Mizzou loses wiggle room, must keep hope - KMOV.com

Mizzou loses wiggle room, must keep hope

After Chase Daniel's third interception against Oklahoma State on Saturday, the expression on Tigers fans faces said it all. They eerily resembled pictures taken of Wall Street stockbrokers over the past week. However, fans should not give up on a BCS National Championship quite yet.

Neither LSU nor Florida, the previous two BCS National Champions, was undefeated and LSU lost two games in 2007. With the Big 12 and the SEC clearly being the two best conferences in college football, if Mizzou wins the Big 12 Championship game, they could still be on their way to Miami for the National Championship.

First things first for the Tigers: beating Texas in Austin this weekend. While Saturday's loss was not a complete back breaker, Mizzou now has a lot less wiggle room.

Beating the new No. 1 (AP) would leave the Big 12 wide open. Texas Tech is 7-0 and No. 7 in the land, but they still play - in consecutive weeks - Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, all ranked teams.

Oklahoma State, also undefeated, moved up to No. 8 this week but will play Texas and Oklahoma before they have a chance to worry about traveling to Kansas City for the Big 12 Championship.

If Mizzou can pull out a win this Saturday in the Longhorn State, and assuming Oklahoma State and Texas Tech each lose a game, the Big 12's six ranked teams - Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Kansas - all will have one loss.

The Tigers also have an advantage over those first four teams because they play in the Big 12 North. After disposing of Nebraska, Mizzou must only worry about Colorado, Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas. Kansas is ranked, but the Tigers other North opponents have a combined record of 12-12.

Over in the SEC, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU are all ranked in the top 15. The undefeated Crimson Tide is No. 2 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches poll, but they still must roll through No. 13 LSU and Auburn next month.

The only team the Big 12 and SEC must worry about is Penn State, who is No. 3 in the country, but has contests against No. 12 Ohio State and No. 20 Michigan State remaining.

The Tigers and their legion on fans lost their chance for a perfect season when they Cowboy's came to town. But with a win this Saturday, the hope of a dream season will remain alive.

Michael Bittner is a student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism

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