Kansas coaches 'don't see' playing Missouri after SEC move

Monday, November 7, 2011 | 8:24 p.m. CST; updated 11:09 p.m. CST, Monday, November 7, 2011
MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, left, University of Florida President Bernie Machen, Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive stand together at the MU Student Center on Sunday after Missouri announced that it will join the SEC effective July 1, 2012.

COLUMBIA — University of Kansas coaches didn't say much about Missouri's move to the SEC, but the message is clear.

Kansas doesn't want any part of a new "long-distance relationship" with Missouri.

Big 12 at 10 for now

NORMAN, Okla. — University of Oklahoma President David Boren said Monday the Big 12 Conference is settled with 10 teams through the 2012 football season, but didn't rule out the possibility that two more teams could be added in 2013.

"Definitely, I think we have the opportunity to go back to 12, if we want to," Boren said.

Boren did not identify which other schools have expressed an interest in joining the conference.

With the departure of Missouri and Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference and the addition of TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12, Boren said game schedules and media contracts are set for 2012 with 10 teams.

Boren said he would like the league to ultimately explore the option of expanding to 12 teams.

"I don't think we have to be in any rush," he said. "It might be wise to take a little time to do that, because we want things to settle down."

A former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator who became OU's president in 1994, two years before the Big 12 was created, Boren said he believes stability has returned to the conference, despite the departure of Nebraska and Colorado last year and Missouri and Texas A&M this year.

"Right now we're in a period of stability that ranks with any year of the history of the conference since it's been formed," Boren said. "We're financially well off. We have solid media contracts. We have a full schedule of teams to play. We have many other schools still knocking on the door if we do want to go back to 12. We're in a very good situation."

— The Associated Press

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"Well, I would just make one little statement just saying that I don't see us playing them in the future," Kansas football coach Turner Gill said. "I think the rivalry for Kansas and Missouri would be something that belongs in the Big 12 Conference."

Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self didn't mince words in an interview with the Lawrence Journal-World, either.

"We have absolutely no obligation whatsoever to play Missouri in basketball. None," Self told the paper's Gary Bedore. "We couldn't care less what Missouri wants. If in fact they want to play us, it will be strictly determined if we want to. It will not be determined by other people, because I'll be honest, the majority of Kansas fans don't give a flip about playing Missouri."

Missouri officials have repeatedly expressed a desire to keep Kansas on the schedule for all sports. At its Oct. 21 meeting, the UM System Board of Curators issued a directive to MU Chancellor Brady Deaton to explore the possibility of a neutral site football game in Kansas City against a "traditional rival."

During Sunday's SEC welcome news conference, Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden cited rivalries like Florida-Florida State, Iowa-Iowa State, Clemson-South Carolina and Georgia-Georgia Tech that exist between teams in different conferences.

"We have a tremendous respect for the University of Kansas. It is our hope and our intention that we have an opportunity to play against the University of Kansas for many years to come," Alden said Sunday. "I think that to suggest that conference affiliation be a requirement … I don’t know that necessarily holds water."

While Kansas bristled at the announcement, Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder had a different tone.

"Disturbed I guess might be somewhat of a good word," Snyder said. "Not necessarily, I mean, each school has to do what's in its very best interest, but I'm certainly disappointed that they will not be with us."

Texas football coach Mack Brown, whose Longhorns come to Columbia to face Missouri on Saturday, expressed a sense of understanding.

"I felt like that each school should do what's best for them. I mean, that's their right, and the rules are in place that you can choose the conference you wanted," Brown said. "At Texas, we do what's best for us, and I think it's great for Missouri to get their wish and move forward."

The rest of the Big 12 coaches wished Missouri the best, and it seemed during Monday's Big 12 football teleconference as if most were happy to have the issue finally dealt with so they could move on.

"Best of luck," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. Referencing conference newcomers West Virginia and Texas Christian University, he added: "We've got two good teams right now, and maybe more that are on their way in, so we'll keep playing ball here, too."

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Ellis Smith November 8, 2011 | 6:38 a.m.

It will be interesting to see if an increase occurs in the number of KU basketball fans at UMKC and MS&T, alumni included. After all, if MU and KU no longer play each other, how can those folks possibly be accused of disloyalty if they are also KU basketball fans? Some will simply be coming out of the closet.

Can't be fans of both? Says who?

(Report Comment)
Corl Leach November 8, 2011 | 7:39 p.m.

Let's play an Arrowhead matchup between Nebraska and Mizzou and show KC a money-making Big 10/SEC match up ... if KU doesn't want to play, let 'em go pout in their own sandbox!

(Report Comment)
Eric Cox November 9, 2011 | 1:27 p.m.

Kansas need to to tell Gill and Self to grow up. The Missouri Kansas rivalry began in 1891, the Big 12 wasn't formed until 1994. If the rivalry fails it will be Kansas fault.

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders November 9, 2011 | 2:39 p.m.

Deaton visibly broke the bonds. What other bonds were broken behind the scenes by others in the mad rush to the upcoming four 16 team super-conferences (complete with playoffs), is hard to say.

All I know is that Self is right. Without the bonds, who gives a flip? I feel more excitement looking back at Stormin' Norm and the Big Eight, than I do at looking forward to the future.

College sports are now merely the best way to avoid watching an infomercial. Flip... flip... flip...

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 9, 2011 | 3:59 p.m.

@ Richard Saunders:

Reading your comments I think you have a better understanding of the situation than many others do, including some or all of the so-called "deal makers."

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 9, 2011 | 4:10 p.m.

MU-KU football tradition predates Big 12, 8,6 and probably every Conference known to man. Coaches Gill and Self could not show kindness to Mizzou in this instance even if they wanted to. Change happens and generally speaking is for the better (excepting of course our Federal government which changed and now must change back).

Meantime everyone needs to get a grip and relax. My bet is that after all the hurt feelings have healed (possibly 2012-13) Mizzou will be playing KU in KC in football and probably basketball. We have most all noted often that money is now the only interest in college athletics for everyone connected with college athletics. My guess is that Gill, Self, the KU athletic director and the president will not seek exemption from that large group.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 10, 2011 | 5:47 a.m.

@ Frank Christian:

Your advice is sound, but I'd remind you of an important consideration: in for someone to have hurt feelings usually requires that they CARE.

This is a four-campus university. Combined, UMKC, UMSL and MS&T now have a bit more than 50% of the university's students and about 40% of the university's living alumni. Do you think all those folks care? Obviously, some do. Others in the future may spend their leisure time watching OU football and KU basketball.

PS: The suggestion of having non-conference games involving NU and/or KU sounds worthwhile. I wouldn't bother Nebraska right now: they're very upset over their home loss to Northwestern. @$#%&* Wildcats!

(Report Comment)

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