At the start of the 2023 college football season, Missouri was supposed to be irrelevant in the grand scheme of the SEC. The Tigers shocked the world though with a 10-2 record, finishing the season ranked ninth in the Coaches Poll. Their losses weren't anything to scoff at either. They only ever fell to LSU and Georgia, who both finished the season ranked within the top-15.
Now, they've earned a right to play in the Cotton Bowl though and take on the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes. Outside of the Orange Bowl between No. 5 Florida State and No. 6 Georgia, this has to be the most highly-anticipated non-playoff matchup of bowl season.
That doesn't mean it is without controversy already though. Ohio State starting quarterback Kyle McCord announced early Monday, Dec. 4 that he would be entering the transfer portal after a wonderful first season as the Buckeyes' quarterback. Head coach Ryan Day was strangely noncommittal regarding McCord's future as the Buckeyes' quarterback for next season, or even the Cotton Bowl. So, with that in mind, we're going to see someone entirely new under center for the Buckeyes this year. That will likely be either Devin Brown or Lincoln Kienholz. They are the only other players to have thrown passes for the Buckeyes this year, albeit there are only 27 attempts between the two of them.
Although Missouri definitely shined this season, the Cotton Bowl will be an opportunity to prove that they belong in the top-10. The team had just one win over a ranked opponent all season, a 36-7 victory over Tennessee on Nov. 11. Even with a new quarterback, the Buckeyes will be a formidable test that could set the tone for the Tigers' program next year.
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How to watch the 2023 Cotton Bowl? When and where will it be played?
When: December 29
Time: 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
Cotton Bowl 2023: Missouri vs. Ohio State early betting odds, lines
Early odds for the Dec. 29 game have Ohio State featured as early favorites, according to BetMGM.
Here are the updated odds for the Cotton Bowl as of Monday afternoon, Dec. 4.
Spread: Ohio State (-3)
Moneyline: Ohio State (-144);Missouri (+118)
End of Season Re-Rank: Michigan takes over No. 1 spot in college football's NCAA Re-Rank 1-133
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: When is Cotton Bowl 2023? Early odds, line for Missouri vs. Ohio State