Despite a second consecutive bowl loss to a Big 12 opponent, the Mizzou football Tigers will look to continue the steady program growth that has been built the previous two seasons.
The Tigers are coming off back-to-back perfect Novembers and despite replacing 2nd round NFL draft pick Drew Lock at quarterback, there is optimism that the Mizzou offense will continue flourishing behind highly-touted grad transfer Kelly Bryant and an impressive arsenal of offensive talent (especially in the backfield).
The schedule sets up favorably as Mizzou will play five consecutive home games from September 7th- October 12th. They will also have the added benefit of playing only three true conference road games as the black friday “Battle Line” game with Arkansas has been moved to Little Rock. You can see the real potential for Barry Odom’s Tigers to take yet another step this season so let’s take a look at the schedule game-by-game.
August 31 @ Wyoming
This will be a key early road test for Mizzou especially as they continue to tweak their offensive system that is now geared more towards the running game and Kelly Bryant’s athleticism. The Cowboys were very mediocre last season (and lost 40-13 to Missouri in Columbia) but a Mountain West team hosting an SEC team is a rarity and you would expect the crowd in Laramie to be boisterous. The Cowboys finally settled on a quarterback last season in Sean Chambers and the roster should be much more stabilized when Missouri comes to town week 1. That said, this is a game that Barry Odom and the Tigers HAVE to win if they have aspirations of having a successful season.
PREDICTION: Missouri 34 Wyoming 20
September 7 vs. West Virginia
This is the return game for Missouri’s trip to Morgantown in Barry Odom’s first game as head coach in 2016. The Mountaineers have lost quite a bit of talent as well as a head coach from an 8-4 team. Despite the dreaded 11 AM kickoff, Faurot field could be as full as it’s been in a long time and the new south end zone will be on full display for the first time. This is a transitional period for West Virginia and Missouri should be able to exert themselves offensively in this game.
PREDICTION: Missouri 38 West Virginia 33
September 14 vs. SEMO
Not a ton of analysis needed here. If this is anywhere near resembling a game going into the 4th quarter then something has gone massively wrong and it’s likely Missouri has not started the season 2-0 to begin with.
PREDICTION: Missouri 51 SEMO 10
September 21 vs. South Carolina
This game is massive and no amount of hyperbole or cliche could sum this one up. Mizzou has lost its last three games to South Carolina and Will Muschamp has done a nice job of building a solid program in the other Columbia. Missouri gets this game at home and many players will likely flash-back to the 2018 contest, a game that Missouri lost, inexplicably, in the final seconds. The Tigers, riding high from a 3-0 start edge the Gamecocks here, vaulting them to 4-0 for the first time since 2013.
PREDICTION: Missouri 42 South Carolina 38
October 5 vs. Troy
Most Missouri fans will remember the 2004 season in which the Tigers traveled to Troy, Alabama on a prime-time Thursday night game and walked away with an embarrassing loss. The Trojans were definitely a solid team a year ago and finished 10-3 (a season which included a victory at Nebraska). They have lost quite a bit of talent from that team, but could still pose a threat to Missouri although the team will be coming off of a bye week. The Tigers should keep the momentum rolling here with a rather comfortable win in route to 5-0.
PREDICTION: Missouri 41 Troy 20
October 12 vs. Ole Miss (Homecoming)
The Rebels showed some flashes last season, but ultimately ended with a 5-7 record and a non-bowl season under Matt Luke (who is still trying to get this program up off the mat). The Tigers and Rebels do not play often under the current SEC scheduling set up but Mizzou has hammered Ole Miss each of the 3 times they have played since 2006. It’s homecoming at Ole Mizzou and the Tigers head to 6-0 with a win here against a team that may still be a year away.
PREDICTION: Missouri 26 Ole Miss 17
October 19 @ Vanderbilt
This will be only the second road game of the season for Missouri and playing in front of 25 or 30K fans (most of which are yours) should be just what the doctor ordered for a third straight SEC victory to open the season. Derek Mason has proven to be a solid coach, but has not been able to get the Commodores over the hump in SEC play and they will likely be outclassed talent-wise yet again in most games they play.
PREDICTION: Missouri 36 Vanderbilt 19
October 26 @ Kentucky
Back-to-back road games could be the bugaboo that comes up and bites Missouri this season. Add to that the solid program that Mark Stoops has built at UK and the fact that Kentucky has beaten Mizzou four times in a row, and you have a recipe for a crushing loss.
PREDICTION: Kentucky 24 Missouri 20
November 9 @ Georgia
There is no question that the Georgia Bulldogs represent the class of the SEC East and likely will for the foreseeable future. Mizzou made every mistake in the book last season and yet held tough with Georgia for the most part but a trip back to Sanford Stadium will likely be too tall an order for this Tiger team. Quarterback Jake Fromm is now a seasoned junior and the Bulldog running game will be ferocious yet again with the likes of D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien the backfield.
PREDICTION: Georgia 38 Missouri 21
November 16 vs. Florida
There is no question that having division foes South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee at home is a huge advantage for Mizzou. The Tigers absolutely dismantled the Gators in Gainesville this past November and by this point in the season, Florida never really seems up for the 1,000 mile trek to Columbia, Missouri as the weather begins to turn cold.
PREDICTION: Missouri 33 Florida 21
November 23 vs. Tennessee
Missouri has, inexplicably, beaten Tennessee 50-17 two years in a row now. There were grumblings from school officials following the game last November that they were “tired of getting dominated by Missouri.” Jeremy Pruitt is certainly landing talent there in Knoxville, but that has never been the problem for the Vols. It’s going to take another year to change this culture and Missouri dominates Tennessee once again in 2019.
PREDICTION: Missouri 50 Tennessee 17
November 29 @ Arkansas (Little Rock)
The 6th annual “Battle Line” rivalry game will take place in Little Rock this year as opposed to Fayetteville and thus, Mizzou will play only 3 true road games in the SEC this year. Arkansas was beyond horrid a year ago although Chad Morris has hauled in a tremendous recruiting class. Will this roster be ready to compete at a high level this season? Unfortunately for Hog fans…No they will not. Missouri has won 5 of the last 6 games between the two and that will likely not be changing anytime soon.
PREDICTION: Missouri 44 Arkansas 27
Final Predictions: 10-2 (6-2) 2nd place SEC East
If Missouri is able to sustain the small amount of momentum that they have been building the past two seasons and make that jump to be a 10-win team in 2019 then you will know that Barry Odom is likely going to be the guy at Mizzou for a very long time. There have been many road bumps along the way for Odom, including a current 2019 post-season ban (that is under appeal) and with this schedule, the landing of Kelly Bryant and the stable of talent that Odom and this staff have been developing, it would be very disappointing for this team to win less than 8 games.