Missouri hit a wall.
It overcame a flop against Wyoming to start out 5-1, the offense was playing well, the team seemed to be in the right mindset despite the NCAA sanctions that crushed any bowl hopes, and then …
Who loses to 2019 Vanderbilt?
The Tigers failed to show up offensively in the second half of the year, they couldn’t beat the good teams on the schedule, and only a win over a hapless Arkansas helped pull the season up out of the nosedive.
Head coach Barry Odom was fired, Appalachian State’s Eliah Drinkwitz was hired, and now it’s time to make the program a player in the SEC East again.
That might not happen quite yet, but with all of the focus on Florida, Georgia, and the possible resurgence of Tennessee, there’s a shot Mizzou can sneak up on everyone.
Starting out against Central Arkansas and Vanderbilt should help, and then it’s on with three road games in the next four weeks. However, the team should be just good enough to win at least two of the three against South Carolina, Tennessee and BYU.
Getting Louisiana and Arkansas in Columbia to close should help, and missing Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M from the West is massive.
There are some key losses.
QB Kelly Bryant was a one-and-done transfer anyway, but TCU transfer Shawn Robinson is a nice talent, and Taylor Powell is still in place after seeing time last year.
As many as seven starters should return on offense, Virginia Tech WR Damon Hazelton is coming in, and considering tackling-machine LB Cale Garrett was lost to injury last year, as many as nine starters from the end of the season are expected back on defense.
And Mizzou can go bowling again this year.