Considering I'm having serious motivation issues in regards to thoroughly researching Illinois State, I opted to start browsing around bowl projections and looking at the advantages and disadvantages of certain scenarios for the Tigers:
-- CBS Sportsline has an all too common matchup: Missouri/UCLA in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27.
Advantages: Well-regarded bowl; city of San Diego; traditionally solid/prestigious opponent; ESPN TV exposure (including west coast markets)
Disadvantages: May be a consolation if Nebraska wins North and secures Cotton Bowl berth.
History:: Mizzou last played in the Holiday Bowl in 1997, losing to Colorado State, 35-24. The Tigers are 0-2 all time in the Holiday Bowl.
-- ESPN's Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach have differing opinions, with Schlabach placing Mizzou in the Holiday Bowl against Oregon and Maisel dropping Mizzou to the Gator Bowl against Clemson. The Holiday matchup with Oregon would follow the same pattern as above, minus a large market share opponent. The battle of high-octane offenses would be rather entertaining. As for Maisel's matchup between Clemson and Mizzou:
Advantages: New Years Day bowl; network TV (CBS); ESPN's infatuation with Lil' Bowden = more coverage
Disadvantages: Playing in shadow of larger bowls that day; Does Jacksonville count?; Think Ole Miss' BenJarvus Green-Ellis slashed Mizzou? Imagine James Davis and CJ Spiller against Mizzou.
History:: Clemson and Mizzou actually met in the Gator Bowl in 1949, with Mizzou losing, 24-23. Missouri is 1-2 all-time, and is considered to have helped "save" the Gator Bowl because of the high attendance at the 1949 Clemson game.
-- Scout.com currently drops Mizzou even lower, projecting a Missouri-Purdue matchup in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 27.
Advantages: ESPN coverage; San Antonio (plus recruiting exposure in Texas); Purdue television market gives game recruiting importance in Midwest; spread offense shootout would be highly entertaining and play into Missouri's favor
Disadvantages: Lower-prestige bowl; means Mizzou would have missed out on the important game in San Antonio (Big 12 Championship); relegates Mizzou into the light of "fourth or fifth choice" in the Big 12
Fun Fact: The Alamo Bowl has actually produced eight of ESPN's top 20 most watched bowl games.
-- But my favorite projection is one of great importance to me: my own preseason projection. Please ignore basically EVERY other prediction, including but not limited to: Texas winning the Big 12, OSU in the Holiday Bowl, Oklahoma falling to the Sun Bowl, etc.
Advantages: Major bowl recognition; usually one of the first New Years Day bowls; network TV coverage by station with BCS rights (FOX); Appearance likely means Mizzou put up a fight in Big 12 title game; Texas recruiting exposure
Disadvantages: Travel to Dallas; poor venue; tough SEC opponent could be disastrous for Missouri; Pressure on Mizzou fans to travel better than Nebraska did last season.
History: Mizzou last appeared in the Cotton Bowl in 1946, losing to Texas, 40-27.