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2011 Cotton Bowl: Why Texas A&M And Not Mizzou? Answer Is In Lubbock

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The Missouri Tigers started out the season 7-0 and had a few of us thinking crazy. Big 12 Championship? OK, that's not so crazy. National championship? Probably a little crazy. But, nevertheless there the Tigers were after seven games with seven wins, including one over then-No. 1 Oklahoma.

Then the Tigers dropped a game to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who would eventually move into the top 10 in the BCS (and later fall back out). The loss to Nebraska was acceptable, in my mind, because they had already beaten Oklahoma. Hosting Oklahoma and then traveling to Nebraska is a brutal stretch and, at the beginning of the season, I think most of us would have taken 1-1 there as the best-case scenario.

But the following week Mizzou goes into Texas Tech and lays an egg. It was such a let down loss after the Tigers were ranked so high and showed so much potential. It was just an overall ugly loss. And it's what cost Mizzou when it came time to award the winner of the Big 12 North. And it's what cost Mizzou when talking about the 2011 Cotton Bowl.

If the Tigers win that game against Texas Tech, they don't have their sights set on the Cotton Bowl. They're looking at the Fiesta Bowl.

There's no doubt the system sucks. A system that puts a 9-3 Texas A&M team into the Cotton Bowl over a 10-2 Mizzou team. A system that puts a Texas A&M team that loss to Mizzou into the Cotton Bowl despite the Tigers 21-point victory over the Aggies that year.

But if Mizzou would have just won that Texas Tech game...