Every year but one since 1891, Missouri and Kansas have met on a football field, making the Border War the second-most played rivalry in college football.
After 119 games, however, that rivalry could be coming to an end.
Earlier Friday, Mizzou announced that its board of curators had given chancellor Brady Deaton autonomy in choosing the school’s conference future. It’s believed Deaton will ultimately decide to pack the athletic program’s bags and leave the Big 12 for the SEC.
MU stated during the press conference that, even if they decide to leave the Big 12, they want to maintain a sports presence in Kansas City, including in football — i.e. playing Kansas at the home of the Kansas City Chiefs as they have the past five years.
Based on the words of KU’s athletic director, Mizzou can pretty much kiss the thought of continuing the rivalry anywhere goodbye if they leave the Big 12. And should feel ashamed for abandoning its roots for good measure.
“KU-Missouri is a great rivalry,” Sheahon Zenger said in a statement. “The University of Kansas is a great Midwestern school, loyal to our Midwestern conference and to our Midwestern roots. The KU-Missouri rivalry belongs in the Big 12 Conference. Should Missouri decide to leave the Big 12, we would wish them well.”
Gee, Zenger didn’t use the word “Midwestern” three times in the span of a single sentence because Mizzou is likely headed to a Southeastern conference, did he?
The attempt at a guilt trip notwithstanding, it remains a widely-held belief that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, Mizzou will leave for the SEC. Whether one of the oldest gridiron rivalries in the country will continue remains to be seen. If Texas-Texas A&M is any indication as to how this would play out, however, I wouldn’t hold my breath.