Missouri Football: Way-too-early season predictions for 2018

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 27: Head coach Barry Odom of the Missouri Tigers talks with Brandon Lee
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 27: Head coach Barry Odom of the Missouri Tigers talks with Brandon Lee /

In 2017, the Missouri Tigers made their first bowl game appearance since the 2014 season. It felt longer than that, so how will Mizzou fare in 2018?

Predicting the Tigers’ season last year was tough, in part, due to my inner-fanboy desire to “homer” every pick and give Mizzou a perfect season. Okay, short of a perfect season, at least a season in which the Tigers could have vied for a coveted playoff spot.

Alas, the reality of said playoffs was nothing more than the proverbial “pipe dream,” and I knew that, so I would had to look at the season as objectively as possible. That in mind, it should make objectivity a little easier this year.

Much the same as last year, this will also be a four-part series. Also, I don’t claim to know in-depth detail about every non-conference opponent the Tigers will play, so those picks will be based more on a “gut feeling.”

Missouri Tigers Football
Missouri Tigers Football /

Missouri Tigers Football

September 1, 2018, vs. UT-Martin

I’m openly not a fan of games against FCS opponents for two reasons: One, they lack the “strength of schedule” luster that a team needs to brandish in order to settle nicely for a post-season bowl or playoff game. The other reason is an FCS team is capable of beating an FBS opponent.

Given Missouri’s returning offensive fire power, the Tigers shouldn’t have much trouble dispatching the Skyhawks, but it’s just another game Mizzou should come prepared to play good football.

In 2017, the Tigers opened their season with a win over Missouri State. This year, Mizzou should repeat their season-opening performance of 2017.

September 8, 2018, vs. Wyoming

I’m not sure that the Tigers have ever played a game against UT-Martin, but I know they’ve never played against Wyoming. This year, Missouri’s opening schedule seems a little more favorable on face value.

By their second game of the 2017 season, the Tigers took their first loss amid a five-game losing skid. Here’s hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.

In 2017, Wyoming finished one game better than the Tigers, with an 8-5 mark. The Cowboys also won their bowl game over Central Michigan.

While the Cowboys didn’t post wins against any Power-5 conference teams, they otherwise had solid wins over the likes of Colorado State, Air Force, and Hawaii.

I also like the Tigers’ odds in this matchup, which means we should see Mizzou start the season with a two game win streak.

September 15, 2018, at Purdue

This game has been circled on the Tigers’ calendar, and I’m sure on many fans’ calendars, as well. Do people still use calendars, or am I using an outdated phrase?

Anyway, last year, this wasn’t the game that started Missouri off to a bad start (South Carolina was). However, the Tigers’ convincing, embarrassing, 35-3 rout by the Boilermakers solidified that something was majorly amiss with Mizzou.

Like all of you, I want to see the Tigers make good on such a horrendous showing, and give Purdue a resounding thumping, but my instinct says the Tigers won’t win convincingly – should they win, at all.

Next. Mizzou second quarter predicitons. dark

I’m on the fence with this pick, but I am going to begrudgingly concede a win to Purdue, based on last year’s performance by both teams. If Missouri’s offense and play-calling doesn’t repeat last year’s mistakes, then this could – should – go the other way. Show me. For now, I’m penciling in the Tigers’ first loss of the season.