Mizzou fans should blame themselves for bowl snubs

1 12 2010
Missouri Tigers

Missouri Tigers

Even the head coach (Gary Pinkle) said so.

 

Missouri Tigers fans have no one to blame but themselves for Mizzou getting another bowl game snub. I admit, it was a bit of the AT&T Cotton Bowl rubbing salt in Mizzou’s wounds by selecting Texas A&M before the Big 12 Championship was even played and the hierarchy of the Big 12 Conference was established. Regardless, the Cotton Bowl chose a 9-3 school over Mizzou who finished 10-2.

The one and only thing Mizzou fans need to keep in perspective is that the ONLY thing the bowl committees are interested in is making money. Period. Therefore two criteria apply, only two. (1) Which teams (available) would provide the best game in order to attract the biggest television audience (for sponsorships, of course). And, (2) which teams (available) will bring the most fans to the games (to buy tickets, merchandise, stadium food and spend money in the community).

The Missouri Tigers have undoubtedly achieved the first point frequently, but it is the second point where Mizzou has failed – and that has nothing to do with the football team, and everything to do with the fans.

Mizzou fans only need to look to their neighbors to the North (Iowa) for a perfect example. Iowa has traditionally been selected over other Big 10 programs for better bowl games solely based on the extraordinary reputation Iowa Hawkeyes nationwide have for flocking to bowl games. Iowa can not only guarantee selling out its entire allotment of tickets, it can guarantee that the crowd will be predominantly Black and Gold. At the Orange Bowl in January, Iowa fans traveled twice as far as the Georgia Tech crowd, and easily dominated the attendance numbers inside (then) Landshark Stadium in Miami. The crowd was near 70% Iowa fans, and sometimes seemed greater out tailgating in the parking lots.

Can Mizzou guarantee that? No. The Missouri Tigers may perform well on the field, but the fans do not provide the support required to make them an attractive bowl invite. But Texas A&M, with the help of being a local team, has a rabid fan base that travels well and represents the school ferociously for major games (i.e. the Nebraska game Nov. 20).

Gary Pinkle, Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin and Blaine Gabbert have built a solid football program in Columbia that is well-respected on the football field. But Joe Tigerfan needs to step up his game in order for Missouri to get the respect it needs with the bowl committees. Plain and simple, bowl games want fans in the stands with money it their hands – not sitting on a couch in Columbia watching on ESPN.

Don’t be afraid to travel outside the state of Missouri for a football game. It can really be a fun experience. I promise you’ll like it if you try it.

Stay frosty. Mr Pressbox Out!!

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