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Missouri's bowl push begins, and Middle Tennessee is in no way a cupcake

Here are today's Mizzou Links.

"We’ve been told these are the four games — if we really want to make it to a bowl, which we do — these are the four games we have to shine in," sophomore right tackle Paul Adams said. "We can’t have any hiccups. If we do have a hiccup, we have to make up for it in our last two (at No. 18 Tennessee and versus No. 17 Arkansas). Personally, I want to go 6-0 in the next six games, and I’m sure everyone on the team does as well." [...]

"It would mean a lot," Scherer said in response to an earlier question. "It’s another game that myself and the rest of the seniors get to play in a Missouri uniform. Those are dwindling down, so to have an extra one would be awesome."

-- KC Star: Push for bowl eligibility picks up for Mizzou during next four games

Considering the variance of the points on the scoreboard, and considering what has felt like an up-and-down season so far, Missouri is basically exactly where it was supposed to be midway through the season. At the beginning of the season, Mizzou ranked just past 50th in S&P+; now, the Tigers rank 49th. Two months ago, I had the Tigers with a slightly better than 50 percent chance of reaching a bowl; now, they're at 59 percent.

The Arkansas game is a tossup at the moment (from a stat perspective, the Razorbacks have been quite lucky in three wins this year, and they're currently only four spots higher than Mizzou), but still, the next four games are obviously the key to Mizzou's bowl chances. Not only are they against lesser teams, but they're also going to show us pretty clearly where the Tigers' collective head is at after these two particularly humbling losses.

One other potentially surprising note from the S&P+ ratings, by the way: MTSU is 52nd, only three spots behind Mizzou. The Blue Raiders are a legitimately strong team and should be viewed as such. This Saturday's game is potentially the hardest of the coming weeks:

  • MTSU: 59% win probability (projected score: 33-29)
  • Kentucky: 73% (34-23)
  • South Carolina: 70% (30-21)
  • Vanderbilt: 81% (33-18)

Keep that in mind. When you see headlines below like "Tigers 'not good enough' to treat Middle Tennessee like a cupcake opponent," realize that a) this is correct, of course, and b) MTSU is not bad enough to be treated like a cupcake. Mizzou better be ready. (It kind of feels like saying this is both reassuring and terrifying. And yes, I still hate that this game is Homecoming. But you didn't ask, did you...)

Mizzou Tigers pennant 4 days to MTSU

Our own Raggs was at Monday's media festivities and took some videos:

Meanwhile, I was on KTGR:

The Trib (Blake Toppmeyer): Barry Odom meets the press: Week 7
Post-DIspatch: Tiger Takeaways: Can Mizzou recover from Gator attack?
Post-DIspatch: Mizzou's bowl quest begins now
KC Star: Push for bowl eligibility picks up for Mizzou during next four games
PowerMizzou: Monday Mizzou Notebook


The Trib (Blake Toppmeyer): MU notes: Tigers 'not good enough' to treat Middle Tennessee like a cupcake opponent
Post-DIspatch: Early preview: Missouri vs. Middle Tennessee

We're going to see more Marvin

Post-DIspatch: Mizzou notes: Tigers want Zanders involved in offense
Post-DIspatch: Black, Ross barely factor into Mizzou offense
KC Star: Mizzou notebook: Sophomore quarterback Marvin Zanders impresses

Meanwhile, next Saturday...

From last week but still worthwhile

Mizzou Tigers pennant Award tour

Volleyball Mizzou's Crow Named SEC Offensive Player of the Week @MizzouVB Brings 11-Match Winning Streak to Hearnes, Hosts LSU Wednesday Evening

Soccer Luebbert Named SEC Freshman of the Week for Third time