Benny Snell is the arch rusher in the SEC and one of the best active backs in the nation. He’s led the way for No. 12 Kentucky, a abruptness adversary in the SEC East.
But the a authoritativeness of activity head-to-head adjoin Snell, the unstoppable force, doesn’t get Missouri linebacker Terez Hall, the adamant object, excited. It’s aloof the actuality that Snell will be cutting a Kentucky uniform, and Hall will accept one aftermost adventitious to exhausted the Wildcats afore he leaves Columbia.
Of all the alarming facts and beauteous moments of Missouri’s SEC tenure, the Tigers’ three-game accident band to Kentucky ability be the strangest. Actuality are the SEC teams that Missouri currently has three-game accident streaks against:
Georgia and Alabama — those accomplish sense. South Carolina — well, things accept been weird, but the Gamecocks’ success still fits more. But Kentucky was declared to be one of those teams that Missouri didn’t accept to anguish abundant about back it aing the SEC. The catechism was, “How would Missouri attempt adjoin Georgia and Florida and Tennessee?”
Kentucky wasn’t allotment of that equation.
The accident band adjoin the Wildcats has best absolutely not gone disregarded by Missouri’s players.
“(Coach) Odom fabricated a acceptable point,” Missouri abhorrent lineman Kevin Pendleton said. “He asked how abounding guys accept baffled Kentucky in their career here. We did it my redshirt apprentice year, but we didn’t play. I don’t calculation that.
“We absolutely got a dent on our shoulder, because we haven’t baffled this aggregation back I’ve been actuality and played here.”
Kentucky has aback become the barometer stick for these Missouri players, article that seemed abysmal bristles or six years ago — back Missouri was not aloof assault Kentucky, but crime the Wildcats.
The Wildcats are now nationally relevant, perched aloof alfresco the Top 10 and with a absolute adventitious to win the SEC East should they accumulate winning. It speaks volumes about an able-bodied administrator (Mitch Barnhart) afraid with a drillmaster (Mark Stoops) during the apathetic body in adjustment to see the acceptable start, which it has over the accomplished three seasons.
“He was accustomed time to do it and he’s done it the way he’s wanted,” Barry Odom said about Mark Stoops.
Beyond the actuality that his players haven’t baffled Kentucky back 2014, there’s apprenticed to be some added action for Odom, too. Stoops has gotten time to body in Lexington, but he was additionally on the hot bench for abundant of his aboriginal four seasons.
If Odom’s animadversion about Stoops had any bit of added meaning, it’s still not an apples-to-apples comparison. Because while Kentucky is a barometer stick for this team, for these players, for this year, it shouldn’t be the barometer stick for Missouri’s program.
Stoops got added time because Joker Phillips didn’t, because success during the Rich Brooks era was eight wins, because a ten-win division has happened aloof alert in Lexington (1977, 1950)
Odom deserves added time, but his timeline for connected success at Missouri should be faster than Stoops’ at Kentucky. Already, he’s done that, activity from a sub-.500 aboriginal year to a basin division in Year 2; it took Stoops until Year 4 to ability a bowl.
Stoops’ Kentucky aggregation is demography the aing footfall in Year 6. It shouldn’t booty Odom and Missouri that continued to do the same.
It starts with Saturday, with No. 12 Kentucky, a aggregation Missouri hasn’t baffled back 2014.
A aggregation that’s aback Missouri’s most-pressing barometer stick.
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