Where Will the Tigers Go Bowling?
Missouri (8-4, 4-4) exited with enhanced prospects after pulling away for a 42-17 victory, while Kansas (6-6, 3-5) may get left out. Among the options for the Tigers' third bowl trip in four years are the Insight, Houston and Texas Bowls. Representatives from the Insight and Texas attended Saturday's game and Insight representative Tom Fridena gushed about the winners.
"No. 1, its an exciting team," Fridena said. "Also, eight wins is tremendous. Eight wins, in this conference, are you kidding me? That's fantastic. This is a good, good deal."
But Fridena isn't sure the Tigers will be available when the Insight Bowls turn comes to pick a Big 12 team to oppose Minnesota on December 29, 2006. The Cotton, Holiday, Gator, Alamo and Sun Bowls are ahead in the picking order, although the Sun Bowl will select a Big 12 team only if the Gator does not.
The Poinsettia and Motor City Bowls are possibilities for Kansas. The Poinsettia Bowl, December 19 in San Diego, pits a Mountain West team against an at-large selection. The Motor City Bowl, December 26 in Detroit, pits an MAC team against a Big 10 team, but the Big 10 does not have enough bowl-eligible teams.
Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel said he doesn't really care where Missouri will be playing its bowl game. He just wanted to expand the possibilities Saturday.
"We want to go to a good bowl," he said. "Who wouldn't want to? That is even more motivation to play good in this game."
Missouri's bowl picture was shakier after last week's 21-16 loss at Iowa State, its fourth loss in five games. But after a convincing win over the Jayhawks, in which Daniel threw for a career high 356 yards and four touchdowns, the Tigers seem assured of an invitation to one of the Big 12's eight guaranteed bowls.
"You know what, it's nice to be able to project, speculate," athletic director Mike Alden said.
Kansas, though, left the field wondering if it had played its last game. Bowl officials are required to pick teams with a winning record over teams that are .500, which could leave Kansas, trying for consecutive bowl bids for the first time in school history, on the outside.
"I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful like our players are," coach Mark Mangino said. "I think our kids deserve it and I hope we get that opportunity."
Prior to the game, Fridena said the Insight Bowl was interested in both Missouri and Kansas, as well as Texas Tech, Kansas State and Oklahoma State.
Missouri athletic director Mike Alden said the announcement could come next week, but will most likely wait until after the Big 12 Championship game is played on December 2, 2006.
(Copyright 2006 The Associated Press All Rights Reserved.)