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.