Alums of the University of Kansas fight rivalries on two fronts. On one side, despite being the flagship institution in Kansas, we must battle for scant state resources with land grant institution Kansas State University. On the other we fight over a metropolitan area, and by extension, a place in history, with the University of Missouri. In a part of the nation where even the t-shirt fans have deep loyalty, it is imperative for KU to remain the dominant public institution, to influence generations of Kansans and Kansas Citians for years to come.


In 2012, Missouri left its long rivalry with Kansas for a spot in the SEC. So far it has worked out splendidly for them. We sometimes referred to Missouri as a sleeping giant, being the only BCS-level school in a high-population state where residents are unusually unified in their support for the institution, and the state. This unification sets Missouri apart from other states in my opinion. Missourians genuinely believe, together, the rest of the union is plotting against them. I have never seen a population so defensive, nor so paranoid as to develop an us-versus-them mentality at the state level.

But those feelings might be natural considering the weird things that have happened to Missouri sports over the years.

  • Basketball player Steve Stipanovich shot himself in the foot
  • Missouri found itself on the wrong end of the infamous "fifth down" game, losing to Colorado on October 6, 1990. Colorado ran two plays near the goal line and called timeout. The lineman failed to flip the marker used to indicate the down. After the timeout, thinking it was second down, Colorado ran three more plays, scoring on the last one. Even though officials realized the error, they allowed the score to stand and Colorado won.
  • In 1995, Missouri, a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, needed to play defense for 4.8 seconds to beat UCLA in the second round. Tyus Edney took the inbound pass, dribbled mostly uncontested down the court and converted a layup to win the game.
  • In 1997, Nebraska escaped with a seven-point win at Missouri after a Cornhusker player, having been blocked to the ground, accidentally deflected a pass with his foot, sending into the arms of a teammate for the win.
  • When Missouri built its new arena, the principal donors requested it be named after their daughter. This did not last.
  • After a summer of infinite learning to become academically eligible, Missouri basketball player Ricky Clemons landed in jail after wrecking an ATV on the chancellor's lawn. The jailhouse phone calls with the chancellor's wife are the stuff of lore.
  • Despite beating KU for the Big 12 North title in 2007, the BCS chose KU for the Orange Bowl, leaving Missouri to the Cotton Bowl.

    So many weird moments exist, KU fans created a special "One Shining Moment" video for Mizzou.

    Sadly, that is probably the end. The sleeping giant has awakened. I see more tiger tails and "M" license plates than ever before. KU has a large fight ahead of it to maintain influence in Kansas City.

    Kansas State

    Kansas State should be Bill Snyder State. Manhattan and Riley County should also rename their jurisdictions after the old ball coach. KSU owes everything, any success in any arena, in the last couple of decades, to Bill Snyder. Around 1989, Sports Illustrated printed an article called "Futility U," noting the failures of Kansas State football over the century. At the time, KSU had gone two seasons without a win. Enrollment at the university lagged far behind KU and the town faced the possibility of losing the military population to base closures.

    How lucky of Kansas State to hire the understated Bill Snyder from the University of Iowa coaching staff to coach their football team, right? No one thought much of it at the time, mainly because KSU had a limited budget and limited realistic options. Snyder, however, quickly figured out at KSU, one had to out-work the competition down to the smallest detail, drill the fundamentals to perfection, and find ways to keep players eligible. Kansas as a state has only one advantage over most: a conference of junior colleges generating Division I athletes annually.

    It only took a few years for KSU to find itself third in the Big 8 pecking order, and by the late 1990s, had one of the best teams in the nation. In 2013, the university's population now exceeds that of KU, and Manhattan has made numerous capital investments. I wish KU would realize that football, and only football, can truly lift the tide of the entire university.