SEC MD17 3: Scouting Missouri

Missouri coach Barry Odom
Missouri coach Barry Odom speaks during the Southeastern Conference's annual media gathering Wednesday in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Missouri Coach: Barry Odom, second season (2-6, all at Missouri).
Last year: 4-8 overall, 2-6 in the SEC (7th in the East).
Best case scenario: The Tigers lost eight starters on defense — which may be a good thing because last season’s defense was abysmal, the low point coming in a 63- 37 loss to Tennessee late in the season. Some new, younger players could bring some much-needed energy and confidence. The offense could be fairly potent, especially if junior quarterback Drew Lock continues to progress. The schedule is doable, with South Carolina, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida all having to make the long trip to Columbia.
Worst case scenario: Inept play on defense continues and the Tigers finish last in the SEC in total defense again. If that happens, it will put undue pressure on an offense that had little or no luck trying to outscore opponents a year ago. It’s a combination that would lead to a second consecutive losing season.
Quotable: “Defensively, we weren’t near good enough last year. I know that’s been talked about enough since season’s end. And when you win four games, guys, believe me, it hurts your soul. And that’s where I was at. So you figure out how to fix it whether you inherited the problems or you had the problems on your watch. That’s the job of a coach. That’s why they call you coach. Go fix it.” — Odom