Early Look at the 2016 Football Schedule

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Here is the slate of games for the Tigers next season, with some games to circle:

Sept. 3 at West Virginia

The Tigers will open the season with the team that the Big 12 replaced them with. Of course week one is always a must see, but on top of the conference factor it will be Barry Odom’s first game as the head coach of the Tigers. Furthermore, these two teams were 1-2 and going to play for a National Championship in 2007 before quarterback Pat White went down against hapless Pitt Panthers in the Backyard Brawl and the Panthers ended the title hopes of their archrivals and on the same night the Oklahoma Sooners beat the Tigers in the Big 12 championship game when Missouri was #1. Playing in Morgantown is going to be hard, the Mountaineers only lost one game at home last season and in 2014 they crushed the title hopes of the Baylor Bears with a 41-27 win. This is going to be a good opening week game, but will be overshadowed by other matchups in week one which include reigning champion Alabama taking on USC, LSU playing at Lambeau against Wisconsin, Notre Dame playing at Texas and Clemson opening their season at Auburn, among others. The Tigers have won three of five meetings, two in the 1920’s before losing two in the 1990’s then winning the Insight.com Bowl in 1998. The Tigers are going to have to play their best to win this one. This one is a must see.

Sept. 10 Eastern Michigan

After a tough opener, the Tigers return home to take on Eastern Michigan, who have only won seven games in the last four years. This should serve as a tuneup before opening the conference schedule next week when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs. These two have met once before–in 1997 in Columbia where the Tigers won 44-24 during the year they snapped a 13 year streak of missing a bowl game.

Sept. 17 Georgia

They should call this the Old Man Rivalry. Who will ever forget Sheldon Richardson’s “old man football” comments prior to the SEC opener in 2012 in which the Bulldogs beat the Tigers 41-20 on their home field. The thing is, for most of the game, the Tigers were ahead. Missouri went into half with a 10-9 lead and it could have been 17-9 if James Franklin had been able to convert on a Hail Mary at the end of the half that was barely batted away. The Tigers scored first in the second half to go up 17-9 and held a 20-17 lead before Georgia took over and scored 24 unanswered points in the last 16 minutes of the game. The next year the Tigers won in Athens, then the Dawgs dominated in 2014 and won 9-6 in a slugfest in Athens last year. Georgia won the only meeting prior to Missouri joining the conference and own a 4-1 edge in the all-time series. This will also be the first SEC conference game for new Georgia coach Kirby Smart.

Sept. 24 Delaware State

Like all SEC schools, Missouri gets a non-conference game against an FCS school. Just be sure if this becomes a yearly thing, that it doesn’t include North Dakota State. Anyway, the Hornets have been down on hard times recently. They made the FCS playoffs in 2007 under Alton Lavan, and since then have only had one winning season, including a 1-10 season last year. Kenny Carter will be entering his second year as the head coach of the Hornets, and should have his hands full in this one. There is no excuse for the Tigers not to win this game. As you might have guessed, this is the first meeting between the two schools. The Hornets played Michigan in 2009, losing 63-6 in their only meeting against a team from a Power Five Conference.

Oct. 1 at LSU

Missouri will head to Death Valley for the first regular season meeting with the Bayou Bengals ever. The teams met once before in the 1978 Liberty Bowl, which was won by Missouri 20-15. This game will certainly test the strength of the Tigers defensive line, which will be helped out by the return of Harold Brantley from an injury that held him out all of 2015. He and Terry Beckner together could be a stout tandem up the middle of the defensive line. Walter Brady and Charles Harris coming off the edge will have to make it hard for Leonard Fournette if Missouri has any chance of pulling the upset.

Oct. 8 OPEN DATE

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