Gary Pinkel: Kansas Has ‘Open Invitation’ to Renew Football Rivalry

By Kevin Kelley -

When Missouri and Texas A&M bolted the Big 12 Conference for the SEC, both schools left behind their biggest rivals.

For Missouri, that was the Kansas Jayhawks. Missouri had taken the upper hand in the series after winning three in a row from 2009-11 and five of the last six.

The series, which is now dubbed the ‘Border Showdown,’ is nearly even. The two schools have met 120 times on the gridiron and the Tigers lead 57-54-9 (or 56-55-9).

But the two schools haven’t met since Mizzou joined the SEC in 2012 and they currently don’t have any future games scheduled.

Today during a Google Hangout, Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel was asked about the possibility of playing Kansas in light of the SEC’s new stipulation that each team play at least one non-conference game against a team from a power conference beginning in 2016.

“We want to play Kansas again. It was a great rivalry we had all those years,” Pinkel said. “It’s been an open invitation. There’s some pouting going on still.

“It’s unfortunate, but it will happen again someday. It will. It would be great for our fans. In every sport, it would be good. We’ll see what happens.”

Based on Pinkel’s comments today and previous comments from Mizzou athletics director Mike Alden, it seems that Kansas doesn’t want to talk about playing.

A similar scenario exists between Texas A&M and Texas. Last year, Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds said “we get to decide when we play (Texas A&M) again.”

Then last month, new Texas A.D. Steve Patterson said that “…unless there really is a compelling business or branding reason, I see a hard time renewing that rivalry in football.”

Hopefully in the near future, all four of these schools will set aside their differences so college football fans can see the renewal of these heated rivalries.

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Comments (32)

I think both rivalries should be renew. That’s good for both conferences and the teams involved. Maybe all the SEC teams should make an annual rivalry with another team from another Group Five conference. Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina has Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Clemson, respectively.

Actually, I think this would be great for SEC to rival with ACC and the Big 12. (I’ll add the Big Ten next time.)

SEC East:
Florida and Florida Sate (ACC)
Georgia and Georgia Tech (ACC)
Kentucky and Louisville (ACC)
*Missouri and Kansas (Big 12)
South Carolina and Clemson (ACC)
*Tennessee and West Virginia (Big 12)
*Vanderbilt and Wake Forest (ACC)

SEC West:
*Alabama and Oklahoma (Big 12)
*Arkansas and Oklahoma State (Big 12)
*Auburn and Miami-FL (ACC)
*LSU and Baylor (Big 12)
**Mississippi St and Kansas State (Big 12) or Virginia Tech (ACC)
*Ole Miss and Iowa State (Big 12)
*Texas A&M and Texas (Big 12)

*=My thoughts

Ok I really like your schedule. You couldn’t get me off the couch if this would happen. Nicely done sir!!

I would do:

Florida and FSU/Miami (FL) (ACC both)
Georgia and GT/Clemson (ACC both)
South Carolina and Clemson (ACC)
Kentucky and Louisville (ACC)
Mizzou and KU (Big 12) (maybe Nebraska more realistically)
Tennessee and North Carolina (ACC)
Vandy and Duke (ACC)

Alabama and Virginia Tech (ACC)
Auburn and GT (ACC)
Ole Miss and Texas (Big 12)
Mississippi State and Oklahoma State (Big 12)
LSU and Baylor (Big 12)
Arkansas and Texas Tech (Big 12)
Texas A&M and Texas (Big 12) (maybe Arizona State more realistically)

Missouri and Nebraska have had discussions about playing again. Would love to see that whether it be Columbia and Lincoln or at Arrowhead. Vandy is talking to Stanford about starting a rivalry,

Georgia-Georgia Tech, Florida-Florida St., South Carolina-Clemson, Kentucky-Louisville

Logical matchups include:

Missouri-Kansas, Texas A&M-Texas

It would be nice to see:

Vanderbilt-Duke, Tennessee-North Carolina, Arkansas-Oklahoma, LSU-TCU

The Alabama and Mississippi schools don’t have any logical, proximate opponents. May be they could look at annual Big Ten matchups. Alabama-Michigan, Auburn-Michigan St. and Ole Miss-Purdue and Mississippi St.-Indiana would be cool.

BOTH Missouri AND Texas A&M wanted a divorce from the Big 12, initially threatening the Big 12 league survival, and resulting in a continuing NCAA opposition to a Big 12 Football playoff, with only 10 remaining teams in the league. NEITHER Missouri NOR Texas A&M deserves a Big 12 rival EVER again. If you ask for a divorce, then don’t come back asking for some hanky-panky.

It seemed to me that the departing schools, all four of them, weren’t divorcing the Big 12 as much as they were gagging on Texas arrogance which Texas continues regularly to put on exhibit. I have no horse in the race but none of the schools that fled appear the worse for it.

Texas drove out Nebraska and Colorado and Mizzou and Texas A&M. Yes, it was a divorce, but it was based on abusive behavior by their spouse.

Hey Dan!

Nice post. But you did happen to leave out the fact that UT, OU, OSU, TTU, and others were talking to the Pac12 at the same as some of the other departures. They were looking for a new home just like the others were. During this process, they weren’t thinking about the Big12 and it’s future.

Don’t sit here and act like UT stayed and did it for the Big12. They did it for themselves. For the time being, the Big12 was their best option, they didn’t get what they wanted from the Pac12. Because of that they stayed. Remember, as soon as they get the chance to leave and make more money, they will jump all over it. Even if they never leave the Big12, it’s hypocritical to act like they are angels during this realignment stuff.

If this rivalry is ever going to continue, it has to take two willing participants from BOTH sides to make it happen. Until then, we won’t see this game, unless they meet in a bowl…

Good to see there are others here with enough sense to call out ALL-CAPS DAN. So many holes in your argument I wouldn’t have known where to start. Like JoeD was saying, tu arrogance is the sole reason for the decimation of the Big 12. For those that may be unaware, the Big 12 is not an equal revenue sharing league. Meaning tu and OU get a disgustingly disproportionate share while the others more or less get scraps. If you think that’s fair I will listen to that argument because I know they also generate a lot of money. However, how can you blame these four teams for jumping to equal revenue sharing conferences? In the SEC Bama and Vandy get the same share and the result is a close-knit group of teams that regularly exhibit camaraderie in the form of “S-E-C!” chants.

Also, your marriage analogy would have worked much better if there weren’t already a precedent set for annual out-of-conference rivalries (like idk….. OU vs. tu wow! they weren’t always in the same conference!?!). And, since when does leaving a conference hold the weight of a moratorium on future games? Teams come and go, conferences are created, some split, some dissolve, but rivalries, especially the two in question, are mainstays in college football. To say that fans “deserve” to be denied the opportunity to see their beloved schools compete with a century-long rival is pure ignorance on your part, ALL-CAPS DAN. I know you are all sorts of butt-hurt about how sucky the Big 12 is now, but in time you may grow the balls to step out of the junior circuit and challenge a real P5 conference team.

I am not an Big12, Big10, PAC12, or SEC fan so I don’t quite understand but it seems that there is a lot more aingst towards Mizzou and TAMU leaving the Big12 than there is towards Colorado and Nebraska for leaving. Why the difference in attitude towards the schools now in the SEC?

Mizzou and Aggie inferiority complexes? I think the Aggies claimed like an additional 5 B12 titles and 3 national championships after they left. The move was supposed to “transform” their programs and kill the B12 and their big rivals along with it. I live in Houston and there’s a lot of Aggie chest beating after a season in which their big wins were Vandy & Dook. Mizzou I’m less familiar with but it seems like they’re still in their big 12 cycle of winning the conferences weak sister division but never winning the conference.

It was because the conference took steps to address the issues that concerned schools after Nebraska and Colorado left. All of the schools were then asked to reconfirm their commitment, and Mizzou and A&M lied. They started looking for a way out immediately, and that led to the lack of stability.

I will tell you that Kansas will not play Mizzou again specifically because Brady Deaton sat across the table from the other chancellors and lied to their faces about where Mizzou was in relation to the SEC. Worse, it was made clear that Mizzou preferred to see the Big 12 fold in an effort to avoid paying fees to leave. If Kansas ever decides to play Mizzou, it will not be while Sheahon Zenger is the AD, nor while Bernadette Gray-Little is the chancellor.

I’m not sure how Kansas is the one pouting when it is Mizzou crying every year that they want to play Kansas. The reality is, Mizzou fans cry about everyone hating them. Texas, he Big 12, the NCAA, the KC Star, the Post-Dispatch, and ESPN of all been “haters” towards Mizzou. I wonder, once they start crying about how they are treated by the SEC, if it will ever dawn on them that maybe their is a reason everybody thinks so little of them.

Hey Tom. Not telling the whole story. Proposal was on the table for Granting of Rights or sharing of revenues, though still not completely equal when it came to 3rd tier rights. Some including Mizzou and a&M wanted this equal sharing to go for 20 years. Texas and probably Oklahoma wanted this to go for 6 years. Texas A & M splits for the SEC. Mizzou was still willing to stay in this screwd up league but still was willing to stay for a 20 year grant of rights.They still didn’t think it was fair. They didn’t think the unfair, unequal 3rd tier portion was fair. This included the Longhorn network. But, they were willing to sign a 13 year compromise. Virtually overnight it leaked that OU and OSU were talking to the Pac12. Mizzou did the right thing. They said this is one screwed up conference that is floundering and making no attempts to replace Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M. At the same time all teams were claiming to be all in, some were negotiating with other conferences.The best sports conference wanted us. A conference where Vandy shares equally with Alabama. They left for greener pastures. The less than 12 blew it immensely.

I think the sec need to stop play FCS school first there good team in MAC sun belt and even aac .

I agree with most of the proposed matchups, but they will probably never happen because neither opponent wants a home and home rivalry. They need lesser teams to travel to them so they can have 7 or 8 home games each year. From a dollars and sense standpoint why should Tennessee and WV (just as an example) play each other on the road every year when they can both have home games against CUSA and MAC teams?

For the case of Tennessee, I made that comment cause articles are popping up about the SEC teams having a weak schedule OOC schedule, due to playing FCS schools and the requirement of 1 FBS isn’t good enough with a 8-game conference format. I was just matching up SEC teams with an annual “Group of Five” teams.

I figured West Virginia would be a good annual rival with Tennessee, due to distances for West Virginia, since most of their games are farther away (Big 12 teams). Kentucky has Louisville already, and I thought Tennessee would match better with a Big 12 team than an ACC team. Tennessee could match up with a Big Ten team, but that might be too much for an ANNUAL rivalry.

Comparing leaving one conference for another to a divorce and marriage is ludicrous. Big egos in play. Give it a little time and the rivalries will return. The sooner the better. In college football money always wins.

Bill (the older one)… the B12 will want to be scheduling a minimum of one non-conf game against a power conference program, to increase their SOS so to increase chance to be selected for college playoff. You will see B12 programs, in general, begin managing their non-conference schedules like the P12 and B1G. That is, one game against power conference, one game against group of five conference, and another game against either a group of five or an FCS program. Sure exceptions to the rule will exist, but in general, this will what you will see with the three power conferences with 9-game conference schedules.

I’m no Kansas fan, but it was Mizzou who chose to leave after all. And stop getting blasted and driving Gary!

UGA plays GT. Syracuse just lined up a series with Georgetown. Missouri leaving is not why Kansas won’t play them. They won’t play them because the need 3 easy games to have a prayer for bowl eligibility. Hell, they can’t even win the hand picked cupcakes they play. Just come out and say that’s the reason.

Snoopy Kansas was looking to get out too. They just never got invited.

Dan said: “BOTH Missouri AND Texas A&M … resulting in a continuing NCAA opposition to a Big 12 Football playoff, with only 10 remaining teams in the league”
Actually, the Big 12 dropped to 10 teams as a result of Nebraska & Colorado leaving the season before. Safe to say that if Missouri had not left, the Big 12 would not have added West Virginia, and the conference would still be a 10 team conference as it was before Missouri left. The Big 12 has not pursued getting back to 12 teams due to Texas being opposed to that.

G of F said: “it seems that there is a lot more angst towards Mizzou and TAMU leaving the Big12 than there is towards Colorado and Nebraska for leaving. Why the difference in attitude towards the schools now in the SEC?”
Excellent question which I have yet to see anyone answer. No one in the Big 12 seems to be angry at all towards Nebraska & Colorado, even though it was the departure of those two schools that ended the conference’s football championship game.

Tom said: “I’m not sure how Kansas is the one pouting when it is Mizzou crying every year that they want to play Kansas.”
Except for statements made at various press conferences at the time Mizzou left the Big 12, I have not seen Mizzou personnel bring this up. But they don’t duck questions about it either. Media members do keep bringing this up, with Mizzou’s typical response being “We’re willing to play. It’s up to Kansas.” Most recently, when Mike Alden was asked about the chances of the Mizzou-Kansas rivalry starting back up, his response was to smile and say that he had no idea. I don’t see any “crying” there.

Tom said: “it was made clear that Mizzou preferred to see the Big 12 fold in an effort to avoid paying fees to leave.”
With perhaps the sole exception of Tom above, no one believed there was any chance the Big 12 would fold when Mizzou left; at least not before the expiration of the 6-year grant of rights expired. And there was no way Mizzou was going to not be required to pay their exit fee prior to that time.

Tom said: “specifically because Brady Deaton sat across the table from the other chancellors and lied to their faces” … “the conference took steps to address the issues that concerned schools after Nebraska and Colorado left”
While I had not heard this accusation until recently, it appears a number of Kansas fans sincerely believe this; and not just ones resorting to hyperbole like Tom. The steps taken by the conference (the 6-year grant of rights), did not address the issues (the Lone Star Network) that concerned the schools, but was intended to provide a 6-year period of stability, with the idea being that those 6 years would be used to come up with a solution to the issues that concerned the member schools. Maybe I’m looking at this through black & gold tinted glasses, but I do believe that Deaton believed he had achieved that goal. But then the President of the U of Oklahoma announced that they were going to use the 6 years to find another conference to join when the grant of rights expired. (No wrong-doing on Oklahoma’s part here if he was speaking sincerely and that is what Oklahoma feels is the right thing for them to do.) That was the straw that broke Mizzou’s back, so to speak, and the point at which Deaton concluded he had failed to achieve his goal. Mizzou then went to their back-up plan.
One thing I find very strange here is that even though Oklahoma finds it completely unacceptable to remain in the same conference as Texas as long as the Lone Star Network remains an issue, both Oklahoma and Texas have made it very clear that they will continue their annual game in Dallas if they end up in different conferences.