November 25, 2006

Tiger notebook: Senior day and bowl bids

After last week's loss at Iowa State, the Tigers' bowl hopes took a hit. Many fans were speculating Missouri could get left out of the post-season picture altogether. That will certainly not happen now, after Mizzou put up an eighth win.

"Last week with that loss, that knocked us out of a few, but we're excited about going anywhere," Gary Pinkel said. "It will be our third bowl in four years and just continue to build our program."

Other athletic department officials insisted they had no idea where Missouri could end up. However, Tom Fridena, an official with the Insight Bowl, was on-hand Saturday and came away duly impressed. And he shared that with Pinkel after the game.

"I said by-golly, if they played like this, they wouldn't be playing for a two-bit bowl like the Insight. They'd be in the championship game," Fridena told reporters after the game. "That was a great, great football team we saw out there today."

Fridena said the 33-member committee for the Insight Bowl will meet at 4 p.m. on Monday to discuss possible options. However, no decision can be made until after the Big 12 title game next Saturday.

The possibilities seem to be down to two games for Mizzou: the Sun Bowl in El Paso, or the Insight. Both games are played on December 28th. The Big 12 will get one team in the BCS, either Nebraska or Oklahoma (pending the result of next weekend's Big 12 title game). What happens after that will determine the Tigers' fate. The Gator Bowl seemed set to take Oklahoma, but that was predicated on the Longhorns making the Bowl Championship Series. The Gator will decide between the Big East triumvirate of Louisville, Rutgers and West Virginia (the Gator chooses the second-best Big East team) and Texas or the Big 12 title game loser.

If the Gator takes a Big 12 team, that means the Sun cannot take a Big 12 team. That would likely put the Tigers in the Insight against Minnesota. However, if the Gator goes the Big East route, Missouri is sitting in solid position to be taken by the Sun Bowl, which gets the fifth choice from the Big 12. The other teams in contention would be Texas Tech and Kansas State. Both of those teams are 7-and-5 and both lost to the Tigers this season.

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