Florida football opponent scouting report: Missouri Tigers

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After spending nearly its entire football history in the Big 12 (and the Big Eight, one of its predecessors), Missouri made the move to the SEC alongside Texas A&M in 2012 during the last major round of conference realignment. Adding the Aggies made a lot of sense, but some questioned the addition of a Missouri team that had been middling for most of its existence.

But under Gary Pinkel, the winningest coach in school history by percentage, the team had won 10+ games in three of its final five seasons in the Big 12, and that success carried over to the SEC, at least initially. After going 5-7 in 2012, Pinkel’s squad won 12 games in 2013 and 11 games in 2014, capturing an SEC East Division title both years.

However, that was followed up with another 5-7 record in 2015, which proved to be Pinkel’s last season as he stepped down for health reasons. He was replaced by Barry Odom, the in-house defensive coordinator, who took the team from four wins in his first year to eight in his third. But the team fell back to 6-6 in 2019, and Odom was dismissed following the season.

In came Eliah Drinkwitz, an offensive-minded coach who went 12-1 in his lone season as the head man at Appalachian State. It’s a bit early to evaluate Drinkwitz’s tenure, as he went 5-5 in a shortened 2020 season and holds the same record currently in Year 2. It’s been a difficult season for Drinkwitz, who is only in his third overall season as a head coach, and the Tigers’ only conference wins came against Vanderbilt and South Carolina. But he has a chance to earn a major win and get his team bowl eligible on Saturday.

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