Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 2 p.m. Thursday

Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 2 p.m. Thursday

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Dave Matter in a live chat at 2 p.m. Thursday.

    Drinkwitz doesn't release depth charts during spring. I just updated the O-line and D-line. Here's how I'd slot the other positions just based on observations and reporting:
    QB: Bazelak, Cook, Macon
    RB: Badie, Young, Downing, Cox
    WR (outside): Chism, Hester, Luper
    WR (outside): Dove, Lovett, Smith
    WR (slot): Cooper, Banister, Maclin
    TE: Parker, Hea, Swinson
    ILB: Nicholson, Pettway
    ILB: Alldredge, Norris
    CB: Rakestraw, Evans
    CB: Burdine, Abrams-Draine
    CB: Shearin, Green
    S: Carlies, Williams
    S: Manuel, Robinson
    Garbage headline for Hochman’s column today. No one knows how good DRF will be at Mizzou. I see no reason for pessimism and I hope she exceeds all of the glowing coverage she is currently receiving. But let’s be real, the hype she is getting is nothing more than virtue signaling by quasi activist journalists. There is not a man that Mizzou could have hired who would have received this sort of gushing media glow. As the father of a girl, I see this as nothing more than the soft misogyny of
  • I have nothing to do with the headline on another column. 
    Go back and read what I wrote today and yesterday and you'll find hardly any reference to her gender or race. Other than mentioning that she is indeed a woman - that seems to offend some folks out there - I wrote about her leadership style, her relationships with colleagues, the unique initiatives and projects that she launched at UNLV. Those topics had zero to do with her gender or race, so I'm not sure where you're picking up your so-called virtue signaling. In today's story, I wrote about how her introductory press conference had a stark difference from the one that took place five years ago and how the leader of the university sent a strong message that he believes she's the right person to lead Mizzou into the new frontier. 
  • Seems like Tom struck a nerve. I’ve noticed the same, more Illinois coverage than Mizzou. Why do you get so defensive if anyone questions the almighty PD? It was a very fair question.
    Because it's just not true. You can be entitled to your opinions but not your own facts. A Post-Dispatch employee in the sports department hasn't written a word about Illini sports in .... probably months. We've had tons of Mizzou content since camp began. Yes, we also publish the Decatur paper's Illini coverage - but certainly not at the expense of Mizzou coverage.
    The Gooch is done with FB at MIZ? Thats too bad because he was going to become rich from his NIL. The Gooch is a fan of Booches
    I think I saw a clip of Martez and I believe he mentioned Justin Smith? Has Justin been around camp lately?
    I was interviewing someone else when Manuel was talking about Justin Smith. I believe he was a guest speaker recently. Justin lives in Columbia, so not surprising.
    Coach Charlie Strong says social media is the downfall of society. Is that true Dave? I thought social media is driving NIL?
    Social media certainly has its positive and negative qualities. But whether it's good or bad, it's not going away.
    Dave, great job as always. You are one of the main reasons I continue to pay for my subscription. Two questions: How was Cuonzo relationship with JIm Sterk and what kind of relationship did he have with the new AD at Tennessee?
    Martin respected Sterk, but I wouldn't say they were close by any means. Sterk didn't have close relationships with his coaches. Reed-Francois is clearly a fan of Martin and knows him and his wife well. That said, now she's his boss. It would naive to think she'll give him or any of her coaches a free pass just because she likes them personally. 
    I didn't get to use this quote in today's coverage, but I thought this was a really interesting comment from Choi yesterday. He was asked if Drinkwitz had input in the AD hire. He said, yes, he consulted all the coaches, to a degree.
    "Coaches don't get to decide who their boss is going to be, but I want them to feel comfortable," he said. "Now, I don't want them to be too comfortable. There has to be some healthy tension that's involved. But I think the comfort is in that they know that we hired the person that is best suited to lead us to that championship culture and a person that understands the business component of collegiate athletics. Some of that's going to be pushing, setting higher bars for all of our coaches and holding them to it. I expect nothing less." 
    Hi Dave, I was listening to the Yahoo College Football Enquirer podcast recently and Pete mentioned a meeting between the Big 12 and PAC12 commissioners on a potential scheduling agreement. I'm confused how this would be of any benefit to the Big 12 or PAC12, would it be used as a way of boosting SOS for league members in the BIG 12? Seems kind of pointless for the PAC12, sure it's gets you games in front of Texas recruits, but to me a BIG10/PAC12 scheduling agreement makes more sense.
    I haven't read all the coverage in terms of what a deal like that could look like. I'm sure it would be for strength of schedule purposes, TV value and just overall exposure. I could see why the leftover eight of the Big 12 would be far more interested than the Pac-12. But if there's a chance for both sides to enhance their revenue streams, they'll probably consider some kind of merger.
    Dave, all these hill billy redneck hoosiers bagging on the new AD because she is woman makes me ashamed of my state. I didnt know you had so many readers up in Putnam County?
    If only you could see the comments I deleted.
    Do you happen to know if Coach Martin places any emphasis on recruiting internationally? Seems like since he played in Italy he might? Pingeton is mining the international talent base with good results (Dembele in particular).
    I don't think he's gotten too involved in international recruiting. There seems to be enough players in the grassroots circuit in the US. Maybe with more recruiting resources he'd consider casting a bigger net overseas.
    Mr. Cleo,
    Nick Saban turns 70 this Halloween. When does he retire? Who is the heir apparent? Any guess?
    I would think he'll go at least another five years. He's got that program running in peak condition right now. 
    I'd say Dabo Swinney has to be the favorite. He's an Alabama alum and certainly would have the cachet and confidence to replace a legend. 
    The convenient answers would be coaches with a background in the deep south, but remember, Saban is a West Virginia guy who spent a good deal in Ohio and Michigan before coming down to LSU. 
    Maybe Matt Campbell at Iowa State. Maybe Mike Norvell at FSU if he gets that program up and running. Mario Cristobal at Oregon.
    Bottom line, Bama can just about hire anyone, but you might have to be crazy to want to be the guy who follows the greatest coach in college football history. Great job. Also a damn tough job in that shadow.
     
    The empty seats behind the benches during basketball games is a bad look. It is an especially poor selling point for potential recruits. Can Desiree take a shot at moving people to those seats when those folks are not there?
  • I get asked that a lot. I don't know what the best answer is. If you let people sit there who normally couldn't afford it, you minimize the incentive for buying the best seats. Otherwise you can just buy cheaper seats and move down when the good seats are empty. 
    The best path is to build a great program that markets itself well and makes attending the games part of the culture of being a fan. She made that point yesterday. They're really going to analyze the behaviors of their fans to figure out what they like and don't like about attending games - and then address the weaknesses so they can attract bigger crowds. 
  • Sounds like Desiree is all in on Drinks mission to "Close the gap" wouldnt ya say Davey?
    Well, sure. You can't win the East if you don't catch up to the best teams. She talked about winning championships, not improving or being competitive. She's setting the bar high. That's what you want to hear.
  • Mr. Matter. Please rank these ADs regardless of tenure at MU. Alden, Rhodes, Sterk, Francois
    Desiree hasn't even officially moved to Columbia, so there's  no sense ranking her alongside people who actually held the job. 
    Alden is clearly No. 1. He hired the all-time wins leader in football history and, perhaps as important, stood by him when they took a step backward in 2004, and navigated Mizzou out of the Big 12 and into the SEC.
    Sterk is No. 2. Solid fundraiser. Built the south end zone complex. Stabilized the men's basketball program and landed a promising football coach, despite a turbulent process. 
    Then Rhoades, who I believe is a much stronger AD than his time here indicated, but 15 months is a small sample size. 
    You are doing God's work here - some of the questions you are letting through are cringe-worthy - I can't imagine what the inbox looks like!
    Dave - love your work! What sort of track record does Reed-Francois have on the compliance side? Has she set a good tone at the places she's been? How will she deal with athletes that "cross the line"?
  • I don't know of any glaring NCAA issues that have come up at UNLV in the last four years. The Bruce Pearl mess happened while she was at Tennessee, but that was clearly on the coach, not her. And he was fired.
    Dave --- any rumblings you're hearing on the addition of OU and UT to the SEC? Possibility of adding 2 additional schools and becoming a 20 team conference with four PODS of five? Given your correct philosophy that additions must bring incremental TV eyeballs (i.e. dollars) and not redundant with another conference school, thoughts on the 2 schools that would be a great fit and take the SEC to 20? Anything in terms of the Big XII (really VIII) and other schools that may be in a problematic position at this time. Thank you, again.
    I haven't heard anything about any additions beyond OU and Texas. And considering just about everyone in college sports except a few folks were in the dark on SEC expansion, I'm not surprised. Sixteen works better than 18 - and might work better than 20. So unless there are two (or four) schools that clearly add value to the league, I'm not sure we'll see any more additions anytime soon. There was some Twitter buzz about Clemson and FSU, but FSU quickly shot that down.
    Dave -- Kudos for calling out those sick individuals on the vile comments regarding the new AD. Everybody is a tough guy behind a keyboard, aren't they? She's obviously qualified and she's taking on a tough job. Mizzou always will face an uphill battle in the SEC and that task is made even tougher because, let's face it, interest in football and basketball is lukewarm compared to other schools in the conference. I have no idea how this will turn out but she was as qualified as anyone and I am pulling for her. Heck, it's nice to try something different. Your thoughts?
    I appreciated this point that Reed-Francois made yesterday when asked about being a female AD. She'd like to be considered an AD, not a female AD. Obviously, when the hire is made, it's fair reporting to point out that she's the first woman in school history to hold that role full-time. (Sarah Reesman was MU's interim AD for a while five years ago, FYI.) But from this point on, it's not something I'll mention when I write about her. She's the AD, not the woman AD.
    I thought Choi put it well yesterday. 
    "At the end of the day, she was the best person. And it just happened to be that Desiree is Desiree. But she was the best person. And we're so happy to have her here. And we could also say that given the context of the times that we live in, that she is a trailblazer. But she's going to be a trailblazer not because she's female, but because of the outstanding work that she's going to do. here at the University of Missouri."
    Are the "J-School Slums" still standing on 9th St in COMO? I lived there in the 90's and I felt like they could collapse at any moment.
    Yes, still there. At least they were about a week ago when I was in that direction.
    Should we be concerned with how bad UNLV football has been during Reed-Francois’ time there? I realize there’s more to being an AD than just hiring football and basketball coaches, but the 2 revenue sports were pretty bad during her tenure. How much of that falls on her?
    We need some context beyond the numbers. Before she got there, UNLV hired a local high school football coach to take over the football program. Bold move. He had been there two years when Reed-Francois showed up then had his best season her first year, 5-7 and 4-4 in the MWC. That was progress. But then things never got better despite the brand new football facility the school built. He was fired with two years left on his deal. At a school like UNLV, where they don't have ungodly amounts of SEC TV revenue, you can't go crazy with coaching buyouts. Perhaps with more money in the bank she could have fired him sooner. But UNLV operates on a budget of about $50 million, with the university supplementing nearly half of that (more than $21 million in FY 2019). 
    From there, Reed-Francois hired Oregon OC Marcus Arroyo in December 2019. (You know who else she interviewed? The guy Missouri had just fired, Barry Odom. He liked her a lot. She liked him. But it didn't happen.) COVID shortened UNLV's season to six games. They lost all six. Not that anyone gets a free pass in college football, but the hire can't be measured solely on a first-year coach trying to get through a pandemic. The jury is definitely still out on the Arroyo hire. His recruiting has been strong by MWC standards. 
  • My impression was that the athletics dept overall was doing about as well as could be expected given its revenue stream. Is this hire primarily trying to expand those streams? What expectations am I missing that the administration seems to have?
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