Missouri and IL have always been good about renewing a rivalry that dates back about 120 years, and they're making sure they don't go too much longer without meeting again on the gridiron.
UI alumnus Dick Butkus, considered one of two of the greatest football players in college and pro history, will be memorialized with a statue, just as Red Grange is on the west side of Memorial Stadium.
I am very humbled about this.
IL announced Monday that it will be placing a statue of the Illini great outside a newly-constructed football performance center at Memorial Stadium in 2019. Illini coach Lovie Smith calls the series a "natural fit" because the schools are in border states and already have the Braggin' Rights series in basketball.
Instead, Mizzou announced on Monday that it will participate in a four-year home-and-home series with IL. The Illini will come to Columbia for games on September 18, 2027 and September 15, 2029. In 2027 and 2029, the game will be played in Columbia, Mo.
Missouri has not scheduled any other games past the 2025 season.
"The biggest challenge (to playing in St. Louis) is that we don't know right now exactly where we would play", Whitman said. Mizzou has won six-straight and seven of the last eight between the programs, including a 23-13 win during the 2010 campaign in the last meeting between the programs which was played in St. Louis. "We'll take a look as the date draws near".
He also said Missouri makes sense as IL tries to create future schedules that include non-conference games against one Power 5 conference opponent, one Group of 5 team and one FCS opponent.
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