The last time Mizzou stepped into the Alamo Dome, they were number one in the nation and one win away from the national championship game. Oh, what a difference a year makes or a game, for that matter.
Reality may have since set in at Columbia but the Tigers need to put the ghost of the 2007 Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship game behind them to help their conference gain the national respect it believes it deserves after a stellar year.
Many say that the Big 12 has replaced the SEC as the top conference this year but that will all change if the big 12 posts a losing record this bowl season. The north division has been the weaker of the two, no doubt, but is it really that bad or is the South division really that good? Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska need to perform well for a multitude of reasons.
One, program respect, Missouri has been embarrassed on multiple occasions this year, Kansas needs to prove it wasn't a one year wonder and Nebraska well just needs to get back to being Nebraska. Two, Recruiting, you need wins if you want to out recruit OK. State, Tech and A& M in Texas. Three, division pride, The north teams need to show while they were outplayed by the big 12 south, they are still good solid programs that would compete in most conferences.
In order for the Big 12 to get respect as the top conference, they are going to need to finish the bowl season with a 5-2 record and with only four teams in the south that means the conference needs a little help from its north division.
I see Missouri and Kansas winning, one easily, the other not, and Nebraska/Clemson is a toss up, with both teams improving greatly near the end of the season. The Big 12 needs the north division to go 2-1, at least, if it wants to prove it is this years best conference.
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