2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 40 Missouri Tigers
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Missouri Tigers
No. 40: Missouri Tigers
Missouri Tigers Prespring Status
The first season under Barry Odom was puzzling. He’s a defensive coach, the team was full of decent returning players, and the production was supposed to keep on rolling on a D that finished sixth in the nation in total defense in 2015. Meanwhile, the offense was a concern after finishing with the third-worst scoring attack in the country. It all flipped last season, with the offense cranking out over 500 yards per game, while the defense couldn’t seem to stop anyone, finishing 118th in the nation.
The offense should be amazing, with ten returning starters and only losing TE Sean Culkin. The defense, though loses five starters and needs to be more aggressive, better against the pass, and even deadlier in the backfield considering …
Missouri Tigers Biggest Issue
The pass rush. The Tigers came up with 83 sacks combined in the 2013 and 2014 SEC East title seasons, and generated just 27 in both 2015 and 2016. The main man into the backfield over the last two seasons – Charles Harris – took off early for the NFL, and overall, 14.5 of last year’s sacks have to be replaced.
Missouri Tigers Biggest Positive
The offense gets back everyone. Backup QB Marvin Zanders is transferring – he finished third on the team in rushing – but almost all the top running backs return. The top four receivers are back, and leading all the fun is Drew Lock, who threw for 3,399 yards and 23 touchdowns as he bombed away to trying to keep up the pace when the defense failed. The O line should be among the SEC East’s most productive.
Really, Why Are The Missouri Tigers Ranked Here?
The Tigers are going to be better. There’s too much production returning on offense, and too much good coaching for the defense to be that mediocre again. It’s not going to be an SEC East title season, but Mizzou should be bowling with a more competitive, dangerous team.