Originally published June 29, 2017 at 01:45p.m., updated June 29, 2017 at 04:35p.m.

Former Missouri chancellor blames Bill Self for lack of Border War

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles as he barbs an official during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles as he barbs an official during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


It’s been five years since the University of Missouri’s athletic programs elected to leave the Big 12 Conference for the presumed greener pastures of the Southeastern Conference.

And in that time, we’ve heard from dozens of pro-Missouri folks, new and old, who have said that they would love nothing more than to see the revival of the Tigers’ Border War rivalry with the University of Kansas.

One problem: From day one, the powers that be at KU, from athletic director Sheahon Zenger and men’s basketball coach Bill Self to various other coaches and even a healthy faction of the KU fan base, have made it crystal clear that they have no desire to renew the rivalry.

The reason is simple. From KU’s perspective, it was Missouri that ended the Border War clash by choosing to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. And the Jayhawks feel no desire nor responsibility to take steps to fix what they believe was a Mizzou mistake.

However, a recent report from, which heavily covers the SEC, provided at least one viewpoint that zeroed in on a much more specific reason the rivalry has remained defunct.

“The problem was a man named Bill Self, who made it very clear this wasn't going to happen,” former Missouri chancellor R. Bowen Loftin told’s John Talty.

According to Talty’s report, published Wednesday at, Loftin and outgoing KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little met privately to discuss restarting the Border War at Arrowhead Stadium, which, Talty reported, would have been a lucrative move for both universities.

Obviously, bringing back the Border War never happened and the KU folks remain as committed to their stance today as ever before.

“Tell the ex-Missouri chancellor I coach basketball, not football, and that we would never play a game in Arrowhead or even discuss it. It’s too cold. We play our games indoors,” Self told the Journal-World Thursday when asked for a response to Loftin’s claims. “But I look forward to meeting him someday if he’s ever in Lawrence.”

Thursday’s episode of Border War Today was merely the latest in a long line of random references to the once-proud rivalry, known across the country until 2012 as the longest continuous rivalry west of the Mississippi River.

Whether it has come on the heels of hiring a new athletic director, a head coach coming or going or even a new radio personality landing in Kansas City, the topic has surfaced plenty of times during the past five years.

However, according to Zenger, it’s not one that deserves much attention today or any time in the near future.

“Our stance is the same,” Zenger told the Journal-World Thursday of KU’s strong and unified decision to keep from scheduling Missouri in any sport. “This is an institutional decision and has been from the very beginning.”

The end of the original Big 12 — Colorado, Nebraska and Texas A&M; also left the conference — brought with it the end of other storied and tradition-rich rivalries, including the powerful football clash between the UT and A&M; programs.

“I think it’s more likely Texas will bend than Kansas,” Loftin told Talty. “As long as Self is involved. He has a big ego.”


Tim Orel 4 years, 11 months ago

Mizzwho chose to flee with their tails between their legs to the SEC. I have no problem with ending the border war with them - basically, they surrendered and withdrew from the field of battle. Would I like another win on KU's schedule every year? Yes, but we've got more important things to do with our schedule than rewarding a school that insulted us, then ran away. That game wouldn't help KU reach new fans or recruit players who might not otherwise think of KU. It won't bring KU closer to that player's home base so that the family could see them play, which we've done for players on the basketball team before. Nope, nothing to be gained from it.

I'm not even in favor of playing them in football. For the above reasons.

Phil Leister 4 years, 11 months ago

Muck Fizzou.

God Bless America, except Missouri.

Two of the best t-shirts from now-defunct Joe College.

Tom Longhofer 4 years, 11 months ago

Kansas - Keeping America safe from Missouri since 1854.

Chris DeWeese 4 years, 11 months ago

Leave it to a chump from Misery to try and bait a Jayhawk. Stay classy Mizzou.

Blake Brown 4 years, 11 months ago

Amazing deduction. Mizzou leaving the Big Xll ended the regular scheduling and no team in the conference should give them a game for that reason. It` all about money and playing them gives them more money than they can generate on their own. No! Do not play them.

Joe Ross 4 years, 11 months ago

This is basically a non-story.

  1. Everyone knows now and knew then of Bill Self's reasons for not wanting to schedule Mizzou after they bolted to the SEC. He let his intentions be known immediately.

  2. The impression this story might cast otherwise is buffered by the fact that HCBS enjoys the support of the fans, the Athletics Department, and the University in not scheduling Mizzou.

  3. Muck Fizzou.

Michael Maris 4 years, 11 months ago

Laughable, absolutely laughable.

R. Bowen Loftin took the Missouri job to pad his retirement pockets. His leadership skills were so good, that he allowed a small amount of individuals (at Missouri) to force him out of a job. And now, the University of Missouri is paying the price (for his lack of leadership skills) via yearly decline in new incoming freshman admissions. I venture to say that R. Bowen Loftin is Missouri's version of Charlie Weis.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

At least until he loses another Elite Eight game...

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 11 months ago

Only for idiots who think final 4's are all that matter...

Clara Westphal 4 years, 11 months ago

If I were Beatty, I would not schedule Missouri for football either. He might wind up on the wrong side of the fans.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 11 months ago

Loftin's comments are really going to upset Bill Self. I bet he will be up all night Self-reflecting and will call MU first thing in the morning to beg forgiveness and to resume the series.

Pius Waldman 4 years, 11 months ago

This might even be more annoying. Why not just say well we'll see and never see.

Ross Hartley 4 years, 11 months ago

HCBS may have a big ego but most of the fans do to.

Bob Zielinski 4 years, 11 months ago

Mizzou really needs such a game (and will go to the gimmick of playing in a football stadium to get the most revenue possible) because the university is also in the position of renting out empty dorm rooms for football weekends because of the huge drop in enrollment they are facing annually now in the aftermath of the silly BLM nonsense that swept Columbia.

KU would be bailing Mizzou out for two bad moves, leaving the Big XII and thinking the rivalry could be reignited and bowing down to the BLM nonsense.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 11 months ago

As far as I am concerned, this is yet one more good reason to make sure we keep Bill Self around. Missouri made their choices. They need to remember the cake and eat it thing.

Dave Miller 4 years, 11 months ago

What I suggest Mizzou eats is definitely not "cake".... ;)

Mike Kendall 4 years, 11 months ago

This is an article to "just stir the pot." In regards to basketball, could KU play Mizzou, in the Big 12/SEC Challenge? I don't think so. The only way KU basketball plays the Tigers is in the NCAA Tournament--and, I think that's a long shot. The Tigers have to make the Tournament for that to happen--LOL. Loftin to say, "Bill Self has a big ego," really? He doesn't know Bill Self very well. When they left the Big 12, I immediately said, "Good Riddance, Misery!"

Kyle Neuer 4 years, 11 months ago

mizzou has to win enough to even get invited to the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Baby steps. Maybe they'll get a road win this year.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 11 months ago

Missouri is a huge dumpster fire right now. I heard, not sure if its true, that because of all the "issues" going on over there the past couple of years, their enrollment is down substantially. They can go pound sand. Norm Stewart, who I did like, would not let his team spend the night in Kansas as he did not want any tax dollars coming to our state (or so the story goes). Bottom line, I don't think we get anything out of playing those bums. Be gone with them!

Brian Skelly 4 years, 11 months ago

As the story goes isnt entirely true. Although the part about not staying in Kansas with the team might be. The Stewart's have extended family in Kansas. My guess is he's spent more than a little coin in Kansas.

Thomas Green 4 years, 11 months ago

I think it's great R. Bowen Loftin, has enlightened the world as to why KU will not schedule MU. I always thought it was because they left the conference after the weasels professed their commitment to the league, lied to Self and KU and abandoned their commitment in the most cowardly and untrustworthy way possible. Guess I was's all Self's fault!

Mike Kendall 4 years, 11 months ago

Have you seen R. Bowen Loftin's picture? It's in the KC Star. I don't know this guy but he does look like a weasel. Just saying. . . .

Robert Brock 4 years, 11 months ago

Missouri sucks. And the same is true of the University of Missouri.

Humpy Helsel 4 years, 11 months ago

The ex-Chancellor had better choose someone else before attempting to match wits or attack Bill Self. In his ex-Chancellor tough talk roll, he just set back the chance for a future Arrowhead or home and home in basketball by another 10 years. Nice move there, ex. I also heard he asked Gray-Little to see if she could get Bill to sign an autograph basketball for one of his grandchildren.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 11 months ago

Why on earth would we want to schedule a weak sister who offers nothing but a continuation of the crap their students (read Antlers) pulled back when they were in the Big 12? This looks nothing more to me than Missouri in the welfare line with their hand out.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 11 months ago

Let's see. Colorado left. We scheduled them. Nebraska left. We scheduled them. Missouri? No way. Hey, Missouri, maybe it is time for a little introspection...

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't think we should be scheduling anyone who left the Big 12.

Matt Gauntt 4 years, 11 months ago

Mizzery is just regretting their decision. A couple stats.

They left in the summer of 2012

Here are their records:

FB 2011 8-5 FB 2016 4-8

BB 2011-2012 30-5 BB 2016-2017 8-24

A program that once was competitive is now the basement dwellers.

That and their freshman enrollment is way down.

Muck Fizzou

Dale Stringer 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't see any reason why we can't scheduled games against Missouri... State. It's too bad that Central Missouri is D-2. Phog Allen coached basketball and football there too.

Robert Moore 4 years, 11 months ago

Always suspected that Mizzo was snowflake Heaven. It is now proven. The Snowflakes rule. Don't blame us, blame someone else, why not HCBS.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

That seems to be the case at a lot of universities across the nation.

Beate Williams 4 years, 11 months ago

I know Loftin personally, he was at A&M in Galveston. He was a little egotistical Napoleon wannabe and thought himself important. He is demonstrating his lack of fundamental intelligence with the comments attributed to him in this article. He knows nothing of the rivalry because he was not there but a hot minute when it ended and he would not understand what it was anyway. I guess he thinks the track coach should make the decision as to whether or not the basketball team should schedule Mizzery. Give me a break.

duke hester 4 years, 11 months ago

consider the source...this man is obvious loser even in eyes of tigger stalwarts!!

"...nine deans from schools across MU sent a letter to the UM System Board of Curators calling for Loftin’s removal. They wrote that Loftin had created a “toxic environment through threat, fear and intimidation.” It wasn’t just deans who wanted Loftin gone, though.

On Nov. 3, English department faculty members voted 26-0 on holding “no confidence” in Loftin’s leadership. "....Loftin’s tenure as chancellor was marked by “dereliction of duty in maintaining the quality and reputation of graduate education, violations of the bedrock principle of shared governance, and failure to defend the University’s educational mission against outside political pressure.”

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

Missouri needs Kansas more than Kansas needs Missouri. We don't need to embarrass their 20-loss basketball team with a 45-point smackdown. Besides, we have more worthwhile rivalries with Iowa State and Kentucky that are more compelling and interesting.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 11 months ago

There's a reason why he is the ex-chancellor. He was running a failed institution that saw alumni contributions drop drastically after the university started letting the "inmates run the asylum."

The animus toward Mizzou doesn't apply to Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas A&M as we have and are scheduling them in basketball. As Bryce says, as far as basketball is concerned, they need us a heck of a lot more than we need them.

Once Michael Porter finishes his "one and done" season, they'll be back scrambling to get top recruits, despite the apparent lure of their new coach, who has been at multiple institutions with only moderate success.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

"The animus toward Mizzou doesn't apply to Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas A&M as we have and are scheduling them in basketball."

It doesn't, but it should.

Dan Burns 4 years, 11 months ago

It would be a bigger dud than Jackson's first pitch.

Len Shaffer 4 years, 11 months ago

Thank you, Matt, for calling it the Border War and not the idiotic Border Showdown (and I speak as a proud liberal who usually supports PC comments).

And awesome line from Self in response to the nobody (or should I say ex-nobody) from Misuse.

Brian Skelly 4 years, 11 months ago

As a St. Louis Jayhawk, I can say the first few years after Mizzou leaving was ridiculous. Constant carping from the Tiggers fans. Not so now. My guess this is just the press getting bored. Most of my friends who are Mizzou fans/alums dont even ever mention it anymore.

I've got family and friends who are Mizzou alums -- and previously had been pretty good donors -- that have pulled that back almost entirely. The U of M system wont fold, but they have far bigger problems than playing the Jayhawks or not. Capitulating to petulant children has it's consequences.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 11 months ago

Typical "take no prisoners" approach, huh Bryce?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.