Once again, Kansas University linebacker Banks Floodman has found a way to age himself.
The lone current player also to play football under Terry Allen in 2001 has another claim to fame: He's the only current Jayhawk to play at Jones SBC Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.
Floodman, a fifth-year senior, was a true freshman when KU beat Texas Tech, 34-31, in double overtime Oct. 6, 2001. He played five years ago because he took his redshirt in his second season after injuring his knee in the opening game.
Now, he'll make an encore appearance in West Texas at 6 tonight as a grizzled veteran.
Only 45,363 fans attended that 2001 game, but Floodman remembers how loud the crowd was - until the end, at least.
"It's a pretty wild atmosphere," Floodman said. "The fans are pretty crazy down there. It was one of the craziest places I've been - they've definitely got a home-field advantage."
Floodman didn't record any statistics during the game, which the Jayhawks won thanks to a big comeback and a clutch interception by Marcus Rogers in the second overtime.
But his memories are vivid, and with good reason - it was the only Big 12 Conference victory KU recorded that season, and a wild one at that.
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"Marcus Rogers intercepted the pass - I remember it pretty well," Floodman said. "It was an exciting game. It was fun to get away with the win."
¢ Catching an eye: Apparently, Kansas was a popular choice among professional gamblers in the opening week.
In a story published last week in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sports Consultants oddsmaker Ken White said that the heaviest movement on a line for a Big 12 Conference game so far was the Florida Atlantic-Kansas battle, which moved 81â2 points to Kansas -281â2 because of the influence of professionals.
"Kansas never had a chance to cover," White told the Review-Journal. "A couple of professional groups really had a strong opinion on Kansas and really felt they were going to blow out an inexperienced Florida Atlantic team."
Kansas won 30-19, meaning those who made a straight wager on Florida Atlantic would have won.
¢ Sooner family tree: KU coach Mark Mangino and Texas Tech coach Mike Leach were together at Oklahoma during the 1999 and 2000 seasons as assistants under Bob Stoops, and Mangino said a nice friendship had developed.
"We have a good relationship," Mangino said. "We see each other a couple times a year and we always have fun. He's a great storyteller, and I enjoy his company."
¢ Road warriors: For the fifth time in seven seasons, KU will open Big 12 Conference play on the road. It will be the first time since 2002, though, when the Jayhawks lost to Iowa State, 45-3, to open the season.
KU opened the conference season at home against Missouri in 2003 and Texas Tech in 2004. However, last year's Tech game was moved from Oct. 16 to avoid fall break. Otherwise, KU would've opened at Nebraska, and had six starts on the road in the last seven years since 1999.
¢ Two-century club: The last time a Jayhawk rushed for more than 200 yards in a game also was the last time KU played at Texas Tech.
Reggie Duncan, a highly touted tailback out of Texas, easily had his career-best in rushing, garnering 227 yards in the Jayhawk victory.
¢ This, that: Kansas has won seven of its last eight night games, the only loss being last season against Nebraska. : KU senior Mark Simmons has caught a pass in 27 straight games, and his 1,694 receiving yards ranks him fifth on KU's all-time yardage receiving list. : Since the Big 12 was formed, the road team has won four out of five meetings between KU and Tech. : Kansas is a perfect 14-of-14 converting opportunities in the red zone (11 touchdowns, three field goals). : Texas Tech also is perfect, scoring all 22 times when reaching the opponents' 20-yard line.