Mizzou’s coach shot adds to rivalry

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By: Wally Hall

Publication: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Last summer on SEC Media Days, when all the coaches were happy, undefeated but cautious, Missouri football coach Eli Drinkwitz took a low blow against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

“I kinda like the rivalry we have with Arkansas,” said Drinkwitz. “I can’t remember the last time they beat us, so I like this one. The Battle Line Rivalry is pretty good for us. I think we’ll keep this one for now. It is a good one. “

It was unwarranted and unnecessary.

Indeed Arkansas lost five times in a row against the Tigers.

Drinkwitz was the head coach for one last season when they scored 27 points in the fourth quarter to win 50-48.

Prior to that he was the Appalachian State Head Coach for one season and prior to that he was an Assistant Coach away from the Show Me State Borders.

The main reason it was unnecessary cheap shot is that Drinkwitz chose to coach Missouri over Arkansas.

Apparently he didn’t care that he grew up in Alma, whether his family lived there or the Razorbacks wanted him.

Either he thought the reconstruction was too important a job or he couldn’t do it, which could make life difficult for him in his home country.

Since he was so far away for four of the past five years, maybe someone should explain to him that for two years before Sam Pittman easily accepted the challenge of rebuilding the Razorbacks, the head coach was Chad Morris .

Morris lost to all SEC teams in his two seasons, not just the Tigers.

The year before, when the dye had been thrown out the previous season, Missouri won 48-45 and Bret Bielema was sacked coming off the field. His loss began the previous season, when the Razorbacks were outscored 21-0 after leading 24-7 at halftime.

Several of my colleagues across the country who graduated from Missouri texted after the Drinkwitz shot and asked if Pittman had said anything to upset the Missouri coach.

Nope. Pittman kicked off the last day and Drinkwitz went last.

Pittman was Pittman, honest and open and admitting he was a little nervous.

Drinkwitz took to the stage like Chris Rock in an improvisation theater.

Really confident.

In his debut season, the Tigers went 5-5 and had two wins against SEC West Division teams Arkansas and LSU – and we all know the tide was going down on Ed Orgeron. .

Sam Pittman went 3-7 defeating Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee. Missouri lost to the Flights and the Bulldogs.

No comparison here, but anyone who watched last year’s Arkansas-Missouri game knows there might have been a trophy, but there was no bragging rights.

It was anyone’s game.

Drinkwitz’s shot in Arkansas even caught the attention of his mentor Gus Malzahn, who first hired him at Springdale High School and then Auburn.

Malzahn told Trey Schaap in a one-on-one interview for 103.7 The Buzz that he might remind Drinkwitz that he will have to go home and visit his family someday.

Pittman didn’t care what was said. This is not about bulletin board material, but preparation.

However, there is a lot going on about this game in Fayetteville on Friday.

Arkansas are 7-4 and are trying to play in a Florida bowl, which would give them visibility in the Sunshine State and on national television.

Missouri are 6-5 and are trying to play out of the Birmingham Bowl, which is played on Tuesday, December 28.

They had two common opponents, both losing decidedly to Georgia (like everyone else) and the Razorbacks beat Texas A&M 20-10 and Missouri lost at home to A&M 35-14.

It should be a great game whether the Missouri coach thinks it or not.

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