A New Illinois-Mizzou Football Series Shouldn’t Be Arch Madness

Friday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) In the entire country, there is no nonconference college basketball rivalry better than Illinois-Missouri. But in all of America, there was no nonconference college football rivalry worse than Illinois-Missouri.

Nevertheless, the St. Louis Sports Commission wants to rekindle the series that saw the Illini and the Tigers clash on the gridiron at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis six times between 2002 and 2010, with Illinois losing each and every game.

On Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that “College football is a priority for the St. Louis Sports Commission, and the possibility of creating a bowl game or neutral site matchup continues to garner consideration and analysis from time to time. But the pursuit above all others for president Frank Viverito is to revive the Missouri-Illinois rivalry, and discussions have started in a bid to make that happen.”

Personally, I hated the Illinois-Missouri football games, one of which I attended in person. And once was enough. Unlike the incredible Illinois-Missouri Braggin’ Rights basketball game – which truly provides a neutral court setting with the Scottrade Center crowd split evenly between Illini and Tigers fans – the football series was always decidedly pro-Mizzou and not nearly as much fun. Especially with all the losses.

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