MU fans respond to Insight Bowl announcement

Sunday, December 5, 2010 | 8:31 p.m. CST; updated 3:57 p.m. CST, Monday, December 6, 2010

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.

The Insight Bowl

Where:  Tempe, Ariz.

When: 9 p.m. Dec. 28

Venue: Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E. Veterans Way 

Capacity: 71,706

History:  1998 — Mizzou defeated West Virginia Mountaineers 34-31

City locations of interest: Four Peaks Brewery, Rula Bula and Nello's

Weather prediction: Between 39 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit

Ticket Information

When: 8 a.m. Dec. 6; available online Dec. 5 after bowl announcement

Where: Mizzou Arena Box Office, 1-800-CAT-PAWS,,

Tour Information

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

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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.

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Ellis Smith December 6, 2010 | 5:04 a.m.

10-2 plays 7-5. WOW! They told me it would be so, but I refused to believe it. Iowa lost their final three games (Northwestern, Ohio State, Minnesota*) and the Hawkeyes did not expect to end up in a "better" bowl game. Still, they will show up with a big crowd, which is why bowl promoters love them. It will be warmer at the game than in Iowa. It will be warmer lots of places than in Iowa.

One reason why Missouri and Iowa haven't played in 100 years is that in recent years there was an agreement that they would play, but Alden and Co. weaseled out of it, just as Alden and Co. weaseled out on a similar agreement with UCLA. Maybe those events have something to do with the less-than-thrilling national perception of the Mizzou football program.

*- Who loses to Minnesota? All three games were lost in the fourth quarter, as was the Wisconsin game (by one point).

(Report Comment)
John Lyman December 6, 2010 | 8:43 a.m.

I still laugh when I hear people complain about the bowl that Mizzou gets to go to.

I remember seasons when we had 2 games left, and had to win both of them, just to become bowl eligible.

And even then, that didn't mean that you go to go to a bowl because there weren't 35 bowl games then...

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen December 6, 2010 | 2:10 p.m.

I dunno...OKSt and NU got snubbed by the Cotton Bowl just as bad a Mizzou (maybe even worse). I am just glad we did not appear to be singled out for a snub this year.
Besides, it could be worse. Imagine winning the Big-12 and only getting U Conn in a BCS Bowl. I think I would rather play Iowa.

(Report Comment)
zach hartnagel December 6, 2010 | 2:39 p.m.

Why is it that some Mizzou fans refuse to admit that the MU football team outside of a few victories during Gary Pinkel's tenure has underachieved? Yes, I am grateful for the good teams Pinkel always fields and yes I realize how bad the Stull and Smith eras were. But, that does not mean we should continue to lose games year after year and be ok with it. Pinkel gets a free pass to be slightly above mediocre every year (except 2007) and in the terrible Big 12 North because the coaches before him were atrocious? Does that make any sense? At some point the MU faithful will get sick of the Pinkel Plateau, which means 8 to 9 wins a year and a Holidayish bowl invite. With a better coach and coaching staff we could have played in at least one maybe two BCS bowls over the last several years. And before MU fans lose their minds over someone questioning Gary Pinkel think about it. Just because the coaches preceding him were terrible that doesn't make the criticisms of Gary Pinkel and staff any less valid.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum December 6, 2010 | 2:54 p.m.

So yeah, Phoenix AZ is a pile. Why would anyone pay holiday season airline prices to go to the sprawliest dump in all of the USA to see football teams from Iowa and Missouri play against each other? Lol... our society suuure is funny...

(Report Comment)
John Lyman December 6, 2010 | 3:07 p.m.

Do you really think Coach Pinkel has underachieved? Seriously? 9 to 10 wins a year over the last few is not underachieving.

As for MU not playing in a BCS game (yet)…

Only 45 schools have played in a BCS game, and 30 of those played in only 1 or 2 of those games. The 15 who have played in 3 or more are: Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech, LSU, Miami (FL), Michigan, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Wisconsin. (Surprisingly, Nebraska and Penn State have only played in 2 each)

When you think about college football, those are the 15 (17) schools that you typically think about. The other teams that play in those games make up a revolving door of teams where the pollsters (and Bowl officials) every year say: "hey, you had a good year, enjoy your game, but don't plan on coming back next year."

Those other teams include: Boise State, Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Auburn, Stanford, TCU, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse, Texas A&M, UCLA, Wake Forest, Washington, Washington State, Arkansas, and Connecticut.

Now, is, rather, should Missouri be a part of that one and done list? Some people say yeah, especially in 2007.

For me, I can wait. I want to be a part of that elite Top 15 that gets invited almost every year.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 6, 2010 | 5:22 p.m.

Just a couple of nonsensical questions:

(1) Has anyone....ever....turned down a so-so bowl invitation inconsistent with the team's excellent performance and record?
(2) What would happen?
(3) If a bowl invitation is extended, is it a requirement of acceptance for an institution to seem "excited" about it.....even if it isn't?
(4) For Missouri to get invited to a great bowl, are the requirements, (a) be undefeated, (b) win conference, (c) be ranked #1 or #2, and/or (d)hell freezes over?

I am unhappy for the team, fans, coaches, and the University. Their performance merited MUCH better. But, I guess that's what happens in a "Football-for-dollars" environment. Too bad. Changing that.....well....we'd have to have another hell-freezes-over thingie.

PS: Things seemed much simpler back in my college dayz.....1970s. But, perhaps senility has crept in.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith December 6, 2010 | 5:35 p.m.

Louis may be correct in his assessment of this bowl game.

A friend of mine, with degrees from Penn State and Missouri S&T, is adamant that no football bowl game played BEFORE New Year's Day is even worth discussing. :)

Some of us are so old that we can remember when there were only four bowl games: Rose, Orange, Cotton and Sugar. To be invited to any one of those bowls was a great honor. Now we have every sort of bowl you can imagine - possibly even the Toilet Bowl.

You only had two choices then: either go to the game or listen to it on the radio. No TV! But there were airlines.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith December 6, 2010 | 5:50 p.m.

@ Michael Williams:

Odd you should mention that, as Ohio State one year arbitrarily took themselves out of the running for any bowl game (although they were definitely bowl elgible). Don't remember the year, but it was back during the wonderful "Woody" era. Both Woody and the team weren't satisfied with their season performance and they voted to decline any bowl invitation.

The bowl system, obviously, didn't collapse, nor did anyone think it would.

When you're Ohio State you can obviously do whatever you damned well please. :)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 6, 2010 | 6:02 p.m.

Ellis: Thanks for your example. I did not remember the incident you described. I certainly applaud the "honor" in what he and his team did. I guess "honor" is in short supply these dayz, but I guess no one is making it anymore. We're printing more dollars, tho.

Your example is a mite different when you are 10-2 and want to play in a good bowl. It's sort of a catch-22 futile-cycle situation; when MO gets trashed by bowl selection committees year-after-year, fan participation goes down, which leads to poor bowl invitations, which leads to poor.......well, you get the drift.

We gotta be number 1 or 2 before things change. Either that, or move the entire damn state sumplace else.

(Report Comment)
William Moore December 6, 2010 | 6:05 p.m.

I was under the understanding that Mizzou had a policy that forbids interviewing students in bars. I know after an ABC Sports crew interviewed MU students before a Nebraska game in 1975 there was a backlash due to drunken students spouting off. It certainly seems inappropriate and I thought that was something every reporter was discouraged from doing.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith December 7, 2010 | 5:51 a.m.

William Moore:

Speaking of interviews and bowl games, the Big Ten conference once had a rule that no conference champion could go to the Rose Bowl two years in a row; the second-place finisher was allowed to go instead. As a result of that rule, Purdue made a Rose Bowl appearance. A TV network interview of Purdue students after Purdue had beaten USC produced not only lewd gestures, but a sign:

"Lubricate the Trojans!"

I suppose ag and engineering students are the same no matter what the name of their university. :)

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith December 7, 2010 | 7:26 a.m.

@ Michael Williams:

1- The 2010 MU football team is very bit as good as its win-loss record indicates. There is no logical reason - based on that record - why the team should not have been invited to a BCS bowl game. The entire university - all four campuses - should be proud of those athletes.

2- While Gary Pinkel may not be Joe Paterno, your coaching staff is good. (Joe didn't have a good season - for Joe.)

3- If you are looking for "what's wrong," try looking for somebody who earns big money sitting behind a desk. He can't go around shafting other people's schedules without expecting eventual consequences.

4- Why is Nebraska now in the Big Ten conference and MU is not? What "logical" basis was there for that, or was something other than "logic" involved?

Isn't it easier to remove one individual than to move an entire state? Seems to us (the rest of us in this university system) that it would be, but then what do we know?

(Report Comment)
Kellie Kotraba December 7, 2010 | 8:31 a.m.

Hi, William Moore. I'm the reporter who wrote the story, and I wanted to address your concern about interviewing in bars. The Missourian has no policy against it, but we reporters are encouraged to use good judgement with the people we interview in these situations. When I talked with the students, I did not sense any "spouting off," and I was careful in selecting who to talk to.

(Report Comment)
Ed South December 7, 2010 | 2:02 p.m.

Ok, Ok, Look you want to point fingers at the bowl games and where Missouri fis..Point your finger directly at the Big 12 and it's commissioner. You want better bowl, form alliances with better bowls. This is a big 12 issue plain and simple.

(Report Comment)

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