Off the Cuff Vol. 19: Mizzou has Gone All-In; You Calling KU?

Posted on October 22, 2011

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By Jeremy Sickel

“KU-Missouri is a great rivalry. The University of Kansas is a great Midwestern school, loyal to our Midwestern conference and to our Midwestern roots. The KU-Missouri rivalry belongs in the Big 12 Conference. Should Missouri decide to leave the Big 12, we would wish them well.” -Sheahon Zenger, University of Kansas Director of Athletics

There is only one word to describe the way the University of Kansas is handling the University of Missouri’s decision to explore a new conference affiliation – CHILDISH. Although I am from the old-school mold and really would like Mizzou to stay home, I can at least suspend my emotions long enough to trust that they are making a decision that best allows them to advance the educational and athletic goals of the University. What I do find very admirable on the part of MU, is that they are saying all the right things as it relates to each and every facet of this long-winded conference realignment story of theirs.

The fans must put faith in officials to make the proper decisions with regards to the financial and educational aspects of the school. As fans, we aren’t familiar enough with the ins and outs of those areas to accurately pass judgment on that part of the decision. What we can weigh in on are the athletics and how we think it will affect the individual programs.

For Mizzou to point out how important KU and the city of Kansas City has been to their success shows an enormous sense of humility. And the fact they are going to do their part to continue those relationships confirms their alliance with the Midwest. Although they have indicated that they no longer want to be a part of the Big 12, that doesn’t mean they still can’t maintain their status as a great Midwestern institution.

The city of Kansas City has done all it can to persuade Mizzou to stand pat; which is obviously the best situation for the city. Now I feel their focus should switch to KU and trying to compel them to realize that it needs the rivalry with Missouri just as much as they do. With their verbal commitment to attempt the ongoing tradition, MU has already confessed as much.

The quandary that will now occur in the hurdle to continue the relationship is exactly my beef with Kansas fans as a whole; now I see where they get it from. The arrogance exuded by KU officials clearly indicates that they feel they are the glue that holds the rivalry together. Sure they share a part in it, but it takes two to tango. Mizzou swallowed their pride and has asked the University of Kansas to meet them in the middle to maintain the strong tradition shared by the two Universities, now KU must do their part.

No one is sure what the root of the University of Kansas’ behavior is. Jealousy that Mizzou is being courted by a sexier option? Anger because they don’t understand the deeper reasons behind the move? Or do they realize they need Mizzou more than Mizzou needs them at this point, but are too afraid to admit it? Whichever it is, the University of Missouri is prepared to call KU’s bluff and go all-in on the river, so Jayhawk Nation needs to save face and fold their hand before it is too late and MU is gone for good.

Follow Jeremy on Twitter @kcpopflyboy