Sunday, October 10, 2010


Edge: KU football over K-State


The worse team doesn’t always lose. That’s why they play the games. That’s why people pay to watch them play the games. And that’s why they put them on television.

Also, it’s impossible for both teams to lose, which makes for suspenseful contests, even when neither team brings an abundance of talent to the field.

Which brings us to the Sunflower Showdown, a rivalry desperately in need of a less stale nickname.

Kansas and Kansas State lost by a combined score of 103-20 in their most recent games, but with the rivalry at hand, those outcomes already have been flushed, and it’s time to treat this one with the importance of a bowl game, even if it’s of the porcelain variety.

Baylor’s merciful 55-7 domination of Kansas eight days ago triggered predictable fears from many loyal supporters that the Jayhawks would lose out, go 0-8 in the Big 12, 2-10 overall.

I don’t see it that way. Turner Gill’s first Big 12 team doesn’t have a 2-10 feel to it. It feels more like a 4-8 bunch, despite its disorganized, undisciplined, lackluster performance on offense, defense and special teams in Waco.

Never judge a team based on its worst performance. Such a dud supplies a coach with so much ammunition to teach and motivate a captive audience. Gill and his staff were able to turn the tape from an embarrassing 6-3 loss to Division I-AA North Dakota State into a 28-25 victory against Georgia Tech. (NDSU, by the way, is 1-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference with losses to Northern Iowa and Western Illinois.)

KU needs two more victories to reach four. No reason to believe one of those won’t come Thursday night against Kansas State at Memorial Stadium.

K-State, having been humiliated by Nebraska, 48-13, on national TV on Thursday, won’t have as much rest or as many days to prepare as Kansas. Bill Snyder doesn’t need as much time as most coaches to create clever game plans, so maybe that won’t be a huge factor here, but there are other things weighing against Kansas State. It’s a road game for the Wildcats and not just any road game. The enemy crowd will be juiced because Thursday night’s a hopping one in Lawrence on a normal week. Toss in the national-TV allure and the rivalry history, and the KU students should generate serious volume.

Plus, K-State doesn’t have the passing game to exploit KU’s non-existent pass rush. The Jayhawks’ defense is far worse retreating into pass coverage than when attacking a running game. See the Georgia Tech outcome.

Even before Nebraska made the Wildcats look as if they were playing in cement shoes, the K-State linebackers and defensive backs looked slow. They won’t look so swift trying to keep up with KU sprinters Daymond Patterson and D.J. Beshears.

Kansas has nobody who resembles either K-State defensive end Brandon Harold or running back Daniel Thomas — both all-conference-caliber players — but it takes more than one star on each side of the ball to take a talent-challenged roster exposed by Nebraska to a Big 12 road victory in a hostile environment.

Look for suspense, but don’t get so greedy as to look for style points. Do look for the team with more turnovers to lose.

Kansas 17, Kansas State 16.


Beakem77 9 years, 4 months ago

Very entertaining article. Bravo.

& we do need a different name for the K-suck rivalry. Honestly, chew-spit showdown would be a cooler and more just name than sunflower. Each year we can hand KSU their spittoon trophy and they can celebrate @ the nearest farm for crazy awesome sheep lovin'. Dumb hicks.

jayhawkfan49 9 years, 4 months ago

haha you're so funny................NOT! :P

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 4 months ago

Farmageddon, that is funny. I can't think of a better one.

JayhawkLaw12 9 years, 4 months ago

Farmageddon gets my vote. That's hilarious.

OmahaKUAlum 9 years, 4 months ago

Farmageddon is already taken, sorry. That's what they call the K-State vs Iowa State match-up at Arrowhead.

smar4 9 years, 4 months ago

why would u use the same name as Kstate vs. Iowa State? there's a reason they call it that, they're both Agricultural schools

jhox 9 years, 4 months ago

I have to agree with Keegan on his one. I believe this is our best hope of winning another game this year. KSU is one dimensional offensively, which should help our defense be a little more competitive this week. Our linebackers are painfully slow too, but KSU doesn't have the speed burners to take advantage of that. I'm sure Thomas will have his 100 or 150 yards but, hopefully, we can limit their other offensive playmakers. Also, home field is going to be a big advantage this week. I'm not guaranteeing a win, but I like our chances. If we lose this one, 2 and 10 will start to look a lot more likely.

I'm not sure what to make of Iowa State. Just when I start to think they're a decent team, they lay an egg yesterday. They may be beatable as well, but that's not a slam dunk either.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 4 months ago

"and it's time to treat this one with the importance of a bowl game, even it's of the porcelain variety." -----Keegan

Nice, Keegan! Hey, do you all remember when both KU & K-State were really bad and the game ended in a 0-0 tie? That was before ties went into overtime. I remember the announces (radio) said it was like kissing your sister (Yuk!).

Keegan, I hope you are right on your prediction (17-16). That would get all these Powder Puff, ur, excuse me, Power Cat fans that I work with off my frickin' back----Rock Chalk!

HawkTronic 9 years, 4 months ago

Bite your tongue! It was a 17-17 tie in 1987. Still, possibly the worst football game in college football history.

kupopp 9 years, 4 months ago

Merciful? At what point did they show us mercy?

Do you need merciless?

hawk316 9 years, 4 months ago

"Never judge a team based on its worst performance."

Good advice, Tom.

jayhawkfan49 9 years, 4 months ago

Look at it this way: Kansas State is 4-1 (1-1). KU is 2-3 (0-1). You can't just say this will be a "road game" for K-State because KSU fans travel very well to this specific game. I think this will actually be a very entertaining game for national TV. Final Score: KSU-34 KU-31 Thomas is going to have a BEAST game. GO CATS! lol

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 4 months ago

You mispelled "Wildcat" in your screen name.

jayhawkfan49 9 years, 4 months ago

No, I'm rooting for K-State....didn't know you couldn't spell that....

jayhawkfan49 9 years, 4 months ago

No, I'm rooting for K-State....didn't know you couldn't spell that....

jayhawkintx73 9 years, 4 months ago

If KU plays like they did against Georgia Tech, with that fire, Kansas will win by at least 2 tds. "We're going to make 3rd and long all damn day, and then we'll make it 4th and more than 10 all damn day!"

Ashwin Rao 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Keegan (he actually supported KU this time... 10-10-10 (Oct. 10, 2010) is really special!). The KSU game is one of the 'winnable' games. Hope we make the best of this! I am all excited! GO KU!

sava12 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey....Coach "Doom and Gloom" is back! I'm sure the KU players are thankful to have you on their side....or...are you a K-state / Mizzou fan in disguise?!!

sava12 9 years, 4 months ago

Awwww... come on. That's not necessary. We're all Jayhawks.

mtdewjunkie 9 years, 4 months ago

can you be disappointed if you already know the outcome? why would you be disappointed? judging by your posts it seems you want ku to lose. kinda starting to think living out in hutch is turing you purple.

if you want to get rid of your tickets for thursday night i have a couple of buddies flying in who might need them...

grandpa 9 years, 4 months ago

I am glad Keegan actually supported KU this time. If we can contain Thomas. We will win the game he consistantly runs the ball and they try to throw to him when they can. If we stop #8, we stop Kansas State.Our coaches have to stress keying on #8 every play. We must open up the game with a passing attack.

Kansasfanforever 9 years, 4 months ago

I was talking with a K-state fan about Taylor Martinez running over them. His response South Dakota State, my respone didn't Taylor Martinez only rush for 60 some yards against SDSU. While he set a record against KSU.

2005grad 9 years, 4 months ago

I assume your point is KSU's defense is worse than SDSU... With that idea, the same could be said for NDSU & Georgia Tech. When KU beats Georgia Tech after losing a bad game to NDSU, the only conclusion is that GT is worse than NDSU??? Doubtful. A young quarterback (or any other player) has hot and cold games. Martinez was hot against KSU, KU was hot against GT. We'll see who comes out hot (if anyone) tomorrow night.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 4 months ago

I think this article shows we all can't wait for basketball season.

stravinsky 9 years, 4 months ago

"Which brings us to the Sunflower Showdown, a rivalry desperately in need of a less stale nickname."

We tried less stale one time, but they nixed the Border War.

jayhawkintexas 9 years, 4 months ago

Instead of Sunflower Showdown, how about the Oz Bowl? Or maybe the Munchkin War?

CatsEatBirds 9 years, 4 months ago

The Klash of Kansas.

This should be fun. So many questions to answer:

Will KSU run all over? Will KSU go to the backup QB and try some passing? WIll KU's speed on O make the KSU D look silly? Which KU team will show? Which team has the mental focus? Who's going to make less special teams errors?

This could be great, or it could be one of the worst games of the year if neither execute and it's the battle of the incompetent. At least it's likely to be loud and with a lot of big hits!

Robert Brock 9 years, 4 months ago

How about, "War of the Wheat?" Trouble is, usually one or both of these teams is it should only be considered a Police Action.

Jared Grillot 9 years, 4 months ago

How about "The I-70 Commuter Conflict"?

"Flint Hills Fiasco"?

"Fury on the Plains"? (National Geographic might balk at that one)

Really just isn't much out there to work with, is there?

hawksince51 9 years, 4 months ago

Winning 4 games would be a great achievement for Gill, his staff and the team. That means winning 2 out of these 3 IMHO: KSU, CU and ISU. We should be fired up for KSU at home which hopefully will offset some of their obvious advantages, but... Under Hawkins, CU has traveled very poorly so I see that as our best chance. In short, I'm not counting on 4 wins.

CatsEatBirds 9 years, 4 months ago

CU will be as close to a guaranteed win as possible. Did you see how bad they were at MU? Totally incompetent.

hawksince51 9 years, 4 months ago

Yes I watched it with a CU friend who would agree with you.

Jared Grillot 9 years, 4 months ago

I sure hope so. Actually took the time to get tickets to that one, which is my first in many years, so I'd love to come back home to a W.

hawksince51 9 years, 4 months ago

Both sports--what a depressing thought! Football yes. But I can't see KSU beating us in B-ball with or without Selby. IMHO we have too much talent and depth. I don't mind that the pundits are picking them no. 1 in the Big 12 because that is just good motivational material. But on the court, I gotta go with the Hawks.

CatsEatBirds 9 years, 4 months ago

This football game should be a total coin toss. Whoever wants it more can take it.

ZDKC 9 years, 4 months ago

I say it's only a coin toss if the "good" KU team shows. If that other team shows -- the one that played Baylor and NDSU, it could get ugly.

However, with rivalries, everyone knows anything is possible. A team that stinks could beat the #1 team in the nation if it was their rival. That's just the way these things work.

Jared Grillot 9 years, 4 months ago

Exactly! You know, like KSuck beating us that one time at AFHW/Octagon of Dumb...

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