Exploring a Historical Rivalry

9 years 4 months 1 week ago November 09, 2007 Nov 9, 2007 Friday, November 09 2007 Friday, November 09, 2007 9:42:37 AM CST in News

If you're wondering why Tiger football fans have such a dislike for Kansas, this story only adds salt to the wound.

With so much being said about what might happen two weeks from this Saturday, let's take a look back at what did happen 47 years ago.

Have the Tigers ever been first in football? Yes they were at this time in the 1960 season, the Tigers were breezing through the Big 8. They beat both Oklahoma and Nebraska. Coached by Dan Devine, the Tigers were ranked number one in the country. The only thing in the way of a National Championship was Kansas.

It was a home game and sure enough the Jayhawks upset the Tigers 23-7. Weeks after the season ended, however, Kansas revealed Burt Coan was an ineligible player. The Jayhawks forfeited the game, but it was little consolation because the Tigers still finished the season ranked fifth in the AP Poll.

Back then, the final AP Poll was taken before the bowl games were played. So when (1)Minnesota lost in the Rose Bowl and (5)Tigers beat (4)Navy in the Orange bowl, the poll didn't make a lot of sense. Had the poll been taken after the bowl games, the Tigers would have finished no worse than third, and who knows, had the Jayhawks not used an ineligible player perhaps the Tigers would have won the National Championship that year.

It's easy to say what could have happened and what should have happened.

But the bottom line is this is 2007 and the Tigers have two more games before they meet the Jayhawks on November 24 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

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