Missouri and Kansas appear on the doorstep of restoring their gridiron rivalry.


Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk wrote in an email to donors Thursday morning that "a four-game football series is being contracted as of this writing."


No specific dates, venues or terms have been announced, but mutual interest to renew the football matchup has existed since last year. Sterk said in October the schools were getting closer to finalizing a football series, with Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City a possible host site for the relaunch of the Border War.


Games in Columbia and Lawrence could also be part of the agreement.


The schools officially announced a six-game men’s basketball series last year that is scheduled to start this December at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.


Two games in the six-year annual hoops series will take place at the Sprint Center, with the other being the final contest agreed to as of now in 2025. A pair of games at Mizzou Arena and Lawrence’s Allen Fieldhouse, respectively, are scheduled from 2021-24.


Missouri and Kansas haven’t faced off in football or men’s basketball in an official capacity since the Tigers departed the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference in 2012.


The Jayhawks defeated the Tigers in a men’s basketball preseason exhibition in 2017 in Kansas City.


"Hopefully this renewal on the hardwood will lead to more opportunities down the road in other sports, too," Sterk said of the rivalry in October. "Rivalries make college sports great, and there is no question that when Missouri and Kansas face off in any sport, it's important to a lot of people."


The last gridiron showdown between the schools was Nov. 26, 2011 — a 24-10 Missouri victory.


The football teams met for 91 straight seasons from 1919 to 2011, as the 1918 flu pandemic canceled the game that year. Missouri and Kansas played on the gridiron every year from 1891 to 1917 as well.


Missouri leads the all-time football series 57-54-9.


"It goes back for generations and it's going to continue to go to generations forward," former MU football coach Barry Odom said about the rivalry. "It's something that I think would benefit our student-athletes, the experience that they have in college, and it also would be great for both fan bases. ... I mean, you live in Missouri, that's what you want. I'm sure you talk to the people over there, that's what they want."


Missouri football has its schedule completely filled through 2025, with games tentatively set for as late as 2035. Plans could always be moved around, but multiple nonconference games have been announced for each season through 2032.


Missouri is scheduled to face former Big 12 foes such as Kansas State and Colorado over the next decade.


The Tigers are also primed to face Illinois eight times between 2026-35.


Arguably the most notable football meeting between Missouri and Kansas was dubbed "Armageddon at Arrowhead" in 2007, when the Tigers defeated the Jayhawks with both teams ranked in the top three in the country.


eblum@columbiatribune.com