Illinois Takes Ball, Goes Home

Football won't play Missouri again after 2010.

If you enjoyed watching the Fighting Illini start off their football season against the rival Missouri Tigers, enjoy it this fall and the next. After that, Illinois has pulled out of the yearly game in St. Louis that attempted to replicate the success of the "Braggin' Rights" basketball game. Illinois AD Ron Guenther said that the neutral site game made it too difficult for Illinois to get at least six home games on their schedule. He did not happen to mention if the Fighting Illini's 0-4 record in the series had anything to do with ending the game.

It's a shame, too, as Chicago and St. Louis have a storied rivalry in more than sports, and the extension to the states' two flagship universities made sense. The Windy City and Gateway City have battled for everything from the N.L. Central in baseball to the World's Fair of 1893. Illinois and Missouri play each other every December in basketball to a packed house. The announcement of the game was met with glee from both schools' alumni.

Unfortunately, Guenther has a point. The rest of his conference is opting for cupcake opponents early in the season. Why would he want to face a school that has won the Big 12 North for the past two years, and has owned Illinois for the past four? His idea about six home games isn't quite as sensical, as Mizzou manages to schedule six home games, even though they also have a neutral site game to end the season against Kansas.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us