COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said his school and Kansas will play again “when common sense takes over emotion.”
Pinkel has been a strident supporter of keeping the KU-Missouri series alive as the Tigers head to the SEC. The argument between the two sides over the century-old rivalry has, if anything, increased after Saturday’s basketball game in Lawrence. KU’s overtime win may be the last meeting of the two schools in a major sport. Kansas has said it has no interest in playing Missouri since it is leaving the Big 12.
“It will be a great continued rivalry and it could happen this year if we really wanted it to happen,” Pinkel said. “It’s all choices. We’re ready to do it anytime.”
The war of words between the two camps isn’t going to end anytime soon. At the end of interview on other subjects Wednesday in his office, Pinkel reacted to a quote from Bill Self after Saturday’s hoops games.
“It’s not the same,” Self said of the rivalry continuing. “Missouri has got to market their future. We’re their past.”
Pinkel said he is convinced that the schools will play again in football and basketball. The rivals have played since 1892 in football and 1907 in basketball.
“There will come a time when, without question, that in Kansas City at the beginning of the football season, hopefully Missouri and Kansas will play,” he said. “That will happen sometime, when common sense takes over emotion. There is sometime when, in Kansas City, Mo., KU and Mizzou will play basketball too.”
The teams have played a neutral-site football game at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium since 2007. There is speculation the schools could meet in the future for a non-conference basketball game at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. There is still a possibility the teams could meet at next week’s Big 12 tournament and, less likely, in the NCAA tournament.
“That rivalry can last forever and ever and ever,” Pinkel said. “It gets kind of comical after a while the more you hear about it, especially when you hear it coming from Kansas City.”
Some Missouri supporters in and around Kansas City had been more vocal about staying in the Big 12 than in other parts of the state. The Big 12 traces its basketball tournament roots in Kansas City back to 1977 in the old Big Eight. The four-year-old Sprint Center was built, in part, as a way to keep that tournament in town.
“Everywhere in the state, everyone has kind of accepted it and you go into Kansas City – and Kansas City is a great city for Mizzou football and basketball – [but] after a while [pausing] … it’s going to happen,” Pinkel said. “When common sense takes over and we relax a little bit why would it not?"