Hey, folks, thanks for adjusting to the time change. Busy day in the world of Mizzou sports. Let's get straight to the chat.
Everyone get their Chris Stapleton tickets for Mizzou Arena yet? Hurry up, they're going fast.
Well, we know he'll have a new D-line coach. At this point, DeMontie Cross is on the road recruiting for Mizzou, so I would be surprised if he's not back next season. Will Odom change any of the staff titles on defense? That we don't know. (Odom is meeting with local media types on Monday, so hopefully I'll have a more clear picture by then.) Offensively, unless someone on the staff gets a job offer from somewhere else I'd be surprised if there are any changes.
Continuity on offense ... Drew Lock in year two of Heupel's offense ... more Damarea Crockett.
I would expect that to be his decision, but there are some mixed signals out there. This much I know: He hasn't been very active in seeking counsel from the agent community. That's unusual for someone who plans to leave school early. Also, draft grades are submitted the day after a player's final regular-season game, which would have been Saturday for Mizzou players. The NFL draft advisory board usually takes up to two weeks to do their evaluations. I don't see how it's possible that Harris has his draft grade yet. Maybe he plans to leave regardless of the grade. We'll know in less than two hours.
I think that's about as reasonable a take on this situation I've heard lately. You can't be losing games like Missouri lost on Monday. It just can't happen in year three. Because now all bets are off in just about every game the rest of the season. Was Monday a fluke? All those missed layups? We'll find out soon enough. They're playing a bad Western Kentucky team Saturday that just got drilled by Eastern Kentucky. (Western Kentucky will be formidable next year with the players Rick Stansbury is bringing in, but they're struggling now.) Mizzou has four more games against 200-plus teams in KenPom's rankings. You just can't lose another one of those games and expect to be competitive in a major conference. It looks like the Xavier game was the anomaly.
If this team plays like it did against Xavier, wins some games against quality SEC teams and pushes .500, then, yeah. I can see him coming back for next season. But I haven't seen many signs lately that this team is capable of that. There's no size and not enough consistent outside shooting to make up for the small ball identity they'll have to embrace in a lot of matchups. Now, Jordan Barnett is the wild card. Can he provide the offensive spark and athleticism this team needs badly? We'll know soon enough when he becomes eligible.
Right now, there's no indication that Cross won't return. He's on the road recruiting for Missouri. I wouldn't think Odom would want him on the road recruiting if he doesn't plan to bring him back. At this point I haven't heard anything that leads me to believe he won't be back. But Odom will have a strong say in the defense and might be the primary play-caller again.
I think it was worse because this is year three, not opening night in year one, even though UMKC was a worse team.
Sterk has kept a pretty low profile with the media since getting the job. He's only met with reporters formally twice since his opening press conference, so I can't say I've got a really good sense of how he works. But he's bringing in money during turbulent times for his major teams on and off the field, so that says something about his ability to work the donors. I think it's too early to throw out any sweeping opinions on him until he has to make some major coaching hires. Also, in the past, Missouri hasn't always publicly announced donations like they have done in the last few months, so it might seem like they're raising more $ under Sterk, but only because they're making sure we all know about it. My guess is that's an attempt to combat the perception that it's all gloom and doom for Mizzou athletics.
Thanks for the note. I think you're probably going to be in the minority with that opinion on Anderson, but that's OK, too. We don't all have to agree. Yes, there have been some big upsets around the country, but while Indiana lost to Fort Wayne, the Hoosiers also beat Kansas and North Carolina. Missouri doesn't have a high-profile win in more than three years.
I don't like leaving Michigan out of the playoff in favor of Penn State and/or Wisconsin. In the age of 14-team conferences where teams play unbalanced schedules - and some leagues play nine league games and some play eight - I don't put as much emphasis on conference championships. I agree with the committee's stance, they should be used as tiebreakers if all other factors are even. Penn State wasn't competitive with Michigan. Michigan lost on the final play of the game against both Iowa and Ohio State.
He did the same thing at South Carolina. It might be a comfort thing more than anything. He had the sun in his face for the first half so he might have gotten hot in the black sweatshirt.
Depth is thin. AJ Logan will be the only healthy, experienced scholarship D-tackle for spring football. Terry Beckner and Markell Utsey will both be coming off ACL surgery, so I wouldn't think they'd be available until August, at the earliest. There's more depth at D-end. Marcell Frazier really came on late. He's back along with Spencer Williams, Nate Howard and Jordan Harold. Tre Williams is an impressive looking edge rusher who redshirted this year. I think he'll be a factor in the depth. D-tackle is a huge concern. Missouri looking hard at some junior college transfers to add depth on the inside.
He's got a pretty good gig: $700K to be the head coach of the offense with minimal oversight from the head coach and talented QB coming back for his junior year. But coaching changes around the country could lead to some other coordinator openings at places that could pay him more money. LSU needs a coordinator. Alabama could have an opening if Lane Kiffin leaves. I think it would have to take a lot for Heupel to leave this offseason. He's got virtually his entire offense back next year.
As of now, there are no Missouri players who have accepted invitations. It wouldn't surprise me to see Penton get an invitation. There's only a limited number of options: Hatley, Augusta, Newsom, Gibson, Culkin, Black, Ross.
Team records for total points or total points allowed are tricky because MU hasn't played the same number of games every season. If you look at points allowed per game, this season (31.5) was the highest since 2000, when MU allowed 31.6 per game.
The league doesn't track drops. He had two bad games against cornerbacks from LSU and Florida who will be first-round NFL draft picks. Otherwise, he was pretty good in just about every other game. Yes, the drops and fumbles were bad. He'll be the first to admit that. He didn't seem to take much pleasure in reaching 1,000 yards. But there's no question he was this the best big-play threat this team's had in a few years.
It works both ways. If there's a third or fourth-year player who isn't coming close to seeing the field and not making any progress or contributing to the team, coaches will usually help them land somewhere else. That's how it works in big boy football. Elite programs don't have numerous guys go through senior day ceremonies who haven't played much.
It's not just about population. One factor: Missouri high schools don't have year-round football like you see in other states that produce more quality players who draw more interest from college programs because they're more developed. Maybe the best athletes just aren't playing football as much in this state. The numbers don't lie. There aren't enough D-I prospects in Missouri from year to year to fill up the roster without supplementing with pieces from out of state.
He hasn't been charged with a crime yet. At this point, he was arrested based on a witness' account to police - not the alleged victim's account. Either way, I'd be surprised if he's on the team much longer. I would have been surprised if he returned before his arrest. When you're in the program for three years and you're not making road trips, it means you've been passed by younger players, which is exactly the case at wide receiver.
It's not a great group of QBs in the SEC this year. Kelly and Dobbs had their moments but both had their share of struggles. I'd put Jalen Hurts on top of my All-SEC ballot and probably Austin Allen on the second team. Lock would be in that next tier.
Jackson is a 4 and VanLeer is a 2 or 3, so one's playing time doesn't have anything to do with the other's. The staff loves that VanLeer is never out of position, knows the offense and defense better than anyone else and helps facilitate the offense. He doesn't have the lapses in focus that you see from Walton, who stood and watched a ball roll out of bounds on Monday after it touched one of his teammates. I understand the frustration with VanLeer's playing time, but the staff sees him make fewer mistakes than other wings who have more upside athletically.
He'll be a 3, like Walton, but could play some 4 when Missouri goes with a smaller lineup. He likes to shoot from the perimeter, but they'll need him to help rebound. He's an athlete. He can get up and down the floor and give the transition game a boost. He should be athletic enough to guard multiple spots on the floor. I think it's probably wise to temper expectations. Remember, two different Texas coaching staffs kept him on the bench.