Posted on: April 4, 2012 at 17:50:57 CT
As our respective teams are now going their separate ways (topic for other threads), my thoughts have turned to what constitutes a genuine rivalry. If ours is over (hopefully just paused), both KU and MU are seeking a new one.
So what DOES make a rivalry? These are my thoughts.
1) A rivalry must be mutually agreed upon. A team cannot just pick a name out of a hat and declare another team a "rival" unless the other team feels the same way.
2) A rivalry must be based on something. It could be in-state supremacy (UK-Louisville in basketball). It could be historical events (as KU/MU has been). It could be repeated competition to achieve the same goal (usually within conference, but there are exceptions, a la Notre Dame/USC on a national scale in football).
3) To sustain a rivalry, both teams must be consistently competitive. A one-sided rivalry is not a rivalry (a la KU-KSU basketball when we won in Manhattan for 25 straight years).
4) Following up on 3), games played between rivals must MEAN something. Only then can a victory take something AWAY from a rival. Most often it is conference based, but it can also be played on a larger scale.
5) Finally, to be a true rivalry means that *GASP!* sometimes you LOSE to your rival. That makes the rivalry more meaningful.
I welcome thoughts on this subject. I do not know where KU will be going in terms of finding a rival..KSU is the obvious choice but it has been too one-sided in basketball (favoring KU) and football (favoring KSU) of late to meet the above requirements. Where do Tiger fans feel their next genuine rival will come from?