Barry Odom’s Tigers narrowly missed out on the preseason AP Top 25 poll released Monday, receiving the most votes among excluded teams with 117.
Missouri’s exclusion comes despite an 8-5 record in 2018 and a bolstered roster of new and returning talent set to take the field this fall that includes incumbent starters such as running back Larry Rountree III and linebacker Cale Garrett, as well as the highly-anticipated transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant. Among those notably placed ahead of the Tigers is Nebraska, which finished 4-8 a year ago, coming in at No. 24.
Missouri’s omission from the season’s first AP Top 25 poll also means that Barry Odom will have to wait as least a little longer to take advantage of a new clause in his contract.
Per the fourth-year head coach’s Dec. 2018 extension, Odom will receive a $5,000 bonus every week the Tigers are ranked in either the AP Top-25, coaches or college Football Playoff polls topping out at $80,000 preseason. In 2019, Odom will be counting on the AP Top-25 for any potential bonuses; the Tigers are not eligible for the coaches’ poll due to the sanctions imposed by the NCAA.
Two opponents featured on Missouri’s 2019 schedule are ranked in the initial AP Top 25 poll. Georgia, who the Tigers will travel to face Nov. 9, is ranked third behind only Clemson and Alabama. Florida, Missouri’s Nov. 16 opponent, comes in at No. 8.
Missouri loses 2020 defensive tackle commit
After committing to Missouri on Aug. 13, 2020, 3-star defensive tackle Montra Edwards Jr. announced Sunday that he will reopen his recruitment with Missouri still among his potential destinations next fall.
Please Respect my Decision...🖤 pic.twitter.com/SN1uP3DIQ9— Montra Edwards Jr.🃏™️ (@MontraEdwards5) August 18, 2019
Edwards, from Holmes County Central High School in Jackson, Mississippi, had been the Tigers’ 14th commitment and second defensive tackle to join Odom’s recruiting class of 2020.
Still in the running to secure Edwards’ signature alongside Missouri are Mississippi State, Tennessee, Florida State, Ole Miss and Maryland.
Bryant named to Unitas Award watchlist
Quarterback Kelly Bryant was one of 49 quarterbacks across the country named to the watchlist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the top senior or fourth-year quarterback, annually.
The award, which has been given out since 1987, has never been won by a Missouri quarterback. Former Tigers quarterback Drew Lock was finalist for the award in 2018.