Ten Thoughts for Monday Morning


1) Mizzou had its most fruitful NFL Draft in six years over the weekend. The five Tigers selected was the most since five went in 2015. The last time more than five Missouri players were drafted was 2009. There’s a noticeable difference between this class of five and the last two. The 2009 class was coming off the best two-year stretch at Missouri, arguably, in school history. The Tigers won 22 games and played in two Big 12 Championship games in 2007-08. In 2013-14, Missouri won 23 games and played in back to back SEC Championships. In the last two years, Missouri is 11-11. We’ll get into a little bit more about what we should take from that below.

2) At the risk of turning this whole thing into a debate about the old coach vs the new one (we’ve covered that ground a few times in the last 17 months), it’s worth talking about what this draft class says about Barry Odom’s tenure. The five draftees were all recruited by Odom’s staff. Prior to this class, there had only been five total players that played for Odom who were drafted and none of them had been recruited by him (Charles Harris, J’Mon Moore, Terry Beckner, Drew Lock, Albert Okwuegbunam).

Debates have raged here for four years: Was Odom a decent recruiter who couldn’t get the most out of his talent or did he simply not get enough talent to win enough games to keep his job? As with most questions, to be honest, it’s probably some of both. But the fact that he recruited a class which tied for the second-most picks of the common draft era combined with the fact that four of those players combined to have just two Power Five offers outside of Missouri (Iowa State offered Gillespie and Boston College offered Rountree) tell me his staff actually did a decent job of finding underrecruited talent. They didn’t land enough of the high-profile guys (stars do still matter, more on that soon), but they did do a good job of seeing something in players that other staffs didn’t see.

My conclusion is that Odom and his staff clearly didn’t recruit enough to win at the highest level, but they recruited well enough to win more than they did. So if we’re assigning blame, I’d say their ultimate failure had more to do with what happened on game day than it did with what happened on the recruiting trail. I don’t think that’s exactly breaking news. Take Kentucky in 2017 (40-34 loss in Lexington), South Carolina in 2018 (37-35 loss), Wyoming and Vanderbilt in 2019 and turn those into wins (at least three of the four should have been wins) and Odom is still here. He landed enough talent to keep his job. He just didn’t win enough games to do so. (BTW, three players drafted off a defense that was as bad as last year’s was kind of backs up the idea it was time to look for a new defensive coordinator).

3) I want to expand this a little bit to look at the situation that each of the last three Mizzou coaches have stepped into.

Mizzou’s next series is at home against second-place Florida this weekend. They finish at Tennessee. Arkansas has a series at LSU left and Florida hosts Texas A&M after traveling to Columbia next weekend. With seven games to go, Missouri probably needs to go at least 5-2 to win the league title. Even if they don’t do that, they’ve put themselves in favorable position to be one of the 16 national seeds and host a regional. Mizzou submitted a bid to do so last week. The NCAA will announce about 20 schools which will be in the running to host and will announce the 16 host sites on Selection Day. After this weekend, Missouri should expect to be one of them. Larissa Anderson certainly thinks so.

2) Things also continued to go the way they’ve been going for the Tiger baseball team. Mizzou won the first game of the weekend series against Georgia on Friday night. But the Tigers lost the last two games, falling to 5-13 in the league. They’ve still won just one series in SEC play. That one is keeping them in the SEC Tournament for now, though.

Mizzou is currently tied for 12th, which would be the final spot to qualify for the league tourney. By virtue of winning the series over Texas A&M, Mizzou would get the final spot in the tournament if it started today. Both teams have four series to go. Missouri hosts Tennessee and Auburn and plays at Alabama and Mississippi State. Texas A&M hosts Ole Miss and LSU and travels to Mississippi State and Auburn.

3) We were back on the recruiting trail this weekend.


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