Missouri head coach Barry Odom met with the media on Monday. Among other things, he acknowledged the potential severity of Damarea Crockett’s shoulder injury, which was nice (well, not nice, but you know what I mean). He also took the opportunity to lobby for a certain rivalry game to return to the gridiron.
Odom’s hopes of restarting the Mizzou-Kansas football game has more to do with the energy he sensed in reading about Sunday’s exhibition basketball game between the two schools at the Sprint Center. The proceeds from the Showdown for Relief went to hurricane victims through several charities.
“There’s a lot of people that lose sight on the opportunity we have to provide student-athletes with great experiences,” Odom said Monday. “That’s going to be one for those guys that got to participate in that yesterday. It was unbelievable event that they’re going to remember forever. Maybe even more important than that, that money raised is going to help people that really are in need. … That’s the great thing about sports. That’s the great thing about us having the ability and platform to do that.”
He even pulled a Woody Hayes and did the whole ‘don’t say their name’ thing that fans always eat up.
“They’re not asking me, but I think Missouri and the other team should play every year in every sport,” he said. “It’s pretty awesome. Maybe we can continue that. I was excited and happy for Mizzou and all the people that benefited form that."
This is fish-in-a-barrel stuff, obviously, but I’ve got to be honest: I really only miss the basketball rivalry. I mean, the non-revenue sports stuff is fun, too — it’s a guaranteed audience pop, and sometimes you need that — but among football and basketball, I can’t say I miss playing KU in football.
I’ve been in Columbia since 1997. That means I’ve been here for 15 MU-KU football games — 1997 through the 2011 finale. Only about four or five of them were memorable.
There was Devin West running for a million yards in 1998, there was a reasonably fun overtime win in Lawrence in 2001, and there was the amazing trilogy of Arrowhead games from 2007-09.
To be sure, those 2007-09 games were indeed incredible. Someone should make a damn documentary about those three games; they were like Ali-Frazier or something (only, without the titles).
But the 2010 and 2011 Arrowhead games, played in front of a rapidly decreasing crowd? Not so much. And most of the 1997-2006 games were really memorable only when Mizzou lost and fans got annoyed.
If you could guarantee that both teams would be good — kind of a hard thing to promise considering Missouri’s recent shakiness and Kansas’ nearly decade-long incompetence — then yeah, let’s go. And hey, maybe that’s what’s always made the basketball rivalry special: because Kansas is always good, you’re guaranteed one good team. But while the stars aligned for an incredible three-year run, for much of the time I’ve been around, the MU-KU football rivalry has been drastically overrated.
Hey, if they wanted to set up an annual trip to Arrowhead, I wouldn’t complain. I don’t rage against the idea. I just don’t pine for it either. Give me hoops, and I’m happy.
More Football Links:
- More Larry Rountree III? More Albert Okwuegbunam? More Tre Williams? It’s a youth movement in Columbia!
- What happens when you score three touchdowns and pace a blowout win? If you’re Albert O, you win SEC co-freshman of the week.
- What happens when you throw for 467 yards and six touchdowns in said blowout win? If you’re Drew Lock, you win Manning Award Star of the Week, which I didn’t realize was a thing.
- It would be really, really good for Mizzou Volleyball’s tourney cause to go ahead and knock off Ole Miss in Oxford on Wednesday evening. Mizzou’s lost two in a row and stands at 12-9 overall with an RPI ranking of 50th. Ole Miss, meanwhile: 14-9, 5-5 in the SEC, and 56th in RPI.