Missouri’s athletic department has decided to end any speculation that its football team could be headed to a bowl game.
The Tigers are 5-7, which would usually preclude them from being selected to play in a bowl. However, there is a shortage of teams with records that are 6-6 or better, meaning some 5-7 teams could participate in the postseason.
Missouri won’t be one. Athletic director Mack Rhoades issued the following statement Monday:
“Following this weekend’s football games, there have been significant discussions nationally concerning 5-7 teams participating in bowl games. After careful consideration, we have decided it is not in the best interest of our football program to seek permission from the NCAA to participate in a bowl game. Our focus remains on identifying the right leader for our program and moving forward with the transition process.”
Missouri has plenty of concerns other than worrying about a bowl game. The Tigers are trying to find a replacement for former coach Gary Pinkel, who retired earlier this month. Pinkel was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in May.
In the Nov. 27 broadcast of Missouri’s final regular-season game against Arkansas, CBS Sports reported that Pinkel did not want to participate in a bowl game if Missouri finished 5-7. When asked about the possibility after the game, Pinkel said the decision was up to Rhoades.