It's BCS season so we're wildly projecting out the entire season to predict what the computers will say. Today's scenario involves Mizzou going undefeated and getting passed by one-loss Alabama.
Could it happen? A one-loss team from one of the original BCS conferences has never leaped an undefeated team from one of the original BCS conferences to play in the title game. Via Atlanta Journal Constitution:
The SEC folks may argue that their one-loss team is more deserving, given the fact that their conference has won four straight national championships. But an undefeated Big Ten champion or an undefeated Big 12 champion is going to get an edge over a one-loss SEC champion when it comes down to the final human polls.
You can't downgrade Mizzou in this situation. Alabama, if they ran the table the rest of the way, would need to beat No. 1 Auburn. Mizzou has already beaten the No. 1 team in the country last week with Oklahoma so that win wouldn't be significantly bigger than Mizzou's win.
As a member of a BCS conference, Mizzou really does control its own destiny.