With the news coming out that Missouri will not be competing in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, a lot of people were shocked. Mizzou has built some interest in their program one year after going 8-24 (2-16), with the incoming recruiting class they’ve acquired. To some people, they appear to be a decent contender in the SEC with a chance at the round of 32 once March comes, others think they are still a bubble team, while some (Let’s be real, it’s just Mizzou) think they are destined to win the National Championship.
I’ll admit, I would like to see the rivalry renewed. A home and home series in football every few years and a match-up almost every year in basketball sounds pretty darn fun to me. I also refuse to get behind the argument that we can’t schedule them because Kansas has made it pretty clear that it’s fine playing Colorado, Nebraska, and A&M. Have we forgotten that they also sold out the Big 12 by leaving, so why’s it different for the kids in Columbia? It’s time we stop lying to ourselves, we hate them. Imagine the feeling of pure excitement you’d have after months of talk from Missouri fans claiming they will dominate KU like they always have, when we show up and crush their dreams. All bragging rights would belong to us.
I’ll finally get to my point. Kansas doesn’t owe Missouri anything. I’ve been noticing on Twitter lately that a lot, and I mean A LOT of Tiger faithful are under the impression that we owe them a rivarly. However, we do not. It was a rivalry by convenience. Being in the Big 12 North, we played them every year in football and twice a year at a minimum in basketball. Now, with them being in the SEC, the logistics change. A basketball series is possible, where we play in Kansas one year and Missouri the following is very possible. However, it becomes tricky when you get to football. The new Big 12 layout gives teams only 3 non-conference games a year as opposed to 4. This is an opportunity for your school to play at least one cupcake team and two other competitive matchups before conference play starts. If we were to schedule Mizzou every year it would essentially create two non-conference games a year, meaning we would only get to look at two different teams every season. Also, before you say anything about us scheduling the South Dakota State’s and Rice’s of College Football, let’s not forget that you’re scheduled to play Missouri State and Idaho.
Kansas faithful, I’m speaking to you here. The excuse that we won’t play them because they left the conference and didn’t want the rivalry is dead. Obviously, they do want it. Their University has expressed interest in playing us again, and after the 2017-2018 season, we will have seen all of the other schools that also left the Big 12. The reality is that they just aren’t important enough to be a team we play every year in every sport just for a rivalry. Again, I’d like to see them pop up on our schedules every now and then. However, it’s time to accept that it’s not their fault this rivalry doesn’t exist anymore. It’s no secret that Bill doesn’t want to play them, and with our new football layout it doesn’t make sense to schedule every year in football.
I guess if there’s anything to take away from this, it’s this:
Missouri fans, sit down. You aren’t that important. Yeah, we hate you, you hate us, and there will always be bad blood between the two of us, but that’s it.
Kansas fans, it’s time to move on from the “you sold us out and gave up the rivalry” excuse. We don’t have a problem scheduling those other schools that left, they just aren’t asking for a full-time rivalry in every sport. Besides, we have someone else we have to keep in their place (Yes, I’m looking at you K-State).