|Locations of the University of Kansas and University of Missouri|
The Border War is the name given to the Kansas-Missouri football rivalry. It is a college rivalry between athletic teams from the University of Kansas and University of Missouri, the Kansas Jayhawks and the Missouri Tigers, respectively. Athletic competition between the two schools began in 1891. From 1907 to 2012 both schools were in the same athletic conference and competed annually in all sports. Sports Illustrated described the rivalry as the oldest (Division I) rivalry west of the Mississippi River in 2011, but it has been dormant since Missouri departed the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2012. Despite Missouri wanting to continue athletic competition, no further regular season games were scheduled between the two schools for several years. However, the two schools played an exhibition game in men's basketball on October 22, 2017, with Kansas defeating Missouri 93-87. Proceeds went to four different charities for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria relief funds. On October 21, 2019, the schools agreed to play six basketball games beginning in 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the renewal was postponed one season. Then, on May 2, it was announced that the agreement was made for football games to be played in 2025, 2026, 2031, and 2032.
Many believe the rivalry can trace its history to open violence involving anti-slavery and pro-slavery elements that took place in the Kansas Territory and the western frontier towns of Missouri throughout the 1850s. These incidents were attempts by some Missourians (then a slave state) to influence whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free or slave state. The era of political turbulence and violence has been termed Bleeding Kansas. When the Civil War began, the animosity that developed during the Kansas territorial period erupted in particularly vicious fighting. In the opening year of the war, six Missouri towns (the largest being Osceola) and large swaths of western Missouri were plundered and burned by various forces from Kansas generically termed jayhawkers. These attacks led to a retaliatory raid on Lawrence, Kansas two years later (Lawrence Massacre), which led to General Order No. 11 (1863), the forced depopulation of several western Missouri counties. The raid on Lawrence was led by William Quantrill, a Confederate guerrilla born in Ohio who had formed his bushwhacker group at the end of 1861. Quantrill had earlier been a resident of Lawrence, teaching school there until the school closed in 1860. Quantrill also attacked a nearby town of Olathe causing chaos during the civil war.
A recent analysis of the rivalry's history by a University of Kansas professor concludes that historical memories of the Civil War era were not introduced into the athletic rivalry until the 1970s, and the historical angle did not seep into the popular imagination until the 1990s. A rebuttal provided extensive evidence the rivalry "from its start, was influenced by animosity dating to the Border War". Evidence cited included a newspaper article on the 1891 game opening with a reference to the Border War, and a University of Missouri professor stating in 1910, "the annual football game ... is but a continuation of the border warfare of earlier times." Additionally, an article on the rivalry written by Kansas football coach A. R. Kennedy in 1917 stated, "no wonder the border warfare terms of 'Jayhawk' and 'Bushwhacker' were revived, for in many ways football is a worthy successor to war."[full ]
The mascots of the two universities were also derived from this time period. The University of Kansas, like many other universities, had no official mascot during the early years of its existence. The football team had used many different independent mascots, including a pig. In the three years preceding and the decades following the Civil War, the term "Jayhawker" was generally an epithet denoting "plundering marauder" both in the Missouri-Kansas region and nationally. However, after Charles Jenison christened the Seventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry "The Independent Kansas Jayhawkers" in 1861, the term also began to be used as a term for any troops from Kansas, and eventually by Kansans as a term they proudly applied to themselves. By the late 1800s, it had become synonymous with native Kansans, much like Hoosiers in the state of Indiana. According to the University of Kansas, when KU football players first took the field in 1890, they were called the Jayhawkers. The University of Missouri also adopted a Civil War-related name. When the MU football team was first formed in 1890, at a mass meeting of students and interested citizens held to perfect the organization of the team, "Tigers" was unanimously selected as the team name. During the Civil War, the "Tigers" were a "home guard" unit that protected Columbia from guerilla attack. The Tigers militia unit was commanded by James Rollins, upon whom the MU's Board of Curators later bestowed the title of "Pater Universitatis Missouriensis" (Father of the University of Missouri) in recognition of his "great efforts to promote the posterity, usefulness, and success" of the university. Ironically, they once protected Columbia from attack by a band led by "Bloody Bill" Anderson, who participated in the Burning of Lawrence along with Quantrill.
Over the years, the series has developed into one of the most bitter and hateful rivalries in college sports. In the early football match ups, the sidelines would be occupied by Civil War Veterans from both sides. They once stood across from each other on the battlefield, now they looked across an athletic field. The emotions of an actual war once fought between the states became infused into the athletic contests between the two institutions. Over time, even the coaches have gotten into the rivalry. Former Kansas football coach Don Fambrough, when referred to a physician across the state line in Kansas City, Missouri, for treatment, exclaimed "I'll die first!" Not to be outdone, Missouri's former basketball coach Norm Stewart would traditionally have his players stay in Kansas City, Missouri, before playing at Kansas, going so far as to require the team bus to buy its gasoline at a Missouri filling station and reprimanding players who ate in Kansas, as he did not want to put any money into Kansas's economy.
The 2007 football season brought the origins of the rivalry between the two states back into the spotlight. A T-shirt created by a Missouri alumnus gained national attention with its reference to Quantrill's raid of 1863. The Missouri alumnus used the shirt to celebrate Missouri pro-slavery fighters burning the town of Lawrence, Kansas. The residents of Lawrence were largely Jayhawkers. The shirt depicted the burning of Lawrence in 1863 following the raid of William Quantrill and his Bushwhackers. The image of Lawrence burning was paired with the word "Scoreboard" and a Mizzou logo. On the back of the shirts, William Quantrill was quoted, saying "Our cause is just, our enemies many." Some Kansas fans interpreted these shirts as supporting slavery, and in recent years, the epithet "Slavers" has been employed by many KU fans to refer to anything related to Missouri. KU supporters returned fire with a shirt depicting abolitionist John Brown with the words, "Kansas: Keeping America Safe From Missouri Since 1854.
In 2004 its name was officially changed from Border War to the Border Showdown. KU athletic director Lew Perkins stated, "We feel that in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, and the ensuing events around the world, it is inappropriate to use the term 'war' to describe intercollegiate athletics events." The name change was generally derided by people on both sides. Players, students, alumni, and fans failed to adopt the new name, and even media outlets such as Sports Illustrated and NBC continued to refer to the rivalry as the Border War.
Kansas leads the all-time series, 172-95.
|Kansas victories||Missouri victories||Tie games|
When the series ended in 2011, it was the second-most-played rivalry in Division I-A (FBS) football history, with 120 games played. It has since fallen behind several other conference rivalries, but still ranks 8th in the FBS. The teams first met on October 31, 1891. After the 1918 game was cancelled due to the 1918 flu pandemic the teams met on the field 93 years in a row, from 1919 to 2011. Missouri leads the series, claiming a 57-54-9 record (as the 1960 game is disputed, Kansas' claimed record is 55-56-9).[failed verification]
The drum trophy originated in 1937 when MU's Kansas City Alumni Association in cooperation with the Kansas University Lettermen's Association decided to present an authentic Native American tom-tom drum each Thanksgiving to the winner of the Kansas-Missouri football game. The decision was finalized at annual Homecoming luncheon of the M Men's Club at Rothwell Gymnasium on November 13, 1937. The MU Kansas City Alumni Association made arrangements for the drum to be built by Osage Indians, because they represented the states more than other tribes. The drum remained in Missouri's possession for the first few years until the trophy was briefly forgotten during wartime. The tradition resumed on an annual basis in 1947, and the MU and KU circles of Omicron Delta Kappa served as caretakers of the drum throughout most of its history.
When the trophy disappeared in the 1980s, the Taos Indians of New Mexico built a new one. The original trophy was later recovered in a Read Hall basement in Columbia under a pile of boxes. It is now located in the College Football Hall of Fame.
In 1999, at Kansas's insistence, the drum was replaced again with a bass drum. The second drum became the property of the Mizzou Alumni Association.
The Kansas and Missouri athletics and alumni associations' logos are on opposite ends. While in Missouri, the Alumni Association Student Board keeps the trophy. While in Kansas, it is kept by the Student Alumni Association in the Booth Family Hall of Fame.
Beginning with the 2007 game at Arrowhead, the winner also receives the Lamar Hunt Trophy, in honor of the late Chiefs owner who long envisioned bringing the Border War to Arrowhead. This should not be confused with the Lamar Hunt Trophy which is presented to the NFL's AFC champions every year.
There is an ongoing dispute about whether the 1960 game, won by Kansas on the field, should be reported as a forfeit win for Missouri. The Big 8 retroactively forfeited the Kansas win due to Kansas player Bert Coan being voted ineligible following the 1960 season. However, several other publications have referenced the game as a Kansas win, as the NCAA official record books reflect Kansas winning the game on the field and do not recognize Missouri's claim of a forfeit win.
Going into the 1960 game, Missouri (9-0, #1 nationally ranked) was known for their very stingy defense that, until giving up 19 points to Oklahoma the week before the Border War match-up, had not allowed a team to reach double digits all season. They boasted three shutouts. Their offense relied heavily on a wide sweep to the right with speedsters Norris Stevenson and Mel West in the backfield. It was run out of a combination of the T-formation and the old Single Wing. The term "student body right" is often used to describe the USC sweep play in the mid to late 1960s, but that phrase was created to describe Missouri's wide sweep. Kansas (6-2, ranked #11, with their 2 losses coming to #1 Syracuse, 14-7, and at #1 Iowa, 21-7) was making history that day by becoming the first team to face three #1 teams in the same season. Kansas had a pretty good defense of their own, surrendering a mere 9.1 points per game with two shutouts that season. Kansas was also loaded in the backfield. Even without Coan, Kansas's backfield consisted of three future NFL draft picks: two-time All-American John Hadl at QB had led the Big 8 in all-purpose yardage as a RB in the 1959 season; halfback Curtis McClinton (three-time All-Big 8), and Doyle Schick at fullback.
On November 19, 1960, in front of a then-record crowd of 43,000 in Columbia, Kansas won the game against Missouri by a score of 23-7. The defenses lived up to their billing, leading to a scoreless tie at the half. Kansas had threatened twice in the first half, but had turned the ball over on downs after Missouri's defense made a formidable goal line stand. Later, after advancing to Missouri's 12, Missouri's defense again tightened, sacking Hadl for a huge loss, and Kansas missed the ensuing FG. Missouri never threatened on offense in the first half. The Kansas defense was keying hard on the sweep. In fact, it wasn't until midway through the 3rd quarter that Missouri was even able to achieve a first down. Even then, Missouri didn't achieve their 2nd first down until the fourth quarter. Kansas scored first in the second half with a field goal. Then, after a Missouri fumble deep in Tiger territory, Hadl hit Coan on a TD pass. Near the end of the 3rd, Kansas went on the games only sustained drive by either team, 69 yards on 13 plays. It was capped with a 2-yard TD run by Coan. Missouri finally got on the board with 5:24 remaining in the game, making the score 17-7. The final Kansas touchdown came after KU picked off a desperation Missouri pass, and then passed for a score with less than a minute left. Coan clearly played a role in the Kansas victory with 2 touchdowns and 67 yards on 9 carries, but many believe it was the Kansas defense that was the deciding factor. Missouri Coach Dan Devine stated "the better team won", but also cited Coan as a key factor in the game.
Kansas was awarded the Big 8 championship following the game. However, on December 8, 1960, the Big 8 retroactively forfeited the game and the Big 8 Championship to Missouri due to the Big 8 conference members voting Bert Coan ineligible, on a 5-3 vote.
The background to this ruling was as follows. Coan had transferred to KU in the fall of 1959 from TCU after a reported disagreement with the TCU trainer-track coach. At TCU's urging, the NCAA investigated the matter and it was revealed Coan had taken a plane trip to an all-star game in the summer of 1959, paid for by KU donor and AFL co-founder Bud Adams. On October 26, 1960, KU was placed on 1 year NCAA probation because the NCAA declared that KU alumni indulged in illegal recruiting practices consisting of "excessive entertainment" in the recruitment of Coan. Adams denied he took Coan to the game as a recruit. Initially, Coan also denied any impropriety in his transfer to KU, but later in a 2007 interview he admitted he had indeed been illegally recruited by Adams. No KU officials were ever found to be directly involved in the ordeal. While Coan was not ruled ineligible by the NCAA, the NCAA finding triggered questions of Coan's eligibility in light of conference rules. One conference rule banned off-campus recruiting trips; another rule specified that any athlete recruited in violation of the ban would be ineligible. After KU was placed on NCAA probation, KU received a phone call from the University of Nebraska, their next conference opponent, questioning Coan's eligibility. It is alleged Nebraska had earlier received a letter from Missouri's Don Faurot concerning Coan. KU sought to obtain a ruling from the conference at that time, but was instead told the matter would be taken up at the post-season conference meeting. KU took the position that the NCAA had mistakenly concluded Coan was a prospective student-athlete at the time of the trip with Adams and that the coaching staff had not participated in an off-campus recruiting trip and thus had not violated the rule. So KU concluded there had been no infraction of conference rules. Coan did not play in KU's game against Nebraska however, due to injury.
At the post-season conference meeting in December, allegedly at the behest of MU's Don Faurot, but in accordance with the conference's response to KU's inquiry in November, the Big 8 faculty committee took up the issue of Bert Coan. Based upon the NCAA's ruling that a representative of KU's athletic interests, Bud Adams, had transported Coan from his home in Texas to Chicago to view a football all-star game, the conference's members ruled, by a vote of 5-3, that KU had violated a conference ban on off-campus recruiting. By conference rule, any student-athlete that was recruited in violation of this ban was automatically ineligible. The committee accordingly took up the matter of the period in which Coan would be ineligible. The committee initially defeated two separate motions to declare Coan ineligible for the entire 1961 season, before finally declaring him ineligible for a period of one year starting from the date of the NCAA finding by a vote of 6-2. The Big 8 then ordered KU to forfeit the two games in which Coan had played following the NCAA finding (versus Colorado and Missouri). By virtue of the forfeits, the conference championship was awarded to Missouri.
Despite the Big 8's official ruling on the matter, the reactions from many on all sides were not in agreement with the Big 8 committee in the end. When asked at the Look All-America gathering in New York City Missouri All-American, Danny LaRose said, "It'll always be a 9-1 season as far as I'm concerned. And I think the other players will feel that way, too." However, LaRose also expressed his admiration of the Big Eight "for standing up for what was right--enforcing its own rules". Also at the gathering, Colorado All-American guard Joe Romig echoed similar feelings when he said, "I don't care what the NCAA or the Big Eight does. We lost the game at Kansas. Nothing will change that." Meanwhile, Kansas All-American quarterback John Hadl expressed more concern about his teammate when asked at the All-America gathering and had this to say, "He's a good guy. I hope it doesn't hit him too hard." Missouri head coach Dan Devine expressed his apparent disappointment in the process adopted by the Big 8 when he said, "This is the worst thing that could happen in inter-collegiate athletics. I mean the fact that they were playing a boy not knowing he was ineligible. That should have been determined before he played." For his part then executive secretary of the Big 8, Reaves Peters, said the case was the "toughest case to come before us in history".
KU protested the Big 8 conference ruling primarily on the basis that Coan was not recruited during his trip with the KU booster. Despite the fact that Coan later admitted he had been recruited by Adams during the trip, thus invalidating KU's objection, KU continues to defy the conference ruling in claiming the game as a win.
In documenting the game as a win, MU adheres to the Conference determination. KU relies on the actual on the field results of the game as well as the record keeping by the NCAA, which never ruled on the Conference determination one way or the other. Colorado does not count this forfeit as a win in their record books. Kansas fans also cite a 1999 NCAA subcommittee to defend KU's position, where the subcommittee stated, "forfeited contests do not count as a loss and that the game will stand as played on the field." While KU claims the MU game as a win, they do not claim the conference championship that the conference also ordered them to forfeit.
Ultimately the on-field loss to Kansas cost Missouri the 1960 national championship. The final AP poll was released one week after the game (before the Coan decision) and the 8-1 Minnesota Golden Gophers took Missouri's spot at number one in the poll, giving them the AP National Championship. Missouri went on to finish the 1960 season by defeating Navy in the Orange Bowl, giving them a record of 10-1/11-0, while Minnesota finished 8-2 with a loss in the Rose Bowl.
|Kansas victories||Missouri victories||Ties||Disputed|
|Missouri (8)||Kansas (2)|
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Beginning in the 2002-2003 season, the series was memorialized in a sponsored contest, under which points were awarded for athletic contests between the two schools. Only sports where both schools compete are eligible for the contests, and because Kansas fields fewer teams than Missouri, several of Missouri's sports (such as gymnastics, men's swimming and wrestling) do not count in the Border Showdown statistics. Bonus points are awarded for matchups that take place in post-season competition (Big 12 or NCAA tournaments). Between 0.5 and 3.0 points are awarded per matchup, with approximately 24-27 matchups taking place per academic year. The Border Showdown moniker is applied most publicly to the annual football and basketball games. Missouri ended the Showdown series with an 8-2 lead.
The results of the Border Showdown are as follows:
2002-03 MU 32, KU 8.5
2003-04 KU 21.5, MU 18.5
2004-05 MU 22.5, KU 17.5
2005-06 KU 23, MU 17
2006-07 MU 25, KU 14
2007-08 MU 24, KU 15
2008-09 MU 23, KU 17
2009-10 MU 23, KU 16.5
2010-11 MU 23, KU 16
2011-12 MU 31.5, KU 8
MU currently leads the baseball series, although the series history is disputed by the two schools. The KU media guide shows that the first game played between the two schools was in 1899, while the first recorded game in the MU media guide was in 1901 (the MU guide lists the entire 1899 season as "unknown"). The KU media guide lists the series with MU ahead 195-121-2 while the MU media guide lists the tigers ahead 212-123-2. In 2007, the Jayhawks and Tigers added a non-conference game against each other in addition their three-game regular season Big 12 series. The non-conference game was scheduled to be played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, home of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals. However, the initial meeting was cancelled due to rain. The teams did meet at Kauffman Stadium in 2008, with Kansas winning 3-0. In the 2009 meeting at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas again came away with the victory, 7-3. In the 2010 meeting, Kansas again prevailed, 1-0. In the 2011 meeting, Kansas won, 7-1.
The teams have played against each other nine times since Missouri moved to the SEC, once in golf (2012 Golfweek Conference Challenge), four times in softball, once in women's soccer, and twice in women's volleyball. They have played head-to-head five times, in the 2014 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament second round, the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer College Cup first round, the 2015 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament Los Angeles Super Regional, and the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament second round.
|May 17, 2014||Softball||Missouri (#15)||6||Kansas||3||Columbia||2014 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament|||
|November 16, 2014||Soccer||Kansas||1||Missouri||3||Lawrence||2014 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer College Cup|||
|May 16, 2015||Softball||Missouri (#10)||5||Kansas||3||Columbia||2015 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament|||
|May 17, 2015||Softball||Missouri (#10)||7||Kansas||6||Columbia||2015 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament|||
|December 4, 2015||Volleyball||Kansas (#9)||3||Missouri||0||Lawrence||2015 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament|||
|November 13, 2016||Women's Soccer||Kansas||1||Missouri||0||Lawrence||2016 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Tournament|
|October 22, 2017||Men's Basketball||Kansas||93||Missouri||87||Kansas City||Exhibition (Showdown for Relief)|||
|December 1, 2017||Volleyball||Kansas||2||Missouri||3||Wichita||2017 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament|
|February 10, 2019||Softball||Kansas||2||Missouri||3||Tempe||Kajikawa Classic|||
|February 13, 2020||Softball||Kansas||0||Missouri||8||Clearwater||St. Peter/Clearwater Invite|||
|Total:||7-2, Missouri leads series|
Note: For games played at a neutral location, KU is listed as the home team, even though this may not have been the case. This is simply due to lack of information on who was the official home team.
Kansas 168 (plus 34 conference tournament titles)
Missouri 73 (plus 11 conference tournament titles)
Kansas: 13 (most recent: 2013)
Missouri: 2 (most recent: 1965)