What does Mizzou Football have to do to reach its pre-season predictions?

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Maybe you were a little over-optimistic about the Mizzou football team. The defense was fresh, the quarterback had the ability to run, and Luther Borden III – along with the more experienced Dominic Lovett – was enough to get me excited. So, yeah, I thought the team had a real chance of winning seven games.

Excuse me!

This team has failed to live up to anyone’s high expectations before the season. This does not mean that this season was a failure. It did not. Not now anyway. The Tigers needed Nathaniel Peet to hold the ball as he crossed the goal line in order to beat Auburn. They made things more interesting than any of us expected against Georgia. They were a bad couple intercepting Brady Cook away from a potential win at The Swamp.

Unfortunately, they lost all three games by one score and found themselves in the middle of the season 2-4.

Perhaps this was a reasonable expectation. Heck, that’s what Nate Edwards said over and over on the Beyond the Box Score podcast and I tried to tell him why he was wrong.

Narrator: He was not mistaken.

I was an optimist. But I think for most people, the reasonable expectation was for the Tigers to finish the season with at least six wins and be competitive and keep matches close to losses. The competitive battle took place. But it’s time to see more gains.

Beating Louisiana Tech, Abilene Christian, Vanderbilt and New Mexico State is minimal. Finishing with four wins and some “what ifs” doesn’t earn any kind of morale boost. That would be a failure. This season should end with at least five wins. Yes, this means getting rid of the discomfort. That’s how this works! I understand the schedule this season hasn’t been easy, but it’s also not been my challenge.

K-State and Georgia are very good. Kentucky and Tennessee tasks will be very difficult. But those are only four games on the table. Missouri also faced the best 42nd and 36th teams nationwide in SP+. The Tigers still had tests left in the table against the top teams 33, 34, 93 and 125, respectively, in SP+. Hitting teams in the 30s or 40s shouldn’t be a bridge too far. Not in the third year of the Drinkwitz program.

You don’t have to look far for an example of a team that does exactly that. Illinois, despite having a midfield game manager and limited passing options throughout their offensive, started the season 6-1 by beating top teams 28, 35 and 10 in SP+. Brett Bielima took on a worse situation than Drenkowitz, and he did so a year after Drenke was hired. Belima wins the way he said he would, behind the dominant running game and throttle defense.

It’s time for Drinkwitz to start showing some of that same progress. I’m not asking to win in Tennessee. Heck, I’m not saying this team needs to beat Kentucky. But can they beat Vanderbilt, South Carolina, New Mexico State? And the Arkansas? Is that too much to ask? Such a finish will show clear signs of progress in the season as well as throughout the year.

Have my expectations changed since the start of the season? yes. I thought this team had a chance of seven wins. I still think they did. But that is out of the question now. I know anticipation them to win five games, but I hopefull They got to at least six. Most of you seem to agree with me, or even more pessimistic.

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