In the wake of Wednesday’s news that Oklahoma and Texas are looking to join the SEC, Missouri football head coach Eliah Drinkwitz took the stage at SEC Media Days.
Drinkwitz cracked jokes about Texas, talked some trash towards Arkansas, and urged Tiger fans to get excited for their team.
“We need our fan base to continue to re-engage with us and be excited about our program,” Drinkwitz said in his opening statement. “We’re very fired up about the opportunity that lies ahead.”
The Tiger head coach wasn’t afraid to show off his funny bone, as he hyped up quarterback Connor Bazelak. Bazelak was named to the Davey O’Brien Award watch list earlier this week.
“We’re trying to get Connor Bazelak a back-to-back SEC freshman of the year,” Drinkwitz said. “I don’t know if that’s possible, but maybe with COVID exception it is.”
Drinkwitz also didn’t shy away from throwing some shade at the Hogs.
“I kind of like the rivalry we’ve got with Arkansas,” Drinkwitz said. “I don’t remember the last time they beat us, so I kind of like that one.”
Missouri has not lost to Arkansas since 2015, and the “rivalry” between the two schools has always been somewhat one-sided. If Oklahoma and Texas do wind up joining the SEC, that could see some old Big 12, and Big 8, rivalries reborn.
Drinkwitz also praised the progress that Missouri football made last season, when the Tigers were able to get some monkeys off of their backs.
“For us to beat Kentucky, I think was a big step in the right direction,” Drinkwitz said. “Then to turn around and avenge the loss to Vandy, who the previous year had beat [Missouri], was extremely important.”
It seems like there is a new attitude surrounding Tiger football in recent years, and that did not appear on accident. The Tiger head coach said it’s all part of the ‘New Zou.’
“I don’t think there’s any trepidation or fear in who we are at Mizzou,” Drinkwitz said. “We have a lot of confidence in the preparation that we’ve put in. We have an edge about who we are, and we’re going to have an energy.”
The Tigers will look to put that energy on display when they open their season on September 4 against Central Michigan.