At 2-4, it’s hard to think bowl game for the Missouri Tigers. Barry Odom’s team is coming losses at LSU and Florida by a combined score of 82-21. An offense, that appeared to be the strength of the team in the early going, has been stuck in neutral. The defense, may be improving, but still allowed over 500 total yards to a Gator team that has had trouble moving the football previously. This doesn’t sound like a recipe for a December bowl game.
The Tigers have six games remaining on their regular season schedule. A schedule that includes very winnable games against the like of ETSU this weekend, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and South Carolina. Four wins from that group, and the Tigers are guaranteed an extra game.
“There’s nothing more that I want, than to give our seniors a seventh game,”Coach Odom said at Monday’s media availability.
“A bowl game would mean progress. It’s a reward I want our seniors to have. ”
For Coach Odom, it’s more than just a barometer for the program, it’s a moment in time that his players can treasure.
“The thing in collegiate athletics, you look at being able to provide experiences for your student athletes that they can carry with them for the rest of their life, a bowl game is absolutely one of them. And one that I remember greatly from being in their shoes. I want that for them. We’ve talked about it, and we have a lot of work to do.”
The players are taking note, so says sophomore lineman Paul Adams.
Paul Adams on getting to a bowl game in Odom's first year: "We're going to do our best for whatever we can to make it to a bowl." #Mizzou
— KTRS Sports (@BigSportsShow) October 18, 2016
For a young team, and new coaching staff, a bowl game wouldn’t just mean an extra game, and another chance at exposure on national television, it would mean the extra bowl practices in the month of December, that non-bowling teams do not get to participate in. For Mizzou, those practices would be invaluable.
Mizzou vs. Middle Tennessee State, Saturday at 3pm. Pregame at 1pm, on 550 KTRS.