HOOVER, Ala. — A new coach at Missouri might mean new life for the school’s rivalry with Kansas.
Tigers-Jayhawks matchups disappeared when Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012. Since then, Kansas has made it clear it does not intend to schedule any games against its neighbors to the east.
“Missouri made a choice to do what they did that was best for them over time, and since then, we’ve made a choice, basically, to end the series,” Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self said in January. “I’m not saying it’s permanent by any stretch, but for the time being, and I think that’s a decision that was made that everybody on board — including the administrators on our campus — is totally fine with and wanted.”
There appears to have been a non-public agreement across Kansas’ athletic department to keep Missouri off its calendar, the evidence being… zero scheduled competitions between the schools since Missouri’s departure.
But the issue was brought up again Wednesday at SEC Media Days, where new Tigers football coach Barry Odom expressed a desire to get ‘The Border War’ rolling again.
“There’s always got to be some communication,” Odom said. “If I get a vote, I know which way I’ll vote. And look forward to hopefully someday that game getting back on schedule.”
He mentioned that he loved playing in the rivalry as a linebacker from 1996-99, and that the 2007 game — in which No. 4 Missouri played No. 2 Kansas in Kansas City, Mo., while Odom served as Missouri’s assistant athletic director — was a highlight of his coaching career.
“It’s an atmosphere that our student-athletes, if you ask any of them, that was part of the team during that time, that’s one of their greatest memories,” Odom said. “I think it’s important that we look to build experiences for student-athletes that they have a chance to play in a game like that, a rivalry game like that, that really means something that they can carry with them forever.”
For the fifth straight season: It’s your move, Kansas.