February 11, 2011
Much has been discussed about Missouri's winless road record in the Big 12 this season. I'm not here to defend it. THIS Missouri team has struggled on the road mightily. You can understand losses at Texas, Kansas and A&M. Maybe even Colorado. The Oklahoma State loss is the one that really jumped out to me. Five losses in five games is no good no matter what the circumstances.
But I've heard some talk that Missouri has struggled on the road for a long period of time under Mike Anderson. So I want to see if that's true.
Here are Mizzou's road records under Anderson in league play:
That's not good, but again, let's take this year's team out of the discussion. The Tigers are 13-19 on the road. To see how that stacks up, let's see what the home records were.
Take this year out of the equation and the Tigers are 22-10 at home. That means in 32 games, Missouri is nine games better at home than on the road in four years under Anderson.
Now, to compare this adequately, we have to look at the splits for the rest of the league. Again, we'll deal with 2007-2010 and give you each team's record in league games at home and on the road.
So here's what that shows me. Not only has Missouri not been terrible on the road under Mike Anderson, but they have actually been well above average. The smallest differential between home and road records over the last four seasons belong to Kansas and Kansas State. The Jayhawks have won or tied for the league title every year, so you'd expect that. Their 25-7 record on the road is far and away the best in the Big 12. Kansas State has been the league's second best road team, along with A&M, but has gone 23-9 at home, worse than each of the top three home teams (Kansas, Texas, A&M).
Texas A&M checks in third on our list at -7. The Aggies are two games over .500 on the road. They won 41 league games in those four seasons, giving them the third-best overall record in the conference in that time frame at 41-23.
Nebraska has a minus-8 differential, which puts them fourth. However, the Huskers are one of three league teams under .500 at home and finished an average of three games behind Missouri in the league standings each year. Oddly, two of the Huskers road wins came at Missouri.
Missouri is fifth. The Tigers are minus-9 road versus home differential. They won fewer home games than Oklahoma State and the same number as Oklahoma, but have a better overall league record in that time due to their road record. And we are dealing here with Anderson's first two years. In neither year did Missouri finish even .500 in the conference or make the NCAA Tournament.
After Missouri, Iowa State actually has the sixth best differential at minus-10, but has been so bad everywhere that they're far down in the overall record category. Texas, Colorado and Baylor are all minus-11. Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma state are the three worst road teams in the league with differentials of 12, 13 and 16 games over the four-year span.
So, what did we learn? First off, if you're not Kansas, it's very, very tough to win on the road in the Big 12. Exactly three teams have a winning road record over the last four seasons, and two of them are just two games over .500. In addition, Missouri is not bad on the road in comparison to the other league teams. In fact, the Tigers are actually a little above average in road games over Anderson's career.
Again, this year sways the numbers. The Tigers are one of three league teams without a road win so far. But outside of Texas and Kansas, league teams are a combined 7-37 on the road. If Missouri wins at Iowa State next weekend, the Tigers will be 1-5 on the road...just about exactly the league average except for the Longhorns and Jayhawks.
Missouri has three road games left. Two wins ought to make everybody pretty much forget a storyline that seems to be much hubbub over nearly nothing.