Mizzou Football: Eli Drinkwitz appears to be betting big on 2023

If you had to decide a widely known phrase to sum up Eli Drinkwitz’s ethos, what do you suppose it might be?

“Look twice earlier than you leap,” could be one.

“Slow and regular wins the race,” may be one other.

“May The Force be with you,” may additionally match, though you would doubtlessly sub it out for, “I’ve acquired a foul feeling about this,” relying on the sport state.

Sardonic or critical, the myriad of choices can all be labeled as these describing a person who has typically been cautious, risk-averse and only a tad cocky.

I can not think about anybody would have chosen the next phrase: “Go big or go house.” Funny sufficient, it is one which defines Eli Drinkwitz now greater than ever. Because all latest indicators recommend he is betting big on himself and his program in 2023.

There was concerted hanging-wringing in lots of corners of the Mizzou fanbase when Drinkwitz signed a two-year extension in the course of the 2022 season. What has he achieved, these followers requested, to deserve not solely an extension, however a elevate? Sure, the recruiting has stepped up and the protection is incredible. But the place’s the offense? The bowl wins? Can we end over .500 no less than as soon as?

While it is easy to view contract extensions as nothing greater than a recruiting instrument — always remember, Barry Odom acquired an extension lower than a 12 months earlier than he was canned — they’re truthful questions. What has Drinkwitz achieved to earn a pay elevate? A “assure” of employment for just a few extra years and lots of extra possibilities to lead Mizzou Football?

Based on Drinkwitz’s habits this offseason, he appears to be conscious that these questions are being requested by followers — and possibly by some boosters as properly. While the faculty soccer world has been thrown into chaos by the switch portal, the Tigers have largely remained intact with just a few notable exceptions. Many of the crew’s high performers are coming again, together with a number of defensive standouts. Drinkwitz has caved on his needs to tightly management the offense, bringing in an up-and-coming coordinator from exterior his personal circle.

Most apparently, I believe, is the kind of participant he is bringing in from the switch portal. You could recall the previous few offseasons when names like Mookie Cooper, Bence Polgar, Ian Matthews and Dreydon Norwood have been the big will get, underclassmen with little manufacturing and a complete lot to show.

Nowadays, most of the new Tigers look to be right here for transient stays. Take this previous week, for example. Of the 5 new Tigers introduced this week, 4 have three years of school expertise on the Power Five degree. All of them have offered substantial manufacturing at their earlier stops. The fifth is Marcellus Johnson, a multi-year starter at Eastern Michigan with one remaining 12 months of eligibility.

These aren’t the kinds of gamers you herald with the long-term future in thoughts. Players like Dannis Jackson, Joe Moore III and Sidney Williams are introduced in to win and win rapidly. And with the employees’s latest observe file within the portal, particularly when it comes to nabbing prompt impression gamers, one can assume that the coaches consider Mizzou is prepared to take the subsequent step.

Next 12 months’s schedule may be the one to benefit from, too. The Tigers will play eight of their 12 video games within the state of Missouri and solely face one “unwinnable” recreation on the street; that’s, except you consider they’ll channel the spirit of 2013 in Athens. With attendance up in 2023, Faurot Field may be a tricky place to play this coming fall. Marquee video games towards Kansas State, LSU, Tennessee and Florida will supply the Tigers loads of alternatives to get issues buzzing in CoMo.

None of that is to recommend Drinkwitz has his sights set on absurdly lofty targets. Given that Georgia appears set to win no less than 50 p.c of nationwide titles for the subsequent decade, it is in all probability protected to say that the SEC East is out of attain in the intervening time. But is it an excessive amount of to suppose eight wins is off the desk? Nine in the event that they get a bit of fortunate?

The reality of the matter is that this: for all of the athletic division speaks about not wanting to lay down a win-loss ultimatum, it feels like 2023 may be the 12 months for such a factor. One may argue that progress has been made in three years beneath Drinkwitz. Mizzou completed 2020 and 2021 at 68th and 69th in SP+, respectively. In 2022, the Tigers vaulted to fortieth regardless of having a lackluster offense and a relative down 12 months on particular groups. The numbers say that Missouri acquired higher this previous season. I’ll rephrase that: Many numbers say that Missouri acquired higher aside from the tip of season win share.

In 2023, Missouri wants to flip underlying development into on-field outcomes. We’ve been circling this upcoming season for years at Rock M Nation. By the appears to be like of Drinkwitz’s offseason actions, it appears he could have it circled too.

He’s wanting to go big. If he cannot, he may be going house.

Leave a Comment