Missouri Football Predictions

The Missouri Tigers somehow managed to win back-to-back SEC East titles in 2013 and 2014 behind an elite defense. Well, that defense was just as good last year, but the offense was so atrocious that it didn’t matter.

The Tigers managed to finish just 5-7 while missing out on a bowl game. That led to the retirement of Gary Pinkel, who was the head coach here for 15 years. It was a trying season overall with all of the off-the-field issues on campus, and the Tigers are now ready to move forward.

All of the players seemed to love the hiring of Barry Odom, who served as defensive coordinator last year and played in Columbia from 1996-1999. Odom inherits 13 returning starters and 47 lettermen while losing only 18 letter winners. Let’s see what we can expect from the Tigers in his first season in 2016.

Last Season
SEC East
ATS Record
Points For
Points Against
5-7 (1-7 SEC)
2016 Missouri Tigers Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/3 @ West Virginia
9/10 Eastern Michigan
9/17 Georgia
9/24 Delaware State
10/1 @ LSU
10/15 @ Florida
10/22 Middle Tennessee
10/29 Kentucky
11/5 @ South Carolina
11/12 Vanderbilt
11/19 @ Tennessee
11/26 Arkansas
Estimated Wins: TBD

Missouri had one of the worst offenses in the country last season. It averaged just 13.6 points and 281 yards per game overall. With only five starters back, it’s not looking good on this side of the ball again in 2016.

The good news is that sophomore Drew Lock got his feet wet as a freshman last year after taking over for the inept Maty Mauk. But Lock wasn’t much better, completing just 49 percent of his passes for 1,332 yards with four touchdowns and eight interceptions. He does have the talent and needs to make a big leap forward as a sophomore.

The backfield adds Oklahoma transfer Alex Ross, who rushed for 786 yards and averaged 6.4 per carry in his three years in Norman. The receiving corps returns its top two in J.Mon Moore (29 receptions, 350 yards, 3 TD) and Nate Brown (27, 326, 4 TD). Alabama transfer Chris Black could prove to be the best of the bunch. Senior TE Sean Culkin (16, 139, 1 TD) returns as well.

The offensive line is a big question mark with just one starter and 11 career starts returning from last year. They lost 146 career starts and will surely struggle. They are expected to start two sophomores and three juniors with LG Nate Crawford being the lone returning starter.


The Tigers squandered one of their best defenses ever last season as they allowed just 16.2 points and 302 yards per game. This should be one of the SEC’s top units again eith eight starters and five of the top six tacklers returning.

The entire defensive line returns intact. They have five players with starting experience up front. They are second-team All-SEC DE Charles Harris (56 tackles, 18.5 for loss, 7 sacks), DT Rickey Hatley (27 tackles, 4.5 for loss), NG Josh Augusta (27 tackles, 8.5 for loss), DE Walter Brady (40 tackles, 7 sacks), and DT Harold Brantley (54 tackles, 5 sacks in ’14), who missed all of last season due to injury.

Two of the team’s top four tacklers return at linebacker in seniors Michael Sherer (93 tackles, 9 for loss) and Donavin Newsom (62 tackles, 9 for loss). Expect junior Joey Burkett to get the nod at weakside linebacker as he has to fend off sophomore Brandon Lee for starting duties.

The secondary returns two starters, including top cover corner Aarion Penton (59 tackles, 8 pass break-ups, 1 INT). Also back is the team’s No. 3 tackler in SS Anthony Sherrils (64 tackles, 1 INT). Look for senior John Gibson (12 tackles, 1 INT) to step up at the other CB spot, and for junior Thomas Wilson (14 tackles) to take over at free safety.

Odds (Courtesy of 5Dimes)
Regular Season Win Total
SEC East Odds
SEC Championship Odds
4-Team Playoff Odds
National Championship Odds
Season Predictions

I was way down on the Tigers last year knowing that they had overachieved in winning the SEC East two consecutive seasons. They did not disappoint me as they missed out on a bowl game with a 5-7 record.

That’s hard to believe with a defense that gave up just 16.2 points per game, and this unit should be dominant again. While the offense can’t be much worse, I really don’t foresee it being a whole lot better either due to all of the inexperience along the offensive line.

I do feel like the Tigers are good enough to get back to a bowl game with a 6-6 record overall. But they are likely to be underdogs in six of their eight SEC games with the lone exceptions being home games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

They will be home dogs to both Arkansas and Georgia. So me calling them 3-5 in the SEC is actually giving them a little bit of credit. Don’t expect Missouri to get back into SEC East contention any time soon.

2016 Projections
SEC East
SEC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
Push 6
More College Football Predictions
Conference USA

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