Missouri coach Barry Odom delivered an emotional statement after his team's latest lopsided loss, insisting that he remains the right person to turn things around at his alma mater.
After Saturday's 51-14 home loss to Auburn, Odom began his postgame news conference with a nearly four-minute rant, reviewing the program's history, his place in it and the benefits of being patient with coaches. Missouri fell to 1-3 on Saturday and has dropped three straight. The Tigers have been outscored 117-30 in losses to South Carolina, Purdue and Auburn.
Odom is in his second season at Mizzou and is 5-11 at his alma mater.
"Let's talk real life and where we are at," Odom said Saturday. "I want to get one thing real straight: I'm going to win here. That's going to happen. We will win. This is a turnaround. Any way you slice it or dice it or want to look at it, this is a turnaround process. And unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I'm built for this because I've been in a whole heckuva lot of them my entire life."
Odom cited Missouri's 1997 and 1998 seasons, when he played linebacker for the Tigers, who posted their first winning records since 1983. He mentioned his predecessor, Gary Pinkel, who went 9-14 in his first two seasons before beginning a historic run of success from 2003 to 2014. Odom also brought up the turmoil at Missouri during the fall of 2015, when protests amid racial tension led to the ouster of the university president and chancellor and almost led to a boycott by the football team of a game against BYU.
"It's a turnaround, and I don't like it," he said. "I want to win right now. But that's not the hand I'm given. We are doing a lot of really good things in this program. Our kids are working extremely hard. We are not winning games yet. But we will. I'm the man to go get it done with this staff, with this team, with this program. There's not anybody left standing after 2015. Alright? I am. And I know what it takes."
Odom said he had heard references to "dark days" being back at Missouri and brought up the death of former Tigers linebacker Aaron O'Neal during a workout in July 2005. Odom was Missouri's director of recruiting at the time.
"I've seen a damn dark day," said Odom, who at times slammed his hand on the podium. "July 12, 2005. OK? Aaron O'Neal. That's a dark day. This ain't dark days. This is when the going gets tough, you build together, you fight together, and you go find a way to get it done. And that's where we are at. It's part of a turnaround process that is not going to be easy! Our team knows that. I know that. Our program knows that."
Missouri has a bye week before resuming play Oct. 7 at Kentucky.