Six! Six votes in the first 2021 college football coaches poll for your Missouri Tigers.
I don’t have to tell you what it means when Mizzou picks up votes in preseason polls. It means it’s sleeping giant season. The prophecy foretold by Tom Osborne all those years ago, and fulfilled by Gary Pinkel in the 2000s and 2010s. All we need is Kirk Herbstreit talking about how you can’t sleep on Mizzou this year in a week 1-3 broadcast. That’s the next step.
What kind of expectations do we need to put on this team? The offense is loaded. I haven’t been excited about a Mizzou QB since Drew Lock as I am about Connor Bazelak (Henceforth known as “The Bazz”). I am bullish on The Bazz. I’m jazzed for The Bazz. Bazz Up. One of the most deadly accurate QBs in the country on balls thrown under 15 yards. As a freshman, The Bazz finished in the top 25 in almost every statistical category of significance. He will be a freshman again. Third consecutive year as a freshman, something that may have not been attempted at Mizzou since my advisor took a look at my transcripts in 2007.
The defense concerns me enormously. I am a big fan of bringing on former NFL coach Steve Wilks to replace Ryan Walters. The optimism doesn’t go much farther beyond that, but I am still not ready to write off the Tigers defense entirely. Akial Byers, Trajan Jeffcoat, Ennis Rakestraw, Martez Manuel and Jalani Williams are a nice mix of experience and huge upside. I like the combination.
Looking at the rest of the coaches poll, Mizzou will have their hands full with three top 10-quality opponents. Texas A&M (#4), Georgia (#7) and Florida (#12). Luckily, Mizzou faces A&M and Dan Mullen’s crazy ass at home this year, so Eli will have plenty of opportunities at hand to get some real signature wins under his belt. Not that beating LSU wasn’t impressive. You expect to see significant improvement in a coach’s second season. Drink has had a full offseason to install his playbook and has all the toys you could as for on offense.
The autumn winds are rising. Can’t wait for football.