Not so long ago, the University of Missouri was stranded in a lost generation of football with no end or escape in sight.
It was a hapless, hopeless time that included a 73-0 fiasco at Texas A&M in 1993, routine bludgeoning by Nebraska and the 42-0 loss at Illinois in 1994 when Mizzou mustered its lone first down with 3 minutes 39 seconds left.
But the most lopsided loss in MU history was the so-called “Norman Conquest,” the 77-0 humbling at Oklahoma in 1986.
Among those in the stands that day was a young Barry Odom, a Sooner fan from Ada, Okla.
“I think we left at halftime, though,” Odom, then a junior linebacker at MU, said in 1998.
Just like so many Mizzou fans did on Saturday at Memorial Stadium watching what is now Odom’s product get skunked 35-3 by Purdue.
It was a deceptively close score for what was a devastating statement about where the program stands, one that makes you wonder if Odom will soon bear witness to — and be culpable for — another of MU’s low times.
After Gary Pinkel revived MU, including guiding it to a (brief) No. 1 ranking and two Southeastern Conference division titles, maybe you figured those days were safely stashed in the past.