The Tigers escaped Waco, Texas this weekend with a three point win over Baylor, and further solidified the fact that their holiday season won't be basked in the lime light of a BCS bowl berth. At this point, Gary Pinkel and company should be happy playing on January 2 in the Cotton Bowl.
It's so hard to tell what Mizzou team is going to come play each week. Two Saturdays ago they had over double the total yards as Colorado; thumping the Buffs 58-0. They looked much like last season when they were storming to the Big-12 North title. Seven days later against Baylor, they let the Bears stay in the game way too long and stumbled to a narrow victory. Now Baylor isn't exactly a "bye week," but they're most definitely a team that you put away by halftime.
I think the Tigers will win their next two against Kansas State and Iowa State, but Kansas could throw a monkey wrench in Mizzou's plans on heading back to the Big 12 Championship game. The Jayhawks will be coming off their game against Texas. And if the result is anything like Mizzou's, they'll be eager to take their frustrations out on their rival. Even if the Tigers can beat Kansas and return the following week to Arrowhead Stadium for the title game, they may wish they'd given their hotel reservations to another school. No matter how you cut it, the South division is going to bring one mean representative to that game. Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State could all put 50-plus up on MU or KU (much like Texas' 70-3 stomping of Colorado in 2005.)
And if Mizzou gets beat in the Big 12 title game, the elite bowl committees will not be lighting up the Tigers' phones. The Cotton Bowl is the best-case scenario. A more realistic: the Sun or Alamo.