Will the Missouri Tigers ever get back to a double-digit win season? Or will they stay mediocre in the SEC for the foreseeable future?
The Missouri Tigers are now on the other side of a rough offseason. They lost their starting QB to the transfer portal and they finished the 2021 season with a mediocre 6-7 record. Missouri has not produced a double-digit win season since 2014 during the Gary Pinkel era. With the 2021 season and offseason behind them, it is now time for third-year coach Eliah Drinkwitz to turn this program around.
This team is now nothing but recruits that Drinkwitz and his staff brought in and the product from here on out, is on Drinkwitz and his staff. That being said, the Tigers have eight teams on their schedule who played in bowl games including the defending national champs, the Georgia Bulldogs. This will be a tough schedule for the Tigers to show they are on the upward trend. Let’s check out and predict the 2022 Missouri Tigers schedule.
Week One, Home Game vs Louisiana Tech
Missouri opens the 2021 season with a non-conference matchup against Louisiana Tech in Columbia MO. LA Tech finished a measely 3-9 in 2021 and are also looking to bounce back in 2022. They fired their head coach and in steps an offensive guru in Sonny Cumbie. LA Tech has some talent on both sides of the ball and will not be push overs in this game. Very rarely do SEC teams allow Group of Five teams hang around but LA Tech will be able to make this a game. However, Mizzou is still the better team and we will get to see a solid debut from newly named starting QB, Brady Cook.
Score Prediction: Missouri 34, LA Tech 21
Week Two, Away Game vs Kansas State
The rough non-conference schedule continues in week two as Missouri heads to Manhattan to take on their former Big 12 foes in Kansas State. These teams have not met up since 2011 and K-State won that time around 24-17. Historically, Mizzou has dominated this matchup considering they lead the all-time series 60-32. However, I think this is a different K-State team that can run the table against their non-conference opponents. This will be a close game but look for newWildcats QB Adrian Martinez and company to show they are up to the challenge in close games.
Week Three, Home Game vs Abilene Christian
The Tigers return back home in week three to host Abilene Christian from the FCS. The Wildcats of Abilene are in for a rough game if Missouri loses to K-State. This will be that “tune up game” every SEC team gets at the beginning of the year. Look for Brady Cook to light up the stat sheet and the Mizzou defense to force plenty of turnovers. Missouri wins this one by a bunch.
Score Prediction: Missouri 48, Abilene Christian 14
Week Four, Away Game vs Auburn
The Tigers will get a break in week three but then have to go on the road to Auburn in week four. This is a tough way to begin conference play. This is going to be a coin-flip year for Auburn, with plenty of offseason turmoil around their head coach Bryan Harsin, there is not a ton of promise for success on the field with what is returning. So thus we have the coin-flip for whether the Tigers of Auburn have a good or bad year. This is enough for Mizzou considering they need every win they can get. I’m going to pick Missouri to get a big win on the road against an off-year Auburn team.
Score Prediction: Missouri 28, Auburn 21
Week Five, Home Game vs Georgia
Just when a trip to Auburn sounded bad, returning home to host the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs is up next. I will not waste anyones time here, Georgia is winning this game and there is no doubt in my mind. This matchup used to be a rather competitive series but now the Dogs have full control of the series. Georgia has won the last eight meetings by an impressive scoring margin of around 27 points. Mizzou is still trying to rediscover who they are as a team and that is bad news for the Tigers. Give me the Bulldogs to go into Columbia MO and win in a blowout.
Week Six, Away Game vs Florida
By week six the Tigers will be gased with such a tough stretch of games. After getting destroyed by Georgia, they go on the road to take on the Gators in Gainesville. The Gators are another team with loads of talent but will be a coin flip of whether they actually go out and win games. The Gators have an amazing athelte in Anthony Richardson starting at quarterback, and he can single-handedly keep them in some games if he stays healthy. Missouri defintely has the pieces to win this game but they will be too beat up from weeks prior to actually go out and win the game.
Score Prediction: Florida 24, Missouri 17
Week Seven, Home Game vs Vanderbilt
The Tigers schedule finally eases up with a Homecoming matchup against Vanderbilt in week seven. This game also comes after a bye week so Missouri will be well rested. Brady Cook and company will want to ball out at least once in SEC play and the Homecoming game against Vandy will be their chance. Give me the Tigers to cruise to a win and look good at home for the big weekend ahead and a third-straight win against the Commodores.
Score Prediction: Missouri 35, Vanderbilt 14
Week Eight, Away Game vs South Carolina
Missouri then heads back on the road again for a trip to South Carolina. I have mentioned in other conference prediction pieces that the Gamecocks are not going to be pushed around anymore. They had a stellar offseason in the recruiting department as well as snagging NFL talent Spencer Rattler to play quarterback after he left OU. Playing South Carolina for the Mayor’s Cup during Halloween weekend will be nothing short of an electric atmosphere. If Mizzou brings their A game, they have a shot to win. However, this South Carolina team will defend their home turf and deflate the Tigers bowl eligibility hopes.
Score Prediction: South Carolina 28, Missouri 24
Week Nine, Home Game vs Kentucky
Week nine’s home game will be yet another tough one. The Kentucky Wildcats come to town as we inch closer to the end of the regular season. A few years ago Mizzou would dominate this matchup. However, Mizzou has fallen into a bit of a decline and that is something Kentucky will feed off of. The Wildcats are the better team by leaps and bounds at this point and I like Kentucky to get another big win on the road. I still think Mizzou can hang around and make Kentucky uncomfortable but in the end, the Wildcats will prevail.
Week Ten, Away Game vs Tennessee
Mizzou then gets the pleasure of going on the road in week ten to take on a tough Tennessee team. The Vols have enjoyed a three-game winning streak against the Tigers. The Tigers will stumble around their identity as a team for the front half of the year but by week ten could have it a little more organized. However, I still like the Vols to defend their home turf and beat the Tigers to continue their win streak against Mizzou. The Vols could be competing for a SEC East title and Missouri will not be a team standing in their way.
Week Eleven, Home Game vs New Mexico State
The TIgers then get to return home for the final two games of the 2022 regular season. First up, New Mexico State comes to town for a weird end of season non-conference game. The Aggies have one winning season since 2002 and are barely winning at the FBS level. This should be an easy victory where the younger guys get plenty of playing time even by halftime.
Score Prediction: Missouri 53, New Mexico State 10
Week Twelve, Home Game vs Arkansas
The final game of the 2022 regular season has the Arkansas Razorbacks coming to town. The last time these two met up in Columbia it was a shootout for the ages with Mizzou winning 50-47. In last years game in Fayetteville, Arkansas dominated winning 34-17. Sam Pittman has turned things around in Fayetteville and has a Top 25-caliber team this season. At this point, they will be battle-tested as well, so nothing stop them in this game. Give me the Razorbacks to win this one comfortably and retain the Battle Line trophy once again.
Score Prediction: Arkansas 38, Missouri 24
Final Record For Missouri Football In 2022-23: 5-7 (2-6)
The 2022 season will not be a productive one for Missouri unless you consider five wins productive. There is still far too many holes to fill and questions to answer with this program. Until they can get back to the days of having consistent talent on both sides of the ball, five or six wins might be the new normal in Columbia MO. I hope the Tigers prove me wrong and show they can finally get out of the mediocre category in the SEC East.
Which SEC team will improve the most in 2022? Comment below and join the discussion!
Check back for the rest of the conference’s predictions here!