After much anticipation, Missouri finally knows where it will be spending its holiday season vacation this year. The destination is El Paso, Texas, home of the Sun Bowl. The Tigers accepted an invitation to play No. 24 Oregon State on Dec. 29 at 1 p.m.
It’s the second year in a row Mizzou _8-4 overall, 4-4 Big 12) has been invited to a bowl game; the third time in four years. Last year, the Tigers came from behind to beat South Carolina in the Independence Bowl.
Mike Riley and his Beavers are also making their third bowl appearance in four years. OSU beat Notre Dame 38-21 in the 2004 Insight Bowl. That was the Beavers last trip to the postseason. This year, they have wins over No. 25 Hawaii and No. 4 Southern Cal.
The Sun Bowl will make things brighter in a few bank accounts too. The payout for the Sun Bowl is $1.9 million. Head coach Gary Pinkel has a clause in his contract that pays him $50,000 in bonuses for making what is termed a Tier II bowl.
OSU’s top 25 ranking has to be seen as a daunting figure in the eyes of the Tigers. Mizzou lost to both ranked teams it played this year (Oklahoma and Nebraska). In Pinkel’s six years as head coach in Columbia, the Tigers have only beaten one ranked team.
The only other time Mizzou and Oregon State have played, the Beavers won 19-13 in 1956.