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Tigers win final Big 12 Border Showdown with Jayhawks

Missouri and Kansas haven’t agreed on the all-time-series record in football since 1960, when Kansas was forced by conference officials to forfeit due to using an ineligible player. KU still counts the win, but with the Tigers’ 24-10 victory in the schools’ final conference matchup on Nov. 26, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo., MU comes out on top no matter how you slice it.

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Missouri – who earlier in November announced its intention to leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference – now holds a 57-54-9 advantage. Kansas has the series at 56-55-9.

The latest Mizzou triumph in the oldest college sports rivalry west of the Mississippi River wasn’t easy. Missouri was forced to rally from a 10-3 first-half deficit and a career-high three interceptions from quarterback James Franklin. The sophomore’s two second-half touchdown passes and a solid team-defensive performance secured the ceremonial Indian War Drum for the Tigers.

“Anybody can play quarterback when it’s easy,” said head Coach Gary Pinkel, who returned to helm the team after a week-long suspension following a DWI arrest. Pinkel will lead Mizzou to its seventh-consecutive bowl game this season.

The teams have played the game everywhere from Rollins Field (near what is currently Stankowski Field on the MU campus), to Memorial stadiums in Lawrence, Kan., and Columbia, and most recently Arrowhead Stadium in front of 47,059 fans.

MU Director of Athletics Mike Alden says the University of Missouri wants to keep playing Kansas in an annual nonconference game, but KU is chilly to that idea. MU and KU still have one year left on a contract allowing them to play football at the Kansas City Chiefs home stadium, but Kansas has taken Missouri off its 2012 schedule.

If the two teams don’t play again, all indications point to the drum remaining in Columbia.

“I would assume we keep it,” says Alden.

Pinkel is optimistic that the rivalry will live on.

“There’s got to be a way to work it out,” he said. As for the trophy? “I would suggest they aren’t getting it back.”

David Earl