Missouri Tigers Receive Bowl Projections from ESPN


The Missouri Tigers may have had a losing record during 2015, but that won’t necessarily stop them from appearing in a bowl game.

The Missouri Tigers wrapped up their 2015 regular season schedule this past Friday with an embarrassing 28-3 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks. That dropped their record to 5-7, which generally would have meant the end of football season for the Tigers, as NCAA teams are required to win six games in order to gain bowl eligibility.

Luckily for Mizzou, though, the massive expansion of the bowl schedule (41 games this year, including the second game of the College Football Playoff), as well as an unusually poor level of performance across the board in the Football Bowl Subdivision, could afford the Tigers a chance to compete in postseason play. Only 75 teams gained the six wins necessary to earn bowl eligibility, so up to five teams with 5-7 records could be needed to fill the remaining slots. Kansas State (vs. West Virginia), South Alabama (vs. Appalachian State), and Georgia State (vs. Georgia Southern) have the opportunity to lock up bowl eligibility next week, but even if all three of them win next week, two more teams among Nebraska, Mizzou, San Jose State, and Minnesota will still need to be selected, provided that no bowl games are cancelled.

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According to predictions from two of college football’s most respected bowl prognosticators, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and Mark Schlabach, the Tigers will get a chance to participate in a bowl game despite their relatively poor regular season performance. Schlabach has Mizzou facing Louisiana Tech in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, which takes place in the Cotton Bowl on December 26. McMurphy places the Tigers in the Camping World Independence Bowl, which takes place in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 26. He has them going up against Duke in the ACC-SEC matchup, which Mizzou previously participated in as a member of the Big 12 following the 2003, 2005, and 2011 seasons.

If the Tigers do indeed participate in a bowl game, the expectation is that they’ll be prepared and coached by Andy Hill, who was appointed as Mizzou’s interim coach on Saturday after Gary Pinkel coached his last game on Friday at Arkansas. Hill, who served as the associate head coach and quarterbacks coach this year and has been on the Mizzou staff since 1996, is the longest-tenured coach on the staff.

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