Several news outlets are beginning to leak that the Missouri football team will be passed over for the Insight Bowl in Arizona on December 31st in favor of Iowa State. That has some fans stewing that Mizzou is getting screwed again…I say this works out better for the Tigers.
Let me explain the situation. After the Tigers beat Kansas to finish 8-4, many felt the Tigers would head to the Insight Bowl, one of eight bowls that the Big 12 has contracts with. They are the BCS Fiesta Bowl, Cotton, Holiday, Alamo, Sun, Insight, Independence, and the Texas Bowl in Houston. The Tigers finished in 2nd place in the Big 12 North, and tied for fourth overall in the Big 12. In the pecking order of bowls, you would think that the Tigers would be eligible for perhaps the Alamo Bowl, but it doesn’t work that way. Each bowl has the option of choosing who they feel will be the best draw for them. We saw it in 2007, when the Tigers won their first Big 12 North title by beating KU and grabbed the number one ranking in the nation before losing in the Big 12 title game. Yet, the Tigers were passed up by the Orange Bowl in favor of the Jayhawks. It even happened last year, when the Tigers repeated as North champs and lost out on the Holiday Bowl bid and played at the Alamo Bowl.
Now this year, the Insight Bowl is leaning towards Iowa State who went 6-6 and lost to 8-4 Missouri. However, Insight’s argument is that they brought 20,000 fans to that bowl game eight years ago. Each bowl is looking to put as many butts in the seats as they can…they think Iowa State will bring more fans than Missouri. That’s possible. So, it looks like Texas A & M will play in the Independence Bowl where Missouri has been there and done that twice, so now the Tigers look to be heading back to the Lone Star State for a third straight year for the Texas Bowl in Houston.
I don’t mind this at all. First, the state of Texas is heavily recruited by Mizzou, second only to The Show Me State. 30 Tigers come from Texas. This would be Missouri’s third straight bowl game in the state of Texas, how big is that for recruiting? Look at the players the Tigers have picked up from the Houston area. Junior CB Kevin Rutland, sophomore WR Jerrell Jackson, sophomore DB Ryan Evans, and freshmen LB Tavon Bolden are all from Houston. Plus redshirt freshmen DE Marcus Marlbrough is just down the road from Houston in Beaumont and Big 12 first teamers LB Sean Weatherspoon (Jasper) and WR Danario Alexander (Marlin) grew up just three hours from Houston.
I’m sure the players would rather go to Arizona or San Diego instead of Houston, on December 31st, but here’s the thing. They are 34 bowl games from San Francisco to Toronto, Canada to Mobile. Does the Insight Bowl really mean that much more than the Texas Bowl? Be honest, when you first heard the Insight Bowl you weren’t even excited about that one. So, don’t take this as a slap in the face to Missouri like we did the Orange Bowl snub. Look at this as an opportunity for Mizzou to go into their recruiting backyard for the third year in a row, play Navy, who runs the ball (by the way, Missouri is very good at stopping the run) and let’s get a 9th win for the year and these seniors can boast having the most wins of any class in Missouri history.