Kansas vs. Missouri, or The Border War, is one of the great college rivalries lost to conference realignment. Don’t expect it back anytime soon.
R. Bowen Loftin took over at Missouri chancellor in 2013, and worked to restore the Border War, after his school’s move from the Big 12 to the SEC.
Both the football and basketball editions of the rivalry are among the most historic in the respective sports. Mizzou leads the football series 56-55-9, while Kansas has a 172-98 edge in basketball.
With that many match-ups in the two major sports, one would assume that the rivals would work to restore the rivalry, as some other programs that have moved leagues have done. There was even a “lucrative” offer for the two football programs to play at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City to kick off the non-conference edition of the rivalry.
In an AL.com article by John Talty, Loftin says one man made sure that won’t happen: KU basketball coach Bill Self.
Loftin figured it was a win-win for everyone involved. Yet more than three years since he arrived as Missouri’s chancellor, the Border War is still on indefinite hiatus. He doesn’t mince words for why it still hasn’t happened.
“The problem was a man named Bill Self who made it very clear this wasn’t going to happen,” Loftin says.
The article also focuses on the dormant Texas vs. Texas A&M rivalry, which has also not gotten off the ground since the SEC poached the two Big 12 schools. While there doesn’t seem to be much momentum there either, Loftin thinks that it is more likely that the Longhorns and Aggies play football again than it is for the Border War to restart.
Once again, he blames Self.
“I think it’s more likely Texas will bend than Kansas,” he says,”as long as Self is involved. He has a big ego.”
Whatever the reason, it is a shame that the two longtime rivals haven’t been able to figure this out.