Archive for Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Sunflower shift: KU, K-State trade places

October 10, 2001

Last week in college football there was a major shift in power.

No, I'm not talking about the fact that Florida took the top spot from Miami in one of the major polls, I'm talking about a shift of power in the state of Kansas.

On the surface it really doesn't look like much. Yeah, KU got lucky and upset Texas Tech on the road and K-State lost to a solid Colorado team. But a look deeper shows that out of these two single games will come the rise of the Jayhawks and the fall of the Wildcats.

Before you dismiss my claim as that of another Jayhawk fan with a clouded perception of reality, take a minute to consider some of the eerie parallels between KU's and K-State's seasons thus far.

First, let's look at their wins. Kansas State has beaten a good USC team on the road and a cupcake in New Mexico State at home. KU's wins compare favorably. The Jayhawks beat a good Texas Tech team on the road and pounded Southwest Missouri State at home. So far things are looking pretty even.

But what about losses, you say. Surely Kansas State has played and lost to tougher teams than the Jayhawks. Not so, my friend. Like the Wildcats, one of the Jayhawks' losses was at the hands of a top 10 team a 41-17 loss to UCLA in week two. Now most of you will probably argue that Oklahoma, whom KSU lost to, is better than UCLA. I would agree with that, but nonetheless, they're both top 10 teams.

As for their other loss, both KU and K-State lost to Colorado. Amazingly, however, the Jayhawks played the Buffs much tougher than the 'Cats did. In fact, had it not been for a couple of late breaks, Kansas would've walked out of Boulder with a win. K-State's players could barely walk home after the Buffs stormed into Manhattan and manhandled them.

Alright, so all of this doesn't exactly mean that the Jayhawks are going to start dominating their purple pals from the west. But if you had endured beating after beating from your biggest rival, you'd be looking for any excuse to claim supremacy, too.

KU has not beaten K-State since 1991. It's not likely that that streak will end this year, but if things keep going the way they have so far this season, you just might be surprised.

KU has a substantial shot of shocking the Wildcats this season their first four games have proven that. But if you still don't believe me, wait and see what happens this weekend. KU hosts Oklahoma and K-State travels to Texas Tech. These two games will give us two more to compare the play of the two Kansas schools before the Sunflower Showdown Oct. 27, in Manhattan.

I'm predicting a KU upset of Oklahoma and K-State's third straight loss.

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