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Archive for Thursday, October 7, 1999

WILDCATS SUCCESSFUL RECRUITING IN KANSAS

October 7, 1999

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Kansas State has won 17 games in a row at home and 47 in a row at home against unranked opponents.

If recruiting is the lifeblood of college football, then successful in-state recruiting has to be the coagulant.

Since Kansas State has turned the Sunflower State Showdown into a bloodletting of late, the Wildcats have dominated Kansas in-state recruiting, right?

Not so fast.

While KSU has dominated in season, Kansas has managed to steal a couple of recruits in the offseason.

"I went back and looked at this," KU coach Terry Allen said Wednesday, after his regular weekly press conference. "The guys they're playing, we weren't even here to recruit. Guys like (Mark) Simoneau and (Lamar) Chapman, they were already down there.

"We have some kids playing for us now who we had to beat K-State for. The unfortunate thing is, they're playing for us now."

And that starkly illustrates the chasm between ninth-ranked, undefeated Kansas State and struggling KU (2-3 overall, 1-3 Big 12).

KSU (4-0, 2-0) lists 16 Kansans on its two-deep depth chart, while Kansas has 10 in-staters on its two-deep.

None of the Wildcats from in state were wooed by third-year KU coach Terry Allen -- none is younger than a third-year sophomore. KU has two notable in-staters -- sophomores Harrison Hill and HenrÃ- Childs -- in the two-deep. Another, Termaine Fulton, would be starting if he were healthy, and Byron Gasaway -- a Kansas City metro product -- would be in the two-deep if he weren't ailing.

"If I went out and shook the hands of their top 22 " I've never been in their homes, except the juco guys," Allen said. "It's not like I could go to the top 22 and say, 'Hello, hello,' and go down the line. The (in-state) guys we recruited against them for aren't in the two-deep. They were able to red-shirt 'em. It's the established program versus the building program."

The established program has won the last six meetings with its in-state rival, but even some of the Jayhawks wonder if the lopsided nature of the Sunflower State Showdown has dulled the luster a bit.

"It's been hard getting our butts kicked by our in-state rival," said Hill, a wide receiver from Wichita. "It's not much of a rivalry, not for them. They probably think it's a joke. That motivates us to think they don't think we're a big rival for them. We have to change their view on us."

The Jayhawks would seem a longshot to do that Saturday, when the series resumes at 1:10 p.m. at KSU Stadium.

Kansas State, which has won 17 in a row at home and 47 in a row at home against unranked opponents, is a 28-point favorite.

Kansas hasn't won a league road game under Allen -- a skid of 10 games.

Because KSU is so heavily favored, Allen thinks Kansas would benefit more from a victory than the Wildcats would.

"We've had some success since we've been here in recruiting battles with K-State, and we haven't won the game," Allen said. "At the same time, we've lost some kids. " I think an upset by us would be a tremendous advantage for us in recruiting. If we lose, it's almost the status quo."

That's a status quo Allen would love to change. But more than a victory over his in-state rival, Allen covets a victory over a top-10 opponent.

"We're in a unique situation," Allen said. "We're the big rivals for two different institutions. But I'd like to beat a top-10 team " and win the Sunflower Showdown."

-- Andrew Hartsock's phone number is 832-7216. His e-mail address is ahartsock@ljworld.com.

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