Dave, am I wrong here? Many articles after the Tennessee game focused on the "collapse" of Mizzou's vaunted defense. Clearly, giving up 700+ yards is suboptimal, but I have to place the blame -- again -- on the offense's inability to move the ball, score points, and stay on the field. The way to stop Heupel's offense is to keep them on the sideline, while giving our D a breather. I thought Drink was supposed to be an offensive whiz kid, but I havne't seen it; he's running such as basic, predictable, and noncreative attack anyone could imagine. Our OL is questionable, but we pressure them by running so many smash-mouth, short yardage plays -- it's like waves crashing against a rocky shore. If we can't match the power of many of our conference members, don't we have to find our inner Andy Reid and respond in a more creative, intelligent (and self-scouted) manner?
    That was the most yards Mizzou's offense has posted in eight games against FBS teams. The way this team is built behind a strong defense and a limited offense that has to win with field position, that was about as well as they've played on the offensive end all season. Not good to beat most teams but it would have been enough to beat Auburn, Kentucky and tie Florida. At this point in the year, Mizzou's offense is what it is - and that was about as good as it's been all year. So, it's fair to say an offense-minded coach in year three should put a better product on the field, but if we're just basing last Saturday on the already established strengths and weaknesses of this team, the offense was fine ... the defense was not.
    Dave: Seems to me that the offensive scheme as you quoted from Drink fails because the passes to the perimeter just take too long to get there. The ball seems to arrive about the same time as the defender. Do you have any percentage info on how many of these perimeter screens gain 5 yards or more? Thanks!
    Per Pro Football Focus, for the season, Mizzou is averaging 4.4 yards per screen completion. Some coaches measure a screen pass as an extension of the run game. A 5-yard run is pretty good. So, I wouldn't say the screen game has been a failure. The quick perimeter passes/shovel passes to Dominic Lovett have worked pretty well when he can catch a block and turn the corner. Screen passes to running backs don't seem to work as well. Of Lovett's 706 receiving yards, 186 have come on passes targeted behind the line of scrimmage.
    OK, folks. I'm out of time. We'll do this again in two weeks. Have a great Thanksgiving. Lots of Mizzou coverage at STLtoday between now and then.
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