2011 Bowl Projections: Missouri, Illinois With Outside Chances At Bowl Games

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 29: T.J. Moe #28 and Andrew Jones #87 of the Missouri Tigers celebrate a victory after overtime in game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on October 29, 2011 in College Station, Texas. The Missouri Tigers defeated the Texas A&M Aggies 38-31. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

Can the Tigers and Fighting Illini salvage their mediocre seasons with bowl appearances? The experts seem divided.

The experts have spoken! The college football bowl season is beginning to materialize, and a panel of college football's gurus has made their mid-season college bowl projections. SB Nation has tabulated the predictions of Scout.comPhil Steele and the ESPN duo of Brad Edwards and Mark Schlabach (see below) for the avid college fan's convenience, but let's take a closer look at some of the key teams in the region:

Unfortunately for Mizzou fans, their pedestrian 4-4 overall record and 2-3 conference record has put a major damper on their bowl season's chances. Both Phil Steele and Mark Schlabach project the Missouri Tigers to make a play for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against presumably the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Meanwhile, Brad Edwards foresees a Mizzou matchup against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl -- a pairing that no-doubt favors Penn State -- and Scout.com expects a matchup against the Arizona St. Sun Devils in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Altogether, the experts don't seem terribly optimistic about Mizzou's chances at a bowl game, and seem altogether unconvinced they can make it to any prestigious bowl game.

For Illinois Fighting Illini fans, the outlook is only marginally less bleak. The panel seems divided between whether the Illini are bound for the TicketCity Bowl or the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Perhaps a strong finish -- a finish that would require wins against ranked teams -- can net the Illini some December or January games, but the chances seem slim.


Bowl Phil Steele Edwards Scout Schlabach


BCS Championship, 1/9 Alabama-Oklahoma State Alabama-Oklahoma State LSU-Oklahoma Alabama-Oklahoma State


Orange, 1/4 Clemson-Cincinnati Clemson-Cincinnati Clemson-West Virginia Clemson-West Virginia


Sugar, 1/3 LSU-Stanford LSU-Boise State Alabama-Boise State LSU-Boise State


Rose, 1/2 Michigan State-Oregon Wisconsin-Oregon Wisconsin-Oregon Stanford-Nebraska


Fiesta, 1/2 Oklahoma-Boise State Oklahoma-Stanford Oklahoma State-Stanford Oklahoma-Oregon


GoDaddy, 1/8 Temple-FIU Toledo-UL Lafayette Temple-UL Lafayette Toledo-UL Lafayette


Compass, 1/7 Pitt-UL Lafayette South Florida-Vanderbilt Rutgers-Vanderbilt Syracuse-Ohio


Cotton, 1/6 Texas A&M-Arkansas Texas-Arkansas Kansas State-Auburn Kansas State-Georgia


Outback, 1/2 Nebraska-South Carolina Nebraska-South Carolina Nebraska-Georgia Penn State-South Carolina


Gator, 1/2 Penn State-Florida Ohio State-Florida Michigan State-Florida Wisconsin-Florida


Capitol One, 1/2 Wisconsin-Arkansas Michigan-Georgia Michigan-Arkansas Michigan-Arkansas


TicketCity, 1/2 Iowa-Tulsa Iowa-SMU Illinois-SMU Illinois-SMU


Chick-fil-A, 12/31 Virginia Tech-Auburn Virginia Tech-Auburn Virginia Tech-South Carolina Virginia Tech-Auburn


Liberty, 12/31 Houston-Mississippi State Houston-Tennessee Houston-Mississippi State Houston-Mississippi State


Sun, 12/31 Georgia Tech-California Georgia Tech-Utah Georgia Tech-California Georgia Tech-Utah


Texas, 12/31 Ohio State-Baylor Penn State-Missouri Ohio State-Texas A&M Ohio State-Baylor


Kraft, 12/31 Syracuse-N.C. State Fresno State-Wake Forest Utah-Pitt Fresno State-N.C. State


Insight, 12/30 Kansas State-Michigan Michigan State-Kansas State Penn State-Texas Michigan State-Texas A&M


Music City, 12/30 Miami-Tennessee Virginia-Mississippi State Wake Forest-Tennessee Virginia-Vanderbilt


Armed Forced, 12/30 Southern Miss-BYU Southern Miss-BYU Tulsa-BYU Southern Miss-BYU


Pinstripe, 12/30 Rutgers-Missouri Rutgers-Baylor Syracuse-Baylor Rutgers-Missouri


Alamo, 12/29 Texas-Arizona State Texas A&M-Arizona State Missouri-Arizona State Texas-Arizona State


Champs Sports, 12/29 Florida State-Notre Dame Florida State-Notre Dame Florida State-Notre Dame Florida State-Notre Dame


Holiday, 12/28 Texas Tech-Washington Texas Tech-Washington Texas A&M-Washington Texas Tech-Washington


Military, 12/28 Virginia-UTEP N.C. State-East Carolina Miami-Marshall Miami-Western Michigan


Belk, 12/27 North Carolina-West Virginia West Virginia-North Carolina Cincinnati-North Carolina Cincinnati-North Carolina


Little Caesars, 12/27 Illinois-Toledo Illinois-Northern Illinois Toledo-Iowa Temple-Iowa


Independence, 12/26 Air Force-Wake Forest Miami-Air Force Wyoming-Virginia Wake Forest-Wyoming


Hawaii, 12/24 SMU-Hawaii UTEP-Hawaii UCF-Hawaii Tulsa-Hawaii


Las Vegas, 12/22 TCU-Utah TCU-California TCU-UCLA TCU-California


Poinsettia, 12/21 San Diego State-Nevada San Diego State-Nevada Air Force-Louisiana Tech San Diego State-Nevada


St. Petersburg, 12/20 South Florida-UCF Syracuse-UCF South Florida-Southern Miss Pitt-East Carolina


New Orleans, 12/17 Arkansas State-Marshall Arkansas State-Tulsa Arkansas State-UTEP Arkansas State-UTEP


Idaho Potato, 12/17 Fresno State-Ohio Temple-Louisiana Tech Nevada-Northern Illinois Louisiana Tech-Northern Illinois


New Mexico, 12/17 Colorado State-Northern Illinois Wyoming-Ohio San Diego State-Purdue Air Force-Eastern Michigan

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