PowerMizzou - Ten Thoughts for Monday Morning
football Edit

Ten Thoughts for Monday Morning


1) We are operating under the assumption that for the first time in two weeks we will have no news to report about a postponement of a football game. To recap, here is Mizzou's original schedule following the LSU game:

10-17 vs Vanderbilt

10-24 at Florida

10-31 vs Kentucky

11-7 OFF

11-14 vs Georgia

11-21 at South Carolina

11-28 vs Arkansas

12-5 at Mississippi State

12-12 OFF

Here is the schedule as it stands today

10-17 OFF

10-24 vs Kentucky

10-31 at Florida

11-7 OFF

11-14 vs Georgia

11-21 at South Carolina

11-28 vs Arkansas

12-5 at Mississippi State

12-12 vs Vanderbilt

I've seen a lot of people changing predictions based on the schedule changing. I think that's kind of silly. They're the same teams. For the most part in the same order. Missouri does play the four worst teams (I think, although LSU might make an argument to get on that list by the end of the year) on its schedule last now. If you can find a way to get through Georgia at 2-4 (I think better than that is still a bit of a pipe dream) you've got a very realistic shot at a .500 season, which would be very impressive in year one. A 5-5 season with an all SEC schedule is the equivalent of about an 8-4 season with a normal schedule. I think everyone would have taken 8-4 and run with it the day Eli Drinkwitz was hired.

2) There's an argument to be made Missouri is about to play its most important game of the season. The argument against it would be that games against South Carolina, Arkansas and Mississippi State are equally or more important and that's certainly an argument that holds water. But let me lay out the case for Kentucky being the biggest game:

The goal for five teams right now in the East is to establish themselves as the third best team. Georgia and Florida are ahead of the rest (sorry, it's true; that doesn't mean it's true in perpetuity, but right now, it's true). The goal is to be No. 3. Tennessee was thought to be that coming into the season. Perhaps that's where they'll end up. But they blew a chance to establish it for sure last weekend (they'd already beaten Mizzou and SC and if they'd beaten Kentucky, it's pretty difficult to argue they aren't ahead of all three of those teams that are shooting for third--Vandy isn't really a part of this discussion). Here are the records of those four teams over the last five full seasons, both overall and in SEC play:

Kentucky 37-27, 18-22

Tennessee 35-28, 16-24

South Carolina 29-34, 16-24

Mizzou 30-31, 14-26

Kentucky is the best, though they're still four games under .500 in league play and just a slightly above average program. Tennessee is next based on a better out of conference record than South Carolina, though they're even in SEC games. Mizzou has the worst SEC record by two games of the four. Missouri fans will argue "But you're taking our five worst years." I'm just taking the last five. South Carolina had a 1-7 and a 2-6 in there. Tennessee went winless one year. Kentucky is the only program of the four to win at least two SEC games each year (that's not exactly a huge feat, but whatever).

Here are the head to head records of those teams in the same span:

Kentucky: 10-5

Tennessee: 9-6

South Carolina: 7-8

Mizzou: 4-11

That lays it out. Kentucky is the third best program in the East over the last five years. Missouri is the sixth best program in the East over the last five years. The reason is simple: In games against the other teams in their pool, Missouri is by far the worst team. All of these teams have mostly lost to the top two teams. Missouri's problem is it hasn't held its own against the other ones in the group.

3) The Tigers' biggest problem is five straight losses against Kentucky.


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