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Commentary: KSU 13, Kansas 1 — really

Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen celebrates with the Bramlage Coliseum crowd following the Wildcats' 84-68 upset win over Kansas on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.

Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen celebrates with the Bramlage Coliseum crowd following the Wildcats' 84-68 upset win over Kansas on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.

July 15, 2011

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Competing with the Big 12’s Oklahoma and Texas schools in sports other than men’s basketball always will present a steep challenge for Kansas University.

Recruits tend to want to go to nearby schools. Oklahoma and especially Texas produce far more talented athletes than does Kansas.

In some sports, such as baseball, softball and track and field, weather also works against KU. In some cases, athletic budgets and facilities favor others.

Call them excuses, but to an extent they just as easily could fall under the category of reasonable explanations that play a factor in the Jayhawks finishing dead-last in the all-sports standings.

Yet, it’s not difficult to find a counter to the argument geography plays the biggest part in Kansas’ failing to compete for any conference titles outside of men’s basketball. The excuse falls apart 75 miles to the west, 10 to the north.

Kansas State doesn’t have superior facilities to those of KU, does not have as sizeable a budget, has similar weather and is at an even greater geographic disadvantage because it’s not as close to Kansas City.

Despite those hurdles, the Wildcats dominated the Jayhawks on the fields and courts of competition during the 2010-2011 school year. In so doing, the ’Cats supplied their athletic director, John Currie, with a chance to boast, although he didn’t choose to do so in a tacky way.

In a letter to ’Catbackers dated June 1 and still posted on kstatesports.com, Currie lists the Wildcats’ athletic achievements the past year. The final one listed, as if an afterthought so as not to be accused of rubbing it in, reads: “A combined 13-1 record against the Jayhawks in head-to-head competition.”

Really? It didn’t sound right, but a check of the records shows KU did indeed go 1-13 in the rivalry that desperately needs a nickname better than “Sunflower Showdown.”

The loss that stung the most: Kansas State 59, Kansas 7, a Thursday night blowout, Oct. 14, 2010, in Memorial Stadium, during which the players on the home team looked as if they were running in cement shoes, affirming why coach Turner Gill has put such a premium on recruiting faster players.

The lone victory: Kansas 90, Kansas State 66, fueled by Thomas Robinson’s 17-point, nine-rebound tribute to all those who supported him through his heartache. The game was played two days after his mother’s funeral.

K-State avenged the loss on Valentine’s Day, 84-68, when Jacob Pullen juiced Bramlage Coliseum with 38 points.

Kansas State swept two games in women’s basketball, executed a three-game sweep in baseball and swept two apiece in volleyball, rowing and women’s tennis.

If a coach of a nonrevenue sport chooses to whine about either the local newspaper or the K-State sports website reporting the data, he or she better not do so within earshot of first-year KU AD Sheahon Zenger. He’s not going to want to hear it. He’s not into using slogans in an attempt to create false perceptions about the state of the athletic department (aside from the perennial powerhouse men’s basketball program). Denial’s not his game. He’s interested in winning, not in offering a shoulder to capture the tears of those too often losing.

Comments

Jayhawk1963 3 years, 5 months ago

Weather and geography didn't seem to play that much of a part during the days of the Big 8. KU & OU routinely fought it out for the all-sports trophy with OSU occasionally in the mix since they almost always won minor sports like golf and wrestling.

During those years, KU dominated in track and field, usually contested for the basketball title with KSU and had mediocre baseball teams but still usually in the middle of the pack. Dick Reamon's swimming teams won some league titles. Even football, which was mostly mediocre or poor, pretty much owned KSU, ISU & OSU until toward the end of the Big 8.

Presently, only UT should be out of reach simply because they have more money than GOD! OU would usually be second because of money, tradition, weather, etc. The only reason KU is currently uncompetitive with the other 7 schools is because of UNBELIEVABLY BAD personnel decisions by former AD's !!!! I hope you are reading this Mr. Zenger !

This history comes from someone who has been observing KU sports since his freshman year in 1956-57. Only Max Falkenstien, Don Fambrough and Jerry Waugh have a longer time line. I should add that although I worked for KU, I was never part of the athletic dept.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

If the men's basketball team makes the Final Four with a title every 10-15 years, and if the football team wins two games (must be vs. KSU and MU), then it's been a good year.

TheOriginalCA 3 years, 5 months ago

Listening to the way that KSU fans boo obvious calls reminds me of the way that the little brother throws himself against the wall and screams and cries whenever big brother comes within 2 feet of him.Their manufactured hate of KU and their inferiority complex makes them think that if they have more billboards, do things bigger, cheer each basket as though they won the team of the century award is laughable. I am glad that they go by K-State and KSU because it is embarrassing when they are referred to as Kansas State because they are so thin skinned that it makes the entire state of Kansas look ridiculous.

TexAzAg 3 years, 5 months ago

The 'homer' in me requires that I remind the group . . . . . Texas A&M has led the Big 12 All Sports standings the past two years. The program is deep, with 8 NC's in the most recent 3 years, and gaining momentum. As football completes a rebuild, the program is on the path toward a golden decade. Basketball, with Turgeon now happy in Maryland (thank goodness the whiner is gone), baseball playing at this years CWS, Women BB Nat'l Champs and T&F winning the past 6 (men & women's) NC's. . . . . The Ags are dominating the B12 & positioned to dominate for years to come.

Gig 'em

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