Bruce Weber to Kansas State: Rivalry with Bill Self Continues to Grow

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IApril 1, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 08:  Bruce Weber the head coach of the Illinois Fighting Illini watches the action during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the first round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 8, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Bruce Weber's intense rivalry with Bill Self just got a bit more interesting.

Per ESPN, Kansas State has hired Weber to be their next men's basketball coach.

This move gives Weber the opportunity to face Self at least twice a year when the Kansas Jayhawks will square off against the Kansas State Wildcats.

Weber has got to love this opportunity.

Many Illinois fans are convinced that the only reason he had any success for his first four years was due to the incredible job Self—the head coach at Illinois before Weber—had done in recruiting elite talent to the school. 

Per the, at one point, Weber got so frustrated by the stigma that he dressed up all in black, entered the locker room and declared he was "going to throw a funeral. It’s the end of Bill Self."

In Weber's fifth year in charge at Illinois—the first year all of Self's recruits were completely out of the picture—the program faced it's first losing season in years, adding to the general notion that he wasn't any good without Self's players.

He has his chance now to prove once and for all that he can compete with Self.

The two of them will likely be recruiting many of the same players, which should make for some interesting battles. In fact, you could argue that the two coaches will be doing more against one another during the offseason than during the season.

Weber inherits a young team with many returning players.

Per CBS Sports, Rodney McGruder will be back for his senior year for the Wildcats, which is a boon for Weber. 

They have a tall order in front of them to rise up to the level of Kansas, and if Weber does manage to raise the program up to those heights, nobody will be able to criticize him any longer.

This is a battle of wits and charisma that I'm looking forward to watching for the next few years. We'll see if Weber can do enough to make his mark at Kansas State.