Missouri-Arkansas in Indepence Bowl

As expected, the Independence Bowl announced today that Missouri and Arkansas will play on New Year's Eve in Shreveport, La in a matchup of 8-4 teams. After sorting through the mess in the BCS, the Tigers stayed in the same spot they had been in for weeks.

When the fallout from the BCS unraveled Sunday, Missouri was heading to the same place they had expected for weeks to play the opponent they had expected for days.

In its first bowl game in five years, Missouri will play Arkansas in the Independence Bowl at 6:30 p.m. in Shreveport, La. Both teams are 8-4 and both finished 4-4 in their conferences this season.

Despite sharing a border, the Tigers and Razorbacks haven't played since 1963. Altogether, the proximity and similarities between the teams added up to a great game for the Independence Bowl committee.

"We think it's a game that all fans can make from both schools," said Glen Krupica, the executive director of the Independence Bowl. "We think it's going to be one of the best matchups within the bowl business."

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, who said he exchanged game film with Arkansas on Friday just in case, agreed

"It's almost a perfect match," Pinkel said. "We're two 8-4 teams that play in very competitive conferences who border each other but hardly ever play each other.

"The Mizzou fans are very, very excited, and that's probably an understatement. Hopefully this will be one of many (bowl games) as we continue to build our program."

The representatives of the Independence Bowl have been coming to Missouri games since the middle of the season, and they didn't make it a secret they wanted to pair Missouri and Arkansas in the game.

Krupica said the bowl wanted Missouri in 1998, but the Insight.com bowl picked the Tigers before the Independence got a chance.

Tickets went on sale at 5 p.m. Sunday. Associate athletic director Ed Stewart said the Alumni Association is coordinating trips to Shreveport for the game.

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