John Talty from AL.com has a tantalizing piece up today, called “Treasured rivalries still on indefinite hiatus since the SEC's big expansion.” Obviously the focus is on Texas-A&M and Mizzou-Kansas, and there are at least a few interesting, potentially new tidbits in there. It’s very much worth reading. Here are the juiciest quotes:
1. “There was a lucrative offer on the table for the Border War to restart in Arrowhead Stadium.”
The main Mizzou source in the piece is former chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, who was pushed out a couple of years ago but I’m pretty sure still draws six figures and a nice travel budget from the university. (Hey, nice work if you can get it.) He said he met with KU’s chancellor at one point to discuss the “lucrative” option of resuming the series at Arrowhead. It was shot down by KU basketball coach Bill Self.
2. “It's not that Missouri and Texas A&M didn't want to keep the rivalries going -- they did -- but their old Big 12 brethren had no interest in rewarding their perceived treachery.”
Okay, that’s in no way a surprising sentence. I just enjoyed the use of “treachery.”
3. "Their AD (DeLoss Dodds) at the time came out and said we will never play Texas A&M again, and they worked along with Baylor and the conference to have no one in the (Big 12) schedule us."
That comes from former Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne. Again, there’s nothing surprising there. It’s just always nice to see official confirmation that Dodds and Self were the biggest, crabbiest impediments.
4. "I think it's more likely Texas will bend than Kansas," [Loftin] says,"as long as Self is involved. He has a big ego."
A couple of years ago, I was on a flight from Dallas to Columbia with Loftin. As everyone was waiting for the baggage claim carousel to start moving upon landing back in Columbia, I watched Loftin walk to right in front of the carousel, put his hands in his pocket, rock back on his heels and basically wait to be recognized and adored. Watching him talk about someone else’s ego made me black out for a second.
So A&M and Mizzou left, and Texas and Kansas refused to cooperate. Nothing new there, other than confirmation that MU-KU at Arrowhead was a thing that really could have happened (and probably will at some point). Still an enjoyable read.