Lovie Smith calls for the return of the Illinois-Mizzou football rivalry
On Saturday night, the Missouri Tigers took down the Illinois Fighting Illini during the annual Braggin’ Rights basketball game in St. Louis, snapping a five-year winning streak by the Illini.
The two schools used to meet on the football field, too, during the annual Arch Rivalry game, but that hasn’t been played since 2010. Mizzou has won all six meetings in St. Louis.
However, while watching the basketball game on Saturday night, football coach Lovie Smith said he’d love to see the rivalry between the two programs renewed on the gridiron:
"Love it. This is exactly the reason why we should be playing in football."
— Illinois on BTN (@IllinoisOnBTN) December 23, 2018
“Love it,” Smith told Andy Katz during the basketball game. “This is exactly the reason why we should be playing in football. There’s nothing like two schools close by, both love their university and a great game.”
Fortunately for Smith and fans of the game, the Illini and Tigers are scheduled to renew the rivalry in 2026, with games set for 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029 so far.