The School: The University of Missouri
Record: 5-5 (2-4 in the SEC). I’m not buying accepting Mizzou’s newfound competence just yet. Beat up on Tennessee and Florida all you want, that’s not gonna make me forget that you only scored three points against Purdue. And Purdue is basically just garbageville Vanderbilt, with more astronauts and fewer sad guitar players.
Ranking: Unranked in the AP Top 25 and the Coaches' Polls. Jeff Sagarin has Missouri rated 50th in his rankings. Vandy’s entry has been replaced with an mp3 of angry dolphins murdering each other.
Mascot: A monument to the state’s lax exotic pet laws, the tiger.
Location: Notable Columbias/Colombias ranked
- the one with all the cocaine and Sofia Vergaras
- the female personification of the United States of America
- the Ivy League university with the bad football
- the kinda racist SEC town
- the one with all the politicians
- the mostly racist SEC town
Coach: Barry Odom, who overcame the challenge of being born without a neck to become a real-life SEC football coach. Once the Tigers fire him, he’s gonna have a lucrative gig speaking at schools whose dress codes can’t possibly include collared shirts.
Conference: The Big 12. I’m, like, 60 percent sure.
All-time vs. Vanderbilt: 5-3-1
In the Last 10 Years vs. Vanderbilt: 3-2. One of those Vandy wins was a 10-3 game that served as a non-canon entry in the Saw films. Just writing about it gave me a nosebleed.
The Last Time We Saw These Guys: The Tigers were 2-7 going into that one and had given up 40 points per game in their last five games. Then Vandy came to town and scored a whopping 17 points gifting them the first SEC win of the neckless era.
Is Vandy Favored?: Hell no. Vandy let KENTUCKY score 41 points in three quarters last week. Missouri, who has scored 215 points the last four weeks, might necessitate a third digit on the scoreboard.
Most Potent Offensive Threat: Drew Lock is an absolute monster, but after seeing Ish Witter and Larry Rountree III run for 371 combined yards against Tennessee, I’m not confident Vandy would win this one even if the Tigers refused to dress a quarterback Sunday.
Most Potent Defensive Threat: Missouri had nine tackles for loss last week against Tennessee, which is not super encouraging. Two of those came from Marcell Frazier, who’s second in the team in sacks. Seeing as Kentucky got to Kyle Shurmur five times, he’ll probably get well acquainted with the Vandy QB Saturday.
Matchup to Watch: Vanderbilt vs. 2016’s results. Game 11 is when last year’s Commodores flipped the switch, wrecking Ole Miss and Tennessee en route to a six-win season and a spot in the Independence Bowl. Once again, Vandy is 4-6 and in desperate need of a turnaround — only this year it’s on the defensive side of the ball.
Interesting Fact: Jon Hamm wound up at the University of Missouri after getting thrown out of Texas for grabbing a fraternity pledge’s testicles with the claw end of a hammer and later lighting his clothes on fire. There is NO WAY that dude was OK with the whole wave of “Mad Men” parties that gripped America in the late 2000s.
Bonus Fact!: The co-founders of Wal-Mart also went to Mizzou, making the university America’s leading producer of shit white people like.
If Missouri wins, we: prepare some elegant Christmas plans. The good news is, at least we won’t have to worry about cutting our holidays short for a pesky bowl game. The bad news is we might somehow have a worse season than a Tennessee team that’s only a loss to Wyoming away from rock bottom.