Friday, October 31, 2008

Mayer: Kansas needs victory


Saturday's Kansas State visit has to be the season-changing moment for this Kansas football team. Same for K-State. Both are desperate for a victory, any victory; the Sunflower State angle only adds to the luster.

KU enters Nightmare Alley starting Saturday - then goes to Nebraska, plays Texas here and Missouri in Kansas City, Mo. With the slightest letdown, the Jayhawks could wind up 5-7 if they take KSU lightly. Kansas could also post a 9-3, though that's unlikely.

Last week could have provided a KU springboard to glory, but that 63-21 whipping by Texas Tech created even more pressure to beat K-State.

KSU is 4-4 with a trip to Missouri and home games with Nebraska and Iowa State to go. The Cats also could finish with fewer than six victories.

It's always amusing to hear some K-State players like Deon Murphy and Zach Kendall take the Chatty Catty route and indicate they plan to fricasee a Jayhawk, as they did this week. For guys like that, the concept of history doesn't extend beyond two weeks.

Pardon the gloat, but somebody ought to tell them that Kansas leads the series, 64-36-5, and that they face a long journey to justify blabbing about "recruitment" and "heart." In recent times, KSU once (1993-2003) mounted an embarrassing 11-0 run under Bill Snyder's guidance. That justified some taunting Purple Pride. But those days are gone forever.

Somebody seeking to motivate the Cats to close the gap ought to tell them that KU was 8-0 against K-State from 1907 to 1915, 8-0 from 1945-52, then 10-0 from 1956 to '65. Fact is, KU went 13 years without a loss to State. A 1966 tie followed that 10-0 surge, then KU won two more in '67 and '68.

Yet even in its worst of times, Kansas has never suffered through a 28-game losing streak as KSU did from 1945 into 1948. State lost its last seven games in '45, went 0-9 in '46 and 0-10 in '47. Then it opened '48 with losses to Illinois and Iowa State - 28 in all, no ties. The agony ended with a victory over Arkansas State in KSU's third game of '48, but was followed with a 0-7 finish.

Little wonder Bill Snyder with his 136-68-1 record for 1989-2005 is to some Purple Pridesters a combination of Jesus, Mohammed, Moses and Buddha, with bronze statues to match. I think that's the greatest coaching feat in college history, considering how awful K-State was up to then.

But lopsided as it is, the KU-KSU series is one of the most entertaining you'll ever find. The lore drips from the rafters. Both schools wanted to fire their coaches in 1966 and were hoping to lose, only to be served a numbing 3-3 tie. So both KSU's Doug Weaver and KU's Jack Mitchell got canned.

In 1967, Vince Gibson dashed in to sign three Lawrence High stars - end Ken White, halfback Dave Oberzan and fullback Ron Mann, who'd been on the '66 LHS state title team. Right under Pepper Rodgers' nose. The three never played at KSU, but Pepper always had his nose out of joint from that coup, and Vince rubbed it in at every opportunity.

One KSU coach used fake names for two freshman players in a JV game against KU. Why? I don't know. Just one of those oddities in a crazy, colorful rivalry.


KU 14 years, 1 month ago

hawkfan20.....If it is one of the most lopsided rivalries in the country, it has to rank behind any Big 12 North rivalry Nebraska has with KU, KSU, ISU, MU, and CU.

KUFan90 14 years, 1 month ago

"11-0 run under Bill Snyder's guidance. That justified some taunting Purple Pride. But those days are gone forever."Forever is a very long time. I hope it never happens again, but never say never.

Kyle Rohde 14 years, 1 month ago

mojayhawk, do you think Mayer has any idea how the online ads for this site works? He barely knows what this whole "interwebs" thing is!

LakeShawnee 14 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, even Mayer is breaking out the language today! I love it! Usually I find that he soaks in all the old stories and tries, at times, to downplay this rivalry game because, in his opinion, we are all still Kansans at the end of the day. I'm loving the erudite gibes and barbs Mr. Mayer has put forth this Halloween morning.I tip my hat to you good sir....

Ryan Gerstner 14 years, 1 month ago

Isn't the KU-KSU rivalry one of the top 5 most lopsided in the entire country?

mojayhawk 14 years, 1 month ago

Hey Bill,Why does this great website keep putting the advertisement "New KU 2008 National Champions Watch - Limited Edition - Shop Now!" on the site. When you click on it, it is for the DVD from CBS. I'd like to see the watch!

hutchjayhawk 14 years, 1 month ago

"Somebody seeking to motivate the Cats to close the gap ought to tell them...."Thanks, Bill. You just did.

14 years, 1 month ago

I have criticized Mr. Mayer before, however I am with LakeShawnee here. Bill's KU alumnus colors are shining through on this nicely done piece.For another bygone snapshot of history in the rivalry, there is a good article in the KC Star today:

justanotherfan 14 years, 1 month ago link will take you to the most lopsided rivalries in D-1 football. There are 4 Big 8/12 rivalries in the top 15, including the #1 (OU - Iowa State).It's also interesting to note that Nebraska's rivalries with both KU and K-State are in the top 15 of the most lopsided in all of college football. The only other team to dominate a state like that is Alabama (who owns both Ole' Miss and Miss. State).

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