The last time the Missouri Tigers were nationally ranked, former head coach Gary Pinkel was at the helm of the program. Will Mizzou break the ranks soon?
After playing and passing their first real test at Purdue, the season is full of intrigue for Tigers fans. Of course, there are a few future dates against heavily favored opponents; that aside, I am excited about Missouri’s upward movement in the latest re-rank.
In the recent USA Today poll, the Tigers moved up eight places, from from 41 to 33. Depending on how the Tigers fare against Georgia, Mizzou could gain a little more upward trajectory in the coming weeks.
In 2017, I was also excited to see some upward movement by the Tigers in the later season re-rankings, but taken in context, Mizzou’s success was admittedly against opponents that were struggling.
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New year, new season. The Tigers looked strong against UT-Martin and Wyoming. Missouri seemed to meet its match at Purdue, however. On defense, the Tigers failed to execute effectively to limit the Boilermakers’ offensive advances.
Fortunately, the Tigers played well enough on offense for most of the game, before playing an amazing two minute drill to close out the game and steal a win from Purdue on the leg of kicker Tucker McCann.
Rankings are important. I’d love to see the Tigers crack the top-10, but even the top-25 would be an accomplishment for the road this team has traveled. Rankings also are not the end-all, be-all. In Missouri’s case, the Tigers won’t be able to consistently compete against the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, or Clemson in their current state.
Nonetheless, this looks to be a special squad of athletes this year. The offense is jelling, and special teams hasn’t been awful. The defense has its work cut out, because we want to see more urgency in the secondary and better execution and pressure up front.
If Missouri can get all three phases of its game on similar wavelengths of successful execution, then this team has the ability to crack the AP top-25.