After exceeding expectations by finishing 5-5 in the shortened 2020 season, Missouri has accepted a bid to play the Iowa Hawkeyes in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. The game will be played on Dec. 30, 2020 in Nashville.
The Hawkeyes finished the season No. 15 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. After losing their first two games against Purdue and Northwestern, Iowa rattled off six straight wins. The Hawkeyes did not play this week due to COVID-19 issues with Michigan, their scheduled opponent.
Missouri struggled with Top 25 opponents in 2020, and Iowa will represent one of their tougher challenges. According to Bill C., Iowa is No. 13 in total SP+, boasting a defense that ranks No. 3 in the country. The offense is more mediocre — No. 53 — but will still test a Mizzou defense that was just gashed for 51 points by Mississippi State.
Another thing to keep in mind when considering the bowl that Missouri will play — apparently, the team had quite a bit of say.
best/easiest for them. With attendance limited everywhere, bowl choice isn’t really about fans this year.— Power Mizzou (@PowerMizzoucom) December 20, 2020
I wouldn’t rule out Music City Bowl for Missouri. There’s some thought internally that more players families would be able to attend a game in Nashville compared to the games in Florida. Gator, Outback also possibilities— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 20, 2020
Some fans may have wanted a more traditionally prestigious bowl, but the Tigers will still be playing a top 15 opponent just before New Years. Besides, after the risk that the players took playing in the season, it makes sense to defer to their wishes.
It should be a fun game... or at least fun in the sense that we get to keep talking about football for a few more weeks! Stay tuned to Rock M Nation, as we’ll have plenty of coverage about the 2020 season in review, as well as previews for the bowl game.