It’s been a tough couple of weeks for any Missouri fans who happen to read the content over at Saturday Down South. First, Ty Duffy published an article about conference realignment. But this wasn’t about looking forward. Rather, it was about going back in time and letting each conference do realignment with “perfect foresight.”
Re-doing SEC realignment would mean, in Duffy’s opinion, that Texas A&M would still get an invitation. Why would the Aggies still receive the invitation? Duffy doesn’t explicitly say. He must be mesmerized by the lackluster SEC finishes the Aggies have treated us all to. Here is what I remember about Texas A&M being in the SEC – Missouri beat Johnny Manziel’s Aggies to clinch its first of two SEC East championships.
In Duffy’s world, the Power 5 conferences would be whittled to a Power 3 consisting of the SEC, Big Ten, and Pac-12. The rest of the current Power-5 teams would be relegated to the ACC and the American Conference. Missouri, in Duffy’s pipe dream, would be members of the American. And the winners of Duffy’s bottom feeder conferences would never have a legitimate shot at playing in the four-team playoff. As Duffy said in his manifesto, “consistent football trumps TV market.” Except, of course, that’s not reality. Money talks and Missouri brings in the Kansas City and St. Louis markets.
As expected, Duffy and Saturday Down South received a boatload of criticism from Missouri fans. And, as expected, Saturday Down South stood by its writer just as they should have. As Saturday Down South tweeted, Duffy is simply a contributing writer.
Just a speculation from a contributing writer on what might occur if it were re done. Nobody getting kicked out. 😀
— Saturday Down South (@SDS) July 5, 2017
This is all well and good. Lord knows Campus Pressbox has published content that not everyone at the site agreed with, but there’s room for everyone’s opinion and nobody is told what to write. This is as it should be. But the question remains, does Saturday Down South treat Missouri like the rented mule of the SEC? It’s a fair question and one that I believe the site doubled down on when SDS published Keith Farner’s article, Analyzing SEC over/under Win Totals.
The over/under for Missouri’s 2017-win total was set at 6.5 and Farner is taking the under. Fair enough. The Tigers weren’t bowl bound last season and have some question marks on defense this season. Farner considers Odom’s rebuild to be a year away and doubts that the team can muster three wins in SEC play. In and of itself, not a hot take. But let’s put Farner’s assessment of Odom within the context of the other second-year SEC East coaches.
Georgia has a Farner prescribed over/under of eight and the SDS writer is taking the under. Jacob Eason and a talented offense are touched upon. But what isn’t discussed is second-year coach Kirby Smart. With Missouri, the rebuild job that is staring down Odom was placed on full display. With Georgia, we were told what we already knew and that is that Georgia seldom lives up to the expectations placed upon them by writers and fans. Funny thing is that Missouri has won the East twice since joining the conference. Georgia, on the other hand, hasn’t won the East since 2012. So, if Odom has a rebuilding job ahead of him, then so does Smart. And that should’ve been worth mentioning.
And then there is Will Muschamp and South Carolina. Muschamp is entering his second year as the coach of the Gamecocks but had a less than successful stint as the coach at Florida. Just as Farner mentioned about Missouri, South Carolina also returns a high caliber offense. So why is Farner taking the over with South Carolina’s 5.5 over/under? And why is Muschamp and South Carolina considered to be a dark horse candidate to win the East while Missouri will be lucky to win three conference games? Who knows. Maybe, by going back to Duffy’s article, it’s because Missouri is lucky to even be in a power conference. Did you catch my sarcasm? Good.
If you’re familiar with my Missouri writing, I’m not always shaking my pom-poms about my alma mater’s football program. I wasn’t a fan of Odom being hired to replace Gary Pinkel, but I’m also willing to give him a fair shot to prove me wrong. Is Odom on par with Nick Saban? Hell no. Odom, all things considered, isn’t on par with Butch Jones. But for Farner to suggest that Kirby Smart and Will Muschamp each out-class Odom is ridiculous.
I’ll call my shot now. Missouri will beat South Carolina when the Gamecocks come to Columbia, MO. on September 9. After that, Odom only has to win two more SEC games to impress Farner. Will Georgia be one of those wins? It wouldn’t shock me. And who knows, in Duffy’s world Missouri is playing for its SEC life.
I’m looking forward to SDS’s next Missouri article. What can we all expect? Something along the lines of Tailgating at Missouri; You Couldn’t Do Much Worse.
Comment on this story in our free forum.
E-mail Seth at seth [dot] merenbloom [at] campuspressbox [dot] com or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.