I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert... near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
’My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
-Percy Shelley, “Ozymandias”
It’s time for the 116th Sunflower Showdown. Showdown may not be the best term to describe what’s actually going to take place today, but it’s the name of the game so we’ll stick with it.
The Kansas State Wildcats take the field today behind an embattled head coach, and sporting a 3-6 record. While today’s game may present a chance to keep very slim bowl hopes alive, the final two contests against Texas Tech and Iowa State basically push the Wildcats out of any sort of bowl contention — even a garbage bowl that came from high APR scores.
And this is not meant to be a knock on the players. These young men have fought injury and strife, and are still putting it all out on the field to represent K-State. No, this is a knock on one man, the man who brought K-State out of the wilderness, who created a power at a place that was almost forgotten, and will forever be remembered by Wildcat faithful. But much like the poem above, his own hubris may yet lead to the crumbling of his empire and tarnishing of his legacy.
Things aren’t a whole lot better down the river. The Kansas Jayhawks enter today's game with a lame duck head coach, but with their best record in a decade. At least Kansas fans and players have a clearer vision of the future — one which may include Les Miles. But whoever takes over in Lawrence will have a very similar situation to what Bill Snyder faced when he first stepped on to campus in Manhattan in 1989.
So, Wildcats fans, don’t expect a lot out of this game. The Wildcats should win today, as K-State still has marginally more talent than the Jayhawks and is always “up” for the KU game. But don’t be surprised when this game is far closer than it has been for the last 10 years, and especially don’t be surprised if the invaders from the east managed to pull the “upset” (you can be angry, just not surprised).
You got up bright and early for this one, with today’s contest set for an 11:00pm CST kickoff. The game can be seen nationally on FSN with Jeff Levering (play-by-play), Brian Baldinger (analyst), and Lesley McCaslin (sideline) on the call. You should also be able to stream the game at FoxSportsGo.com or on the FoxSports app.
If you can’t get to a TV, or you don’t get FSN (or just can’t stand to watch this contest but still want to keep tabs on the Cats), the game can be heard across the 39-station K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), former K-State quarterback Stan Weber (analyst), and Matt Walters (sidelines) calling the action. The game will also be on Sirius Channel 113, XM Channel 199, and available on the TuneIn app. Live stats are available at k-statesports.com, and Twitter updates (@KStateFB) will also be a part of the coverage from K-State Athletics.
Go Cats! Beat KU!