Well, it all comes down to this. After the expected outcome on Saturday against No. 5 Tennessee, the Missouri Tigers (4-6, 2-4 SEC) will need to win their final two games of the regular season to assuredly clinch bowl eligibility with a 6-6 record. Hey, it’s two winnable games, though.
While New Mexico State has a respectable 4-5 record for their program standards under first-year head coach Jerry Kill, the Aggies have lost a combined 104-7 in the two Power Five opponents they have faced (Minnesota and Wisconsin). Mizzou comes into this one as 28-point favorites. Simply put, this obviously needs to be a win and it shouldn’t be close.
As for Arkansas? The Razorbacks will be favored (as they should), but aside from last season — Missouri has had the upper hand in the “Battle Line Rivalry” as of late. A Mizzou win and an Arkansas loss to Ole Miss on Saturday sets up 5-6 vs 5-6 on Black Friday.
With the regular season winding down, there’s a fresh batch of bowl projections heading into Week 12, and despite missing on CBS, Action Network, and others — Missouri still appears in multiple media outlets. Here’s the latest rundown for the Tigers:
ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura: (Liberty Bowl vs kansas — December 28th)
Sporting News’ Bill Bender: (Las Vegas Bowl vs Washington State — December 17th)
Sports Illustrated: (Las Vegas Bowl vs Oregon State — December 17th)
Athlon Sports: (Liberty Bowl vs kansas — December 28th)
Saturday Down South: (Liberty Bowl vs Oklahoma — December 28th)
College Football News: (Music City Bowl vs Minnesota — December 31st)
As of right now, the SEC has nine bowl eligible teams with only one team (Texas A&M) eliminated from postseason contention. Auburn and Vanderbilt are still mathematically alive to get to six wins, but both are highly unlikely.
The winner of Missouri vs Arkansas may very well decide the league’s 10th bowl eligible team, making one of the SEC’s Pool of Six bowls a likely landing spot.
Memphis, Nashville, or heck Las Vegas (Vegas, baby!) would all be good locations for the fanbase to travel to.
At the very least, Missouri is still playing for something meaningful. Time to win out.