I was never a big fan of Barry Odom (University of Missouri’s head football coach). From the start I thought for a head coach he had a bit too much of an ego. That may be okay as a defensive coordinator, but I think it can get you in trouble as an HC. You are ultimately responsible for all the on field decisions, both in practice and games, as well as your locker room.
I believe practice attitudes bleed over to games. Strong talking, bad language does not make your team tougher, stronger or a team to be feared. No one feared Mizzou in 2019, look at Wyoming and Vanderbilt. These are two teams the Tigers should have rolled over. It didn’t happen! 1) the Tigers weren’t prepared to take on these teams, obviously. That is squarely on the HC. 2) Odom’s teams WERE NOT DISCIPLINED. Constantly untimely penalties and lots of them (stupid, brainless penalties). Odom tried to give the impression he was a disciplinarian. He wasn’t! Players were met with a hug and a pat on the helmet for mistakes (mistakes that were repeated time after time). Some of these players should have been given a seat on the bench, not for a series but for the remainder of the game. Was Odom a good teacher? It didn’t show, as they (the players) never showed they learned from their mistakes.
Odom’s teams were too often upset by less talented teams. I say less talented, maybe one of the problems is the coaches evaluation of talent (recruiting). Maybe the teams that upset Mizzou were closer in talent than we thought? I’m not sure that is true, I believe Mizzou (ODOM) was often out coached. I questioned offensive play calling too often. Sure the offensive coordinator calls ‘most’ of the plays, but still, the head coach is the boss, it’s his team. Defense? Some days the young men seemed to know how to tackle, play aggressive. Other days, opponents running backs and receivers seemed alone in open space. They looked slow!
Bottom line, if you want to be a top 25 team, a top SEC team, compete for a championship; you can not continuously get upset by teams you are supposed to beat. You also must beat teams your equal, and occasionally ranked higher than you. But the season’s multiple upsets are program killers. Three or four upsets in a single season, you should be fired. Great teams, consistently winning and competing in big bowl games don’t lose to teams like Vanderbilt. On a bad day, you still win.
The next head coach, in my opinion, must be a good teacher, a disciplinarian and recruiter. Some big game, big time experience wouldn’t hurt as well.