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The Sunflower Showdown finally matters

The Kansas-Kansas State game should be a bellwether for both programs

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NCAA Football: Kansas at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports


The 117th episode of the Sunflower Showdown, one of college football’s longest-running soap operas, kicks off tomorrow in Lawrence. The #22/25 Wildcats will attempt to extend their latest winning streak in this series to 11, equaling the streak from 1993 to 2003, and surpassing the Jayhawks’ longest win streak of 10 games (1956-1965).

For the first time in decades, both teams come into the contest with new head coaches. Even more interestingly, both teams are coming off big wins. In Kansas State’s case, that win was a takedown of #5 Oklahoma, and for Kansas, a last-second win engineered by a bizarre SNAFU from Texas Tech.

This rivalry could finally be fun again. Who knew? (Ed: paywall content from the Wichita Eagle)

Following last week’s upset victory over the Sooners, Bill Snyder, who watched the game in person, sent the whole community a message congratulating the coaches and players on the win, and complimenting the band, the cheer squad, and the fans too. Snyder took the Sunflower Showdown very seriously and some of that may have rubbed off on Chris Klieman.

For his part, Klieman insisted that the key was to stay humble and prepare well for Kansas (Ed: paywall content from the Wichita Eagle). He and his staff are treating the game like any other game. But he also acknowledged how much this particular game means to his players, and admitted he—and Kansas head coach Les Miles—will have to learn about the rivalry from the players.

For a few Wildcats who are from the Lawrence area, tomorrow’s game will be a homecoming of sorts, and most especially for fullback Jax Dineen, whose brother Jay is a linebacker for the Jayhawks. The whole Dineen family, typically huge Kansas fans, will be in the stands rooting for both players.


The season is over for Kansas State. The Wildcats wrapped up their fourth-ever season with a 4-1 loss to Texas Tech in Lubbock. Kansas State’s lone goal came from Aly Rocha in the 57th minute. It was the first goal of her career. It was also her last game in purple, along with Emma Malsy, Katie Cramer, Ashley Zane, and Laramie Hall.

The Wildcats finished the season 3-13-2 (1-8-0 Big 12). Mike Dibbini feels the team played hard all season and believes the team is in a constant push forward.


Kansas State is back at Ahearn Field House for its second match against TCU. The VolleyCats will look to sweep the series against the Horned Frogs. First serve is scheduled for 6:30 PM, and can be seen on ESPN+.

This is the Pack the Field House match, so general admissions tickets and some concessions are just $1.