Missouri Football: Houston and New York City in Tigers' Near Future

Brian LendinoCorrespondent IINovember 30, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 26:  Quarterback James Franklin #1 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates after a touchdown during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on November 26, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium  in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Missouri's bowl situation isn't as ideal as it was last year when the Tigers went 10-2 and were safely slated in the Insight Bowl.

This year, it's a bit more rocky, and even to this very moment Missouri and bowl-game officials are discussing on where the best fit for the Tigers would be.

A few things we do know to this point is that the winner of this Saturday's Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game will likely be headed for the Fiesta Bowl as the Big 12's only BCS representative.

As for the loser—they'd likely drop to the Alamo Bowl and play a Pac-12 opponent. Kansas State is all but officially selected to play in this year's AT&T Cotton Bowl.

That leaves five remaining bowl-eligible schools—Baylor, Texas, Missouri, Texas A&M and Iowa State—for four Big 12-affiliated bowl games. These include the Insight Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas and Pinstripe Bowl. 

It's likely that even if Texas were to lose to Baylor this weekend and drop below the Tigers in the Big 12 standings, they would still be chosen as representatives in the Holiday Bowl because they have been regulars there since 2000.

With Baylor headed to the Insight Bowl, that leaves only the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl remaining for Missouri, Texas A&M and Iowa State.

So which school goes where? There's an easy way and a hard way to answer this.

The easy way would to simply put the two most deserving teams in the two bowls accordingly—that would be Missouri in the Car Care Bowl and Texas A&M in the Pinstripe Bowl. Then, add Iowa State into the pool of teams who will vie for the at-large bowl bids.

However, we live in a world where money reigns supreme and for the Car Care Bowl of Texas–which is located a mere 100 miles from College Station—Texas A&M is an attractive pick because of the nearby fan and alumni base.

On the flip side of that same point, Missouri was a participant in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (then just the Texas Bowl), just two short years ago. And from all accounts, the experience was fantastic on both fronts.

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl would be a slap in the face to Missouri, who has fought vigilantly through one of the toughest schedules in all of college football.

For those who don't know much about the Pinstripe Bowl, you should know that it's a brand new edition to the bowl schedule. In only its second year, the game is played in Yankee Stadiu, which in itself is really cool.

But, for a team like Missouri, that is over 1,000 miles away. It would essentially be an away game against a team like Rutgers.

As for the at-large possibility—I just don't see it happening.

As I just alluded, the Tigers would likely square off against Rutgers if they were to play in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Rutgers is 8-4 and finished fourth in the Big East this season.

As for the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, the possibility of a rematch of last year's Insight Bowl against Iowa has to be intriguing to any Tigers fan. Missouri thought they should have beaten the Hawkeyes a year ago, so the prospect of having a second chance at doing so would attract any Tiger viewer.

As for myself, I want the Car Care Bowl of Texas if we are unable to go any higher. And I want Iowa.

Athletic Director Mike Alden has stated that an announcement of Missouri's bowl destination would be official by Sunday, so until then I guess we'll just have to wait anxiously and see.