The Missouri Tigers will be looking to put the past year behind them when they kick off their 2016 season on September 3rd against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
There have been worse offseasons than what the Missouri Tigers just went through. However, those worse offseasons usually just revolved around one scandal like at Penn State, USC, and Middle Tennessee. There really may not be a precedent for the litany of problems that Mizzou encountered over the course of (not even) a year.
Allegations of racism, a football team quitting on its coach, multiple school officials resigning, recruiting decommitments, the Matty Mauk saga, and other issues have left most Tiger fans with a sour taste in their mouths. On top of that, the Tigers are coming off a 5-7 season in 2015 that didn’t leave much room for hope.
That’s all behind Mizzou now though, as they look to push forward into a new era of Tigers football. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. The Tigers are probably in the absolute worst division in college football to try and rebound their program. The Southeastern Conference isn’t just famous for winning titles, it is also notorious for holding the lesser programs down.
The Road Back
The Missouri Tigers have to be careful to avoid the fate of programs like Vanderbilt and Kentucky, who hold a perennial lock on the bottom of the division. Even teams with some recent success like South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State know that their time in the sun in tenuous at best. Missouri enjoyed early success in the SEC, but now they will be in a tough spot to climb out of.
There has been some recent good news for the Tigers though, as they claimed a pair of transfer players from Alabama. Granted, these aren’t star players from Bama, but they should be contributors to helping Mizzou get back on its feet. Grabbing transfers like that can help the program stay afloat until the leadership is able to change the image and perception of the school.
Next: No Small Task