Colorado and Nebraska set off what could have been the demise of the Big 12 2 years ago. Nebraska opted to play in the Big Ten and the Colorado Buffalos stampeded to the Pac-12. The following season, Texas A and M along with Missouri followed in suit and left the Big 12, reducing the conference to 8 teams.
Today, ESPN broke news that Kansas and Colorado have revived their series in basketball for the 2012-2013 season.
Many Kansas fans and supporters viewed the departure of Missouri as a big blow to the conference and many wondered what would happen with the Big 12. It was safe to say, the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri had grown with the departure.
Since the departures, the Big 12 Conference had found new leadership in Bob Bowlsby and added West Virginia and TCU to bring the Big 12 back to 10 teams, adding stability to the league.
With the 2011-2012 season long gone in the rear-view mirror, Kansas basketball administration is looking forward to the 2012-2013 season and had made it clear they will not be playing Missouri in the near future. The view on The Hill on campus is that Missouri chose to leave, so Kansas doesn’t need to play them right now. Right or wrong, that is the KU stance.
But, that doesn’t mean Kansas won’t revisit past conference rivalries. Just today, on the ESPN blog, Andy Katz announced, “Kansas had struggled to find a quality home game, so the Jayhawks went to an old friend, former player and league rival. Colorado and Tad Boyle, who played at Kansas and coaches Colorado, are finalizing a deal with the Jayhawks to do a two-year home-and-home series, starting in Lawrence. The Buffaloes reached the NCAA tournament third round last season, losing to Baylor in Albuquerque. Kansas had no ill will toward the Buffaloes when they left the Big 12 for the Pac-12, unlike rival Missouri. Re-starting this series is good for both leagues and programs.”
Kansas basketball proves that leaving the conference doesn’t necessitate a cutting of ties. Will this open the door for a future series with Missouri? Is this another snub to Missouri? Only time will tell if the conference wounds will heal to allow the Kansas and Missouri rivalry to live again.
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