Missouri is moving backward.
That’s the view by The Kansas City Star’s Vahe Gregorian, who delivered hard truth for the Tigers after Missouri lost to Kentucky 35-21 on Saturday at Faurot Field. The Tigers have dropped four consecutive games to fall to 2-6 in coach Barry Odom’s first season. With games against South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Arkansas left on the schedule, it’s hard to see Missouri qualifying for postseason play.
Here’s the juicy part of Gregorian’s column:
Maybe this will prove a blip, but right now the program is at the alarming point where it’s reminiscent of Woody Widenhofer’s wretched 1-10 first season in 1985 and Bob Stull’s hapless 2-9 debut in 1989.
That was all part of the death spiral MU descended into for most of two decades (with the exception of two Larry Smith-guided bowl appearances) before Pinkel revived it.
Sorry, but it at least momentarily has that vibe.
It’s hard to disagree. Missouri fans were spoiled during the later years of Gary Pinkel’s tenure. From 2007 to 2014, the Tigers won at least 10 games five times. The current slide makes the program’s regression that much more stunning.
It’s not like Tigers fans expected an SEC title this season. But with Odom’s background as Missouri’s former defensive coordinator, it was fair to expect the defense to be capable. That hasn’t been the case. Meanwhile, the offense has failed to develop an identity under first-year coordinator Josh Heupel.
Key injuries haven’t helped, but the Tigers lack the talent to be competitive, even in the weak SEC East. That’s a major problem.
Prepare for more hard times, Missouri fans. This likely won’t be a quick fix.