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Sunflower Showdown!

Kansas State and Kansas, Episode 120

NCAA Football: Kansas at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State will take on Kansas at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in the 120th installment of the Sunflower Showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 PM and the game will be on FOX.

This is one of college football’s longest-running series. Kansas built up an early 17-1-3 lead in the overall series and that is approximately the narrow margin the Jayhawks are holding on to till date. In other words, the next time Kansas fans bring up the all-time series, remind them that Kansas State leads the series since 1924, and that the current streak of purple domination is the longest by either team.

The teams have played every year since 1911, although it hasn’t been a particularly storied rivalry, or even a really important game for much of that history. As Jon Morse notes in the How to Watch post, this is only the second time that both teams have even been bowl eligible for the game. Still, Chris Klieman would like to see this game become a permanent fixture of college football’s rivalry week.

Of course, there’s something other than the Governor’s Cup on the line for the Wildcats this year, but Klieman insists his team is only focused on the game at hand. A win puts the Wildcats in the Big 12 title game for the first time since the 10-team conference adopted a championship game. The team is well aware of what is at stake, but taking things one game at a time is probably a good formula.

This Kansas team is different, of course. The Jayhawks got off to a fast 5-0 start and looked pretty good doing it. But a spate of injuries and having to take on the tougher teams in the Big 12 has brought the program back down to earth a bit. The Kansas offense is decent, the defense is terrible. So while this team will probably offer the Wildcats more fight than Kansas teams of the recent past, it’s still unlikely the Jayhawks will win their first Governor’s Cup since 2008 tonight. Prognosticators agree, with nearly everyone picking the Wildcats in a high-scoring affair.

It’s Senior Night in Manhattan, and 28 Wildcats will be suiting up for their last home game tonight. They include Adrian Martinez, Ty Zentner, Philip Brooks, Malik Knowles, Josh Hayes, Ekow Boye-Doe, Julius Brents, Daniel Green, Drake Cheatum, Sammy Wheeler, Kade Warner, Eli Huggins, and Jaylen Pickle, among many others. The group also has 12 Kansas natives, including Lawrence natives Boye-Doe and Jax Dineen, the latter choosing Kansas State despite being from a stalwart Jayhawk family.

Let’s send these exceptional seniors out with a big win and more to play for. Go Cats! Win the dang day!