* It’s never been easy for me to say goodbye, and I’m struggling with how I’ll feel after Thursday night’s Nebraska-Kansas State game in Manhattan.
Do you realize this could be the last time the Cornhuskers set foot on Kansas soil? If that realization doesn’t jolt you, then you don’t have a pulse.
Nebraska first played Kansas State in Manhattan in 1914, the year I graduated from college. (Ed. note: I love self-deprecating age jokes, even though I’m young for my age). The Huskers debuted in Kansas in 1896 when they beat Kansas in Lawrence, 18-4.
But now that NU is on its way to the Big 10 – or whatever that conference will be called in 2011 – it’s possible we’ll never see the Huskers in Kansas again.
So I want to be the first to express my deepest gratitude for the brand of football Nebraska has played in this state. The Huskers have played 105 games in Kansas over the years and won 89 of them. There was a tie. Kansas State owns seven wins over Nebraska in Manhattan, in 50 tries. And KU has beaten the Huskers eight times in 55 tries.
Yeah, those schools are really gonna be sorry to see you go, Nebraska.
Kansas went 0-20-1 against the Huskers in Lawrence from 1898 through 1942. Congratulations on that tie, Jayhawks, and for really stepping it up on your home field.
In 12 home games against Nebraska from 1970-1991, KU was outscored 568-70.
But there is that 76-39 Kansas win in 2007, the year the Jayhawks won the Orange Bowl and went 12-1. There is that.
History against Nebraska isn’t any better for Kansas State, which scored a grand total of nine points in its first nine home games against the Huskers and went 35 years (1961-96) without a home win over Nebraska.
The Huskers pitched 29 road shutouts at KU and K-State over the years. They topped 40 points 25 times.
As bad as its been throughout history for the Kansas teams in home games against Nebraska, it was at its worst early on.
Kansas State scored 50 points in its first 16 games against Nebraska; KU scored 85 points in its first 22 home games against the Huskers. That’s a whopping average of 3.5 points per game.
However, there are some positives for the Kansas schools of late. Kansas State has won four of its previous six home games against the Huskers, though the Wildcats have lost the past two. Kansas, meanwhile, won two of its final three home games against Nebraska.
Personally, I’ll miss the Huskers. Along with Oklahoma, they gave the Big 8 great national identity and the annual showdown of those two was always one of the two or three highlights of the college football season.
The Big 12 spoiled all of that, and the formation of that conference in 1996 never sat well with Nebraska, which couldn’t warm to Texas taking over the role as CEO and chief power monger.
So, K-Staters and fellow Kansans, enjoy Thursday night’s game for what it is. And whether you love or hate Nebraska, take a moment to reflect on what it has meant to college football. And remember – however difficult it might be – how the Huskers have taken any home-field advantage K-State or KU might have had only to chew it up and spit it out.
* On the surface, the New England Patriots and their coach, Bill Belichick, have lost their minds. How else to explain why a 3-1 team with, we presume, Super Bowl aspirations would trade one of football’s top receivers, Randy Moss, to the Minnesota Vikings for a third-round choice.
But Belichick is no dummy, right? There is more to this story than any of us know. It appears the Patriots – and Belichick – reached the end of the rope with Moss, who reportedly scuffled with the Patriots’ quarterbacks coach at halftime of New England’s game against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night.
He had to go. And Belichick, who is almost always thinking forward, got what he could from the Vikings while unloading an unhappy camper who was going to be gone after this season anyway.
The only problem I have is that there’s no way this move helps the Patriots now. And players – unlike Belichick – are all about now. What must quarterback Tom Brady think? What must slot receiver Wes Welker, whose life was made so much easier by the downfield threat provided by Moss, think?
It’s a fascinating mid-season trade, a rarity in the NFL. It gives Vikings quarterback Brett Favre one more weapon and one less excuse. We’ll see how it shakes out.
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Eddie Kohler I Wichita
I was a letter carrier with USPS for eight years and followed your radio show while walking my route. I delivered Bruce Haertl’s mail when he lived off of Woodlawn. I took my kids to the World Series of Face/Off at Northrock andKohlerSidepockets a couple of years ago. You even went to the extra effort to come up to us and thank us for coming the last year that we were there. (See, I do have manners. BL) I had three boys and a girl with me that time. Now I work at the main post office by the airport on second shift. I have followed your writing for years and usualy agree with you. I get your sense of humor.