Missouri coach Gary Pinkel wants to play Kansas. So much so that he says the former Big 12 rival of the Tigers has an open invitation to play Mizzou.
On one of his regular Google Hangout sessions Wednesday, the rivalry came up within the context of the SEC schedule that will mandate a SEC team to play a major conference opponent from outside the SEC starting in 2016.
"We want to play Kansas again. It was a great rivalry we had all those years," Pinkel said via the Columbia Tribune. "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."
The pouting from Missouri's perspective would be because of the lopsided nature of the rivalry in its last few years. The game moved to Kansas City in 2007 – when both teams played for the Big 12 North title and the top ranking in the country – and Missouri won four of the five games at Arrowhead Stadium before the series ended when Missouri moved to the SEC.
As the cliché goes, it takes two to tango. And while Missouri wants to play, can you necessarily blame Kansas for balking at doing so? The Jayhawks have been one of the worst BCS-level programs in the last few years and adding the game wouldn't be an automatic loss on the schedule, but it wouldn't be a favorable proposition either.
Consider this your midwestern version of the rivalry talk between Texas and Texas A&M, except that the one doing most of the talking in this case actually wants to play the game.
The football rivalry isn't the only one on ice. The basketball rivalry hasn't restarted since the conference switch and likely won't until Kansas coach Bill Self leaves the university or changes his mind. Self, once a candidate for the Missouri job while he was at Tulsa, is adamant about not playing Missouri. When you combine Self's attitude towards the rivalry with how lucrative Kansas home basketball games are, it's easy to see how it won't restart anytime soon.
Will the football rivalry? We side with Pinkel in believing that it will eventually, but who knows how much time will be needed for it to happen. According to the Tigers, all Kansas has to do is say yes. Are we about to find out if Kansas or Texas is more stubborn?
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