Oh wow, a Mizzou article from a KU alum and well documented Mizzou hater? *Logs off*
Please humor me here, I promise I know what I'm talking about, and in some cases merely echoing the Mizzou fanbase's thoughts. Bear with me here, folks. Our topic of the day however, is Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri's head football coach. Drinkwitz came from Appalachian State 3 years ago after having exactly one (1) successful year in the Sun Belt Conference. He racked up wins, notoriety, and made App St into a Group of 5 powerhouse in that year. Developing a basically fresh from FCS to FBS program at the time, Drinkwitz was expected to do the same when signed on to Mizzou. Build what once was a winning program back to their winning ways. The question of the day: Has he done that? Will he get the chance to?
Let's discuss, shall we? The Missouri Tigers are perhaps one of the most painfully average programs in all of the FBS over the past few years. Lots of 5-7, 6-6, and 7-5 records. Bowl eligible yes, but not what they once were. Back to back 2 and 3 loss seasons when the team was just coming into the SEC, including a SEC Championship game appearance should have told you the tale of things to come for our fair Tigers, but it didn't. Their best season since 2013? 2018 when they were 8-5, where they went to the Liberty Bowl and lost. Not quite meeting those great expectations, are we Mizzou? This is where the Drinkwitz hire comes in though. Drinkwitz's sole year as head honcho at App St garnered a 13-1 season, App St's best season ever, FBS or otherwise. He lead them to a New Orleans Bowl win over *checks notes* UAB 31-17, and everyone thought this man would be the new Nick Saban. Or at least the Mizzou Athletic Department did. Now, in his 3rd full year of coaching, the Missouri Tigers have basically produced the exact same results as they were producing. Chronically average, see at least with my Jayhawks I knew to not over-anticipate with each coaching change. This has felt somewhat embarrassing.
However, let's focus on the good about Drinkwitz now. He got a big win (That may have saved his job) against a ranked South Carolina team this past weekend, and they've been competitive against some of the SEC's best such as Georgia. This upcoming Kentucky game may be the ultimate telltale sign as to where Missouri Football will go from here. He IS also only in his 3rd year, so he hasn't even had time to develop a full freshman class yet, and has been recruiting decently. He's acquired some of the state's top recruits, including 5 Star receiver Luther Burden who has already proven to be an asset to a struggling Missouri offense. Perhaps too much of one even... The recruiting ability is there though however, and I think if you give Drinkwitz enough time to fully develop a recruiting class he can call his own, there might be some doubts put to rest.
Keyword here, is might, and with how his maiden classes have turned out so far (Connor Bazelak being mediocre and transferring to Indiana, lots of discipline issues with incoming guys, Kelly Bryant lol, and overall just one big time recruit followed by some pretty "eh" pickups) it isn't exactly looking like the ship will be righted any time soon. They're solid recruits, but you have to develop those guys and mold them into SEC level players. Drinkwitz has not done that, and I can't say I blame him as he only had one full year of coaching a SUN BELT team under his belt previously. There's such a jump in expectations when it comes to the SEC and any other conferences, even between the Big Ten and SEC there's a talent gap. You have to be able to keep up with the big boys, and Mizzou really only caught the SEC off guard those first two years I think. They did not mold themselves into an SEC style program, and they're paying the price for it. I don't see him being the guy for Mizzou for much longer if things do not drastically turn around, if Mizzou expects to go back to those 2012 and 2013 years it will more than likely mean saying goodbye to him at some point and figuring out a way to mold themselves into what is expected out of an SEC program. You don't want to end up like Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Arkansas, and others who continuously get walked by the like of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. Gary Pinkel, Drinkwitz is not, at least in my opinion.
I'd love to know your thoughts on the matter though, Mizzou fans that read my literature (I know, I know there's not a ton of you but I appreciate you just as much as my other readers) How do you think Mizzou should proceed with Drinkwitz? Would making a bowl matter? Does winning out impress the AD enough to garner a possible extension? Do you think Mizzou will develop more under Drink? Best answers get featured in the ScorchCast, thanks and uhhhhhhhh Rock Chalk.
Burn Notice: 8/10 Drinkwitz's posterior, perhaps?