Expectations for Missouri are high for the 2011 season.
They lose top-10 NFL Draft pick Blaine Gabbert, but return a number of starters.
This experience has fans excited, and with an easier schedule than usual, they will look to make a run at a BCS bowl.
The Tigers have always had interesting non-conference schedules.
Let's take a look at eight future opponents we would like to watch them play in the future.
Mizzou and Illinois have faced off six times since 2002.
The Tigers have won every single game.
Illinois is breathing a sigh of relief with the Tigers off of the schedule this year.
For Mizzou fans, they will dearly miss the nearly guaranteed victory in preparation for conference play.
An easy win is not the only reason Illinois should be scheduled for the future.
It is fun to watch matchups continue as programs develop and change through the years.
This relationship should continue in the future, but it may be a little bit difficult to convince the Illini.
In 2007, Benjarvus Green-Ellis put up big numbers on Missour
In 2006 and 2007, Mizzou played the Ole Miss Rebels.
Like the Illinois situation, the Tigers won both games fairly handily.
The matchup between two power conferences was exciting to watch and analyze the different styles of play.
Unfortunately, Ole Miss was not at their program's peak while Mizzou was entering some of their best years in the program's recent history.
The idea of two power conferences meeting during the beginning of the season is intriguing,
Fans can only hope for more exciting matchups like Ole Miss in the future.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are now a part of the Big 10.
The Big 12 will miss them, but on the inside, teams are probably a little bit jealous.
The Big 12 nearly disbanded, and being a part of the Big 10 looks a whole lot better right now in the public's eyes.
In a few years, it would be great to see the Cornhuskers come back to Missouri and play in hostile Big 12 territory.
The most interesting part will be styles of play. If Nebraska has to adjust to the Big 10, they might not have as much success in a return to Big 12 competition.
Fans can only hope for this dream matchup that would certainly be circled on the schedule by both sides.
Mizzou has owned the Buffaloes.
The last time the Missouri Tigers lost to Colorado was 2005.
Since then, they have won by scores of 28-13, 55-10, 58-0, 36-17, and 26-0.
So, the Buffaloes, now a part of the Pac-12 (that's weird to say), have struggled to compete with the Tigers in recent years.
Some of the reasons we would love to have Nebraska come back apply in this situation.
The only difference is that Mizzou has dominated a Colorado over the past half-decade, making an invite much more attractive.
Oregon has turned into a national power.
As most teams do, Mizzou has stacked its non-conference schedule with easy opponents in the past few years.
By adding a huge game early on in the season every couple of years, the Tigers could be launched even more into the national spotlight.
One extremely exciting matchup would be a duel against the high-powered Oregon Ducks.
The Ducks have turn into a national powerhouse over the past few years, and it appears as if they will continue their surge.
Adding Oregon to the schedule in the future only benefits the Missouri program. Plus, it would be really fun to watch.
USC has not been up to normal expectations lately.
The USC Trojans football program has taken a few hits over the past few years.
Pete Carroll ran to the NFL and the current staff and players have had to deal with the NCAA sanctions.
They will likely to continue to be decent over the next few years with solid recruiting classes coming in each year.
Still, they might be an attractive team to schedule for Mizzou.
The Tigers are beginning to dabble in the Pac-12 with Arizona State this season.
In the future, a matchup with the Trojans would look very good to the media, especially since USC has been over-hyped since the Reggie Bush era.
In that sense, a win over an ovverrated team is never a bad situation, if they do in fact remain overrated.
The Tigers, if they enjoy the Pac-12 experience with Arizona State this year, should explore the class of the conference in USC down the road.
The Spartans had a magnificent 2010 campaign.
Michigan State has always struggled to grab hold of a spot among the top of the Big 10 for an extended period of time.
This past season, with an 11-2 record and share of the Big 10 title, they showed that they may have taken the next step.
Mizzou used to play Illinois consistently and romped them. Despite the almost unfair matchups on most occasions, it was fun to watch a solid Big 10 team take the field against a stellar Big 12 squad.
If the Spartans do take the next step, Mizzou will have an epic matchup on the schedule.
If they return to being a mediocre Big 10 team, then Mizzou will put on a show for fans as they dominate a Big 10 school once again.
The ACC could be next on Mizzou's radar.
Gary Pinkel seems interested in tasting a number of major conferences in the country.
Mizzou has played Illinois from the Big 10, Ole Miss from the SEC, and will play Arizona State from the Pac-12 this year.
The ACC could provide fun matchups as well.
One team that would make sense for Mizzou is the University of Miami.
The Hurricanes are under the national spotlight no matter how poorly they play.
Seeing that Mizzou has and will test out many of the major conferences in their non-conference schedule, the ACC would naturally be the next step.
Miami is a beatable team that would provide national coverage for an underrated Mizzou program.