It seems like every year someone comes out and talks about the currently dormant Missouri-Kansas rivalry. That again occurred on Tuesday afternoon.
If you’re unfamiliar, here’s an easy refresher: Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC back in 2012. Kansas wasn’t thrilled about it and it led to the longstanding rivalry to go in the dark. The last encounters between the two were particularly great in basketball with classic games occurring at both Mizzou Arena and historic Allen Fieldhouse. The football rivalry hit its peak back in 2007 when both the Tigers and Jayhawks were in the Top 5 and in major bowl contention. Mizzou won that game on the back of a dynamic offense featuring Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin and Danario Alexander and the most fond of memories involved Todd Reesing, a facemask, and the grass of Arrowhead Stadium.
Time has passed and we now live in a world where some Missouri and Kansas students went a full term in college without their respective athletic programs tangling on the gridiron or the hardwood. Unfortunate as it is true, it’s unlikely to suggest that these two programs will meet again in the future years of the 2010s and while the 2020s are a long way away, nothing seems certain.
That didn’t stop new Tigers football coach Barry Odom from commenting on the manner on Tuesday afternoon though. By all accounts, Odom is all in favor of kickstarting the rivalry again.
Missouri’s Barry Odom if he’s in favor of renewing Kansas series: “It would be great. It’s one of greatest rivalries in college football"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 19, 2016
The last statement may be somewhat of a stretch as, at least in this writer’s opinion, the rivalry was much more heated and contested in basketball than it was in football, the sentiments remain the same. It would be great if these two schools got together, got their heads straight and in the same place, and started to play against each other. Just like it was great when Georgetown faced Syracuse this past year in basketball. Just like it would be if Texas and Texas A&M rekindle, or Indiana and Kentucky, and so on and so forth.
So, Barry Odom wanting Mizzou and Kansas to play again is not only the expected response, it’s the good response too. Whether or not it happens... well, as has often been the case: The ball is in the court of those who are across the border in Lawrence.