Ranking the bowl games, part 4

Missouri got plenty of good news this weekend, first from the people from the Independence Bowl and second from Kansas State, who beat Nebraska and gave Missouri a chance at the Big 12 Championship game. Considering all of this news, this week's rankings have significantly changed, even if the same bowl game is at the top of the list.

It's this simple: if Missouri finishes fifth, sixth or seventh in the Big 12, it is heading to the Independence Bowl. The Independence Bowl representatives were at the Texas A&M game Saturday, and they made it clear they want Missouri against Arkansas on New Year's Eve in Shreveport, La.

However, the Tigers have a chance this weekend to up the ante. If they beat Kansas State, they will only have to beat Iowa State, which has yet to win a conference game, and then they will be in the Big 12 Championship against Oklahoma. Do the improbable and beat the Sooners, and Missouri is in a BCS Bowl, either the Fiesta or Orange Bowl.

For a more likely situation, if Missouri goes to the championship game and loses, it would still have tiebreakers over Kansas State and Nebraska, but they would be behind Texas, Oklahoma and perhaps Oklahoma State, which still had to beat Texas Tech to avoid finishing 4-4 in the conference. That could open up possibilities to the Cotton, Holiday and Alamo Bowls, especially if Texas gives the Big 12 a second BCS Bowl team. Either way, the enthusiasm from the people from the Independence Bowl made it seem like a trip to Houston or Orlando is not too likely.

1) Independence Bowl: 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 in Shreveport, La.

Big 12 No. 5, 6 or 7 against SEC team

2) Alamo Bowl: 9 p.m. on Dec. 29 in San Antonio

Big 12 No. 4 against Big Ten No. 4

3) Holiday Bowl: 8 p.m. on Dec. 30 in San Diego

Big 12 No. 3 against Pac-10 No. 2

4) Cotton Bowl

Big 12 No. 2 against SEC

5) Houston Bowl: 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 30 in Houston

Big 12 No. 5, 6 or 7 against SEC team

6) Tangerine Bowl: 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 22 in Orlando

Big 12 No. 5, 6 or 7 against ACC No. 4

7) Fiesta Bowl: 8 p.m. on Jan. 2 in Tempe, Arizona or Orange Bowl: 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 1 in Miami

BCS Bowls (Big 12 tie-in)

8) Fort Worth Bowl: 7:30 on Dec. 23 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Big 12 No. 8 against Conference-USA team

9) Sugar Bowl: 8 p.m. on Jan. 4 in New Orleans

BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2 (National Championship)

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