Missouri head coach Barry Odom watches his team play during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Auburn Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Columbia, Mo. Auburn won the game 51-14, (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Missouri coach Barry Odom decided to hold an impromptu “state of the program” address following the Tigers’ 51-14 loss to No. 15 Auburn on Saturday night.
“Here’s the narrative, pens ready, microphones on, let’s talk real life and where we’re at,” Odom said at his postgame news conference. “I want to get one thing straight. I’m going to win here. That’s going to happen. We will win.”
Finding a way to win has been a struggle for Missouri in its two seasons under Odom. The Tigers fell to 5-11 overall under the former Missouri player with Saturday night’s loss, 2-8 in the SEC.
— Bill Pollock (@missourisports) September 24, 2017
It’s not just the losses that have led to fans flocking from Faurot Field at halftime of recent games, or simply staying away in the first place.
It’s how uncompetitive the Tigers have looked, even in a season-opening 72-43 win over Football Championship Subdivision in-state rival Missouri State.
Odom took over at Missouri following a largely successful 15 seasons under former coach Gary Pinkel, during which the school was 118-73 and reached two SEC Championship Games in its first three years in the conference.
Pinkel retired following the 2015 season, giving way to his former defensive coordinator who hadn’t served as a head coach since a two-year stint at a Missouri high school from 2001-02.
“This is a turnaround, any way you slice it or dice it or look at it. This is a turnaround process, and unfortunately _ or maybe fortunately _ I’m built for this because I’ve been in a whole heck of a lot of it my entire life.”
Missouri was 5-7 in Pinkel’s last season in 2015, and it finished 4-8 a year ago in Odom’s first year.
Odom mentioned the pressure Pinkel was under during his first few seasons at Missouri on Saturday night.
“Everybody wanted to run Gary Pinkel out of town,” Odom said. “That was pretty damn foolish, because he’s become the winningest coach in program history.
“That was a turnaround, it took time, and that’s where we’re at.”
Odom also mentioned the turnaround he was a part of as the defensive coordinator at Memphis before ending his news conference with a clear statement about what he thinks about his future.
“I’m disappointed, I’m frustrated, all of the above,” Odom said. “But I’m right where I want to be, building this team with a whole bunch of guys who want to go do it the right way.”