Next Saturday, the Missouri Tigers will visit Kentucky for their third prime time match-up of the season. Prime time appearances have not been kind to the Tigers, this year.
Missouri is in a quandary early in the season, but at least can play for pride, if that’s possible. Finishing up the first quarter of the season with a win and two losses is a feat most teams could recover from, but the Tigers have given us very little to believe in, at this point.
After head coach Barry Odom’s heartfelt outburst after Saturday’s loss to Auburn, I’m on the fence with where this team is headed. If the Tigers are a team of good (but so far absent) character, then Odom’s words could be the team’s rallying point.
If this team is really in as bad of shape as it looks though, meaning it’s truly without any leadership and whatever talent is on the team is truly going to waste, then Odom’s statement will have been made in vain.
Kickoff against Kentucky is Oct. 7 at 6:30 PM, CT on the SEC Network. The Wildcats hold a small edge of victory over Missouri, and if the start of the Tigers’ season is any indication, may extend that lead, as well.
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Going undefeated is easier than not winning a single game. Missouri won its season opener, albeit against a non-conference FCS opponent, but at least on offense, the Tigers showed they can produce when they stay out of their own heads.
Odom was the Tigers’ defensive coordinator during the latter years of the Pinkel era, and his defenses were respectable.
If Odom can manipulate what talent that is either hidden or buried on the depth chart, then the Tigers could have a respectable game against the Wildcats.
If the defense is truly devoid of any talent – I had a hard time even acknowledging the idea that there may be talent – then maybe if the Tigers can play soft defense, it will at least mask the fact that they truly are terrible.
If the offense can get something positive going, then maybe it can detract enough attention from the defense to win a game against an SEC opponent that historically has Missouri’s number. What better situation for a bad team, than to lure a good team into thinking it will win with ease.