Of all the teams right around .500 from last year in the SEC, nobody has more excitement entering this year than the Missouri Tigers. Sure, they did lose to the Kentucky Wildcats last year. But that was a different team than the one who finished the year red-hot.
Mizzou got red-hot and finished the year on a five-game winning streak to get to 7-5 and shock the world by making a bowl game. They did lose to the Texas Longhorns in their bowl game, but that was with the distraction of knowing that their offensive coordinator, Josh Heupel, had accepted the head coaching job with the UCF Knights.
This year, the Tigers have former Tennessee football head coach Derek Dooley as their new offensive coordinator. And with Drew Lock’s big arm and special talent, they are working to install the pro-style offense to maximize what he can do. The results could be incredible.
That question could have been enough to drop this team. But the continuity with Barry Odom as head coach is why we have these guys in the top half of our SEC Power Rankings. They have a lot of potential, and Odom is all of a sudden a star in the making.
Mizzou won’t do much to move up these rankings early in the year with opening the season against UT Martin. But things get progressively tougher from there. The next week, they face a Wyoming Cowboys team that is already 1-0, has had two straight winning seasons, and is very well-coached under the leadership of Craig Bohl.
After that, Missouri looks for revenge against a Purdue Boilermakers team that blew them out last year and is likely to take another huge step forward under head coach Jeff Brohm. If they get to 3-0, they’ll definitely move up these rankings before their SEC opener against the Georgia Bulldogs.