QUESTION: If this Mizzou football season continues to spiral, would Barry Odom's contract make it less likely for AD Jim Sterk to make a change? Could he afford not to, considering fan reaction?
BENFRED: In terms of SEC buyouts, Odom's is pretty meager compared to his counterparts, even after the extension he received last December. The buyout terms of that extension state that Odom would get $450,000 for each season that remains on the deal, which runs through the 2024 season. On top of that, he would get the money in his university controlled deferred fund, which is $150,000 for every year Odom is employed.
Big numbers for us, but not for SEC football coaches, or programs that pay them to go away.
Personally, I don't think Sterk can or should make a coaching decision based off of trying to score a win with fan reaction. The fans won't show support for a new coach until or unless he wins, so that's a moot point. It's just the nature of Mizzou fans.
Here's the question Sterk has to answer -- and he won't answer it until he has time to digest the full body of work that is the season. He's been clear about that, so as much as we talk about the ups and downs between now and then, know that Sterk is not going to make a call until the season is in the books.
Now, when that point comes, he's gotta decide this: He has talked time and time again since he was hired about wanting a front doorstep to the athletics department to be a top-25 football team, year in and year out. This is Odom's fourth season. He got his QB. He got the most desirable schedule an SEC coach could ask for. If you can't be a top-25 team with this team in this season, then when? That's the question. Sterk won't answer it until he sees the season through.