There is no hiding from the significance of the Sept. 11 matchup when Missouri heads to Kroger Field to take on Kentucky. That might be the biggest game on the schedule for the Wildcats.
As Eli Drinkwitz enters his second season in Columbia, the Tigers are currently the flavor of the month. There is a lot of love for redshirt sophomore quarterback Connor Bazelak while there should be plenty of hype for the Tigers at SEC Media Days in Hoover later this month.
After going .500 in SEC play last season, Drinkwitz has had a lot to sell. That is beginning to pay off big-time in the class of 2022.
Over the weekend, Mizzou landed commitments from a pair of blue-chip recruits as the Tigers dipped into Nebraska and Texas to land some top-200 prospects.
These were two significant recruiting wins for Drinkwitz and his staff to get in the fold for the 2022 class. However, these aren’t the only blue-chippers. Missouri currently has 11 verbal commitments in the haul with six of the players being top-300 prospects. Highlighting the group is top-100 quarterback Sam Horn who Missouri was able to land out of Metro Atlanta. These are big-time happenings for the Tigers.
Mizzou currently has a top-20 recruiting class for 2022. Their average star rating of .9028 would likely fall in the top-15 nationally in the Tigers were able to hold it through signing day. The blue-chips certainly help, but flipping top-400 cornerback Marcus Scott II from LSU are the type of wins that could turn this from a good class to a great one. This is not something we’ve seen Missouri do recently.
Under Barry Odom, Mizzou finished 35th and 41st in average star rating in his last two seasons. The next year, Drinkwitz jumped in late as Mizzou finished 35th out of 65 Power Five schools. This is not a program that has typically made big splashes on the recruiting trail. That could be changing under the new head coach with an offensive track record.
The Tigers are doing a very good job of recruiting their state with six players committed from Missouri. Elsewhere, the Tigers are having some success recruiting Texas while getting into some surrounding midwest areas that fall into the Big Ten and Big XII footprint. These are promising developments for the Missouri football program.
In the SEC East, Florida is chasing Georgia from a talent standpoint while everyone else is working on closing the gap. Both South Carolina and Tennessee are starting their rebuilds. Vanderbilt has a long way to go to even get into the conversation. That leaves Missouri and Kentucky as the schools battling for position in the SEC East pecking order. The third-best team yearly can expect to go about 8-4, have a chance at getting into the top 25, play in Outback Bowls, and occasionally compete for a divisional title if things break right.
As we move forward, some intense battles could be occurring in the Kentucky-Missouri series. Both programs are making things happen on the recruiting trail.