For people outside the state of Missouri, there are many who aren’t familiar with the Missouri State Bears. That’s right. Not the other team playing in the SEC. Also, the university isn’t near Kansas City, Missouri either.
The Missouri State Bears are a part of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The same conference as North Dakota State — the same team that’s been dominating the conference and the FCS altogether. As a matter of fact, North Dakota has won or shared the title for nine years straight-eight of those nine years North Dakota St. won the national championship. That is absolute dominance.
Missouri State Primed to be the next Quarterback Factory
That being said, this 2020 season continues in the spring of 2021 unlike any other. North Dakota State will be without quarterback Trey Lance since the NFL Draft conflicts with the spring schedule. Lance looks to be a sure first-round pick, with some having him as a high as a top ten prospect. There could be an opening for someone else to compete. Missouri State doesn’t look to compete for a title but could be a formidable opponent in 2021 and beyond.
And there is reason to believe in Springfield. There is a new head coach there and his name should ring a bell to many. The new head coach mentored Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson at Louisville and turned around an Arkansas program with yet another professional quarterback Ryan Mallett. Bobby Petrino comes into Springfield looking to manufacture another comeback for a program looking to make a name for itself.
Petrino Family Legacy in Montana
Petrino grew up in Helena, Montana part of a strong coaching family from Montana. His dad Bob “Putter” Petrino Sr. coached at Carroll College for 28 years total and went 163-90-2 there. The Carroll College Saints is also where Bobby Petrino got his start in 1983 as a graduate assistant. His father was the head coach at the time. Surely, his father had an infectious effect on his son to go into coaching as well.
Bob Petrino Sr. coached the Saints to 24 winning seasons and 16 conference championships during his tenure. “His legacy is unprecedented,” former Saints football coach Mike Van Diest said. “There’s not many guys like that. There’s the (Bobby) Bowdens, (John) Gagliardi and Petrino.”
The Petrino name has its hands on many footballs. Paul Petrino (Bobby’s brother) is currently the head coach at the University of Idaho since 2013. Nevertheless, the spotlight stays on Bobby Petrino because of his success at the Division I college football level.
Petrino Eager to Get Started in 2021
Petrino faces his toughest here at Missouri State with little history winning as of late. The last winning season was back in 2009. And from 2010 till the present — the Bears only won 32 times in 10 years. And last year, the Bears bottomed out at 1-10. In 2021, there is little expectation for a quick turnaround. However, long term the Bears may have found their head coach. Petrino has name recognition and remains legendary for his high octane offenses.
He will no doubt have his work cut out for him in 2021 and beyond. Being in the same conference as North Dakota St. in the Missouri Valley Conference is no joke. The NFL has many players coming from the MVC. Regardless, it will be fun in Springfield watching this team develop.