For the first time in a long time, Virginia, we've got hope. No guarantees, no delusions, no illusions. Just hope. Hope that one of the greatest rivalries to get thrown beneath the Earth's crust by the shifting tectonic plates of conference realignment -- Kansas versus Missouri -- could be dredged out of the lava again and given a second life.
"Hopefully, in the future, we can find a way to come together and play, because I think it's good for certainly his fans, our fans, and most importantly, our coaches and our student-athletes. So, you know, there (are) certainly no promises, but the hope was we can have some positive discussion in the future."
The wheels are already turning, allegedly, or as much as they can turn given the current political climate. Rhoades told reporters last week that a conversation with Zenger about some kind of series has already been broached, so the ship, more or less, has officially been launched.
Now: Will it sail?
…It was chaos, but the word was that Kansas, Kansas State and, to some degree, Iowa State were trying to hold on to some semblance of order together as Big 12 members began diving for the lifeboats.
According to some, the Tigers, a longtime Missouri Valley/Big Six/Big Eight peer and partner, were expected to join hands, too. Some would tell you that the 785 and the 515 took a pitchfork right in the back.
If the Big 12 from 2010 through '12 was a disaster movie, then the Tigers were the guys who suddenly broke away from the bow of the sinking ship, took a flying leap into the drink, only to land in a rubber raft with a tow line connected to a yacht that had the letters "SEC" painted across the side. Nothing personal, ya know. Business is business.
Mizzou looked out for Mizzou, and Mizzou got what Mizzou wanted. Chuck Neinas rode in from the Rocky Mountains to try and keep the rest of the league from imploding outright and, eventually, stability was found.
So, yes, the Jayhawks probably have cause to be sore, and might have to be courted the way you'd court a woman scorned. Outgoing Tigers athletic director Mike Alden, rightly or wrongly, is viewed with mistrust in several Lawrence circles. His retirement becomes official in August.
Perhaps absence makes some hearts -- angry hearts -- suddenly grow fonder.
Fox Sports Keeler