Joe Walljasper on an emerging Mizzou-Arkansas rivalry.
I was a little skeptical of this idea of a manufactured rivalry.
Games between MU and Arky in basketball (especially) and football, to me, have the makings of a natural rivalry. A natural rivalry is one that fans of both sides buy into without a sales job from the football coach, basketball coach, athletic director etc. It's one that the fans "feel" on the inside. It's organic. The schools' administrations can always try to "manufacture" a rivalry top down, but if the fans don't accept it in their hearts, it ain't no rivalry. Knowhatimean, Bill McCartney?
I'd use an analogy of the price in a perfectly competitve market, or say something about emergent order, but that would be too econogeeky.
A lot of little things over the past 20-30 years have happened in MU-Arky football and, especially, basketball games that makes fans think "I want to get back at that team for x" where x is some event that fans may care about. x might be the 52 point thumping Arky gave Mizzou back in 1993 to christen their then-new Bud Walton arena. x might be the obvious one with Mike Anderson. x might be the beatdown the Chase-Daniel led near NFL-team crushed the supposedly superior Hogs in the 1998 Cotton Bowl, a team with some fine talent of its own.
A MU-Arky rivavlry would never have the history behind the MU-Kansas rivalry, a history that generated a hatred in many fans of both teams. Say what you will about hate, but that hatred made that rivalry special But on the other hand, MU-Arky doesn't have the feel of the manufactured rivalry between Nebraska and Colorado in the later stages of the old Big 8's days.
To me, and I speak only for myself, it has the feeling of a natural rivalry.