Mizzou sports could see postseason breakthroughs in 2024-25 seasons (2024)

Table of Contents
Mizzou sports could see postseason breakthroughs in 2024-25 seasons CFP appearance on menu? Bouncing out of SEC hoops cellar Other sports a strong run away? Football’s sudden rise, unexpected AD search were Mizzou sports stories of the year in 2023-24 Mizzou 'absolutely' interested in finding sponsor for football field advertisem*nts Read the full transcript of Mizzou beat writer Eli Hoff's sports chat Read the full transcript of Mizzou beat writer Eli Hoff's sports chat Transcript Mizzou sees its NIL model as ‘one of the advantages’ it has amid revenue-sharing questions Mizzou sports could see postseason breakthroughs in 2024-25 seasons Braggin' Rights basketball game between Illinois, Mizzou set for December 22 Mizzou AD Veatch expects women's hoops improvement. 'But you can't overly define what that is.' Mizzou AD Veatch expects women's hoops improvement. 'But you can't overly define what that is.' Mizzou football program remains on recruiting roll as official visits continue Mizzou AD Laird Veatch identifies more athletic facility upgrades as 'needs,' not wants Mizzou sees its NIL model as ‘one of the advantages’ it has amid revenue-sharing questions Will Mizzou win 10+ football games again? Tigers must do so to exceed the betting total SEC! SEC! SEC! Playoff push The big prize How about Illini? Mizzou football program remains on recruiting roll as official visits continue Mizzou AD Laird Veatch identifies more athletic facility upgrades as 'needs,' not wants Mizzou sees its NIL model as ‘one of the advantages’ it has amid revenue-sharing questions Read the full transcript of Mizzou beat writer Eli Hoff's sports chat Related to this collection Most Popular

Mizzou sports could see postseason breakthroughs in 2024-25 seasons

0 comments

Share this

  • 0

Mizzou sports could see postseason breakthroughs in 2024-25 seasons

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Next year could be a breakthrough one for Missouri athletics.

There’s an unprecedented and very real possibility MU football winds up in the College Football Playoff. After last-place finishes in the Southeastern Conference, gains seem to be in order for both men’s and women’s hoops. And a handful of other teams look to be a favorable run away from a shot at national titles in their own right, too.

After the Post-Dispatch has recapped the biggest storylines of the 2023-24 Mizzou sports year that was, the intrigue for the 2024-25 sports year to come has a lot to do with the Tigers contending on college athletics’ biggest stages.

CFP appearance on menu?

When Missouri football coach Eli Drinkwitz addressed a crowd of donors at a golf tournament in St. Charles last week, he was direct about where his program stands.

“We understand that the expectations are at an all-time high,” he said. “They should be.”

There are times when the coach entering his fifth year in Columbia has tried to cool and quash the idea of Mizzou’s bar being raised for the 2024 season. But he’s also admitted what’s obvious to fans, analysts and even algorithms: The Tigers have a real shot at making the 12-team College Football Playoff.

The 11th year of the CFP will be MU’s best chance yet of making it due to the the expanded field at a time when the program is on its strongest upswing in years. The possibility of a title run, of course, would be remarkable for the Tigers. But there are broader benefits to making it into the postseason field.

The first round of CFP games will be played at home sites on Dec. 20 and 21, meaning the teams that wind up seeded Nos. 5 through 8 will, for the first time, host a College Football Playoff matchup. Even in the middle of December, a playoff atmosphere at Memorial Stadium sounds like the sort of thing that would rally the Mizzou fan base in a way that could surpass even last season’s sellout streak.

There’s a financial windfall that would also come from a CFP appearance, regardless of whether Missouri hosts a playoff game. The CFP pays conferences when their teams make it in, and there are other revenue bumps from exposure, merchandise sales and interest in MU that trickles over to the academic side of the university.

With new athletics director Laird Veatch and UM System leaders banking on football revenue to buoy the rest of the athletics department — including the $250 million renovation of Memorial Stadium’s north concourse, which will take some its first strides forward next year — what the postseason looks like for Mizzou football could define the whole sports year.

Bouncing out of SEC hoops cellar

The expectation for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs will be that they climb out of the SEC’s basem*nt, at a minimum.

Dennis Gates has reloaded his roster with highly rated freshman and transfer portal classes, which was an achievement after the stain of an 0-18 season in conference play last year. Early — well, way-too-early — projections suggest the Tigers are on the bubble of potential NCAA Tournament teams next year, which is more an indication of the talent assembled within Mizzou Arena than anything else.

How Gates deploys another deep and varied roster will show plenty about his coaching ability — as well as what he learned from a grueling previous season. At a minimum, the next basketball season will see Mizzou win its first men’s hoops game in 2024, with its last victory coming against Central Arkansas on Dec. 30, 2023.

The future of the women’s team will also be clearer during the next academic year, which is the last on coach Robin Pingeton’s contract. A new deal will have to be issued to someone at that point, whether it’s the coach who has been around since Missouri’s Big 12 days or a new face.

Other sports a strong run away?

It seems like it might only be a matter of time before one of the other MU athletic programs that has been strong in recent years breaks through to push for a national title.

At the same golf event where Drinkwitz spoke, gymnastics coach Shannon Welker said he’s closing in on a transfer class that will rank among the best in the country — on top of returning talent. The Tigers placed fifth at the NCAA Championships in 2022 and have been close to making it back in each of the past two seasons, suggesting another shot at hardware might not be far off.

Losing seniors Laurin Krings, Alex Honnold and Jenna Laird will be difficult for Missouri softball to replace, especially as the SEC gets more difficult with the addition of Women’s College World Series championship game participants Oklahoma and Texas entering the fray. But coach Larissa Anderson has some young pitching talent that can step up, though the Tigers may need to find some more prowess at the plate to make a run.

Heading into her second season, volleyball coach Dawn Sullivan has targeted experienced players in the transfer portal after last season’s NCAA Tournament appearance. And wrestling coach Brian Smith seems likely, barring more bad luck with injuries and illnesses, to have MU back to perennial contender status on the mats next year.

Mizzou Sports News

Football’s sudden rise, unexpected AD search were Mizzou sports stories of the year in 2023-24

  • Eli Hoff

Mizzou Sports News

Mizzou 'absolutely' interested in finding sponsor for football field advertisem*nts

  • Eli Hoff

Mizzou Sports News

Read the full transcript of Mizzou beat writer Eli Hoff's sports chat

  • Eli Hoff

Read the full transcript of Mizzou beat writer Eli Hoff's sports chat

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Eli Hoff in a live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Transcript

Eli Hoff:Morning, all! Thanks for coming by this week's Mizzou chat. We'll keep up the usual offseason rhythm of talking about whatever's on your minds. And hey: The offseason's almost over. I'm making SEC media days plans, buying and devouring those annual college football preview magazines, and feeling ready to get rolling soon. But let's get to your questions...

Fly Man:Seems like Coach Gates will have another challenge of blending 3 teams-recruits, transfers and returning players. Good challenge to have. Can you talk about the challenges and has Men's and Women's basketball benefited as much as football from NIL?

Hoff:That sort of blend is precisely the challenge of being a modern college coach, especially in basketball. Mizzou is a pretty clear blend of the three groups: 1/3 of the team is back from last year, 1/3 are freshmen, 1/3 are transfers. But that's the norm now, and maybe even a little heavier on returners than other programs. That John Calipari quote from right after he was hired at Arkansas where he said there just wasn't a team is stuck in my mind.

One part of the challenge is building chemistry and camaraderie. That process has already started — it's team-building and a familiar part of any offseason. But the more interesting part, to me, is figuring out what players to combine in lineups, how they'll play off each other, that sort of thing. I'd asked Kyle Smithpeters, one of the assistant coaches, about this a bit ago and he'd told me that it's always intriguing and challenging for coaches too. You can watch a guy's tape at another school, scour his stats, but you can'treallyknow how he's going to pair with another player who you've even had in your locker room for a year.

As far as NIL goes, Mizzou seems to be competitive across the board when it comes to that. Obviously football gets the biggest bucket. But I don't think you see someone like Mark Mitchell going from Duke to MU without a strong NIL offer. (I don't know the terms of what got him to Columbia, so that's just an assumption based on the state of college sports.) The Mizzou women didn't lose a whole lot of young talent and got some key transfers, so I'd guess they're able to offer something there as well.

Larry M:Looking forward to the FB season and impressed with the recruits Drink is getting. What in your opinion is the driving factor for being so successful - Drinks message or NIL $, Is there anyone who can provide a big picture of how NIL and whatever other sources of payment are working and/or how the money is allotted to other sports. Lots of unknowns here so maybe someone could provide this in a future article. Thanks

Hoff:I think it's a combination of those things you mentioned. There are good NIL opportunities. Drinkwitz is going after players he think will fit into the culture that's now in place and pitching them on that. There are also players on this Mizzou team who guys elsewhere want to play alongside. People want to line up next to Luther Burden. Or block for Brady Cook. And I suspect when someone like Burden reaches out to a prospective recruit or transfer, that has some sway. And winning obviously helps too. Mizzou isn't selling hypotheticals after last year.

As far as NIL goes, I wrote this piece last week that provides a look at why Mizzou's NIL operation is considered so strong even heading into the uncertainty of revenue sharing. Not to toot my own horn, but I don't think you're seeing reported perspectives like this anywhere else. Some people still aren't ready to really give details on the NIL front, but those of us asking the questions are gaining ground. Eventually, we'll get a sense of what the percentage breakdown is through revenue-sharing that will give a good sense of how each sport is valued at different schools. But for now, if you want to understand how Laird Veatch is viewing NIL right now, I think this encompasses it pretty well, with some key context and recent developments:

Mizzou sees its NIL model as ‘one of the advantages’ it has amid revenue-sharing questions

“I think the Mizzou model is a model that many will end up trying to duplicate or reflect in some way, shape or form," MU athletics director Laird Veatch said.

Tiger Warrior:Brady Cook is the best QB in SEC and don't forget: he is the champion!! M-I-Z!!

Hoff:I think it's tough to sell him as the best going into this season. Seems like Carson Beck leads the charge, then Quinn Ewers. Jaxson Dart and Cook are the next tier, though I feel like I've seen Dart ranked ahead of Cook more. But is that where they'll all end up? I think Cook has a very real chance to be higher on that list by the end of the season. And, of course, that means NFL Draft stock rises...

Aaron:When thinking about seismic changes that we're seeing in college football, what potential impact do you see in relation to ensuring Mizzou's facilities remain competitive with the top programs in the SEC? Or do you see them focusing more on NIL?

Hoff:That's an interesting question. In general, there's obviously going to be the addition of revenue-sharing expenses: $20 million or so. That will have to be a focus in the same way that payroll is a focus for any other sports entity. But the facility stuff does matter. I don't know how much football stadium work would need to be done to keep it competitive within the SEC. Can Faurot seat 100,000 like some other SEC stadiums? No, but it also doesn't need to. If Mizzou can routinely sell it out and, based on the administration's view of what the stadium's good for, generate some revenue from its premium areas, that's probably all it needs to be.

But that does matter for other sports. A big investment in a new baseball facility, for example, would probably come as part of a broader investment in baseball to make that program competitive in the SEC — and then likely come with results. A stadium helps with recruiting, attendance, revenue, that sort of thing, but there's more to fielding consistently strong teams than that. The question going forward is how frequently and how expensively you'll see those investments from Mizzou, since the return on being competitive in SEC baseball just isn't the same as being competitive in SEC football.

DCG:I read your article today, and I just want to congratulate you on properly using the word "quash" (regarding expectations) rather than the increasingly misused "squash." It's one of my top writing pet peeves. So, thanks!

Hoff:Glad I passed the test! Quash is such a fun word to use anyway. And while we're talking pet peeves, can I use this as an opportunity to share one of mine? (That's rhetorical — I'm going to.) I hate the overuse of "with that being said" in every recruit/player's announcements of a commitment or flip or transfer. I understand how they want to structure those statements, but man, can't somebody find a different phrase? I cringe a little every time I see it — for no good reason at all, I'll admit.

Oh, and here's that story from today, in case you haven't seen it... I looked ahead to the upcoming Mizzou sports year, which I predict will be defined by postseason performances and the potential for a breakthrough or two there.

Mizzou sports could see postseason breakthroughs in 2024-25 seasons

A chance at the College Football Playoff stands out for Missouri athletics next academic year, but other teams have been knocking on the door of national contention, too.

Larry M:Reading comments on MU needs to provide more backup for this or that position, but little to rate the capability of the QB backups if Brady goes down. Seems like the whole season would be blown up w/o a competent BU. How good is the incoming ND transfer.

Hoff:There's certainly a lot riding on the health of Cook, but this is true for a lot for teams. Drew Pyne, the transfer from Arizona St and Notre Dame, has starting experience and an arm. He wasn't on campus for spring ball, so I haven't seen him throw or work with the Mizzou offense yet. That seems like a decent recipe for a backup, but we'll see what he looks like in preseason camp.

Roy Earl:It seems like the sports other than football that have realistic national championship aspirations are gymnastics, softball, and wrestling. Do you have anything to report about them, Eli? Thanks.

Hoff:Gymnastics is bringing in a transfer class that will be up there with the best in the country, if not the best. That's a big way to reload after a strong run last season. Softball brought in an outfielder with a little bit of power, but a lot is going to fall on how the younger pitchers progress and step up next year. I know wrestling has been active in the portal but I'm not as familiar with the moves there.

Palmetto State Fan:Good afternoon. How are things going these days with the Board of Curators' Intercollegiate Athletics Management, Inc.? Are they bringing anything positive to the table or just slowing down the processes? How many dollars have they brought to the athletics department to assist in funding the North End Zone project?

Hoff:The Mizzou athletics oversight committee hasn't met since May 17. The whole board is getting together in Springfield next week for a couple days of meeting, and athletics will be part of that — likely advancing the north concourse project, since bid deadlines are happening there. Nothing has been slowed down by them and it's proceeding as expected. Perhaps there will be a fundraising update as part of that meeting, but I'm not sure if/how much the Curators are involved in soliciting donations themselves.

-

-

-

-

-

Braggin' Rights basketball game between Illinois, Mizzou set for December 22

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

The Braggin' Rights college basketball rivalry game between Missouri and Illinois will take place on Sunday, Dec. 22, this year at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

The Post-Dispatch confirmed the scheduling of the annual neutral-site nonconference game, which was first reported by CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein.

St. Louis has hosted a game between the Tigers and Illini nearly every year since 1980. Illinois has a 34-20 series advantage over Mizzou, but MU has won four of the last six meetings.

Last year, the Illini thumped Missouri in a 97-73 rout that Illinois players felt was functionally secure by halftime. Illinois went on to make the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, losing to eventual champion UConn, while Mizzou went winless through Southeastern Conference play.

MU coach Dennis Gates has consistently emphasized the importance of the Missouri-Illinois rivalry, which splits both St. Louis and, usually, the Enterprise Center crowd.

"It’s one thing for me to sell it or Illinois’ side to sell it, but when you have people come back right before Christmas from every generation or even institution and it be a fixtured game that’s in St. Louis every year," Gates said before last year's matchup. "It’s an unbelievable atmosphere."

Mizzou Sports News

Mizzou AD Veatch expects women's hoops improvement. 'But you can't overly define what that is.'

  • Eli Hoff

Mizzou AD Veatch expects women's hoops improvement. 'But you can't overly define what that is.'

COLUMBIA, Mo. — When new Missouri athletics director Laird Veatch sat down for introductory meetings with the school’s various head coaches, he made something crowd-pleasingly clear: He wouldn’t be putting them through any SWOT analysis.

The straight-out-of-business-school acronym, pronounced like “swat,” stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats — and it’s a common, if reductive, way to organize a business or athletic program’s competitive standing.

Veatch doesn’t seem like a fan of that approach, even when getting acclimated with a new athletics department. The coaches he’s getting to know appreciate the lack of SWOT-ing.

“That was my first sign,” gymnastics coach Shannon Welker said recently at a fundraiser. “I’m like, ‘I really think I’m going to enjoy working with Laird.’”

Veatch emerged from those conversations feeling confident.

“I’ve, genuinely, been very impressed with our head coaches, with a lot of staff — just the talent, the energy, enthusiasm,” he said. “We’re a fairly young group overall, I would say, just generally speaking. Really good, quality people.”

Mizzou is returning all of its head coaches for the 2024-25 sports year, a bit of unique continuity underneath a change at the athletics department helm.

As things currently stand, that won’t be the case at this time next year: Women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton’s contract expires April 30, 2025, shortly after the end of the college hoops season.

That deadline sets up what will likely be Veatch’s first coaching personnel decision at MU: Does he extend Pingeton? Allow her contract to run out and search for a successor? It’s already unique for a coach to enter the last year of their deal, which leaves them without any contractual obligation or incentive to prepare for the future on the recruiting trail.

For now, much as he isn’t subjecting his coaches to SWOT analyses, Veatch isn’t establishing concrete external expectations for Pingeton and the women’s basketball team.

“(I’ve) had some really good conversations with Robin,” Veatch said. “I think a lot of her as a person, as a coach. She’s obviously had some real success points throughout her career. She, and all of us recognize, the expectations are always to win and get better, right? She’s done some really good things, from what I can tell, from a recruiting standpoint and positioning her and the program to get back on a better track.”

Though the Missouri women have lost two experienced contributors in forward Hayley Frank and Mama Dembele, the Tigers have a young core of players who will be entering their second and third seasons. Pingeton has also found some size in the transfer portal to add to a team that went 2-12 in Southeastern Conference play for a last-place finish in the league.

As Veatch explains it, his stance on evaluating Mizzou women’s basketball is not an exception but the rule for how he’ll analyze other programs at critical junctures that could involve coaching changes.

“Any time I go into a year when we’re coming off a point where it wasn’t what we wanted to be the year before, it’s: Let’s focus on getting better and taking a really big step,” Veatch said. “But you can’t overly define what that is until you see it.

“You observe it, you’re around it, you’re part of it because so much of assessing the performance of a coach or a program is about all the things going on behind the scenes, not just the wins and losses. Ultimately, wins and losses 100% absolutely matter at a real high level. But it’s got to be a part of all that, so you got to spend time with people and see what they’re doing and how they’re operating. That’s something that’ll come in time.”

Mizzou Sports News

Mizzou football program remains on recruiting roll as official visits continue

  • Eli Hoff

Mizzou Sports News

Mizzou AD Laird Veatch identifies more athletic facility upgrades as 'needs,' not wants

  • Eli Hoff

Mizzou Sports News

Mizzou sees its NIL model as ‘one of the advantages’ it has amid revenue-sharing questions

  • Eli Hoff

Get to know Mizzou Athletics Director Laird Veatch and his plans

Will Mizzou win 10+ football games again? Tigers must do so to exceed the betting total

Mizzou sports could see postseason breakthroughs in 2024-25 seasons (11)

Ten or more out of 12? That's how many games Missouri's football team will have to win this season to exceed the betting total that has been established for how many games the Tigers will prevail in this year.

Missouri is coming off its best football season in decades, has many key players returning including quarterback Brady Cook andreceiver Luther Burden III to fuelsurging hopes among the Ol’ Mizzou crowd.

That expectation of another banner year has translated to the oddsmakers, as those who set the numbers for the three legal walk-in sportsbooks in the area have set the over/under for the number of contests the Tigers will win as high as 9½. Any postseason play — league title game, bowl game, playoff contests — would not count in that betting total.

That follows MU being at 6½ heading in to last season, after the Tigers hadn’t won more than six games in any of coach Eli Drinkwitz’s three previous seasons running the team. But they surged to a 10-2 regular-season record and capped that with a victory over Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl.

Two of the brick-and-mortar shops in the area have had MU’s total at 9½, with the betting heavily shaded to “under.” At FanDuel (horse track in Collinsville), a bettor had to risk $180 to try to win $100 on the Tigers winning nine or fewer games. Conversely, over 9½ would return $146 for every $100 risked.

At DraftKings (Casino Queen in East St. Louis), the line also was at 9½ with the vigorish on the under not as steep (-145) as at FanDuel. But the return on over 9½ was less than in Collinsville (+125).

In Alton, the book in Argosy casino had MU’s victory total at 9, with the over the favorite (-124). Under was at even money. (If the Tigers would win exactly nine games, bets would be a “push” and be refunded.)

SEC! SEC! SEC!

Think the Tigers are poised to with the Southeastern Conference title now that Nick Saban finally has left Alabama after his dominating run in all of college football?

Well, the odds say a newcomer to the league has a better chance to win. MU was at 12-1 at DraftKings and Argsoy, 15-1 at FanDuel. What a change from last summer, when the odds locally of MU prevailing in the SEC were as high as 200-1.

All three books had Georgia as the favorite (odds between +150 and +190), with newbie Texas the second choice (ranging from +310 to +350). The other incoming team, Oklahoma, was 40-1 at all those shops.

Vanderbilt, meanwhile, was the longest shot — 1,000-1 at DraftKings.

Playoff push

There is a lot of talk among MU faithful of the team’s chances to make the expanded college football playoffs, up to 12 teams from four last year, and the oddsmakers have the Tigers on the cusp.

Argosy had them with 12th-lowest price to make the field, at +150 (a successful $100 bet would be worth at $150 profit). Georgia and Ohio State were massive favorites to qualify, at -670.

DraftKings also had MU 12th on its list, at +175. The Tigers just miss the cut according to odds at FanDuel, at which they were 13th (+180).

The big prize

Last June, the return on the Tigers winning the national title were as lofty as 400-1, in Alton. While they certainly aren’t among the favorites to win this season, their championship price has had a profound dip.

DraftKings had them at 35-1, FanDuel was at 38-1 and Argosy chimed in at 50-1. The favorites — Georgia (about 3-1), Ohio State (about 4-1) and Texas (about 8-1).

How about Illini?

The over/under for wins last season for Illinois was 6½, like Mizzou, but the Illini fell short in their 5-7 campaign.

This summer the area books have dropped Illinois’ total to 5½, with the under being the favorite: -120 at DraftKings, -127 at Argosy and -130 at FanDuel. Over was even money at DraftKings, +105 at the others.

The best price on the Illini to win the Big Ten crown was 300-1, at DraftKings. Argsoy had the Illini’s price to make the playoffs at 45-1 and FanDuel had them at 1,000-1 to win the national championship.

Mizzou football program remains on recruiting roll as official visits continue

Mizzou sports could see postseason breakthroughs in 2024-25 seasons (12)

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Eli Drinkwitz is turning visits into verbal commitments.

With Class of 2025 recruits out of school for the summer and taking official visits to some of their preferred future destinations, the Missouri football coach has been adding to his next crop of prospects in rapid-fire fashion.’

Three players have verbally committed to Mizzou in the last week, kicking off a wave of summer commitments that could leave the Tigers’ 2025 signing class largely set before the recruits’ senior seasons of high school football even have begun.

Running back Jamarion Morrow, a four-star athlete from the Memphis area, committed Friday night and headlines the newest commits.

Morrow narrowed his options to MU, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas A&M and Oregon and visited the Crimson Tide and Aggies before picking the Tigers.

The Rivals.com recruiting service sees Morrow as a strong prospect, rating him as the No. 2 all-purpose running back in the 2025 class and 139th best player in the bunch, regardless of position.

Morrow’s high school highlights show off a slippery running style that evades contact in quite a few situations, from traditional handoffs to screens and routes run as a receiver. He also has played on the defensive side of the ball.

Offensive lineman Henry Fenuku, a three-star recruit out of Fort Worth, Texas, committed just a few days after taking his official visit to Mizzou last weekend. He also had visited Ohio State and Texas Tech, but picked the Tigers over additional interest from Southern California and Mississippi.

He has lined up primarily at left guard in high school, pancaking defenders when asked to pull across the line and work his way into the second level of the defense. Recruiting services rank him similarly as one of the 20 best interior offensive line prospects in his class.

Safety Dyllon Williams, who is from Demopolis, Alabama, also committed to Missouri after taking an official visit. He’d also taken trips to Mississippi State and Cincinnati and had a visit with Kentucky planned before committing to the Tigers. Recruiting services grade Williams as a three-star prospect and one of the top 30 players coming out of talent-rich Alabama.

Those three additions give Mizzou 10 verbal commitments for the 2025 class, a pace on par with the rest of the Southeastern Conference.

It’s still early enough in the recruiting cycle for team rankings to be somewhat determined by quantity more than quality, but Missouri remains within the mix in the SEC.

Rivals.com lists MU 10th in the conference, trailing the likes of Ole Miss and Tennessee but solidly ahead of South Carolina and Arkansas. That’s good for 24th in the nation, sandwiched between the Big 12’s Texas Tech and Atlantic Coast Conference’s Wake Forest.

Drinkwitz still is far ahead of his commitment pace from the 2024 recruiting cycle. At this time a year ago, the Tigers had just three verbal commits and didn’t cross into double digits until mid-July. Something similar was true for the 2023 wave, which saw MU with five commitments at this stage.

Some of that seems to be because of a broader acceleration in the recruiting process. With football programs setting aside a handful of roster spots for eventual transfer portal additions each year, the number of freshmen that a team will take on likely has at least some sort of cap. That could be pressing high school players to lock in their destinations earlier than normal.

Commitments remain verbal until December 4, which is when recruits can sign letters of intent to lock in their school choice.

Farther down the recruiting timeline, this weekend marked the beginning of the direct contact for the 2026 class across sports, meaning coaches can now recruit high school players who have just completed their sophom*ore years.

That means a flurry of initial conversations and offers are flowing out of programs around the country.

Mizzou men’s basketball team was among the prolific Rolodex-users, touching base with several top 15-ranked prospects in the 2026 wave.

And, in a well-known football household, Missouri football extended to an offer to safety Cooper Witten, son of former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

Mizzou Sports News

Mizzou AD Laird Veatch identifies more athletic facility upgrades as 'needs,' not wants

  • Eli Hoff

Mizzou Sports News

Mizzou sees its NIL model as ‘one of the advantages’ it has amid revenue-sharing questions

  • Eli Hoff

Mizzou Sports News

Read the full transcript of Mizzou beat writer Eli Hoff's sports chat

  • Eli Hoff

0 Comments

'); var s = document.createElement('script'); s.setAttribute('src', 'https://assets.revcontent.com/master/delivery.js'); document.body.appendChild(s); window.removeEventListener('scroll', throttledRevContent); __tnt.log('Load Rev Content'); } } }, 100); window.addEventListener('scroll', throttledRevContent); }

Related to this collection

Most Popular

Get to know Mizzou Athletics Director Laird Veatch and his plans

Mizzou sports could see postseason breakthroughs in 2024-25 seasons (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Patricia Veum II

Last Updated:

Views: 6069

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Patricia Veum II

Birthday: 1994-12-16

Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

Phone: +6873952696715

Job: Principal Officer

Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.