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Jim Sterk wants to make Braggin’ Rights great again. Time to get creative.

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri vs Illinois Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple sports? Actual marketing? Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk officially wants to make Braggin’ Rights bigger.

“They had never really done (marketing) because they didn’t need to,” Sterk said. That will change this year, but both sides are also talking about making the game a doubleheader with their women’s programs, or perhaps staging the women’s game the night before. We’ve talked about doing more events (around the game), if we can bring some others there, maybe wrestling or gymnastics.

“We want to make the Braggin’ Rights bigger.”

What about reviving the Mizzou-Illinois football series? That could be on the plate, too.

“We’ve been looking (for a date), but we haven’t found really where we can yet,” Sterk said. “But we’re looking at that, Josh and I are.” (Josh would be Illinois AD Josh Whitman.)

Not going to lie: A wrestling-hoops combo would be all sorts of fun, though a) this would seem to work best if it’s on the same day (otherwise you’ve got to go back to the arena on two straight nights, which is inconvenient), and b) that’s a lot of wrestling mats to move in a relatively short amount of time if it’s on the same day. So we’ll see.

Poll

What Braggin’ Rights doubleheader would be the most fun to you?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Men’s basketball and women’s basketball
    (385 votes)
  • 16%
    Men’s basketball and wrestling
    (117 votes)
  • 0%
    Men’s basketball and gymnastics
    (2 votes)
  • 23%
    Men’s basketball and MEN’S ALUMNI GAME
    (172 votes)
  • 4%
    Men’s basketball and screening of 1993 Braggin’ Rights game
    (36 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (please go into great detail in comments).
    (10 votes)
722 votes total Vote Now

As for the football thing ... here’s what I loathe about how schools schedule their non-conference slates so far in advance (and about nine-game conference schedules like what the Big Ten has). You get new athletic directors excited about potentially finding a spot to play, and at this point here’s the number of unoccupied non-conference slots for the coming years:

  • 2018: Illinois none, Mizzou none
  • 2019: Illinois none, Mizzou none
  • 2020: Illinois none, Mizzou one
  • 2021: Illinois none, Mizzou two
  • 2022: Illinois none, Mizzou three

Mizzou obviously has a little bit more flexibility with an eight-game conference schedule, but still. Pretty much tied up for the foreseeable future.

Sure, you could buy out a contract, I guess, but that’s frustrating in and of itself. So ... see you in 2023 maybe, Illinois!

Oh, and one thing that could spice up Braggin’ Rights in the meantime: basketball recruiting battles. Obviously things got tense when Jeremiah Tilmon asked out of his Illinois letter of intent and appeared to have Mizzou atop his list. But his recruitment has gotten ... strange. His camp appears to have been making some strange requests of late (mind you, I say that with very, very little inside information), and now there might be a plot twist:

It’s nice to be back in the world of big-time recruiting. But it’s a pretty messy, confusing world.


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