Manhattan If legendary Emporia journalist William Allen White were still alive, he might pen something like: "Yes, Kansas University, there really is a Governor's Cup."
Or to paraphrase that too-often-used line by Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz": "Toto, it doesn't look like we're going to see Kansas win the Governor's Cup anymore."
For nine years now Kansas State has owned the Governor's Cup awarded annually to the winner of the Kansas-KSU football game. At least we think K-State has it. Hardly a man is still alive on Mount Oread who would even recognize it.
At least Kansas could find one positive in Saturday's 40-6 thumping.
The 40 points were the fewest the Wildcats have ever scored against a Terry Allen-coached KU team. Eight fewer, in fact. Not that it means Kansas has improved over the five-year-period. Or as KU wide receiver Termaine Fulton said about the Wildcats: "They're not as good as they have been in the past, but they're still a good team."
Meanwhile, Kansas isn't really any worse than it has been during Allen's tenure, but the Jayhawks are not really any better, either. For instance, a fifth-year coach trying to rebuild a program shouldn't have to be relying on a red-shirt freshman quarterback during Year No. 5, but Allen is, and the inconsistencies inherent in inexperience at the most critical position on the field are unquestionably going to force a change at the top in 2002.
Four weeks remain in the 2001 season and sources say new KU athletics director Al Bohl is already making the rounds of various alumni and booster camps in search of the resources he'll need to change the guard.
Nevertheless, nothing is carved in stone. Allen can still save his job. How?
Here are 10 ways:
10. Knock off Nebraska next Saturday in Lawrence.
9. Convince Kansas State to change its primary school color to pink.
8. Donate $100 million to the Kansas University general fund.
7. Shock Texas in two weeks in Austin.
6. Secure a pardon from President George W. Bush (not likely, of course, if the Jayhawks stun Texas, but unnecessary if they do).
5. Throw a monkey wrench into Iowa State's bowl plans in three weeks in Lawrence.
4. Clobber Wyoming something like 106-0 in the home finale in four weeks.
3. Discover a cure for the common cold.
2. Broker a deal that will place the South Lawrence Trafficway along the 31st Street alignment.
1. Find Osama bin Laden and deliver him to the Douglas County Law Enforcement Center.
This Kansas University football team is such an enigma. Football, like most games, is a game of mistakes, yet the Jayhawks do not turn the ball over. They've played five Big 12 Conference games this season. That's 20 quarters of football and 19 of those quarters have been turnover-free.
KU coughed the ball up three times in the first quarter against Oklahoma and that's been it. Kansas had no giveaways in the win at Texas Tech and no turnovers in losses to Colorado, Missouri and now Kansas State.
If anyone had told Allen before the season the Jayhawks would play back-to-back games against geographic rivals Missouri and Kansas State and not commit a single turnover, he'd be smiling from the Memorial Stadium sideline to Campanile Hill.
Turnover-free football is supposedly winning football. Not at Kansas, though. The Jayhawks have too many weaknesses. Allen says the Jayhawks will have to rely on "pride" as they play out the string. Pride is all this team has left. That and a continuation of the schedule from hell.