Saturday, July 14, 2018


Tom Keegan: Resumption of rivalry with Missouri would help KU football

No. 1 on the list: Reesing’s 26-yard pass to Kerry Meier that beat Missouri last Nov. 29 in Kansas City, Mo.

No. 1 on the list: Reesing’s 26-yard pass to Kerry Meier that beat Missouri last Nov. 29 in Kansas City, Mo.


He doesn’t officially start his job as 11th athletic director in University of Kansas history until Aug. 1, so it’s no surprise that Jeff Long isn't ready to state a definitive position on the dormant rivalry with Missouri.

He doesn’t yet know the sentiments of Kansas alumni on the topic, and he doesn’t know who KU’s football coach will be at the next available opening in the two schools’ schedules.

A check of both schools’ tentative schedules into the next decade shows that 2026 is the first possible year for a resumption of the football series.

So when Long says he has more urgent issues on his plate, believe him.

Long need not take KU coach Bill Self's temperature on the topic because his views are well known. Any resumption of the rivalry won’t include men’s basketball.

Self, of course, has been steadfastly against playing Missouri since the school put in motion its exit from the Big 12.

Naturally, every Missouri basketball coach has wanted to resume the series. After all, upsetting Kansas would score the Mizzou coach huge points with the fan base, and losing to the Jayhawks likely would improve the Tigers’ RPI and wouldn’t do the coach any public-relations harm because nobody expects the underdog to win anyway.

Similarly, playing Missouri in football is a no-lose proposition for Kansas. Losing is the expected outcome, unless KU has closed ground on Missouri by the time a game can be scheduled. Defeating Missouri would do more for a Kansas coach’s popularity than slaying any other opponent.

A counter-punching Self had fun last summer at the expense of former Missouri chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, who blamed Self for killing the rivalry and said that the basketball coach’s “huge ego” was standing in the way of the rivalry’s resumption.

Self’s memorable response: “Tell the ex-Missouri chancellor that I coach basketball, not football. That we would never play a game in Arrowhead or even discuss it. It’s too cold. We play our games indoors. But I look forward to meeting him someday if he’s ever in Lawrence.”

There you have it. Self isn’t standing in the way of the football rivalry coming back to life. He doesn't need a say in that. Kansas football could use the spice the rivalry brings; the sooner, the better.

Opponents already on KU's schedule from 2019 through 2028 include Coastal Carolina (three times), Boston College (twice), Houston (twice), Illinois (twice) and Washington State (twice).

None of those are nearly as compelling as a rivalry resumption with Missouri.


Jeff Coffman 2 years ago

I've been mixed on this subject. I still consider Missouri our Rival. If you talk Oklahoma...Texas is this rival and OSU is their little sibling (likewise KSU is our little Sibling--I know it was born first).

I know Missouri ran at the first sign; however, most of us thought the Big XII was imploding and they had a spot, Colorado and Nebraska did the same thing. Some days I wish KU had bolted as well, but I do enjoy the Big XII.

Why I would do it...the Big XII will either dissolve in the next 4-5 years or it will strengthen, if it dissolves having a rivalry with a SEC team will only score more points for the lasting relationship. It also would setup one of the best rivalries in the history of college football. I think there has been nearly 120ish games played, and I think that the win-loss is within 3-4 games. This has been a successful rivalry by every measure in football.

Basketball is another story. The SEC challenge will get us playing eventually again. I'm not in a rush, but again to have a relationship with a Power 5 conference will be huge for our lasting success if the Big XII implodes and if it stays, we still have our true rival back.

Don't let me come off as one that wants it back, but I do see some reasons to bring it back.

Dane Pratt 2 years ago

I am not adamantly opposed to it but my preference would be to let it die. I think there are plenty of Missouri fans who share this sentiment but the ones who want to renew the rivalry are the ones making the noise. Instead, let's turn up the volume on KU-KSU. They already hate us, we just need to return the favor.

Clarence Haynes 2 years ago

If i recall Colorado and Nebraska were forthright when announcing their respective exits from the Big XII and I miss those games. Our big rival Mizzou however, left the Big XII for the SEC in the "dark of night". I miss those games and the "trash talking" week leading up to them. Frankly, with a more competitive football team, it would be in KU's interest to schedule Mizzou as a recruiting tool and as a means to enhance financing Memorial Stadium upgrades. Let's see if KU improves over the next few years.

Dyrk Dugan 2 years ago

Football, I would have no problem with resuming the rivalry. Conditions, however:

  1. Home and Home. No neutral site nonsense at Arrowhead (the start of why KU’s program spiraled out of control downward under Lew).

  2. The game should conclude at the end of the year once in awhile. The last time Kansas hosted MU at the end of the year was 25 years ago. Any KU admin. owes us that as much after screwing around with this rivalry and subsequently the football program, and partly causing this embarrassing current state of the program.

Robert Brown 2 years ago

How did playing in Arrowhead contribute to the downfall of the football program. Three of the most exciting games of the series were played in Arrowhead. There are many reasons for the implosion of the football program; the series with MU at Arrowhead is not one of them.

Dane Pratt 2 years ago

I don't think playing Missouri in football would be a no lose proposition. In spite of having a better program the all time series is only separated by a few games. Probably why it was such a good rivalry.

Bryan Schmiedeler 2 years ago

Not playing them makes KU look petty.

I was unhappy when MU left the Big XII, but I don't blame them, as I would have KU leave in a heartbeat if we found a good home.

We should play them.

Dale Rogers 2 years ago

My problem with Missouri is less the fact they left and more how they left. Very shortly before they announced they are leaving they were on record as saying they would never leave the Big12. At that time, their AD (or was it their Chancellor) was head of the Big12 when they were trying to keep the Oklahoma and Texas schools from leaving. Very shortly after saying they would never leave the Big12, they left. Bill Self has made pretty much that same statement as his primary reason for not playing Missouri again. I also remember some of the really dirty "antics" the Mizzou fans pulled to try to keep our players from sleeping the night before the MU-KU games. And I also remember the very dirty play of some MU basketball players where it appeared they were intentionally trying to injure KU players on the court.

Joe Ross 2 years ago

How does guaranteeing a blowout loss on your schedule every year benefit your program?

Answer: it doesn’t.

We could take L’s, but only if we can be competitive in games. Any talk of scheduling Mizzou prior to Kansas’ meeting the threshold of respectability is nonsense.

Imagine this headline : Mizzou 75, Kansas 12 in Borderwar Beatdown. Would love to see anyone attempt to spin that as a positive.

Andy Tweedy 2 years ago

Can't argue with that, but Tom mentions 2026 as the first available date. If we aren't respectable by 2026, I'm not gonna care at all any more!

Brad Avery 2 years ago

The AD is right. There are far more important issues on his plate than whether to resume playing a former slave state rival. Number one, he has to find a coach who can perform another Mark Mangino like turnaround. Everything else will fall into place nicely once the program is competitive again.

Joe Ross 2 years ago

How does guaranteeing a blowout loss on your schedule every year benefit your program?

Answer: it doesn’t.

We could take L’s, but only if we can be competitive in games. Any talk of scheduling Mizzou prior to Kansas’ meeting the threshold of respectability is nonsense.

Imagine this headline : Mizzou 75, Kansas 12 in Borderwar Beatdown. Would love to see anyone attempt to spin that as a positive.

Besides that, we would fill Missouri’s coffers, because 1 million people would try to cram into their stadium to see Kansas being beaten. On the other hand, nobody in Kansas is going to Memorial Stadium to watch a bloodbath on our hometurf.

...except Mizzou fans, I guess.

Robert Brown 2 years ago

How is that any different than getting beaten badly at home against CMU or Ohio? I’d rather lose to an SEC team than a MAC team.

Titus Canby 2 years ago

I agree with Joe Ross. "Border Beatdown" would do us way more harm than good. The bigger issue, however, is that they chose to leave. The only way I would ever agree to play them in anything is if they get on their knees and ask us nicely, own up to their mistake of leaving the conference, and apologize.

Ashwin Rao 2 years ago

We can start the rivalry once we have our house in order. We need to start winning games & show that compete with the best of them. We should play with Missouri once we are competitive, and have a chance to win at least 1/2 of the games.

Gary McCullough 2 years ago

Tom, If you want to promote a MU-KU game, go write for the Columbus Daily Tribune. There are some unforgivable sins, and threatening our alliance after steadfastly declaring fealty to the Conference is one of them. Would you engage in an affair with a former partner that had divorced you for their current beau? We have self esteem, we don't need MU.

Roger Gilbertson 2 years ago

I know I am in the minority but I really hope that the Kansas-Missouri rivalry resumes. The rivalry was THE BEST in college sports. Some teams only make headlines in one sport (Duke-North Carolina in basketball. Oklahoma - Texas, USC - Notre Dame, Miami -Florida State, Alabama - Auburn and Michigan - Ohio State all in football) What made the Kansas - Missouri rivalry so great was that is was represented actual American History. The Jayhawkers, Reg Leggers, Bushwackers,Quntrill's Raid, John Brown, all a prelude to the American Civil War. There was tension all sports, men and women sports. Coach Fambrough said it best: "Kansas State is our rival, Missouri is our enemy!" Bring back THE BEST ALL SPORTS COLLEGE RIVALRY! Bring back the Border WAR!

Robert Brock 2 years ago

Let the divorce be final. If Mizzou wants to resume the rivalry, they need to join KU in conference play (maybe later in the Big 10?).

Dane Pratt 2 years ago

I wonder if this same conversation is taking place in Norman and Austin. Does OU want to renew their rivalry with NU and UT with A&M?

Matt Gauntt 2 years ago

I live down here in Texas. There are politicians that want the rivalry back for "unity" or something, but I don't know of anyone else that wants it. The old phrase about not letting the doorknob hit you, pretty much summarizes the opinion.

Randy Bombardier 2 years ago

I agree with Tom in every respect but didn't always. I now believe resurrecting the rivalry would inject some enthusiasm into the team and even more into the fan base. That is the only game i can think of that would fill the stadium.

Next, a secure condident program says to Nebraska, Mizzu, Colorado its been fun. You're probably making a mistake but we wish you well. Let's face it, they left over the most childish reasons, except for Mizzu who was just insecure and an opportunist.

I would love to see us be their spoiler. So, to me, its not a matter of if but when. New stadium, new coach most likely. I say bring it!

Randy Bombardier 2 years ago

I still remember Tuxedo Tony putting on a show at Columbia running for 400 yards. What a game! Miss Glen Masons teams.

Andy Tweedy 2 years ago

You aren't remembering TOO well, that game was in Lawrence! I remember my butt literally freezing to the seat and making one of the best decisions of my life to stick it out in the second half!!!

Mick Dupas 2 years ago

Missouri support in the KC area is fading rapidly since thier departure to the SEC...I love it!. Keep it that way by KU NEVER playing Missouri in ANY s[port

Steve Hillyer 2 years ago

Can we just let this topic die? I have no desire to have this series resume regardless of what sport, both schools are doing just fine since the series ended, move on. If this was such a great rivalry why did attendance suck except for '07 and '08, true intense rivalries are well attended regardless of the team's record, in fact in the 90's both schools agreed to move the game to the middle of the season hoping better weather would increase attendance, it didn't.
Dane Pratt, OU and Neb are on each other's schedule starting in '21.

Jeffery Stadler 2 years ago

Kansas made it very clear. Leave and we have no desire to continue the rivalry. Missouri left then has wined and complained that we ended the rivalry. We just kept our promise. Everybody knows when you disciple a 5 year old that you have to follow through with what you say or your next threat of punishment is empty. As usual Keegan makes his money by stirring the pot. Idiot

Robert Brown 2 years ago

I do believe this is beating a dead horse. I also believe there is some jealousy amongst some KU fans that MU was invited to a stable conference and KU was not. I’m sure that if the reverse occurred, many here would have advocated doing the exact same thing MU did so I’m not sure why some believe MU acted differently than any of the other schools that left.

Trace Stark 2 years ago

Jealous of fizz? Surely you jest...

John Fitzgerald 2 years ago

Priorities ...

1.) Win

2.) Renovate Stadium

127.) Renew MU Rivalry

David Hewitt 2 years ago

I don't see what benefit you get from Missouri that you couldn't get from another program. If you're going to revive a series, make it Nebraska - the series there goes back to the 19th century. Or pick Colorado, so you can play near Denver on a regular basis. Or pick a school in California or Florida, to add a recruiting area and the appearance of a vacation to the schedule.

Tom Keegan 2 years ago

I think Missouri game would generate more excitement for fans than any other, even Nebraska, which is saying a lot.

Doug Stahler 2 years ago

Play USF at Raymond James....could be appealing to some Florida recruits for sure. Good idea

Brian Skelly 2 years ago

 At least in public, Mizzou support is almost non-existent in Kansas City at this point.    Im sure that's not the reality,  but it is what is seen and is perception.

 As someone who has lived in both St. Louis and Kansas City I can tell you it's much more common for folks to road trip for a Saturday game in St. Louis than it is in Kansas City.    By leaps and bounds I'd say.

 Playing Mizzou again isn't and shouldn't be a higher priorty until our team is worth $#!*.    We can lose to anyone and still accomplish the same thing.

 Im fine playing them again by the way.    I'd prefer a Lawrence/Colombia home and home type thing, but my guess is the powers that be will throw enough money at it that both places will end up losing home games playing in KC.

Eric Dawson 2 years ago

I do not miss Missouri. They can stay east of the border forever as far as I’m concerned. They chose to leave while supposedly leading the effort to strengthen the Big XII. For that act alone most KU fans I know want nothing to do with them. The only consistent talk that I encounter for resuming the series — in any sport — comes from Missouri and its fans. That says a lot to me about who “needs” who in the relationship.

KU doesn’t need to play Missouri in football to attract KUFB fans to Memorial. KU needs to play WINNING football, period, if it wants to attract KUFB fans to Memorial.

b82, g84

Brad Watson 2 years ago

Missouri and Nebraska need to rejoin conference...Longhorn network needs to become Big 12 network and West Virginia needs to join SEC or Big 10...then all the old rivalries can resume...including the OU-NU game which I miss the most...especially with Scottie Frost back in Lincoln...and oh by the way Sept. 22 Scott Frost travels to Ann face Harbaugh...make it down in the planner...must see TV!...Nebraska is back...immediately...they have a quality roster. and with Frost.....look out!

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