Missouri fans will tell you that the reason Kansas is choosing not to schedule Missouri, therefore ending a 120 year old rivalry, is because KU is jealous of the Tigers big move to the SEC. The theory is make-believe.
I fail to see anything to be jealous of. I am going to enjoy MU getting killed every single year in football by LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. If Missouri fans think that their team is going to be anything more than bottom-feeders in the best football conference in the country, then they are mistaken.
Don’t blame Kansas for not wanting to schedule Missouri. Why is the rivalry ending? Because Missouri went to a different conference. What would Kansas gain by scheduling Missouri? Nothing.
Will I miss the big border war game between the two schools every year? Not really. I have a newsflash for you: Kansas is basketball country. So when the Jayhawks Football team went 2-10 this season or when they went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl, it really doesn’t matter, and that’s just the way it is. When Missouri fans were celebrating a 24-10 win over KU at Arrowhead this year, Kansas fans were far more troubled by a loss to Duke in basketball that came three days earlier.
The notion that Kansas is scared to schedule MU in basketball is insane. It’s going to take a lot more than a 7-0 start against Nobody University for Kansas to dodge a school out of fear. Mike Anderson was a good coach, and MU was a very dangerous team under him, but he’s gone and in a year or two, all the talent he was able to recruit will be gone too.
Even if Anderson had stayed, there is no guarantee that he would have turned Missouri into a championship caliber program. Quinn Snyder had the program on track to do great things, making four straight NCAA appearances and two Elite Eights. Snyder defeated the rival Jayhawks in each of his last two meetings with them but them resigned following the Ricky Clemons scandal.
Frank Haith couldn’t win in the ACC with Miami, and he’s not going to win in the SEC with Missouri. Bill Self has a 132-7 in Allen Field House, a winning percentage of 95, and when he says “Kansas fans don’t give a flip about playing Missouri,” he’s right.
Some people claim that Kansas is great at basketball because Dr. James Naismith jump-started the program. Naismith is the only coach in Kansas history with a losing record (55-60). The program took off under Phog Allen, who coached the Jayhawks for 39 years and led them to 29 regular season championships and a National Championship.
Kansas has the most winning seasons in Division I basketball history, the longest consecutive streak of NCAA tournament appearances, the most first team all-Americans in history, the second most wins all-time, three national championships and eight consecutive Big 12 basketball season championships. When I walk into Allen Field House, I see the jerseys of legends like Wilt Chamberlain, JoJo White, Danny Manning, Jacque Vaughn and Kirk Hinrich hanging from the rafters. The best thing that ever happened to Missouri was a Chase Daniel, a chubby backup quarterback for the Saints.
Explain to me why I should care about a rivalry with Missouri. The Tigers’ last regular season conference basketball championship was in 1994 and the NCAA stripped them of their Elite 8 appearance, vacated their season and forced them to repay $97,000 because a player took things from agents.
Kansas is an elite basketball school. Our rivals are other programs who consistently compete at a high level and win National Championships. Schools like Duke, North Carolina, Connecticut, Syracuse and Kentucky. Yes, the same Kentucky that will beat down Missouri twice a year, every year. So instead of losing to Self and KU, they get to lose to Calipari and UK. Great move.
I loved a good Kansas vs. Missouri brawl in the parking lot of Arrowhead just as much as the next guy, but really I could care less. The hatred for Missouri will still be there for me whether Kansas and Missouri play or not. I will still take pleasure in watching them get squashed in the SEC for years to come. I’ll still find great joy in watching the Gary Pinkel DUI video on repeat. If Missouri wants a game with Kansas, all they have to do is win a few games in the NCAA tournament, and the two schools will meet up.