Take Two: Who would be the best hire for Missouri?

Adam Gorney and Mike Farrell, Rivals.com

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Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and an expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites or a regional analyst.

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Missouri is searching for a new coach after Barry Odom was fired following the Tigers’ win over Arkansas. Odom went 25-25 over four years with a 13-19 record in SEC play.

More is expected at Missouri.

What has become an interesting storyline over the past 48 hours is that Ole Miss has also fired its coach, Matt Luke, and a lot of the names that were being floated for Missouri could enter the Ole Miss fray as well. Florida State still hasn’t made a hire and that could impact things, too.

A lot of the hot names are being put forth for all these jobs: MemphisMike Norvell. FAU’s Lane Kiffin. Boise State’s Bryan Harsin has been a popular one for the Missouri opening. PowerMizzou.com is reporting Army’s Jeff Monken could be in the mix. Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott’s name has been thrown out there.

Missouri played for the SEC Championship in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, where the Tigers finished 12-2 and 11-3, respectively. The glory years are not so far in the past and there is always talent on that roster.

Who would be the best hire to return the Tigers to those winning ways and what are realistic expectations in a division that is currently dominated by Georgia and Florida and is seemingly getting better every season?


“Anytime you’ve got a coaching search, there’s no way you’re going to get a consensus on who a home run hire would be. I mean, if Missouri could go out and get somebody that’s won at the Power Five level who for some reason is looking to move, sure that’s a home run. But that doesn’t seem realistic.

"Mike Norvell is a hot name that would make most people happy. Bryan Harsin is a guy that would be popular with most and seems to be among the most attainable. Lane Kiffin would be a big hit with the fanbase and I don’t think that’s out of the question. But there is no way you’re getting someone that makes everyone happy.

“As far as expectations, there is some talent here. This is a team that was favored in 30 of its last 38 games and realistically should be able to compete to be the third-best team in the SEC East on a regular basis and better than that when things line up right.

"The expectation in year one will be a bowl game because they won enough to make one this year for the third straight year if they’d been eligible. I don’t think anyone is going to ask for 10 wins right off the bat, but a winning record in year one shouldn’t be a stretch.”


“It’s a tough job because geographically they’re up against it in the SEC and they’re far away from the talent so they really have to find someone who can recruit the Southeast. Lane Kiffin is a very interesting name, he’s a big name, he can recruit very well there. But they also get poached in-state, a lot of schools come in and steal away the local talent so they need a guy who can also recruit the Midwest.

“Most importantly is the strategy acumen of the new staff. They need a guy who can out-scheme because they’ll never really have the talent advantage over Georgia, over Florida, even over Tennessee and South Carolina. That’s what Gary Pinkel did so well. They can get back there. The SEC East isn’t that formidable. Georgia is there, Florida is doing well, but beyond that it’s pretty wide open. The best hire? I’d say Kiffin.”


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