Schedule and Odds
Missouri is losing enough talent on both sides of the ball to dismiss them in the SEC East race, but considering they’ve won back-to-back crowns, that’d be a mistake. As an underdog the last two seasons, the Tigers have somehow found a way, and if they do so again it wouldn’t be much of a surprise.
5 dimes sportsbook has Missouri listed at odds of 125 to 1 to win the National Championship and 14 to 1 to win the SEC.
Quarterback Maty Mauk was erratic and downright awful at times in 2014 yet still finished with 25 touchdowns. But it has to be mentioned he finished with just nine TDs in SEC play along with seven interceptions. Mauk didn’t really have any great Games in Conference play, but he seemingly did enough in most Games and that led to six straight wins and the SEC East title. Most people expect improvement from him in his second year as a full-time starter, but Mauk will be losing his top three receiving targets that combined for 23 touchdowns. His top receivers will be Nate Brown (five receptions), J’Mon Moore (two receptions) and Wesley Leftwich (three receptions).
The good news is that the running Game should be just fine with Russell Hansbrough (1,084 yards, 10 TDs) back along with Four of their starting linemen. Missouri will still probably give a decent amount of carries to someone else with Marcus Murphy gone, but that part of their Game looks set.
On the defensive end, Barry Odom takes over as defensive coordinator after having the same role at Memphis for three seasons. Odom was formerly the safeties coach for Missouri from 2009-11. The Tigers are usually pretty stout on defense and that’s led to their two titles, but the line does take some major hits. Ends Shane Ray and Markus Golden are gone to the NFL as is safety Braylon Webb.
The toughest spot to find replacements will be on the line and that’s the main area Missouri has to work with. They’ll need to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, which has been a key to the defense the last couple years. But for the most part, the linebackers and secondary don’t have any glaring holes and that should help Odom in his first year as DC.
For an SEC East team, the Tigers don’t exactly have an easy Schedule. While they should start 3-0, and possibly even 6-0 with SEC Games at Kentucky and then home to South Carolina and Florida following that, it doesn’t get easier. Missouri has to travel to Georgia in the middle of the season and while that Game didn’t decide the SEC East last year, the Bulldogs did thoroughly dominate the Tigers. OUt of the West, Missouri is home to Mississippi State and travel to Arkansas at the end of the year. A November Game against BYU at Arrowhead won’t be easy by any means either.
Like previous seasons, Missouri has a shot to sneak in and win the SEC East again, even with a few Conference losses. Maty Mauk’s improvement will be key to what this team can do, but without rapport with his receivers, that improvement may take longer than hoped for some fans.
2015 Missouri Football Schedule
Sept. 5 vs. SE Missouri St
Sept 12 at Arkansas State
Sept. 19 vs. Connecticut
Sept. 26 at Kentucky
Oct. 3 vs. South Carolina
Oct. 10 vs. Florida
Oct. 17 at Georgia
Oct. 24 at Vanderbilt
Nov. 5 vs. Mississippi State
Nov. 14 vs. BYU (Arrowhead Stadium)
Nov. 21 vs. Tennessee
Nov. 28 at Arkansas