There have been 120 games played between Missouri and Kansas, but once the Tigers left the Bog 12 for the SEC three years ago the rivalry was put on ice alongside Nebraska-Oklahoma, Texas-Texas A&M, Pittsburgh-West Virginia and a handful of other terrific long-standing regional rivalries. If there is any hope to see The Border War revived, it could come with new leadership at both Missouri and Kansas.
Mack Rhoades took over as Mizzou’s athletics director as the successor of 17-year A.D. Mike Alden. As can be the case for new head coaches and AD’s, the questions regarding past rivalries can be a popular one. Rhoades is already posturing for a possible resurrection of a series with Kansas.
“Hopefully, in the future, we can find a way to come together and play, because I think it’s good for certainly his fans, our fans, and most importantly, our coaches and our student-athletes,” Rhoades said in an interview with FOX Sports Kansas City. “So, you know, there (are) certainly no promises, but the hope was we can have some positive discussion in the future.”
Rhoades went on to offer a refreshing thought that seems to differ strongly from the tone established by leaders at Texas and Texas A&M.
“I just think the biggest losers in all of it are the fans and the student-athletes and the coaches,” Rhoades said. “And maybe, sometimes, we all — including myself — lose sight of that. And I think we need to remember that. And again, hopefully, we would find a way where we could resume playing each other here in the future.”
As a member of the SEC, Missouri will be required to schedule one football game per season against another school from a power conference (or Notre Dame, BYU or Army). Renewing a rivalry with Kansas on a regular basis would satisfy that non-scheduling requirement for the Tigers. The Big 12 has no such non-conference scheduling requirement, although the addition of Missouri or any other SEC member would certainly provide a boost to the overall strength of schedule for Kansas and the Big 12. That is something that ended up holding back Baylor and TCU in the College Football Playoff conversation last season.