Mizzou football is ranked at No. 21 to start the year, according to Yahoo.
Yahoo Sports is releasing its top 25 in a bit of a different way than other media outlets.
The folks over there feature one team per day until the Aug. 24 kickoff between Miami and Florida.
On Saturday, Day 5 of their rankings release came out. And it’s the Missouri Tigers.
Mizzou ranks No. 21 on Yahoo’s list, just ahead of No. 25 Wisconsin, No. 24 TCU, No. 23 Nebraska and No. 22 Iowa State.
Though the Tigers are ineligible to be ranked in the coaches poll, they remain a top-25 team in most other preseason rankings.
Reason for optimism according to Yahoo: an easier schedule, many winnable games in the first two months and Mizzou’s offensive weapons — Kelly Bryant, Larry Rountree III, Albert Okwuegbunam, etc.
Yahoo does a good of digging deep into its analysis of this year’s Tigers.
Among the many topics it discusses includes the bowl ban, offensive coordinator Derek Dooley, unlucky history for coach Barry Odom and Co., Mizzou’s most impact player, a fantasy sleeper and NFL draft prospects on the team.
It’s a great read as the Tigers hit their first weekend of training camp.
One interesting nugget out of the article is Yahoo’s breakdown of what it believes is the biggest game — Florida on Nov. 16.
"“… the Tigers should be in good shape heading into the Nov. 9 matchup in Athens against SEC East favorites Georgia.The Bulldogs will be heavy favorites. That’s why we’re going with the game the following week when Florida comes to Columbia. Missouri has beaten Florida in each of the last two seasons and the Tigers are 4-3 against the Gators since joining the SEC.If Missouri gets a third straight win over Florida it could have a shot at second in the SEC East. And for all the games Missouri has lost in September and October over the last two years, the Tigers haven’t lost a game in November since a Nov. 19, 2016 loss at Tennessee.”"
There is so much talk about the first two months of the season that some forget November is where Missouri has stepped up over the years, winning nine games in a row.
Odom hasn’t lost a November game in two seasons and has an .800 record that month, with four SEC road victories.
It’s been September and October where Mizzou has struggled. Having a chance at a fast start is something the Tigers haven’t had the past few seasons. Taking advantage of the early portion of the schedule will go a long way for a team used to winning the last four weeks.