COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Tigers football program reaches a big milestone, earning its first Top-10 rank from the College Football Playoff committee.
The CFP committee placed the Missouri Tigers ninth among NCAA teams in their latest round of rankings on Tuesday.
The Tigers carry an 8-2 record into their final two games of the 2023 regular season, which includes four wins in six conference games. Their latest victory was arguably their most complete game of the season, cruising past conference foe and CFP No. 18-ranked Tennessee by a score of 36-7 at home. It was Mizzou’s second-most points in a game this season and the fewest allowed.
The College Football Playoff rankings are relatively new in college football, having only been around since 2014. Mizzou had been ranked in the Top 25 during parts of three separate campaigns, but never advanced past No. 16 prior to this year.
Mizzou’s latest CFP ranking puts them right behind a college football juggernaut in the Alabama Crimson Tide.
According to college football Insider Brett McMurphy, two more convincing wins could set Mizzou up for a New Year’s Six bowl game, which could improve a high-profile stage like the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, and some of college football’s longest-running bowl games. These are generally played on or around New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
That might be as good as Mizzou gets this year, given that the college football playoff itself stands at four teams for one more year, like it has for roughly the last decade.
Next year, the College Football Playoff format will expand to 12 teams. Under this setup, hypothetically, Mizzou would very much be in the running for a playoff spot with this year’s success. Cracking the Top 4, however, would be pretty tough at this point given that the first-four ranked teams all hold an undefeated 10-0 record and Georgia already clinched the SEC East division crown over Mizzou last weekend.
Still, it remains an exciting time for Mizzou football. It’s the first Top-10 ranking since Missouri finished No. 5 via the Associated Press rankings at the end of the 2013 season.
Three talents raised in the St. Louis-area are taking charge among the SEC’s best. Cody Schrader is the only SEC running back with at least 1,000 rushing yards to this point in the season. Brady Cook and Luther Burden have developed strong chemistry, both within the Top 5 of passing and receiving yards, respectively, among their SEC counterparts.
Defensively, the Tigers have made big strides as well. Defensive back Kris Abrams-Draine has four interceptions, only one behind the SEC leader. Mizzou’s 28 season sacks are also fifth-most within their conference.
Mizzou has two more regular season games, plus an eventual December or Janaury bowl game, left in the 2023 season. They close their home slate on Saturday against the Florida Gators. Then, on Black Friday, comes their annual Battle Line Rivlary matchup with the Arkansas Razorbacks, this time in Fayetteville.