Growing up in St. Louis during the 80's and 90's Missouri football was considered a joke. I played in the Suburban North Conference in the early 90's with a lot of very talented players who played at big Division-I schools and there wasn't a one that would even consider Mizzou at that point. That changed under Larry Smith. I won't rewrite history here because Smith was not successful in recruiting in St. Louis, which ultimately lead to his demise in Columbia, but he did make the program relevant again. He brought the program out of the muck and got them back to respectability. He got the Tigers back to Bowl games and that was no small task.
I will always remember him for the infamous kicked ball game against Nebraska. He was almost moved to tears over how hard his kids played that night and to me that was the night Missouri Football made it back to the national stage. That was the night people in this state realized what Missouri Football could be again. It took all the way to 2007 till Missouri would battle for a national title but the dream began that night in Columbia. I think there were a lot of young football players who saw how awesome that atmosphere was that night and realized that it could be cool to play football at Missouri. Now the Tigers can get those top kids from St. Louis and are no longer considered a laughing stock of a program. That is what Larry Smith should be remembered for by Missouri Football Fans.