COLUMBIA — MU football deserves a better bowl — at least, according to some fans.
The Tigers will play the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 28. The last time the Tigers played in the Insight Bowl in 1998, MU beat West Virginia 34-31.
Where: Tempe, Ariz.
When: 9 p.m. Dec. 28
Venue: Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E. Veterans Way
History: 1998 — Mizzou defeated West Virginia Mountaineers 34-31
Weather prediction: Between 39 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit
When: 8 a.m. Dec. 6; available online Dec. 5 after bowl announcement
What: Official Mizzou Bowl Tour
Who: Mizzou Alumni Association
Packages: traditional tour, economy trip
Site Events: spirit rally, official tailgate
Packages will be available for purchase immediately following the announcement. Prices listed at www.mizzou.com/bowlcentral.
MU sophomore Adam Singer, 19, said MU deserves a better bowl than Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
"We have the same number of losses as Oklahoma, and we beat them," Singer said. "And we beat Texas A&M."
"If we hadn't lost to Texas Tech, I feel like we'd be in the Fiesta Bowl," said Tony Scotino, 23.
MU deserves more as far as bowl games go, Jim Bunten, 23, said. But Bunten said he thinks the Insight Bowl is better than the Holiday Bowl would have been.
Scotino, Bunten and two of their Phi Kappa Theta brothers, Carter Schamel, 22, and 2010 graduate Scott Yanta, 22, sat at Campus Bar and Grill and watched a Sunday night football game. To them, the bowl has a personal connection: Matt Grabner, the punter for the Tigers, is in their fraternity.
"It's definitely made Mizzou football a little more fun for us," Yanta said.
Yanta, who grew up with Grabner, said he will probably go to this bowl game because of that connection, but, like many MU fans, he doesn't usually travel to bowl games. The four agreed that fans' travel habits are part of the reason MU does not go to better bowls.
"They do not want to invite a team that will not fill up the stands," Scotino said. "Mizzou kind of lacks that."
They said the distance of the bowl games from MU might discourage fans from traveling.
“Unless you know someone like we do, it would almost not be worth it to go — just watch it from your living room," Bunten said.
They also agreed that nationally, MU does not have the recognition it deserves.
"The rest of the country still looks at Mizzou as an up-and-coming program, when we feel like we've already established ourselves as a legitimate program — not just a football team, but a program," Bunten said.
At Willie's on Broadway, Brian Asbury, 38, said he thought MU deserved a better bowl game.
"Mizzou gets screwed by A&M, just like we do every year," Asbury said.
Asbury said the Cotton Bowl would have been the best bowl for MU, followed by the Alamo Bowl. The Alamo Bowl would be good for recruitment, he said.
After discussing the Tigers' bowl options, he and his friends drank a shot dedicated "to the Tigers, making a bowl."
Not all fans see the bowl as less than what MU deserved. At a Christmas party at Harpo's, George Schaefer, 49, was neutral.
"As long as they go to a bowl, that's fine by me — as long as it's not the toilet bowl," Schaefer said.