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College football programs ultimately do not have the final say in their bowl game placements, but Missouri head coach El Drinkwitz wants to be clear that the Tigers want all of the smoke. He says they aren’t running from anybody, especially not the cross-state Jayhawks, even if reports say otherwise.
At 6-6, both Mizzou and Kansas football are bowl eligible in the same season for the first time since 2008. Although the Border War between the two schools has not been played in the regular season since 2011, there is a legitimate chance it could be played this postseason.
The Liberty Bowl typically pits a lower-tier Big 12 school against a lower-tier SEC school. The Tigers and Jayhawks fit that billing this year and they were rumored opponents for the game.
However, on Friday morning, Action Network’s Brett McMurphy put out some of those flames. He reported that Missouri had asked committees and conference administrators not to be matched up with Kansas in a bowl game.
There was an opportunity for the iconic rivalry to resume in the Liberty Bowl this month. There was just one problem: Missouri didn’t want to play Kansas, so the matchup will not happen.— Action Network’s Brett McMurphy
It is not unusual for schools to request not to play certain opponents in the postseason. They typically provide their bowl preferences, and all sides involved in the bowl selections come to an agreement whenever possible.
Even still, for the Tigers to run from the Jayhawks would be super lame, especially since McMurphy said that the latter were not opposed to the idea. It would have been one of the most intriguing and highly-anticipated matchups of this upcoming bowl season.
Nothing is official yet. Bowl matchups will be announced on Sunday.
It is expected that Kansas and Missouri will be placed in separate college football bowl games.
In response McMurphy’s report on Friday morning, Drinkwitz clapped back at the haters who called his program cowardly for avoiding the Jayhawks. He is out recruiting this weekend, as is the case with every college coach in the country, and just so happened to fly over… the Liberty Bowl!
Drinkwitz took a photo of the stadium and said that Mizzou is not afraid of playing Kansas. Period.
That is all fine and well. Drinkwitz can say whatever he wants.
It doesn’t mean that the report was wrong.
McMurphy definitely could have missed on his Border War bowl scoop. The former CBS and ESPN insider may have bungled his own beat.
But it would be strange if he did.
Drinkwitz, as head coach, more than likely has little-to-no say in the bowl selection process. That is probably a decision made above him. Missouri could still be cowering from Kansas, regardless of what his tweet reads.