In a 2007 college football season filled with unfathomable twists and turns, Missouri and Kansas kept winning, setting up the biggest game ever played in the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi.
Sports Illustrated senior editor Mark Godich dissects not only one history-making football game but also a century and a half of rivalry between the two states in a discussion of his book Tigers vs. Jayhawks: From the Civil War to the Battle for No. 1 on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Mizzou won that memorable, late-November matchup in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium and, with that, a berth in the Big 12 Conference championship game. Kansas went on to its first Orange Bowl appearance in nearly four decades. Godich discusses those outcomes, and more, with two standouts from those teams, MU tight end Martin Rucker and Kansas quarterback-turned-receiver Kerry Meier.
Football is just part of the epic tale Godich spins in his book. He traces the bad blood between the two schools to the era before the Civil War. He examines how coaches Gary Pinkel of Missouri and Mark Mangino of Kansas built Big 12 doormats into contenders for a national title.
He deconstructs the deal to move the 2007 game, and subsequent meetings, to Arrowhead, denying the Jayhawks the opportunity to host the biggest game in program history on their home field - matching teams ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the nation. And he explores the Orange Bowl's decision to invite Kansas instead of Missouri despite the Tigers' head-to-head victory.
Most importantly, Godich takes the reader inside Arrowhead and inside the locker rooms, the huddles, the headsets, and inside the heads of the players, coaches, and administrators.
Godich, a graduate of the University of Missouri, joined the staff of Sports Illustrated in 1995. He edits the magazine's reporting on golf, the National Football League, and college football.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.