After leaving Nebraska, Powers took an unranked Washington State team into Lincoln, Nebraska and knocked of the 15th ranked Huskers. The following year he went to Lincoln with another unranked team, the Missouri Tigers and he pulled off a victory over a #2 ranked Nebraska team. The Missouri Tigers would lose 25 straight games to Nebraska before their next victory over the Huskers, prompting Tiger fans to wonder what might have been had he stayed.
On October 24, 1979, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions publicly reprimanded Missouri for a violation of NCAA Constitution 3–2 related to a failure to exercise institutional control. The violation was in regard to the use of a fund established outside the university for the purpose of paying Powers for debt he assumed while negotiating to become MU's head coach. NCAA regulations require the university's involvement when its coach receives a cash supplement related to duties he is performing on the institution's behalf, and the NCAA found that MU had failed to do so in this case.