Listen up KU and MU…the Border Showdown MUST return…soon!

Border Showdown

Since 2012, the classic Border Showdown rivalry between the Kansas Jayhawks and Missouri Tigers has ceased. Fans on both sides of the border want the rivalry to return.

There have been a few unintentional meetings, primarily in the NCAA softball tournament, but not enough to really feel like the showdown is back with no football or basketball games. Of all seasons to bring back this classic rivalry, this upcoming sports season is the perfect time for the Tigers and Jayhawks to play again in basketball and football.

Mizzou is coming into this basketball season with a buzz from arguably the school’s best recruiting class coming in. The only thing that could possibly get fans more excited for the season would be a matchup with the Jayhawks.

Beating KU would prove the legitimacy of how good this Mizzou team could be and stand out on their tournament resume. Even more valuable, Mizzou could have bragging rights once again. Whether they would win the game or not, there would be so much more buzz around the Tigers.

But what would the Border Showdown bring to the Jayhawks? They enter the season going for their 14th-straight Big 12 regular season title, have another strong roster to make a run at the Final Four and are a national powerhouse every season. What’s in it for them? It would be a way to bring even more excitement around the program.

The last time the two played, Allen Fieldhouse was rocking with all the energy from the crowd during such an epic contest. Being in attendance myself, I could barely hear anything after walking out of the arena.

Whether the game would be played at the Sprint Center or trade campus sites on who hosts each year, each fan base would be galvanized for the game.

The Champions Classic with the last two games Kentucky and Kansas State has brought some great matchups, but playing Mizzou would take things to another level. Even in Mizzou’s down years, the games still brought a lot of excitement and almost always a close contest. The Jayhawks could use a game like that each year to help spice up their regular season schedule and keep bragging rights in Lawrence.

This season alone could bring some of the best matchups in the history of the series. A Michael Porter Jr.-led Mizzou facing the Jayhawks led by Devonte Graham? Udoka Azubuike versus Jeremiah Tilmon? That game would be a sellout and an easy pick for ESPN Gameday.

Moving from the hardwood to the gridiron, the Border Showdown could be a good move for both schools.

Let’s face it, both teams have struggled recently and lost the fans’ interest. In the last two seasons, the Tigers have an overall record of 9-15 and the Jayhawks at 2-22. Both teams could use something to bring fans back to and get excited about the team. What better than to face your biggest rival?

If the Jayhawks and Tigers clashed on the gridiron again, it would bring fan interest to both teams, at least for one week. Neither team is forecasted to play in a bowl game with the expectations low this year.

No matter the records, however, if they brought back the series to Arrowhead Stadium, that game would sell out fast. That’s something both programs could really use with the way this next season is shaping up for both teams.

While the rivalry remains dormant, a “Border Cold War” has been brewing between the two schools with people on both sides speaking out about their team’s position. People on

the Missouri-side have said they want to put Kansas back on the schedule, but folks on the Kansas-side have kept their position to not renew the rivalry.

In the past month, Mizzou’s new athletic director Jim Sterk stated he wants to bring back the rivalry. Shortly after hearing this, KU basketball coach Bill Self said he does not plan on renewing the rivalry anytime soon. Ex-Mizzou chancellor R. Bowen Loftin then called out Self by saying he’s the only person in the way of bringing back the rivalry. In a recent interview with AL.com, Loftin said there was an offer between the two schools to bring back the Border Showdown at Arrowhead Stadium, but there was one problem.

“The problem was a man named Bill Self who made it very clear this wasn’t going to happen,” Loftin told AL.com, even saying Self has a “big ego.”

Even after being called out by Loftin, Self and KU haven’t wavered on their stance to reboot the series anytime soon.

While this might be the perfect season to rekindle this storied rivalry, it won’t happen this year and it may be a while until they play again. But it’s always fun to imagine and see the rivalry is still fresh in the minds of fans, media, and people involved in both schools. Fans on both sides of the border cling to the hope someday soon we can see the Border Showdown return.

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Article by Drew Parks

2 Responses to Listen up KU and MU…the Border Showdown MUST return…soon!

  1. Michael Daily says:

    No more Border War game. Mizzou has move on to the SEC and they need to concern themselves with that great conference and stay as a top team in the SEC. What was, was. But no more. KU will need to find someone else to play.

  2. Steve Roberts says:

    KU has no reason to play the tigers and no benefit can come from it. MU has dropped to new lows in basketball and only seemed to play well against the Jayhawks. No longer are they a “name or prestige school” too bad but true!

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