Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Missouri Tigers season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Missouri Tigers
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Missouri Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
As the man said, you are what your record is.
At the end of the day, Missouri went 7-6 after going 4-8 the year before. That’s an improvement with a team that cranked out the best offense in the SEC, and that’s a whole lot better than going through a regime change, which appeared to be a mortal lock after head coach Barry Odom went 1-5 to start the season.
But Mizzou caught a massive break – the SEC East was awful.
It was a bad year at Florida. Tennessee was dead-team-playing, Vanderbilt was Vanderbilt, and from the West, Arkansas was miserable, too. In all, the Tigers went 7-0 against teams that didn’t go bowling, and 0-6 against the ones that did.
So now, in a season against an improved SEC East, and with road games at South Carolina, Alabama, Purdue, Tennessee and Florida to deal with – let’s just forget about the SEC opener against Georgia for now – is it possible for 2017 to happen all over again?
Can Missouri continue to walk on that fine line edge of being a bumslayer?
Here’s the problem. Last year’s team took down the bad teams with an offense that went at warp speed and ripped up the weak and the sad. The attack that didn’t work at all against the Auburns and South Carolinas of the world sure was fine against the UConns and Vanderbilts.
And now that offense is about to change just a wee bit.
With new offensive coordinator Derek Dooley slowing things down just a little bit, Mizzou will move to a more controlled attack. The O might not put up the massive numbers of last year, but it should work just fine as long as QB Drew Lock can handle the progression reads like the star NFL prospect he is.
The line is loaded with all five starters back, and despite the loss of top WR J’Mon Moore and top RB Ish Witter, the skill talent is there to keep the O going no matter what the system.
There isn’t a whole lot of national star power on the defensive side, but the tackles and linebackers are great, the corners should be fine, and the concerns – like the defensive ends – just aren’t that big a deal.
Overall, this should be an interesting and good Missouri team that might have made the right tweak needed to be more consistent and, in a vastly different way, more dangerous.
It’s not going to be the same sort of breathtaking thrill ride last year’s team treated the SEC world to, but if you really are what your record is, Mizzou should be just a little bit better.