Darrell Stuckey couldn't believe his eyes.
Here he was, watching Kansas University's football team implode in Waco, Texas, one year ago. Passes being completed everywhere, an 18-point lead evaporating.
Why, the KU safety wondered, couldn't he do anything about it?
"I almost felt like I was watching it in the third person," Stuckey says now, "when I was out on the field."
One of the Jayhawks' most devastating losses ever took place against the Bears in 2006, a 36-35 stomach punch that culminated with three late Baylor touchdowns against an ineffective, worn-out Kansas defense.
More than a few games have gotten away from the Jayhawks in recent years. But none as incredible as that one.
"There was so much tension in the locker room," Stuckey said, "that we made a valid commitment right then to never let that happen again."
So far, it appears the lesson stuck. Kansas is 8-1 since that warm day in Waco, with only a loss to a superior Missouri team staining the run. Kansas and Baylor face off again at 11:30 a.m. today at Memorial Stadium.
Whether it was that vow Stuckey spoke of, better matchups over the last nine games or just better players making better plays, coaches and players alike agree that this isn't anywhere near the same Kansas team that played Baylor last time.
"We watched our game : against Baylor, and when we were done, everybody kind of looked at each other and said, 'Whew. We're a lot better this year,'" KU coach Mark Mangino said. "That's the truth."
¢ TV landmark: Kansas-Baylor is the first Big 12 Conference football game to be televised live on Fox College Sports Central (Sunflower Broadband channel 145).
The network is interested in showing up to six Big 12 games live this year. After the main networks (ABC, ESPN and Fox Sports Midwest) selected games for today, FCSC contacted Kansas and offered to televise today's game provided KU sets the start time at 11:30 a.m.
Kansas, of course, agreed.
¢ New nickname?: Now that the Jayhawks are ranked in the Top 25, they're undoubtedly going to be getting more national media attention. And with that might come the more mainstream use of KU's new nickname: the Fighting Manginos.
The term was coined by ESPN analyst Rece Davis. It has made its way back to the namesake, who chuckles about it.
"I've heard it. I don't have a preference," Mangino said. "I'd rather the focus go on the kids. They're doing all the hard work."