The Mizzou Tigers are sitting at 7-0 and in complete control of the Big 12 as they await Saturday's matchup with Nebraska. Fans around the Kansas City area are excited and Mizzou students are likely dreaming....what if? What if we do it?
"It" of course would be beating Nebraska. "It" would also be running the table the rest of the way away Texas Tech, Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas. Mizzou's best shot of giving themselves a chance will be to go undefeated the rest of the way.
But even then, if they did that, could they pass Auburn and/or Oregon at the top of the BCS rankings? Via Stewart Mandel of SI.com:
It's been six years since Auburn became the first undefeated major-conference team to be left out of the title game. (Technically, it happened to Cincinnati last year, but there was no real outcry.) Asked Sunday what chance Missouri or Michigan State have of jumping undefeated Auburn or Oregon, CollegeBCS.com publisher Jerry Palm replied bluntly: "Roughly, zero." But he does think they'd ultimately pass Boise/TCU.
"No undefeated major has ever finished behind a non-major," said Palm. "I don't think this year will be the first time."
So Mizzou's ceiling may be waiting on Auburn and/or Oregon to lose. Their best shot may come the weekend of Nov. 26 when Auburn travels to Alabama and Oregon hosts Arizona.
Mizzou's schedule the rest of the way includes one big time matchup next week at Nebraska then four winnable games against Texas Tech, Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas. If they get through that unscathed, it'll be another Big 12 Championship game against someone, possibly Oklahoma (again).
Yes, it's too early to be projecting out Mizzou's finish to the season when there are six more games including a Big 12 Championship game before talking Bowls. But Mizzou doesn't get here very often so we have to appreciate how nice ti is for us to even have this conversation. For Mizzou to even be a question mark in the BCS title race.
If Mizzou can go into Nebraska and win then this conversation means so much more.