Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Missouri and Vanderbilt both need a win to validate their seasons. Who gets it?
It's probably not that astonishing that Vanderbilt and Missouri come into this game without an SEC win. Whatever you think about Vanderbilt's prospects in the second year under James Franklin and Missouri's prospects in the second complete year of, um, James Franklin -- wait. Let's try that again.
Whatever you think of the prospects of Vanderbilt and Missouri, each of them have played their two SEC games against Georgia and South Carolina, the frontrunners in the East. You can say what you want against either of them -- both got blown out by Georgia and Missouri also got blasted by South Carolina -- but the flat record is not that much off what was reasonable to expect.
So Vanderbilt comes in looking for its first SEC win of the season and Missouri comes in looking for its first SEC win ever. The result would validate either Vanderbilt's hopes of a postseason berth or Missouri's place in the conference. After all, an upper-half eastern division program is supposed to win its game against Vanderbilt, though perhaps only after a harrowing half or two.
Thing is, Vanderbilt's statistics look just a little bit better than Missouri's so far. Their out-of-conference schedule has also been easier, so take all that with a grain of salt, but I don't know that you would be absolutely crazy to come into this game thinking that the teams are at least equal.
Still, Missouri is going to be at home, and the Tigers aren't going to be winless in the conference forever. Now is as good a time as any to get started.
Missouri 21, Vanderbilt 14