COLUMBIA, Mo. – Four weeks ago, there was mounting pressure on Barry Odom and the Missouri football team to improve on a 1-5 start to the season that included three straight blowout losses at home to South Carolina, Purdue and Auburn.

Now riding a four-game winning streak, there’s mounting pressure on the Tigers to complete the turnaround and get to a bowl game.

It’s not often that a college football team has to carry both burdens during the same season, but that’s the kind of year it’s been for Missouri.

“There’s not any more or any less,” Odom said during his weekly press conference Monday when asked about the changing pressure. “I’ve talked to our team, and if I start wondering and thinking about what it was or what is, I’m not very good.”

Odom’s been mum about bowl talk over the Tigers’ winning streak, except to admit it’s been a goal to send this year’s seniors out with their first postseason appearance since the 2014 season. That group made it through a campus protest and near team boycott, saw their former coach retire abruptly because of a serious health scare and endured a coaching change that shook up all aspects of the program and back-to-back losing seasons in 2015 and 2016 (Missouri’s first since 2001 and 2002).

But Missouri will go bowling with one more win, and its prospects look good with only Vanderbilt (4-6, 0-6 Southeastern Conference) and Arkansas (4-6, 1-5 SEC) left on the schedule. Odom may not want to talk much about it, but it’s good to know how the process works for teams in the SEC to get bowl bids and which bowls Missouri could participate in if they get one more win.

How the process works

The College Football Playoff has changed the process considerably.

The top four teams in the country regardless of conference affiliation go to the playoff — this year’s semifinals are the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl. Per the playoff rankings, the highest ranked team from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame that is left out of the semifinals goes to the Orange Bowl to play a team from the ACC.

The College Football Playoff Committee then fills out the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls (known as the CFP Access bowls) with numerous rules regarding conference affiliation.

The Citrus Bowl is next in line after the College Football Playoff leaves the picture. It gets its pick of the SEC teams left on the table to play a team from the Big Ten.

After that, the next six bowl-eligible teams in the SEC get lumped into a quasi-draft process. The SEC, working with the individual schools and bowl committees, will assign bids for the Texas, Belk, Music City, TaxSlayer, Liberty and Outback bowls.

There’s no official hierarchy in this process. All the bowls and teams in the “pool of six” are on equal footing, which makes it possible to link SEC teams with the bowl locations and opponents that make the most sense.

Whatever teams are left after the pool of six — and this year, there may not be many — have two more chances to go bowling. The Birmingham Bowl gets its first choice of the remaining schools, then the Independence Bowl gets the scraps.

Mizzou’s outlook

The Tigers are 5-5. They’ll likely be favored in their final two matchups despite going on the road to Vanderbilt and Arkansas, so a 7-5 finish to the season isn’t beyond the pale.

Still, even at 7-5, Missouri would likely be one of the last SEC teams to get a bowl bid. Alabama, Georgia and Auburn are likely to play in either the College Football Playoff or its access bowls. LSU is a safe bet to go to the Citrus Bowl. Mississippi State, South Carolina, Kentucky and Texas A&M have either beaten the Tigers or have better resumes than Missouri.

The Tigers seem to be a good fit for the Liberty Bowl. It’d be easy for a large portion of the fan base to make the short drive to Memphis and a matchup against a former Big 12 foe would be tantalizing. Representatives for the Liberty Bowl were at Missouri’s win over Tennessee and bowl pamphlets were distributed to media members before the game.

Missouri still needs to win at least one more game first, and it all comes down to the bowl committees, the SEC and the school coming to an agreement.

The bowls up for grabs

Here are the bowls that have SEC affiliation. This list doesn’t include the College Football Playoff bowls, which Missouri doesn’t have a shot of making.

Citrus Bowl: Jan. 1 in Orlando, Fla.

Missouri appearances: 2015 (W vs. Minnesota, 33-17)

Other conference affiliation: Big Ten

Texas Bowl: Dec. 27 in Houston

Missouri appearances: 2009 (L vs. Navy, 35-13)

Other conference affiliation: Big 12

Belk Bowl: Dec. 29 in Charlotte, N.C.

Missouri appearances: None

Other conference affiliation: ACC

Music City Bowl: Dec. 29 in Nashville

Missouri appearances: None

Other conference affiliation: ACC/Big Ten

TaxSlayer Bowl: Dec. 30 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Missouri appearances (game formerly known as the Gator Bowl): 1949 (L vs. Clemson, 24-23), 1950 (L vs. Maryland, 20-7), 1968 (W vs. Alabama, 35-10)

Other conference affiliation: Big Ten/ACC

Liberty Bowl: Dec. 30 in Memphis, Tenn.

Missouri appearances: 1978 (W vs. LSU, 20-15), 1980 (L vs. Purdue, 28-25)

Other conference affiliation: Big 12

Outback Bowl: Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla.

Missouri appearances: None

Other conference affiliation: Big Ten

Birmingham Bowl: Dec. 23 in Birmingham, Ala.

Missouri appearances: None

Other conference affiliation: American

Independence Bowl: Dec. 27 in Shreveport, La.

Missouri appearances: 2003 (L vs. Arkansas, 27-14), 2005 (W vs. South Carolina, 38-31), 2011 (W vs. North Carolina, 41-24)

Other conference affiliation: ACC