Hello, folks. Thanks to those of you who came out to last night's Sports Talk event in St. Louis. Good times had by all. Let's get to this chat. We'll talk Mizzou for the next two hours or so.
A few of the intermediate routes that have turned into INTs this year were mistakes by the receiver for not adjusting to the coverage. Lock needs to polish up on those shorter, medium-range routes, but I think he's got the qualities it takes to address those parts of his game. He knows to be a complete quarterback he has to make all the throws. Considering he's raised his completion percentage by 5 points this year and so many of his passes are hard-to-complete downfield shots, that tells me he's made obvious progress this year.
Wisconsin is one of the best programs in the country. No shame in losing that, especially when the main objective isn't necessarily to win but learn about your team.
Moore has struggled with some SEC defenses that play aggressive man coverage at the line of scrimmage and test him physically. I don't think it's a mental problem. It's about winning 1-on-1 matchups on the outside and being competitive every play. He's always had some lapses in focus, but you can't afford that against a strong secondary that's going to press you and be physical at the snap.
Yes, they'll play Missouri State here in the next few days. It's closed to the public and media.
I'm sure he'll be among the five draft-eligible underclassmen who gets a draft evaluation. (Each college team can request up to five evals for underclassmen.) The grades are either first round, second round or they suggest you return to school. I'm not sure Beckner has played consistently well enough against the best competition to get that second-round grade. If he does, he might want to consider leaving, mostly because of the injury factor. But he's also a guy who seems to enjoy playing at this level with his teammates and coaches, so I don't get the impression he's in a big rush to leave MU.
As for the turnaround, a 7-5 finish would be far more rapid than anyone could have guessed when this team was 1-5 ... but there's a lot of football to be played before that's a serious possibility.
I haven't gotten a good read on how that was interpreted, but big picture, it really doesn't matter. He has to win games, no matter how he spins the narrative. Will Sterk take into consideration the state of the program Odom inherited? Sure, but I think any reasonable person understands that it wasn't a disaster by any means.
Everything's in a holding pattern. Recruits aren't going to jump on board if they don't know if Odom's going to be the coach. You're not seeing Florida or Tennessee get any commitments right now either. Odom can stick with his sales pitch to the kids they're targeting, but realistically those players will want to see how this next month unfolds before they'll commit.
I very much think Missouri can win this week. Now, the offense can't afford to regress to September form. The defense has to be competent, even against a horrible Florida offense. I'm not convinced Missouri is the better team, but given all that Florida has been through and the key players they'er missing this week and beyond I think Missouri can win this game by a field goal or more.
I'm not sure I give Sterk credit for doing that above and beyond Alden. For one, the helmet idea was Odom's. If anything, Sterk's mission is to expand Mizzou's donor base and that means tapping into the younger generation. Sure, Sterk did a great job raising money from high-dollar donors to fund the south end zone complex, but Alden did the same for far more facilities. Alden's style might have turned off some older donors - reseating the Hearnes Center upset some years ago - but I'm not sure Sterk has done anything that much better than Alden. The key difference for this regime is they have announced publicly every major gift, so it gave the appearance that the department was raking in money like never before.
Good question about the coaching market. I had a conversation last week with someone on that very topic, and the answer I got was what I suspected. When ADs believe they HAVE to make a coaching change that means they don't believe the coach in place is the right person to run the program. And if you believe that, you can't let the other schools' decisions sway your vision. If Sterk believes Odom isn't the right guy for the job, he's got to fire him, regardless who you're competing with on the market. You're always going to have some level of competition for candidates, but if Sterk is indeed looking for a new coach, it's not like he's only competing with his SEC peers. If nobody in the SEC was hiring a new coach but a dozen Big 12 or Big Ten schools were in the market, the competition is just as challenging. Plus, there are a lot of really good coaches in the game right now to fill all these expected openings. That's not to say you can't make a bad hire, but there should be no shortage of capable candidates.
As for Okwuegbunam, his blocking got him a bigger role a few weeks ago, but more than anything I think it's his combination of size, hands, blocking and ability to get open that's put him on the field more lately.
This is the called moving the goalposts. I think most would have agreed at the beginning of the season that a 6-6 or 7-5 record would be considered obvious progress after 5-7 and 4-8 the last two years. Now I'm hearing people say 7-5 wouldn't be impressive because the SEC East is bad. Gary Pinkel won a couple Big 12 North titles because of some bad hires and bad recruiting at the other schools in the division. That's how you make headway. You take advantage of your situation and beat teams you should be able to beat. A 7-5 regular season would be an unequivocal success for this program, even if Vandy and Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas aren't very good. I don't think Georgia will turn down its SEC East title because the division isn't very good.
Mizzou didn't release a box score and Martin only shared a few thoughts on the scrimmage, so it's hard to really analyze anything. TIlmon fouled out. Martin used four different point guards. The Porters didn't shoot all that well. That's about all that's come out.
I don't think this is a scheme issue. They don't have NFL players, other than maybe Beckner. Maybe Frazier is a fringe prospect. On our podcast last week Corey Chavous is intrigued by Terez Hall and Demarcus Acy but both are far from complete products. The secondary doesn't cover well or disrupt passes or play very physical against the run. The pass rush has been better of late but non-existent early in the season.
They need a quarterback in this class. Generally, you need one in every class because you never know about roster turnover. There's still time to poach a QB who's committed somewhere else, but it's hard to do that when you can't promise the staff will be back. Don't forget, MU's last two quarterback signees were committed to Boise State and Wake Forest before Odom's staff got them to flip in January. Still time left to find someone at that position.
Yes, I think he would get an extension. He'd have three years left on his deal and most coaches want to be able to tell recruits that they're under contract for the length of their career. Extensions are mostly symbolic gestures. Buyouts are included to protect schools that want to fire their coaches. Odom's buyout is cheap. Mizzou can afford to add some years to his deal without getting gouged. ADs don't get consumed with how other schools are recruiting and how their shiny new coaches are doing on the job. If under this scenario Mizzou is coming off a 7-5 situation, that's a more favorable sales pitch than telling a kid, 'Hey, come to Arkansas where we only won four games last year and play in the brutal SEC West.'
I touched on this earlier. If you don't believe your coach is the right guy for the job then you don't let him coach another game, regardless of the market.