I don’t want to jinx it, but it looks like the SEC has slipped by the C19 hoodoos and will have their season. Thus, RBR presents the annual wild blind dart-throwing predictions of the teams of the SEC.
WEEK 1: MIZZOU TIGERS
Coach: Eli Drinkwitz (12-1 in one season at Appy State; first year at Mizz)
2019 Mizz record: 6-6 (3-5 SEC; 4th in the West Division)
CB969 2019 Prediction: Didn’t have one, but mediocrity would have been it.
Looking back: In retrospect, Barry Odom didn’t have such an awful tenure in Columbia. His first season was a 4-8 throwaway year (Bama fans can appreciate that) after Gary Pinkel jumped a burning sinking plague and rat-infested ship. The Tigers improved to 7-6 and 8-5 in the next two campaigns but lost bowl games both years. Then, the MU administrators made the devastating mistakes of self-reporting some violations and cooperating with the NCAA. For their honesty, they were hammered with a one-year bowl ban. Despite having little more to play for than pride, Odom led the team to 6-6. Unfortunately, they started the season 5-1 and barely beat Arkansas to wrap the season.
Returning starters: 2 on offense, 8 on defense.
Key losses: DT Jordan Elliott (Cleveland Browns, Round 3), TE Albert Okwuegbunam (Denver Broncos, Round 4), Punter/Kicker Tucker McCann, OT Yasir Durant, LB Cale Garrett, CB Demarkus Acy, WR Johnathon Johnson, C Trystan Colon-Castillo, QB Kelly Bryant, starting DB Christian Holmes (transfer to Okie Lite), starting WR Kam Scott (transfer to Houston).
Top returnees: LB Nick Bolton, DL Kobie Whiteside, S Tyree Gillespie, RB Larry Rountree, QB Shawn Robinson (redshirt last season after two years at TCU).
Top newcomers: WR Damon Hazelton (grad transfer from Va Tech, 8 TDs last season), WR Javian Hester (Tulsa, OK), PK/P Harrison Mevis (Warsaw, IN).
Name you need to know: All-SEC LB Nick Bolton had a whopping 70 solo tackles in 2019 and 30 assists. He also had a pair of picks, one of which was returned for a score.
Strengths: Mizzou had the No. 14 defense in nation last season and return a good portion of the personnel... QB Robinson has starting experience...
Weaknesses: Outside of Roundtree, it’s a complete overhaul on offense... one returning starting OL... Replacing kicker and punter with a true freshman... Outside of Charlie Harbison (DB coach), many young & inexperienced on the coaching staff... Poor recruiting No. 51 nationally... Many transfers out, only one in... Too much campus controversy plus very poor and weak leadership at the top of the university...
Outlook: Hiring Eli Drinkwitz - who will serve as his own OC this season - is a bit of a gamble. He has only one season under his belt as a head coach at any level. At 37 years of age with two returning starters on offense and dark clouds over the program, might the Gustavo Malzahn protege have been promoted a bit too soon to big boy football?
Sat, Sep 26 vs Alabama - L
Sat, Oct 3 @ Tennessee - L
Sat, Oct 10 @ LSU - L
Sat, Oct 17 vs Vanderbilt - W
Sat, Oct 24 @ Florida - L
Sat, Oct 31 vs Kentucky - L - This could be a toss up.
Sat, Nov 7 bye
Sat, Nov 14 vs Georgia - L
Sat, Nov 21 @ South Carolina - L - another toss up.
Sat, Nov 28 vs Arkansas - W
Sat, Dec 5 @ Mississippi State - L - What will MSU be by the time this game rolls around?
Let’s go Bowling (If there are any)! Nope. As is their M.O., the Tigers could topple a SC or a MSU on the road, but overall a lost season for ol’ Mizzery.
Will Drinkwitz eventually build a winner in Columbia?
This poll is closed
He will make the fans forget about Pinkel.
He will get them back in the mix for the SEC East crown.
A whole lotta of mediocrity.
He’ll be a spectacular flop.
Complete Alabama and SEC schedules here.