Missouri Tigers Football: Why They Should Be in the Cotton Bowl, Not the Insight

Joseph Fafinski@Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2010

For Blaine Gabbert, T.J. Moe, and Co., this is not the first time they have felt BCS pain.
For Blaine Gabbert, T.J. Moe, and Co., this is not the first time they have felt BCS pain.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Before you might think this is a plea for the BCS to die and bring in a playoff system, read it and understand that it is a case for a team that deserves a higher bowl bid.


The Facts

Mizzou started off the season with a 23-13 victory over Illinois. In the second half the Tigers outscored the Illini 20-0 en route to a comeback victory that quickly turned over to a possible blowout. The Illini will now play in the Texas Bowl.

Two weeks later, Mizzou played the San Diego State Aztecs at Faurot Field in Columbia. The Tigers seemingly had the game out of their hands and were saved by a miracle play by wide receiver T.J. Moe, who caused two defenders to run into each other with a juke, opening up the field for Moe to win the game with a 68-yard reception with under a minute left.

Weeks later the Aztecs nearly shocked the college football world, narrowly losing to No. 3 TCU 40-35. It would be the only game that TCU would allow more than 24 points in all season. SDSU will play the Navy Midshipmen in the Poinsettia Bowl after finishing 9-3. 

The following week Mizzou pounded Miami of Ohio 51-13. The RedHawks, who nearly beat Florida earlier in the season, will play Middle Tennessee in the GoDaddy.com Bowl after winning the MAC.

Then on October 16, Mizzou traveled to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies, and it wasn't much of a game from the beginning. The Tigers never trailed in the game, led 16-0 at half and gave up only one garbage touchdown to the Aggies, and Mizzou prevailed 30-9. It would be Texas A&M's biggest loss of the year, and their last loss.

Texas A&M finished 9-3 (one game behind Mizzou) with a 6-2 record in the Big 12 (the same as the Tigers) but will, for some unknown reason, play in the Cotton Bowl against LSU. Doesn't make much sense how the Aggies got the nod, now does it?

The following week had the No. 11 (and undefeated) Missouri Tigers play host to the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners. College GameDay came to Columbia, and the University of Missouri set the GameDay attendance record before beating OU 36-27 on national television.

After back-to-back losses, Missouri had one last shot at beating a bowl team in the No. 24 Kansas State Wildcats, and they did, 38-28.

Missouri beat six bowl teams; Texas A&M only beat five.

Missouri only lost twice; Texas A&M lost three times.

Missouri won the head-to-head battle 30-9 on the road, dominating from start to finish.

Missouri shut out two teams in the Big 12 and held five opponents to less than 10 points; Texas A&M held one opponent under 10 points. 

Missouri went undefeated at home; Texas A&M lost twice at home.

During the 2010 season, Missouri's defense gave up more than 24 points only twice. One of these games they won, a 36-27 victory over No. 1 Oklahoma. Texas A&M gave up more than 24 four times and went 2-2 in these contests.


The Opinions

Now that you've heard the facts, let me give you my opinion. Missouri won every close game they had to win, whether T.J. Moe was juking two defenders after catching a touchdown or Blaine Gabbert was running in for six. They blew out six teams this year, and two of them are playing in bowls.

It doesn't make any sense how Mizzou isn't playing in the Cotton Bowl and Texas A&M is. If someone could please explain it to me other than using the statement "Texas A&M travels better," it would be helpful, but ultimately none of it will make sense to me.

Mizzou set the ESPN College GameDay attendance record; surely they could bring fans 619 miles to Arlington, Texas, the Cotton Bowl destination.

I'm not sure how the Aggies got the nod, and this is not the first time the Tigers have gotten screwed by the bowl process. Enter 2007, a season that saw the Tigers lose twice to Oklahoma and no one else. Mizzou beat Kansas 36-28 in their head-to-head meeting, but the hated Jayhawks got the Orange Bowl bid.

Mizzou would give LSU a much better run for its money. Both teams have been defensive ones in 2010: Missouri is sixth in the nation in points against at 15.2, while LSU is ninth, giving up 17.8 points per contest. You need to scroll down the list to find A&M in that category in 27th place.

Lastly, I'd like to say that it is totally unfair to have a two-loss team represent the Big 12 in a middle-class bowl like the Insight (was that the first mention of the real destination?). It is also unfair to get beaten out by a team that you beat by three touchdowns at their place. Since when does head-to-head not matter anymore?

Enjoy Cowboys Stadium while you can, Aggies. The entire Tigers Nation and the state of Missouri won't be on your side.