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Happy Holiday (Bowl) E-mail
Written by Slim   
Monday, 29 November 2010 15:50

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Although it'd be nice, don't expect Missouri to be celebrating a Cotton Bowl victory any time soon. (Photo from the Columbia Missourian).

Mizzou did it.  Ever since dropping a winnable game against Texas Tech, the Tigers avoided another slip-up and finished the regular season 10-2.  Missouri’s man-handling of  an embarrassingly bad kU team capped Mizzou’s third double-digit win season under Gary Pinkel and only the fourth in school history. Considering the question marks heading into the season and all the off-field issues to start the year, it’s an incredible feat.  Only six BCS conference school have more wins than Mizzou this season.

But forget celebrating the past.  Today Tiger fans everywhere are asking the question, “Now what?”  The talk of bowl bids has filled message boards, Twitter, and Facebook.

Over the weekend, Tiger fans got their hopes up when it was reported an Orange Bowl representative was in attendance for the MU-kU game.  Technically, the Orange Bowl is still a possibility, but it’s a possibility that my Minnesota Vikings still might make the playoffs.  It’s possible, but it’s not going to happen.  Mizzou needed a lucky combo of winners and losers over the weekend and it didn’t happen.

So with its BCS hopes dashed, that leaves Mizzou with the following bowl destinations (ranked in order of selection):

1.     Cotton Bowl vs. SEC opponent

2.     Alamo Bowl vs. PAC 10 opponent

3.     Insight Bowl vs. Big Ten opponent

4.     Holiday Bowl vs. PAC 10 opponent

Right now all signs are pointing toward Mizzou heading to the Holiday Bowl while a Texas A&M team that was beaten badly by Missouri and has fewer wins heads to the Cotton Bowl.  It’s also likely the Insight Bowl will pass on Missouri as well.  This has Missouri fans ticked off.

“We always get snubbed!  We don’t deserve to fall all the way to the Holiday Bowl!,” they say.

My reaction?  Who cares?

Outside of a BCS game (for obvious reasons) and the Cotton Bowl, who cares what bowl game Mizzou goes to?  The Cotton Bowl would be great.  It’s in the heart of recruiting territory, it’s played in Cowboys Stadium and played on January 7th.  However, despite Mizzou fans bombarding the Cotton Bowl with a barrage of tweets, the Cotton Bowl is going to pick the match up that makes them the most money.  They’ll likely choose Texas A&M and LSU.  This isn’t a conspiracy against Missouri.  Those teams are closer to Dallas.  They have bigger fan bases that are known for traveling to bowl games.  Don’t like the situation?  Make traveling to Missouri’s annual bowl game a priority.  Bring your friends.

Over the past two years Missouri has sold about half of its allotted tickets to the Alamo Bowl and Texas Bowl.  Meanwhile, Texas A&M sold out its allotment of tickets to the Independence Bowl last year and that’s in freaking Shreveport, Louisiana.  Mizzou fans can’t complain if they aren’t doing anything about it.

Finally, when it comes down to the Insight vs. Holiday bowls, who cares?  The average fan has no idea which one is more prestigious.  In fact, the Holiday Bowl has been around since 1978, 11 years longer than the Insight Bowl.  I’d argue the Holiday Bowl is a more recognizable name.

The bowl game itself is not important.  What’s important is that Missouri goes out on national television and wins the game.  11-2 and another trophy for the case is a great outcome to the season.  Is it diminished because technically Mizzou should go to some other bowl?  Not at all.

Win the game, look good on national TV, take 11 wins and a likely top 10 national ranking and call it a season.  Nebraska destroyed a mediocre Arizona team in the Holiday Bowl last year and then parlayed that momentum into a top-10 ranking to start this year.  With Missouri returning so much talent next season, the Tigers could very well follow that same path.  Whether it’s the Cotton, Alamo, Insight, or Holiday, what’s important is that Missouri wins the game and heads into the off-season as a major force in the new Big 12.



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