Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




    He can't play the starters 40 minutes. It's not just about trusting the backups later in the season. This is the team. They are part of the rotation.
    I'm curious about the Arkansas tickets that Coach Odom paid for. Did he really have to pay for all of them out of his pocket? Do you think the university gave him a discount price or others chipped in to help pay? And any idea if the 5500 people actually showed up for the game? If they didn't, did he still have to pay for those tickets? I see the comments that make this look like a bad commentary on Mizzou fans, but I think it shows how much Coach Odom cares about his players. I really admire that.
    I don't have any specifics yet on how many of the tickets were picked up, but I know he was going to be eligible for a discount by buying a mass volume of tickets. I imagine he won't be charged for the tickets that weren't claimed on Friday. At least I would hope so. By all accounts, he will pay for the tickets. This was his idea.
  • Dave: My concern about Mizzou FB moving forward is that there is a classic pattern in college sports that a program breaks through to some degree with a senior class, but doesn't have the key ingredients to build on that breakthrough. How does Mizzou's talent look moving forward, and if the Clemson transfer doesn't end up in COMO, is there really a viable QB option that at least keeps the program from taking a step backward?
    You can make the case that MU's three best O-linemen are back next year.
    All four running backs return. That's huge.
    At receiver, Johnson, Knox, Scott, Gicinto, Floyd, Ofodile, Thompson, plus the HS recruits who have committed.
    At tight end, Okwuegbunam (I would think), Parker, Swinson.
    Along the D-line, Turner, Williams, Byers, Elliott, Whiteside, Thompson, Hansford, Jeffcoat.
    At linebacker, Garrett, Bolton, Perkins, Miller, Nathan, Brooks, Bailey, Wilkins.
    At corner, Acy and Holmes (MU's best tandem in years), Ware, Collins, Petry, Mills, Sparks.
    At safety, Gillespie, Bledsoe, Oliver.
    This team will have a lot of returning pieces last year. Really, the only spot on the roster where you can't identify a clear starter is quarterback. Powell, Wilson, Scott and Lowary. come back. If the staff had high expectations that any of them would be a clear starter on a winning team next year, they wouldn't be chasing Bryant.
    Hey Dave thanks for the chat. If Mizzou misses on Kelly Bryant, will they keep looking for a grad transfer QB? Or go with Powell and Wilson? Any juco QBs they might be interested in?
    No other QBs have declared they're officially leaving their school as a grad transfer to my knowledge, but there will surely be a few in the market. I would think Mizzou goes after whoever's available if they don't get the answer they want next Tuesday.
    There will always be juco options, but I'm not sure MU wants to go that direction. 
    Don't forget about Connor Bazelak. He's only going to be a freshman, but we've seen other P5 programs go with true freshmen and have some success. 
    Hi Dave – Let’s play Revisionist History (and not about this years SC/UK games for a change)

    Tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary of the famed “Kick Six” game that sent Auburn to SEC Championship game vs Mizzou. We know how they went.

    If Bama prevailed in the Iron Bowl (or Auburn doesn’t pull off even bigger miracle vs UGA 2 weeks prior) we’d have faced Alabama. Strange as it sounds, in that particular year I think Bama would've been a much better matchup for MU.

    While undefeated (in this scenario), in very relative terms it wasn’t one of Saban’s best teams. Heck, they ONLY had 3 guys drafted in 1st 3 rounds of the draft. Defense was very good, but I think Mizzou would put up some points (if not 42).

    But their offense was a much better matchup than Aub for our 2013 D (couldn’t have been worse, right?). It was a pro-style fairly static scheme (pre-Kiffin) with a good but not overly-mobile drop back QB (AJ McCarron) that played to Mizzou’s obvious strengths on D. And they didn’t have quite the array or depth of experienced playmakers as some other Bama teams.

    So what say you? If things go differently & we play Bama, does Mizzou win 2013 SEC Championship and face FSU for National Title – best guess?
    Wow. Thats a lot to digest. Given that MU couldn't stop Auburn at all in that game, I can't imagine MU would have done any worse against Bama. That was a great Missouri offensive team, but we're still talking about an elite Bama defense. They allowed only 13 points per game in 2013. Had guys like CJ Mosley, Landon Collins, Ha-Ha Clinton Dix. Maybe it's a more competitive game, but I'm not sure I'd bet against Saban in Atlanta.
    Dave - If Kelly Bryant comes to Mizzou, it's because Dooley. The decision will be made on Tuesday. Would Dooley really leave after getting Bryant? Would we not give Dooley a raise to have stability on offense and this team which it greatly needs? Thank You
    You wouldn't think he'd leave if Bryant picks Mizzou, but it happens all the time this time of year. Dooley can't predict now what jobs will open. And the university system moves very slow on contracts. There's no logical reason to expect staff raises will get done by Tuesday.
    You keep on saying "rivalry" in quotes.
    Are you bad mouthing Arkansas??
    You just said that the univ. does not want Kansas as its football rival. Who would you have as our rivalry football game??
    As for me, I am looking forward to the War Memorial game next Turkey Day wkend!
  • Missouri doesn't have a genuine rival right now. I used the quotes because it's not a true rivalry yet. Arkansas fans don't talk about Mizzou as their rival. Maybe that will be different in 10, 20 years, but right now it's a rivalry in name only.
    Have to say, with respect, that your comment about Missouri dumping non-revenue sports is disheartening. Admittedly, D-1 sports are a business, but do you remember your school days, before the Trib and P-D? Key word being "school." More teams let more students (as opposed to student-athletes) participate in sports, regardless of the revenue.
    It might be disheartening but that's reality. This is a business. Football and men's basketball pay for everyone else's salaries and scholarships. You add another slice to the pie with another team and that's less pie for everyone else. And if you start taking away pie from this football program then it's going to starve to death in this league. Mizzou has plenty of student athletes right now and barely has the revenue to take care of them. They don't need more athletes, which means more expenses and less revenue.
    Dave- Do you agree that the Louisville leak by Odom and/or his agent Sexton was a real misstep by those two with the MU fans? Many of us, such as myself, had just started to come around on Odom. I'd wanted him gone but finally had accepted he was here and things looked like they were trending in the right direction. I'd even begun to agree with those saying he should get a raise and an extension and I think that sentiment is shared now by the large majority of fans and probably even Sterk. The whole thing felt classless and manipulative.
    I don't know if it was a misstep. It's just business. Are fewer fans going to buy tickets or donate to the program because Odom's agent got his name involved in the Louisville job? I doubt it. As long as he keeps winning, fans won't care.
    Earlier you asked: "you really think Mizzou fans would sell out the Dome or Arrowhead"...YES!!!! More students are in either city than COMO on the Friday of Thanksgiving. More alumni of Mizzou in both cities than in Boone County. More alumni home visiting their families in either cities than visiting in central MO, This would give these alumni something to do as a tradition, which is after all what Thanksgiving is all about. I for one look forward to the attendance at the War Memorial Stadium in LR- Imagine more alumni can fly in from StL, KCMO, Dallas to little rock than fly into COMO through Chicago, Denver, or Dallas (cheaper too). Know you are adamant about your position, but hope that Sterk reads your chants!
    Do you know why Britanny Garner is not playing yet for the women's BB team? Is she injured, red-shirting, other issues? With her height, it seems like she could help this team.
    You just referenced how much better the team is playing even factoring in the quality of competition. This is two years in a row this has happened and I was wondering if you had a guess as to why. I think a lot has to fall on the head coach.
    For whatever reason this core of players has been better when its backs are against the wall. Some of it is surely coaching adjustments. Last year, the defensive staff change needed a few weeks to take root and it ultimately produced better results in the second half of the season. This year, Missouri got Hall back on offense and Lock started playing a lot better, making better decisions, moving the chains with his feet.
    On Dooley, I recall there's a buyout on his end if he leaves for another OC job or any SEC job, at least this year. (I believe 6 months salary, so $450k)

    Is that accurate? If so, assume it would at least be a factor at some places (but for Bama, roughly equivalent to me deciding to Super Size my Value Meal)?
    Here's what I wrote back in January when he was hired:

    If Dooley ends the contract before his three years are up, he owes MU liquidated damages for relocation expenses and hiring incentives that the university paid for him to move to Columbia, plus up to six months of his remaining salary. 

    However, if Dooley leaves Mizzou for a coordinator or assistant coach position in the SEC he owes Mizzou equal monthly installments of his base salary ($900K) through the end of his contract but not in excess of six months. The same rate applies if he leaves for a coordinator position in another conference or an assistant position in a professional league in the U.S. or Canada. If he leaves MU for a non-coordinator assistant position in another conference outside of the SEC, Dooley owes MU half of his base salary for every month left on his deal but not exceeding six months. If he leaves for a head-coaching position at another college program or in the professional ranks in the U.S. or Canada, he owes Mizzou nothing. 

    Dave -- Seems to me there is a select group of about a dozen Division I schools that are on another level financially when it comes to football. I am talking schools like Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Texas, Notre Dame, Clemson and perhaps a handful others. Most schools are like Mizzou. It's a challenge. It's a struggle to fill their stadiums even when teams are good. Just look at televised games. Florida had a lot of empty seats when it played Mizzou. The schools in Mizzou's class have some good donors, but not the depth of those other schools. What I am saying is that I think it is reasonable for Mizzou fans to expect for the Tigers to be competitive and occasionally have a season like the year Missouri lost to Auburn in the SEC title game. (That game really hurt because I thought that was Mizzou's year to get to the national title game.) I don't expect Missouri to be Alabama or Oho State and I'm OK with that. I would rather see a great university overall. Does that seem reasonable, in your opinion? My hope is Odom and his staff can build on this season because I think Missouri can do better in the SEC -- maybe not beat Georgia consistently, but I think it should be able to more than handle itself with about three-quarters of the league on a regular basis.
    I mostly agree, but the problem with that reasoning is the richest programs in the country are now MU's peers in the SEC. In terms of athletics spending, nine of the top 20 Division I spenders are in the SEC, including five teams from MU's division, everyone but Vanderbilt. This is Mizzou's neighborhood.
    Since you brought up ESL earlier with Jeff Thomas, it had me thinking about Natereace Strong. Did he ever give an official reason for leaving and where is he now?

    Also- Rifle Season (deer) ends the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. So not a valid point on attendance for the Arkansas game.
    From what I was told, Strong came into Odom's office and told him he was quitting the team unless he was the starter. That happened the summer before the start of the 2017 season. At the time, Crockett was coming off a 1,000-yard season and the team also had Ish Witter and Larry Rountree. Adios, Nate.
    Along the line of what Creighton asked: What is the toughest question you've ever had to ask someone in a press conference or a public setting? Ever asked anyone if they expect to be fired?
  • Yes, several times. I'm not sure what the toughest question I had to ask. There were some tense moments during the Pinkel years - and we had to address and discuss some tense, difficult topics when I wrote his book with him. But it's part of the job. No harm, no foul.
  • It appeared as the season moved along Lock embraced the RPO more. I am not sure if was Dooley urging him to utilize the run and take off or if it was Lock calling his own # to run... That said I have hunch Dooley wants to have a Dual Threat QB which Bryant has proven capable of. What does Mr Matter think about Dooley wanting a dual threat and calling more RPOs. Dooley is going to run the ball otherwise he tells the team they will lose next week if we dont.
    An RPO isn't really a run-pass option for the QB. It's a handoff to the running back or a pass based on the QB's read. Lock got better at scrambling when routes were covered and Dooley called a few more read-option runs that were either gives to the backs or keeps by the QB.
    On bowl games:
    1. The Gator Bowl guys comments on SC feel like he's really saying "we want A&M on only A&M" - bc whiIe I know it's not just about ranking/record its REALLY hard to imagine SC ending up in Jax
    2 How much to you think the end of UK game (PI) was part if Mizzou's discussion with SEC over bowl assignments? Greg Sankey isn't blind. He knows we got screwed (and presumably appreciates that BO et al, while making their opinion clear, didnt throw a public fit)
    Again, this isn't about W-L records. The SEC isn't going around to bowls telling them that Mizzou should really be 9-3 not 8-4. There's no asterisk on MU's record. The fans who stopped coming to games after the UK game - and I heard from a lot who told me that was the reason - didn't give Mizzou any breaks for that game, so why should the bowls?
  • do we have official redshirts yet? Seemed like a waste to throw Guess in for 7 minutes - insight on that decision?
    There is no official redshirt. If you don't play the whole season, then after the year that season is declared a redshirt year. So that's still true for Parker Braun. But if he make his debut in the final game of the season, this year counts for him. Guess has played, so this year will count for him.
  • Dave -- Please clarify something you said earlier. You said that in the end, there wasn't "mutual interest" between the Big Ten and Missouri. My understanding is that Missouri badly wanted in and the Big Ten was the one that had no interest. It came down to television markets and Delany and company didn't think St. Louis -- which they already had something of a presence in with Illinois -- and Kansas City added enough. No complaints on my end with how things worked out. I like the SEC.
  • The Big Ten didn't officially invite Mizzou to join. There was talk. No one has ever told me that MU turned down an offer.
    Moving the Arkansas game to a better date would be an intermediate option from moving it to STL/KC. I think that's pretty reasonable. I did 5 grad years at mizzou where I basically had to be in COMO that week - no one, NO ONE is there on Friday. Put it on Saturday you'll have more students in town. Why is it on Friday?
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