Barry Odom’s first year was a rough one for the Missouri Tigers. The school finished with its worst record since 2000 and was one of just two SEC teams to not go to a bowl. Odom has been with Missouri in some capacity for over a decade, so he has a lot more leeway from the administration than an outsider would yield. He needs to show signs of improvement this season though, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The offense was surprisingly good under new offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and should continue to improve this season.
2016 Record: 4-8 SU, 5-7 ATS, 6-6 O/U
2017 Regular Season Win Total: 6.5 Under -140
National Championship Odds: +100000
Odds To Win SEC: +25000
It was a shock to see Missouri’s defense play so poorly last season. Odom was the team’s defensive coordinator in 2015 and the Tigers had one of the best defenses in the nation that season, allowing just 16.2 points per game.
That total nearly doubled last season despite having seven returning starters. The front seven couldn’t stop anyone as opponents averaged a full two yards more per carry in 2016 than they did in 2015. The secondary had some struggles too, but they weren’t nearly as severe.
Fortunately, Drew Lock proved to be just as good as advertised. Lock was one of the SEC’s best passers last season, throwing for almost 3,400 yards. Although he struggled with accuracy, it was a very successful sophomore campaign for him all things considered.
Damarea Crockett ended up having a great season last year. He started to get more play in the last half of the season and had some fantastic performances. Crockett ran for 817 yards and seven touchdowns over his last six games despite facing defenses like Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee.
This team should be better in 2017 and is very likely to return to the postseason with this schedule.
The offense returns every starter from last season except tight end Sean Culkin. Culkin wasn’t used often so he won’t really be missed, but bringing back so much experience is only going to help. This offense has a chance to be the highest scoring team in the SEC East and that’s a pretty tremendous accomplishment from where they were at the end of 2015.
Defensively, they have to improve. Odom has admitted he stretched himself too thin last season and the defense suffered as a result. More than any other position group, the defensive line must get better. If Terry Beckner Jr. can stay healthy, that would help tremendously. The extremely talented Beckner has torn both ACLs over the last two seasons, but can be a superstar.
Mizzou has a very workable non-conference schedule and should be favored in every game. There’s a chance the Tigers could be bowl eligible by the end of October and they might need to be with how their schedule ends.
Saturday, September 2: Missouri vs. Missouri State
Saturday, September 9: Missouri vs. South Carolina
Saturday, September 16: Missouri vs. Purdue
Saturday, September 23: Missouri vs. Auburn
Saturday, October 7: Missouri at Kentucky
Saturday, October 14: Missouri at Georgia
Saturday, October 21: Missouri vs. Idaho
Saturday, October 28: Missouri at Connecticut
Saturday, November 4: Missouri vs. Florida
Saturday, November 11: Missouri vs. Tennessee
Saturday, November 18: Missouri at Vanderbilt
Friday, November 24: Missouri at Arkansas
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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