Missouri Tigers’ top 5 ‘Border Wars’ against Kansas

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 28: Quarterback Todd Reesing
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 28: Quarterback Todd Reesing /

The rivalry with the Jayhawks may be resuming (temporarily) on the hardwood, so let’s take the opportunity to count down the top five games on the gridiron:

5. 1989: kansas 46, Missouri 44

This was the second highest scoring game in the series, trailing only 1991’s 53-29 win for kansas. This game surpassed the 41-39 thriller in 2009, that went in favor of the Tigers. But even though both teams were bad that season, they still produced an entertaining game in 1989.

Mizzou was in their first year under head coach Bob Stull and went 2-9 with their lone conference win coming over Kansas State. Meanwhile, kansas went 4-7 and finished 2-5 in conference.

Kent Kiefer was the starting quarterback for the Tigers that season and finished with 12 touchdowns and 15 picks. That explains another season of being in the doldrums that went from the early ’80s to late ’90s.

Missouri Tigers Football
Missouri Tigers Football /

Missouri Tigers Football

4. 1952: Missouri 20, kansas 19

The 4-5 Tigers defeated the No. 18 Jayhawks to get to .500 on the season. They played well in conference play going 5-1 in the Big Seven, their only loss to No. 8 Oklahoma. They unfortunately lost all their out of conference games to No. 2 Maryland, No. 8 California, SMU and Oklahoma State.

The Tigers allowed just 15.9 points per game that season, but they did not get much support from the offense. The offense averaged 14.7 points per game, with their highest point total being 27 against Colorado.

Tony Scardino scored a late touchdown to give the Tigers the win in this Border War.

3. 2001: Missouri 38, kansas 34

The Tigers survived 14 years of misery from 1983 to 1997 and finally made a bowl game, but they still struggled. But quarterback Kirk Farmer was brilliant on this day and threw three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to tight end Dwayne Blakely to get the win.

Justin Gage made 11 catches in the game for 148 yards in what was a shootout with over 800 yards of offense between the two teams.

This was Gary Pinkel’s first season and there are fewer ways to endear yourself to Mizzou than beating kansas, as he did coming from behind.

2. 1960: kansas 23, Missouri 7

There isn’t a more defining game in the series, than this one. The Jayhawks were the lone team to defeat the Tigers all season, but eventually by the use of an ineligible player, Bert Coan, would throw the result into question forever.

The Big Eight made kansas forfeit the win, and the conference title they would have won if the result had stood. Therefore, the Tigers are remembered as conference champions. Also, according to Big Eight records, the Tigers were undefeated.

The NCAA sees it a bit differently. They side with the Jayhawks and say that kansas won the game. As it turned out, Minnesota was declared the 1960 national champion, despite the fact they lost in the Rose Bowl, while Mizzou defeated Navy in the Orange Bowl.

1. 2007: Missouri 36, kansas 28

I mean, is there any other candidate?

Mizzou came into the game at 10-1 and ranked fourth in the country, while the Jayhawks were undefeated, at 11-0 (though they didn’t play Texas or Oklahoma from the south and Nebraska was in the dumps at this point). But a top-five showdown between two non-traditional powers and bitter rivals was a sensational game.

Mizzou took a 14-0 lead into half and eventually went up 21-0, as the Jayhawks looked overwhelmed by the Tigers. Kansas got on the board halfway through the third, but the Tigers answered to take a 28-7 lead into the fourth.

A furious rally by kansas eventually drew them within a score, at 34-28. After forcing a punt by Mizzou, kansas had one last chance with just 17 seconds left on the clock. But on the first play, Lorenzo Williams and Stryker Sulak converged to bring down Jayhawks quarterback Todd Reesing for the game sealing safety.

Next: Mizzou blasts past Idaho

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel finished fourth in the Heisman voting that season, went 40-49 through the air for 361 yards and three touchdowns.