They're not replacing him with someone during the season. Odom said Monday he plans to call the defense in the future, which means if he wants to make an outside hire for a "coordinator," he'll have to find someone who wants the job but doesn't want to call the D. I think it's way too early to speculate on candidates. Before anything Odom will have to decide what he wants to do with the vacancy.
I think it depends on the context of the losses. If Missouri finishes with three or four wins and isn't competitive against the best teams on the schedule, then sure, I wouldn't be shocked if Sterk wants to go in another direction. But it would take a real meltdown for that to happen. Sterk would have to be convinced that Odom isn't equipped to make this program relevant and can't recruit better players to make that happen sooner than later.
It's a concern that a defensive coach has had to replace four defensive assistants in such a short amount of time. If anything that goes back to decisions he made when hiring his staff. I wrote a lot last year about the success rate of first-time head coaches in this conference. Mark Richt and Phil Fulmer were the exceptions to the rule. James Franklin and Dan Mullen also. Most first-time HCs have struggled in this league. We don't know yet how Mark Stoops, Derek Mason and Kirby Smart will ultimately fare, but they've taken their programs to bowls as first-time HCs. The list of first-time SEC HCs who struggled is a lot longer, though two are doing much better on their second SEC jobs, Ed Orgeron and Will Muschamp.
I believe he knows what it takes to win at this level. To me, that's the crucial difference between Odom and Kim Anderson. Kim didn't grasp the challenges of recruiting and coaching the modern players at the high-major level when he left D-2 to coach at Missouri. That's not Odom's problem. He's still learning on the go when it comes to managing his time, delegating work and building a functional staff.
I agree with most of your points except the candid head coach. Odom couldn't have been more vague when he spoke on the record this week about the Cross situation. Fans feel a disconnect with any coach who isn't winning. I don't think the issue is Barry's bond with the fans.
No. They'll have some preseason scrimmages on campus. They're coming up with some creative ideas for those in terms of location.
I wouldn't judge Auburn's offense solely on how it played Saturday. Clemson has the best D-line in the country. That said, 11 sacks is 11 sacks. Missouri might be able to crank up the pass rush in two weeks. Then again, Auburn has a devastating running game when both backs are healthy, which they haven't been so far. I'd be just as concerned with Auburn's defense. It was the most improved group in the league last year and looks strong again this year.
I'm not sure that's how I'd interpret his response.
South Carolina might turn out to be pretty damn good - at least have a really good record. They're not elite on either side of the ball, but I don't see any glaring weaknesses. The QB has weapons and can manage the game. They don't hurt themselves with turnovers or mindless penalties. The defense is solid, good enough to hold Mizzou to one TD on 12 possessions. Way too early to give up on Mizzou, but things would really look grim with a loss Saturday.
You might be right. They could beat Purdue by a couple touchdowns and change that tone.
It might help. Not everyone has a great impression on DeMontie. I know at least one or two of the St. Louis kids have told outlets that this helps Mizzou's chances. Cross recruited Texas for the staff, but he was hardly the only assistant down there.
Last year he had 62 catches on 124 targets with 18 drops. That means he caught half the passes thrown his way and dropped about 15 percent. This year he has seven catches on 13 targets with two drops. So, he's caught about 54 percent of the balls thrown his way and dropped 8 percent. You can live with the occasional drop if he's really productive with his other opportunities, but you can't tout your depth like MU did during the preseason and then never use it.
Daniel Parker from Blue Springs is committed to Missouri and a handful from St. Louis are still undecided but considering MU. It wouldn't be fair or sensible to pass judgment until the letters of intent are signed.
Here's the one caveat when it comes to criticizing a team's red zone offense: Those numbers don't take into account the TD plays of 20 yards or more that start outside of the red zone. Every coach would love to have a great red zone offense, but Missouri has eight scrimmage plays of 30 yards or more. Those don't count as red zone plays, but they count for six points when they end in the end zone. To your point, though, yes, they need to be more efficient inside the 20. The spread offense becomes less of an advantage in confined spaces. But at the same time, those issues are less magnified when you have an offense that can score 40 and 60-yard TDs.
Between writing for the paper, podcasts, radio, TV and writing a book, I'm spread thinner than Odom. No thank you.
Those answers vary when you've got a team of 120 players. I'm not sure that's a story that would really move the needle.
For being a St. Louis guy, I'm not sure Cross has a great track record of sterling reputation in the area.
Maybe. I have enough trouble interpreting my 7 years old much less a recruit in Mississippi.
Witter can be effective on dumpoffs and screens. You're right, he's not an explosive back, but he can get some tough yards and has good hands.
Odom relinquished the special teams coaching late last season. As for Cross, like I wrote earlier, I suspect Odom thought Cross might leave after he was demoted. In hindsight, I imagine he wishes he would have fired him.