Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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

    Happy (early) Thanksgiving, chatters. And I emphasize the Happy because I know if you're a Mizzou fan you've been suffering here lately. I can't promise to ease the pain anytime soon, but I will delight you with a couple hours of conversation about all things Mizzou. 
    By now you've surely read all our coverage on the NCAA sanctions. If not, you can find the links here to my news stories and Ben Frederickson's excellent column.
     

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    Dave, what are the odds that University presidents and ADs form a new governing body for college sports?
    I'm not much of an optimist when it comes to this topic. Maybe the campus leaders around the country will be able to enact some incremental reform, but it's going to take more than one AD at Missouri to create sweeping change. I'm hardly the first person to make this comment, but everyone hates the NCAA until you need someone to organize your softball tournament. Schools don't like the archaic rules and all the bureaucracy and all the nonsensical decisions and rulings the NCAA committees make, but anytime someone mentions it's time to secede from the NCAA, the next question has to be: OK, but what's next? You still need a governing body to regulate. You need rules to follow and someone to enforce the rules. You need an organization to manage all the events. Instead, the more realistic solution is to expose the injustices, the hypocrisies and work to change the system internally. You need dynamic leaders within the organization to rally support from other leaders to make change possible. If Sterk and Cartwright are serious about being agents of change then they can't just hold angry press conferences and wave their finger at the NCAA. Sterk was genuinely hurt that the organization and the system that he's spent 30 years propping up stabbed him in the back this week.
    Hi Dave,
    Do you think Mizzou needs to rethink its recruiting strategy. What I mean is, since moving to the SEC, they’ve targeted southern states and have made connections in Atlanta, Florida, etc. However, Mizzou has had some really, really good players from Missouri play for the Tigers: Green-Beckham, Maclin, Garrett, Coffman, Gabbert, Moe, etc. To me, it seems Mizzou thinks the absolute best players are in the south, but the list above disproves that logic. There are good players all over the country. I think Mizzou overlooks the talent in Missouri and around the Midwest to a great degree. Southern players are more likely to stay in the south. What Mizzou should do is put more emphasis on Missouri/border state guys. There are good ones. Where am I going wrong?
    Missouri has made the in-state prospects a priority. They signed a bunch of Missouri players in the 2019 class and have eight commitments from in-state or just beyond the border players for 2020. But Missouri can't compete for championships in the SEC with just in-state players. The state doesn't produce enough talent to support a Power 5 team that competes against teams from states with much more favorable demographics, like Florida and Georgia.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Dave! What’s the chance of the SEC reversing the $8-9 million penalty, in light of the absurd NCAA ruling? Would that take a vote of the member schools? Would be interesting to see MSU’s position.
    I don't know if there's any possible avenue for that to happen. Mizzou gets half the lost revenue back in five years as long as the school doesn't have any other major sanctions. The SEC didn't reverse the same penalty for Ole Miss two years ago when the Rebels were hit with a postseason ban, so I doubt the league would take action in Missouri's case.
    Obligatory is Odom going to be fired question
    Where's your question mark?
  • Dave, Please provide information on all those NCAA employees associated with the ruling and appeal so that we may protest in front of their homes tomorrow and DOX them to oblivion.
  • The names of the committee members have been published in this paper many times and are easily found on public documents that are easy to find. 
    Keep in mind, these aren't NCAA "employees." Committee members have real day jobs. Some work for other universities. Some work for other conferences. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey sits on the infractions committee. A University of Missouri law professor previously sat on the infractions committee. 
  • Dave, it's been more than 20 yrs since I've felt this level of frustration and disappointment in Mizzou athletics in general and football specifically. Are major changes about to take place with the football program?
  • Stay tuned. I don't think anyone's job is safe in the football program. And I'm not sure the result of Friday's game is a factor. Unless of course Arkansas wins. Then all bets are off.
  • I was at the Tennessee game. I never felt a sense of urgency where Barry Odom was coaching for his job. As example, in 2nd Half, Mizzou needed some sort of spark. At end of 3rd Quarter, Connor Bazelak furiously warmed up on sideline, but never entered game. Why?
  • I don't agree so much. Mizzou scored a touchdown on a trick play using a backup receiver who hadn't thrown a pass in two years. I'd put that down as urgency. They faked a punt. That takes some urgency to make that call. I'll have more in tomorrow's paper, but Dooley wrestled with what to do at quarterback during the Tennessee game because of Bryant's knee injury. Had the offense not moved the ball at all during that game I got the impression from Dooley that he would have gone to Bazelak in the second half. But it was still a close game and Bryant was playing OK. Not great, but not bad enough that you throw in a true freshman in a tight game.
  • If Barry Odom is fired, do you think there's any coach that's going to want to come in and take over a program that is on probation? Isn't this going to hurt Sterks attempts to hire a good coach?
    Probation isn't that big of a deal. It just means you can't get caught breaking any major NCAA rules. The recruiting restrictions are a challenge but will hardly cripple a program or a staff. The scholarship reductions essentially knock the 2020 roster from 85 scholarship to 81 or 80. Again, not ideal, but not destructive. 
    If anything, these sanctions give a new coach a bit of a grace period. Same as when Cuonzo Martin took over following the Kim Anderson debacle. No one was going to criticize Martin if he stumbled out of the gates. I suspect the same would be true in 2020 if there's a new football coach. 
  • Do you think if Kelly Bryant had it to do over again he would still come to Mizzou? I would think he regrets his decision, because I don't see him being a high draft pick and I think that's why I came to Mizzou was to help his status.
    I don't know what he's thinking about that. I suspect he might lean toward a program with better offensive talent around him, but Missouri seemed like an ideal situation considering ... three returning starters on a very solid SEC offensive line ... an All-American tight end ... a 1,200-yard rusher and a talented backup ... good, young talent at receiver ... a coordinator with NFL experience who did a nice job developing Drew Lock. Who could have imagined that the line would regress, that the running game would suffer, that the young receivers wouldn't take the next step in their development, that the star tight end would struggle? And then there's the injury factor. Those are impossible to predict.
    What are your thoughts on these 3 candidates as a possible fit at Mizzou, if the head coaching job comes open:

    1. Bill Clark, UAB
    2. Eliah Drinkwitz, App St.
    3. Billy Napier, Louisiana
    Clark is a program builder. He's done a really good job taking a UAB program off the scrap heap and building a consistent winner. He's got ties to the South ... but he's never worked at a Power Five program in any capacity. That would give me pause.
    I'm high on Napier. He's an offensive coach. Big plus in today's game. He's done a nice job as a head coach at ULL. He's young but experienced. Here's the best part: He's worked for the two best programs in college football. He spent five years at Clemson with Dabo on the offensive staff; he spent five years at Alabama on Saban's offensive staff. You can't spend a decade working under the game's two preeminent coaches and not learn a few things.
    Drinkwitz is another young offensive coach. (Just 36. That's REALLY young.) He's been part of a few Power 5 staffs at Auburn and NC State. He's always been associated with powerful offenses. This year, he's taken a young App State roster and produced 10 wins. Is he ready for an SEC head-coaching job? 
    Follow up question: how many scholarships will Missouri football lose over the next five years?
    They only lose 5 percent of scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year. So that amounts to between 4-5 scholarships for next season. The punishment doesn't extend beyond next year.
    Dave,
    What do the people who know about such things think Odom is doing with recruiting? For me that's the biggest indicator of the program's direction. He missed out on some big names last year 9maybe two years ago) in the St Louis area but looks to have done much better lately. He's made inroads back into Texas and the deep south. It had to have been hard to recruit the year or two after 2015. But he seems to be getting competitive QBs. If the recruiting isn't going the way it should after 4 years then the team won't meet Sterk's ranking expectations.
    He's doing a fair job. I don't get too caught up with recruiting rankings, but there's some value comparing rankings from year to year. The 2020 class currently ranks No. 37 by 247Sports. The 2019 class was also No. 37 - but those rankings didn't take into account the grad transfers: Bryant and Nance, particularly. The 2017 and 2018 classes were both ranked No. 43. Odom's staff has identified a handful of under-the-radar out-of-state recruits who have developed into productive Power 5 players: Rountree, Badie, Whiteside, Bolton, Gillespie.
    Who do you think the next PK will be? Are there any on the team now ready to take on that role? Have a great holiday.
  • Missouri has a commitment from Harrison Mevis, a kicker from Warsaw, Indiana. Unless he changes his mind, he'll have a shot at the job. Sean Koetting is still on the roster and could have a shot, to.
  • How much do you think Mizzous appeal being denied will hurt football recruiting next month? Also do you think, it would help recruiting, if Jim Sterk went ahead and name the new coach before recruiting starts?
  • Not sure what you mean by "before recruiting starts." Mizzou has been recruiting the 2020 class for years. It doesn't just start when the season ends. National signing day is in about three weeks.
    The coaching staff, whoever that is, will have to be creative with some of the recruiting restrictions as far as scheduling visits, but this won't cripple the program by any means. Next year's roster will be about four or five short of the maximum 85 scholarships. 
    With men's basketball dropping two in KC, football on a 5 game losing streak, appeal denied, etc. it's not a happy time for Mizzou sports. Two questions - can you get a feel for the moral of the players on the football team? Have they "packed it in" or will they rally for their coach on Friday? Second, how will Tiger wrestling do this year?
    Only four or five players talked to the media this week on Monday. I didn't get the sense they packed it in, but I never generalize a statement like that about a team of more than 100 players. Maybe some have packed in it, but not everybody. Hard to measure in a 3-minute interview. Not all players think the same way or approach every game the same way. I didn't get any sense from the Tennessee game that Mizzou packed it in or wasn't trying. If anything, that was the most fight they showed in a long time. But when you're undermanned at cornerback against some really good receivers and you don't have enough playmakers on the offensive side, it's hard to win ... especially against a team that's playing inspired football like Tennessee.
    Bit of a transition year for the wrestling team. Joe Lyons is our Mizzou wrestling expert. They're 2-2 in duals and ranked No. 19 nationally.
    I know Mizzou will never be able to pay the money that some of the top-tier SEC teams to pay their coaches. But wouldn't it be better for Missouri to higher up big-name coach and pay him more money so they can create some excitement and get people in the seats? I understand if you pay a coach 5 million dollars a year, that that can be a big financial risk. But doesn't it make more sense in the long run because you're going to sell a lot more tickets and make a lot more money from concessions and different things like that if you can consistently have a winning program because you hired us consistently winning coach.
    OK, but where is the money coming from? You can't just wish yourself a high-priced coach, especially when you're running a budget deficit and just tapped out your donors to pay for a new facility. 
    There are lot of affordable, quality coaches across the country. 
    Missouri fans aren't going to gobble up season tickets for 2020 regardless who's hired. It's not in their nature. If there's a new coach next year, fans will see how he does in his first season and decide if they'll invest in tickets for 2021. That's how it's always worked. Cuonzo Martin's first year was an exception, but the Porters sold those tickets, not the new head coach. 
    Have you spoke to Larissa Anderson or Steve Bieser about NCAAs decision to deny appeal? It may be hard to get these players up for the season if they know beforehand that they will not be playing in any tournaments.
    I have not spoken to them, but they both released comments yesterday. 
     
    Anderson: “I am absolutely heartbroken and disappointed by the committee's decision to punish a group of 27 current student-athletes who didn't play any role in this and have done everything right from the very beginning. The NCAA claims to value the student-athlete experience, but this decision continues to cause unnecessary harm to a group of innocent student-athletes. This unjust decision will not deter our program. We have pride in Mizzou, and we will continue to Win it Right as one family.”
     
    Bieser: “Our program as a whole is clearly disappointed with today’s news from the NCAA. My heart is specifically broken for this group of student-athletes currently on the team. These student-athletes have done everything right since becoming a Tiger, but yet are cruelly penalized for the actions of one individual from years’ past. While we obviously strongly disagree with the NCAA’s final decision, we will without a doubt rally with each other and make the most of the upcoming 2020 campaign.”
    Will Mizzou have anyone drafted this year? Do you think Albert O. should stay another year?
  • Outside of a catch or two, Albert didn't put enough on film this year to be drafted high. He's not an NFL tight end right now, or at least not anything close to a starter or an early pick. I'm not sure he's Missouri's best tight end. This was his year to boost his stock, but what has he done that would compel a team to invest anything other than a sixth- or seventh-round pick? 
    If Jordan Elliott gets a positive draft grade back (first or second round) then he should give it serious consideration. Durant and Wallace-Simms had better junior seasons but they'll both have chances to get drafted. If Acy runs well he'll get drafted. Not sure about Cale Garrett only because of the injury, but if he's healthy he'll be in someone's camp come August. 
    Hi Dave
    J Tillman
    What a disappointment
    Are there other options for increased pt for Mitch Smith or Braun
    Talk to me
    John L
    Tilmon was Missouri's second-best player last night against Oklahoma and if he doesn't wake up in the second half then Mizzou never make a comeback. When he's strong with the ball, avoiding fouls and the team makes a commitment to going through him on the offensive end, he can be a force. But he's now a junior and still having the same in-game setbacks. Monday's game was one of his worst. Tuesday was more promising. Martin doesn't have a set rotation, which is OK for November. Braun played a bunch Monday but never left the bench Tuesday. What I found more interesting Tuesday was Martin's comment that they might have to start playing zone. They're letting opposing bigs get loose outside for open perimeter shots. Most good teams have centers who can stretch the floor and knock down a jumper. Butler and Oklahoma built their early leads doing just that.
    How much longer is Jim Sterks contract at Mizzou? I really like what he's doing for the Missouri athletics department. He is good at raising money and seems to to think things through before he makes a rash decision. overall I think he's doing a great job and I hope he stays on for a long time. Hopefully he makes a really good hire after firing BO on Saturday. And I don't think it matters if Missouri Wednesday Arkansas game or not NO needs to go!
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