By: Sammy Stava
The Missouri Tigers are going to a bowl game for a second consecutive season. That was already known on November 10th when the Tigers beat Vanderbilt 33-28 to clinch their sixth win. The only questions were when, where, and against who?
That was announced on College Football’s Selection Sunday and No. 23 Missouri (8-4) is heading to the Liberty Bowl against Oklahoma State (6-6). The game will be played in Memphis on December 31st at 2:45 p.m. CT on KTRS (ABC for TV).
Before the bowl games were announced, Missouri entered the AP Top 25 at No. 24 (for the first time since 2015), and jumped to No. 23 in the final College Football Playoff rankings of the season. The Tigers were unranked in the coaches’ poll.
This is Missouri’s fourth bowl appearance since joining the SEC, and their third against a Big 12 opponent, facing Oklahoma State for a second time. This is a re-match of the 2014 Cotton Bowl, where Missouri beat Oklahoma State 41-31 to finish that season 12-2. Mizzou is 2-1 in bowl games since joining the SEC.
This is Oklahoma State’s 13th consecutive bowl appearance and they finished 6-6 this season to get there. Half of the Cowboys wins however have come against Boise State, Texas, and West Virginia. Though, Oklahoma State has lost three out of their last four and five out of their last seven games to get to this point. Missouri, on the other hand, has won four straight and five out of their last six games. So it’s safe to say these teams are heading into opposite directions going into this bowl game.
The matchup between a 6-6 team vs a ranked 8-4 team may not be the most ideal scenario for Missouri, but the Liberty Bowl can still be an attractive postseason spot for the Tigers. Memphis is a fun location and a short drive for the fan base, and New Year’s Eve is always a good date to play on.
More importantly, it’s a chance for Missouri to end the season with nine wins and finish as a ranked team with momentum into next season. There’s no better way to do that with Drew Lock playing the final game of his college career.