Saturday Kansas State hosts Kansas in a Big 12 football game that has many asking, “Is this game a turkey no more?” Will this be more than just another Kansas State blowout in this Sunflower Classic? When was the last time anyone gave Kansas even a whisper of hope? Mark Mangino where are you?
After narrow misses against TCU (24-23) and Iowa State (31-24), the Jayhawks finally broke into the Big 12 win column last Saturday against Texas with a 24-21 overtime victory that buried a lot of demons for coach David Beaty and his team. Meanwhile, Bill Snyder’s Wildcats were acting like.....well, themselves, in a convincing 42-21 at crippled Baylor.
The last time Kansas defeated Kansas State was in 2008, when the Todd Reesing-led Jayhawks blasted Kansas State 52-21 under Mark Mangino. The last time Kansas was even competitive was in 2009, a 17-10 loss in Manhattan. Turner Gill, Charlie Weis and newcomer, David Beaty have been unable to slow the Wildcat express since.
To say that the Mt. Oread faithful are confident about this trip to Manhattan would be overstating the case. Still, there is a glimmer of hope. Jayhawk fans haven’t completely turned to basketball season for their “good vibes.” The close losses plus the win over Texas has turned a few of the Big Blue heads back towards football.
There was a time when this game was dubbed “The Toilet Bowl.” Kansas and Kansas State were both suffering at attempts to be good at this game of football. Of course the Bill Snyder era changed all of that in Manhattan and, Kansas, has had their moments as well under Glen Mason and Mark Mangino but usually, it has been rare when both teams were good at the same time.
If Kansas coach David Beaty could pull off an upset in Manhattan he would be hailed as a miracle worker in Lawrence. It is the season finale for Kansas so that might provide somewhat of a spark for the Jayhawks. Kansas State still has a date with Gary Patterson’s TCU Horned Frogs.
Kansas State is favored, and rightly so. The road to improvement and success for Kansas runs through Manhattan and until they can compete with the Wildcats on the football field, Big 12 happiness is only a dream. Kansas State 35, Kansas 24.
In our Tale of two Cities column last week we covered Great Bend and Hoisington, two Barton County football teams. Strangely, they both went down for opposite reasons. Goddard’s power and strength simply beat down the Panthers while just the opposite was true in Hoisington’s downfall as Hesston used speed, skill and a passing game to overcome the power of the Cardinals’ attack.
The Kansas Jayhawk basketball team has shown, in early games, that their four-guard lineup will cause a lot of problems for opponents. They are much faster and more on the attack with their running game with four guards on the floor.
The Big 10 must really hate the Michigan-Ohio State game this week. They’ve lobbied hard for both to make the four-team playoffs but a second loss is problematic for either!
SPORTS- “The toy department of human life.”—Jimmy Cannon.
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and her views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org