Missouri football to face former Big 12 rival Texas in bowl game

ST. LOUIS, MO- The reward for the Missouri Tigers’ second half turnaround to the 2017 football season will be a bowl trip to Houston.  Sunday afternoon the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl announced it would pair the Tigers against the Texas Longhorns on December 27 in a matchup against former Big 12 conference foes.

“I am so proud of our players and coaches for staying together and closing the 2017 season with six-straight wins to become bowl-eligible, and we look forward to playing Texas in Houston,” Missouri Head Coach Barry Odom said in a statement shortly after the pairing was announced.

Missouri (7-5) last played in the Texas Bowl in 2009 when it lost to Navy. Texas (6-6), lost the 2014 version against Arkansas.

The Texas Bowl was one of several games prognosticators had pegged as possibilites for Missouri, along with the Belk Bowl in Charlotte and the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Playing in Houston should help Odom’s push to re-engage recruiting in the state of Texas which, during Missouri’s Big 12 tenure, had been a priority.  When Missouri moved to the SEC, Gary Pinkel’s staff shifted its recruiting focus to Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

There are at least 10 players on the current Missouri football roster hailing from the Lone Star State. According to Rivals.com, six members of the team’s 2018 recruiting class are from Texas.

The matchup against the University of Texas will bring new life to a quote by now former Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds, who told the Austin Statesman in 2013,   “Our bad years are not that bad. Take a school like Missouri. Our bad years are better than their good years.”