Hot takes from the Chiefs and Denver’s Drew Lock plus my thoughts on where Mizzou A.D. Jim Sterk failed but how he can redeem himself with Sterk’s best takes from Saturday’s presser
Patrick Mahomes threw for a touchdown and ran for a touchdown, Juan Thornhill returned a pick 46 yards, and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders 40-9 to grab control of the AFC West. LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson also had TD runs for the Chiefs (8-4), who took a two-game lead over the Raiders by finishing off a season sweep and hold the tie-breaker, essentially giving KC a three-game lead with four games to play. Kansas City can clinch a fourth straight division title with a win over New England and an Oakland loss to Tennessee next weekend.
— NFL (@NFL) December 2, 2019
In his first NFL start, former Mizzou star Drew Lock completed 18 of 28 passes and tossed two TDs early, then led the Broncos on an unbelievable pass play with eight seconds remaining to help Denver to a 23-20 win over the L.A. Chargers. After L.A. kicked a game tying field and kicked off, Lock had time for one play with eight seconds remaining from his 28 yard line. He took a deep shot down the right sideline and the pass drew an interference call resulting in a 37-yard penalty. Brandon McManus nailed the 53-yard field goal as time expired for the Broncos.
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 2, 2019
James Robinson ran for 297 yards and a touchdown to lead #13 Illinois State (9-4) to a 24-6 win over #12 Southeast Missouri (9-4) in the first round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs Saturday. Robinson averaged 7.2 yards per carry on 41 attempts and had all but 43 of ISU’s 340 rushing yards.
SEMO starting quarterback Daniel Santacaterina missed the first half and the Redhawks first drive of the third quarter due to shoulder and foot injuries. Backup Joe Pyle took his place and threw for 124 yards on 9-of-17 passes in his first career start. SEMO’s only points came on field goals of 45 and 34 yards by Kendrick Tiller.
SEMO made its third NCAA FCS Playoff appearance all-time and second in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history.The Redhawks, who saw their home winning streak end at 13 games, went 9-4 overall for the second year in a row.
Story: SEMO Athletics
The Division II football playoffs started with three teams representing the state of Missouri. After first round wins by Central Missouri, Northwest Missouri State and Lindenwood the number would be cut down after the second round. The only question was by how many? Northwest was hosting Lindenwood and Central Missouri traveled to number two ranked Ferris State. Heading into the third round, we have just one Missouri team standing.
Central Missouri Mules Football’s historic season came to an end Saturday afternoon at the hands of No. 1 seed and second-ranked Ferris State. The Mules, playing in their fourth-ever postseason and second-ever second round game, fell to the Bulldogs 37-10. The season ends at 11-2, tying the most wins in team history. Ferris State did most of their damage on the ground, rushing for 372 yards and four touchdowns. The Mules were held to 128 yards, and after falling behind in the second half and were forced into passing situations which Ferris State capitalized on four Mules turnovers and turned those into 14 points.
The Mules 11 wins on the season match a program record. Despite the rough final game, Brook Bolles finished his career with 8,364 yards and 68 touchdown passes, both second all-time at UCM. All-time in postseason games the Mules fall to 3-4. This is the first time in Mules history they have won a conference championship and playoff game in the same season.
The Northwest Missouri State University football team lit up its postseason record book in a 63-7 NCAA Division II second-round playoff victory over the Lindenwood Lions on Saturday at Bearcat Stadium. The Bearcats ran through the Lions for 413 yards in the largest postseason victory in Northwest history. The 63 points is also a Northwest postseason record for a single game. Lindenwood has struggled against the run, coming in as the No. 104 rush defense in the country, allowing 175 yards per game. Northwest, he No. 23 rush offense in the country, finished with eight rushing touchdowns – another Northwest postseason record.
Northwest becomes the fourth NCAA school to record 50 postseason victories joining Mount Union (104), North Dakota State (62) and Wisconsin-Whitewater (52) … Northwest improves to 50-17 all-time in the Div. II playoffs … Northwest has won 24 straight home playoff games at Bearcat Stadium.
The Bearcats move onto the Super Region 3 title game as they head to Big Rapids, Michigan, next Saturday to take on the No. 1 seed Ferris State. It will be a rematch of last year’s second matchup where the Bulldogs scored a 27-21 win over the Bearcats on Nov. 24, 2018.
Mizzou Athletic Director Jim Sterk says he expects not only the football program but athletics as a whole, to be a Top 25 program consistently competing at a high level. During his Saturday press conference, he stressed again the major reason for the decision to make a change at head coach for the football program.
“I felt we lost momentum of the program and it would have been difficult under the leadership to continue to move forward,” said Sterk just hours after he informed Barry Odom he would not be back for a fifth season.
Because players were allowed to leave for break following the Arkansas game and headed in different directions, Sterk held a teleconference with the team to inform them of the decision.
Many of the players over the last few weeks have backed Odom and believed in his leadership. Sterk thought differently and had the backing of the school’s president and chancellor.
While Sterk will keep the coaching search confidential he did say he believes a candidate who shows strong leadership skills and had success as a head coach at a high level or a coordinator with a proven track record at a big-time program would be an advantage.
For the time being, assistant coaches remain employed and defensive line coach Brick Haley will head up the efforts to keep recruits informed and oversee that process until a new coach is hired. Sterk said the new head coach will have full discretion over his staff.
Sterk is also using the same search firm that helped him employ Cuonzo Martin.
Watch Sterk’s press conference.
— Bill Pollock (@missourisports) November 30, 2019
Missouri fired coach Barry Odom on Saturday, a day after their win over Arkansas to conclude a season of high expectations at 6-6. Odom went 25-25 and 13-19 in SEC play during four seasons. Odom was also 0-2 in bowl games. The news also comes after the NCAA on Tuesday upheld a postseason ban and other sanctions against football, baseball and softball. Odom, a former Tigers linebacker was hired by former athletic director Mack Rhoades hired Odom after Gary Pinkel resigned following the 2015 season. Sterk was hired in August 2016 and gave Odom a contract extension after the 2018 season.
Odom’s firing comes less than a year after he received his extension that was set to run through 2024, a two-year extension, that included a raise his base pay to $3.05 million. According to his buyout, Odom will be paid his base salary of $450,000 times the number of years remaining on his contract which would be five more seasons.
STATEMENT FROM A.D. Jim Sterk
“I want to thank Coach Odom for his contributions to our program. He and his staff have worked diligently during the past four years. Coach Odom has represented our program with integrity and dedicated himself to developing our student-athletes on and off the football field for which we are grateful. We wish the very best for him and his family in their future endeavors. As a program, we had tremendous momentum coming into the 2019 season with the opening of the new south end zone facility as well as other strategic investments in our football program, however, we lost a great deal of that energy during the last half of the season. This decision was difficult to make but was necessary. Mizzou enjoys a winning football tradition and has the necessary resources and commitment to compete at the highest level. We strive to achieve excellence, and we expect to compete for Southeastern Conference titles, consistently play in the postseason and represent Mizzou the right way on and off the field. A national search is underway and confidentiality during the process is critical. Thus, I will have no further public comments regarding the search process until the announcement of our next head football coach is made.”
According to multiple outlets, the NCAA has denied the University of Missouri’s appeal for sanctions leveled against three programs.
For the football program, with a win Friday against Arkansas, it will mean despite a 6-6 finish, the Tigers will not be eligible for a bowl game. They will also miss out on shared revenue with the Southeastern Conference. That is an estimated cost in the range of $8-9 million. Mizzou also lost it’s appeal on scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions.
Among the penalties originally handed down by the NCAA:
-5-percent reduction in scholarships for football, baseball and softball for 2019-20.
-Recruiting restrictions including a seven-week ban on unofficial visits, and a reduction of official visits, communications, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations
-$5,000 fine plus 1-percent reduction of football, baseball and softball budgets.
-Postseason bans for baseball and softball.
On Jan. 31, Missouri was handed a bowl ban and a series of sanctions stemming from an academic fraud case after former tutor Yolanda Kumar said she had helped athletes complete schoolwork during the 2015-16 school year. Mizzou made their appeal in July. The NCAA usually takes 6-8 weeks to respond. The university waited four months.
The University of Missouri responded with the following statement:
Statement from MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright and Athletic Director Jim Sterk
We are deeply disappointed and appalled by the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee’s decision to shirk its responsibilities and simply uphold sanctions that are not consistent with precedent or even common sense.
Despite this frustrating and disappointing outcome, the University of Missouri and Mizzou Athletics will continue to stand for integrity, and we will become stronger despite the challenges we are faced with today. We have outstanding student-athletes in all three affected programs and they are building something special here at Mizzou.
We are grateful for everyone who has supported Mizzou and our “Make it Right” campaign over these last several months, and during the nearly 19 weeks it took to reach this troubling conclusion.
Today’s decision raises serious questions about whether the current NCAA enforcement system encourages or discourages cultures of compliance and integrity. While we have exhausted our NCAA appeal avenues, we will continue to advocate for meaningful reform within the NCAA enforcement process.
Today, about 180 student-athletes who had nothing to do with the actions of one rogue part-time employee will pay a steep price. NCAA enforcement officials noted that prior to the violation the university employed a robust institutional system to ensure rules compliance. Once the problem was known, we self-reported immediately, held individuals accountable and cooperated with the investigation in what NCAA officials described as “exemplary” fashion.
Meanwhile, a recent case involving Mississippi State University with similar circumstances as Mizzou’s yielded a very different result. MSU, like us, acted with the highest integrity. MSU’s case followed a new NCAA process that was not available to us and resulted in an outcome that, we believe, was more reasonable given the circumstances. The inconsistency of these decisions make it difficult for anyone to comprehend how Mizzou could receive such harsh sanctions.
In its decision on our case, the appeals committee wrote that a greater discussion and a better process is needed. We could not agree more.
It wrote: “This committee believes it is critical for the NCAA membership to discuss and evaluate the application, assessment and precedential value of infractions cases not only when parties agree on mitigating and aggravating factors, but also the appropriate precedential value and approach for cases in the entirety of the infractions processes. Doing so would better equip this committee and the Committee on Infractions in discharging its duties, and in turn improve the infractions process and yield better guidance for the membership as a whole.”
We strongly disagree that the appeals committee did not have the power to correct this mistake. The point of this process was not to use a formula to reach a conclusion, but to bring the benefit of consideration and judgement to achieve consistency with its final decision.
We know our dedicated Mizzou fans will help us right this wrong by filling the stands and rooting for our Tigers. We deeply appreciate the outpouring of support from every corner of the state and Tiger fans around the country who united behind Mizzou and our student-athletes who proudly wear the Black & Gold.
Statement from Mun Choi, President of the UM System
“I could not be more upset with this decision. Mizzou supporters across the state and nation have every reason to be outraged, and college sports fans across the country should be concerned about this decision.
“I know that Mizzou’s Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, Athletics Director Jim Sterk and the coaches have done everything in their power to cooperate with the NCAA. Most of all, this decision hurts our students who have continued to give their absolute best on and off the field during this entire process.
“We are very so grateful for the support of our fans, elected officials and community as we fought these unjust sanctions. We will continue to instill and live by our Missouri values of hard work and accountability. These values are what make the University of Missouri a special place.”
Statement from Jon Sundvold, Chair of the UM Board of Curators
“The NCAA enforcement system is broken. This decision hurts student-athletes who had nothing to do with the actions uncovered and who put 110% into everything they do – their schoolwork, their practice time, their dedication to this great institution. They have put their belief into a system that should reward good behavior and discipline poor actions. Instead, we’re seeing the reverse happen, and it sets a dangerous precedent.
“Mizzou did the right thing. This ruling tells every other school that it’s better to hide the truth than to admit mistakes.
Statements from Mizzou Head Coaches
Mizzou Head Softball Coach Larissa Anderson:
“I am absolutely heartbroken and disappointed by the committee’s decision to punish a group of 27 current student-athletes who didn’t play any role in this and have done everything right from the very beginning. The NCAA claims to value the student-athlete experience, but this decision continues to cause unnecessary harm to a group of innocent student-athletes. This unjust decision will not deter our program. We have pride in Mizzou, and we will continue to Win it Right as one family.”
Mizzou Head Baseball Coach Steve Bieser:
“Our program as a whole is clearly disappointed with today’s news from the NCAA. My heart is specifically broken for this group of student-athletes currently on the team. These student-athletes have done everything right since becoming a Tiger, but yet are cruelly penalized for the actions of one individual from years’ past. While we obviously strongly disagree with the NCAA’s final decision, we will without a doubt rally with each other and make the most of the upcoming 2020 campaign.”
Mizzou Head Football Coach Barry Odom:
“I hate the news for our program and for our seniors who have represented the University in a very positive way. This decision negatively impacts their short experience in life as college student-athletes who had nothing to do with this situation. It’s a tough lesson to be dealt, but they will learn from this and motivationally use it later in life when hardship comes along.”
The head football coach for Mizzou is in his fourth year and his team is slumping through a five-game losing streak with one game to play. His overall coaching record for the Tigers is below .500 and he has yet to win a bowl game. To make matters worse, he seems to be losing the fan base…attendance has dropped by 13,000 over his last three home games.
That coaches name…is Gary Pinkel.
Oddly enough, Barry Odom is going through the same hell that Pinkel went through back in 2004. Odom has seen the same slump and the same drop in attendance in 2019. A.D. Mike Alden showed the patience to stick it out at least a fifth year with Pinkel in ’04. You know how it played out. Does Jim Sterk have the patience to give Odom a fifth year to see if things work out?
That’s what gets debated on today’s podcast.
The Missouri Tigers defense was tagged 415 yards through the air and two touchdown passes in a Senior Night loss to Tennessee, 24-20 over Missouri on Saturday night in Columbia. With two injuries in their defensive secondary, the Tigers got torched for 15 plays of 15 or more yards. Josh Palmer had six receptions for 124 yards. Jauan Jennings added five catches for 115 yards and a touchdown, and Martez Callaway had six catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Jarvis Ware and DeMarcus Acy left the game with injuries, affecting the Tigers’ secondary
The Volunteers converted 9 of 15 third downs and outgained the Tigers 526-280.
Since starting the season 5-1 and being ranked 22nd in the country, Missouri has lost five in a row.
— Bill Pollock (@missourisports) November 24, 2019
Mizzou blocked two field goals and forced a fumble in the second half. The Tigers also tied the game on a trick play. In the third quarter, former quarterback turned wide receiver Micah Wilson took a backwards pass from Kelly Bryant and found a wide open Tyler Badie in the endzone for a 15-yard TD. Badie’s second touchdown of the night tied the game at 17-17.
It was a clean sweep for Missouri schools in the Division II playoffs as the first round opened Saturday afternoon. Lindenwood picked up a huge upset win on the road. Central Missouri continued to dominate on their home field and Northwest Missouri State won a defensive struggle.
The Lindenwood football team (9-3) upset No. 5 Ouachita Baptist (11-1) in the first round of the playoffs by a final score of 41-38 on Saturday in Arkadelphia, Ark. The Lions kicked the go-ahead field goal with 1:24 remaining. The Lions overcame an early 21-10 deficit.
The Lions will hit the road for the second round off the playoffs next Saturday to take on No. 10 Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo. at 1:00 p.m.
The Bearcats advanced to the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division II playoffs with a 7-6 victory over the Harding Bisons at Bearcat Stadium.
Northwest (11-1 overall) moved to 30-3 all-time at home in the playoffs. It also marks the 23rd straight playoff victory at home for the Bearcats. Harding went for the win. The Bisons were able to score with a 1:14 left in the game on a six-yard keeper by quarterback Tristan Tucker. Harding head coach Paul Simmons went for the two-point conversion, but the Bearcat defense came up with the stop.
The Bearcats have the most playoff appearances in D-II history with their 24th in school history.
Central Missouri Mules Football won their first playoff game since 2010. The Mules got a lead in the second quarter and never looked back as they defeated the Greyhounds 37-27. The win is the Mules 11th for the season and they move on to round two of the NCAA Tournament. Brook Bolles completed 27-of-37 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns.
The Mules will travel to take on No. 1 seed Ferris State next Saturday, Nov. 30 in Big Rapids, Mich. As the No. 1 seed, Ferris State earned a bye in round one of the playoffs.