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#pounditSunday, February 5, 2023

Missouri reportedly did not want to play rival in bowl game

The Liberty Bowl or The Sugar Bowl could have seen another iteration of The Border War between Missouri and Kansas this month, but the Tigers apparently had other ideas.

Brett McMurphy of The Action Network reports that although the Jayhawks were open to playing Missouri once again, the Tigers quickly rejected the notion. As a result, Missouri could be moved to the Gasparilla Bowl.

“A 6-6 team dictating who they don’t want to play in a bowl?” an industry source said. “What a world. What a world.”

Missouri and Kansas had a long-standing rivalry dating back to 1907, but the two teams stopped playing after the 2011 season when the Tigers left for the SEC. However, in 2020, the two programs agreed to resume their rivalry and scheduled four games beginning in 2025.

Why Missouri refused to play Kansas this postseason is unclear.

Programs are permitted to submit their bowl preferences. However, that usually requires a universal agreement from the conferences, bowls and schools themselves. It’s also not unusual for schools to request not playing specific opponents in the postseason, McMurphy adds.

Official bowl pairings will be announced on Sunday following Saturday’s slate of conference championship games.

Meanwhile, Missouri will continue to lead their all-time series against Kansas, 57–54–9. At least until 2025.

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