During the final week of Missouri football’s fall training camp, offensive lineman Case Cook walked into Elite Barber Shop with a request. He wanted a mullet.
Cook loves his haircut, and the redshirt freshman added a trio of stripes to the side of his head midway through the season. He returns to Elite every time he needs to freshen his look.
“I take pride in taking care of the ‘business in the front, party in the back’ look,” he said.
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Cook’s mullet will have company when the Tigers face Oklahoma State at the Liberty Bowl Dec. 31. Cowboys coach Mike Gundy owns what might be the most well-known mullet in college football.
At Big 12 media days in 2017, Gundy estimated his haircut has brought Oklahoma State millions of dollars “for the amount of time we’ve had on air for that.” He appeared on SportsCenter in February to discuss his haircut with fellow mullet-wearer Barry Melrose, and the Oklahoma State online store sold T-shirts with a silhouette of Gundy’s mullet in 2016.
As a second-string lineman, Cook’s haircut hasn’t received nearly the attention as Gundy’s has. That didn’t stop Missouri quarterback Drew Lock from speculating about who boasts the better haircut.
“Maybe we should have them stand next to each other to see which one’s better,” Lock said Dec. 2, the day Missouri learned its bowl destination. “I’m sure Coach Gundy’s is probably a little better than Case Cook’s.”
Following Lock’s comment, The Star asked Cook’s fellow offensive linemen to vote.
Senior Paul Adams: “Case Cook without a shadow of a doubt. My goal this bowl trip is to get a picture of them next to each other. I’ve never met Mike Gundy a day in my life, but we’re getting that picture done. Hopefully Case Cook will have the stripes on, maybe an ‘MIZ-ZOU.’”
Junior Tre’Vour Simms: “Mike Gundy. He most definitely has the best mullet, I believe. I guess he’s been rocking it longer. He knows how to do it.”
Senior Kevin Pendleton: “I haven’t paid attention to Gundy. I haven’t seen one of their games or anything. I know he’s had it awhile, but I’m always going to rock with my dude, because Case has the stripes. I haven’t seen Gundy with the stripes yet.”
A winner will emerge from the Missouri-Oklahoma State football game. The winner of the best mullet? That debate has no easy answer.