Missouri, Illinois renew Braggin' Rights football rivalry

Missouri and Illinois announce future games

The Illinois series marks the first games Mizzou Athletics has contracted beyond the 2025 campaign.

The University of IL and University of Missouri made the announcement Monday.

Whitman described Butkus as the ideal person to help add definition to Illini athletics. "Usually when you get a statue you are in the dirt, so this will be very different". - After coming up short-handed with all three scholarship quarterbacks nursing injuries late in last week's game at Ohio State, coach Lovie Smith was asked Monday who will call signals in the season finale Saturday against Northwestern. "I appreciate the tribute, but it is very humbling", said Butkus of the honor in a statement released by the university.

Defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson, like Butkus a former NFL linebacker, said it's appropriate that the Butkus statue will stand guard over the Illini football complex.

Whitman said he's had "a handful of people step forward in (financial) support of this project".

The Tigers will play IL in football in 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029, Missouri announced Monday. In their last meeting in 2010, Mizzou defeated IL 23-13 in St. Louis to extend their lead in the series to 17-7.

September 18, 2027 in Columbia.

Illini AD Josh Whitman said he and Missouri AD Jim Sterk are leaving the door open to possibly playing two of the games in St. Louis.

September 16, 2028 in Champaign. "We'll take a look as the date draws near".

After Butkus left IL, the Chicago native went on to play nine seasons with the Chicago Bears, earning an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979 during his first year of eligibility. This completes the Tigers' 2020 football schedule. The basketball teams meet annually in one of the Illini's most heated rivalry games.

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