4469 total votes.
The coach from the visiting team was in his sixth season at the school. His team was undefeated but still doubted coming into the Oct. 6 Sunflower Showdown. It hadn't won a road game against its in-state rival in a long, long time.
Signs of a turnaround were building. For example, the coach had gone 1-1 in small-time bowl games. But really to gain believers it was necessary to snap that long streak against the rival school that came into the game with one loss.
It happened. The long streak ended.
Kansas State, under Bill Snyder, defeated Kansas University in Memorial Stadium, 21-13, in 1994. Soon the Wildcats were playing in big bowl games, stringing together seasons with double-digit victories.
Note the spooky similarities, brought to my attention by a KU backer who hopes Kansas, under Mark Mangino, is in the midst of a Snyder-like turnaround.
Mangino is 1-1 in minor bowl games. The Jayhawks ended an 18-year Manhattan drought with Saturday's 30-24 victory, 13 years to the day after K-State ended a 25-year Lawrence drought.
Now the difficult part: building on early signs of a turnaround and turning the program into a national force the way Snyder did at K-State.
Can Mangino do it?
The answer lies in recruiting.
As the season was about to start, Mangino stated that this freshman class was by far the best he had recruited in his time at Kansas. Any time a college football coach says anything it pays to treat the statement with suspicion. So often, coaches say things to try to keep future opponents guessing. In this case, the suspicion was directed at whether he was talking to the decision-makers who hold his job security in their hands. Could he have been saying it to float the idea that it would be a huge step back to get rid of him at the end of this season because he made such steady inroads in recruiting?
After watching Kansas play five games, it's obvious Mangino said what he said because he meant it, and it happens to be true. His paranoia is aimed at keeping secrets locked within the football offices and the practice field. He seemingly never has displayed paranoia about his job security. He practices what he preaches in that regard, keeping his eye on the target, which is doing the things needed to win games, the only true path to job security.
Cornerback Chris Harris from Bixby, Okla., doesn't play like a true freshman and neither does receiver Dezmon Briscoe, a big-time athlete from from Dallas. Defensive end Jake Laptad of Tulsa, Okla., and running back Carmon Boyd-Anderson of Jacksonville, Texas, have shown enough for the coaching staff to be excited about their futures.
They and other promising freshmen came to KU for a chance at instant playing time. Mangino and his assistants still have plenty of that to sell.
High school offensive and defensive linemen, tight ends and cornerbacks familiar with KU's depth chart know they could have a chance to compete for immediate playing time next season.
Meanwhile, Mangino is closing in on .500 at KU. If Kansas defeats Baylor on Saturday, Mangino's record improves to 31-35, a .470 winning percentage, the highest of any KU coach since Pepper Rodgers (.476, 1967-70).