Tigers turn over a new leaf in 2016

by Sam Forman |@samwforman |

Welcome back to our SEC schedule breakdown, We end week number two with my pick to finish 11th in the SEC. So far I have picked Auburn to finish 14th, Kentucky to finish 13th and South Carolina to finish 12th.

Ok, it’s time to reveal which team I think finishes 11th in the SEC this year.

The Pick: Missouri Tigers.

League Finish: 11th

Division Finish: 5th

SEC Record: 2-6

Overall Record: 4-8

Bowl Game: none

This is our second straight SEC East school with a new coach in 2016 and just like Will Muschamp at South Carolina, Barry Odom will be replacing a ledged at Missouri.

Odom will have the hard job of stabilizing a football program that had a lot of chaos in 2015. Actually, the whole athletic department at Missouri is in chaos after everything that happened their last year. Not to mention the fact that Odom also has to replace Gary Pinkel.

As a said earlier Pinkel is a ledged and built Missouri football into what it is today. He helped guide the Tigers into the SEC after they left the BIG 12. He took advantage of a weekend East division and got the Tigers to Atlanta.

Odom also has to replace a few big names on both sides of the ball and get sophomore Drew Lock up to speed as an SEC quarterback. The Tigers should be great on defense once again, but the offense could once again disappear at times like they did last season.

Week one Missouri @ West Virginia. Sat, Sept. 3rd
This one could be interesting as both schools will still be facing questions on offense in the season’s first week. If the Tigers defense can slowdown the West Virginia offense than Missouri has a shot. While I think that is an accomplishable task, I don’t think the Tigers offense will be able to capitalize on it. West Virginia wins in a low scoring affair.

Week two Missouri vs. Eastern Michigan. Sat, Sept. 10th
The Tigers will rebound form an opening day loss in week two, but it could be yet another close game. The Tigers will have the better talent and bigger players, but the offense could still struggle. The key is that Eastern Michigan won’t be able to do anything verse Missouri’s defense. Tigers win and move to 1-1 on the season.

Week three Missouri vs. Georgia. Sat, Sept. 17th
The Tigers first SEC opponent of the year is Georgia and it will be a battle of first time head coaches. Missouri lost last year’s game 9-6 in Athens and it could be a similar story in 2016. Both teams will have a solid defense, but a questionable hand under center. A key factor here will be the health status of UGA’s running backs. If both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are healthy this game will go the Dog’s way. If Georgia can get one of them ready than the smart pick should still be Georgia. The Dog’s take this one by a two score advantage.

Week four Missouri vs. Delaware State. Sat, Sept. 24th
In what is a disgusting game to see on a SEC teams schedule, Missouri will bounce back from last week’s loss to Georgia. In fact, this should be the most success the Tigers offense will have in its first four games. Missouri has the most talent and this one shouldn’t be close. If it is, things could get ugly really quick for the Tigers.

Week five Missouri @ LSU. Sat, Oct. 1st
The first three weeks in October will be hard for the Tigers. Starting with a trip to ‘Death Valley’ to play LSU. Simply put, LSU’s defense will destroy the Missouri offense. Even if the Missouri defense can slowdown LSU’s offense in the first half, they will be out of steam by the third quarter. The offense for Missouri won’t be able to keep its defense rested and that means an 0-2 start to SEC play for Odom’s Tigers.

Week six Missouri @ Florida. Sat, Oct. 15th
This game should go the Gators way, but if there was a major game to steal on the Tigers schedule its Florida. The Gators will have the better team, but could still be working out quarterback issues. With Missouri’s defense it’s not unimaginable that this one could be close heading into the fourth quarter. The question is can Missouri’s offense capitalize if it is in fact close. The answer is we don’t know, if things click in the bye week for Drew Lock than yes they could capitalize on the opportunity. However, more than likely Missouri lets this one slip away. Gators win and Missouri falls to 0-3 in SEC play.

Week seven Missouri vs. Middle Tennessee State. Sat, Oct. 22nd
The Blue Raiders come to town and the Tigers find themselves in a tricky game. MTSU won’t be as good as in past seasons, but will still be able to challenge Missouri. This one is a swing game in my opinion and and I don’t think it goes the Tigers way. Drew Lock will still be struggling to figure everything out by this point in the season and MTSU’s offense can snick a few scores past the Tigers defense that will already be feeling fatigued. Tigers lose this one and fall to a 2-5 record.

Week eight Missouri vs. Kentucky, Sat, Oct. 29th
There is a good chance Kentucky will have an interim head coach coming into this game. Even if they don’t, the noise will be pretty load and that can make a college team loss focus. Missouri and Kentucky aren’t that far off on talent levels, but it’s the mindset of Kentucky I question in this one. The Tigers and Barry Odom get their first SEC win of the season.

Week nine Missouri @ South Carolina. Sat, Nov. 5th
The month of November will be interesting for the Tigers. They have a couple of swing games before ending the season with Tennessee and Arkansas. The month starts with a road trip to the other Colombia to face the Gamecocks. A lot of the mystery factor for USC will be gone by November and Missouri should be feeling pretty good after beating Kentucky. The Tiger defense leads them to a win verses South Carolina and Missouri moves to 4-5.

Week ten Missouri vs. Vanderbilt. Sat, Nov. 12th
In what could be the lowest scoring game in the SEC this season the Tigers host Vandy. Both teams will have a suffocating defense and it could come down to witch quarterback plays better. The other option is which defense can score once or twice. If you love defense than this is a must watch in the SEC in 2016. Vandy should sneak away with the win here as they should have the silently better offense.

Week eleven Missouri @ Tennessee. Sat, Nov. 19th
This is a game between a bottom level and top level SEC team this year. The Tigers have capitalized on the Vols struggles since Missouri moved to the SEC, but last year we saw Tennessee break through verse the Tigers. Tennessee is simply just the better and more talented team in this matchup. It could look a lot like last year’s game where it is close till around the midway point of the game. Just like last year the Missouri defense will get worn down by Tennessee’s offense and from not getting a lot of rest over the last several weeks. Tennessee wins with a big push late.

Week twelve Missouri vs. Arkansas. Fri, Nov. 25th
Its Friday night lights time for these two SEC schools and it will be the last game of Missouri’s season. In a great regional matchup between the Hogs and the Tigers, Arkansas should come out with the easy win. The Hogs much like the Vols will be to talented on offense for the Tigers defense to keep up with the entire game. Hogs win big and Missouri’s first season under Barry Odom comes to and end at (4-8, 2-6 SEC).

Overall this year should be viewed as a success for Odom despite the record. The East is a bit stronger and the bottom four teams are all really close to each other in talent. Coaching changes during the season could help Missouri when a few they shouldn’t and their defense will keep them in a lot of games. However, the offense just won’t be good enough to help win a few of the swing games they have.

Stay tuned next week for my picks to finish 10th and 9th in the SEC in 2016. Untill than just remember only 34 more days till football starts in the SEC.

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