Will this man ever experience the emotion of overcoming a Bill Snyder squad?
When Charlie Weis steps into Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday, he will walk into a world of infinite inferiority. Across the field will stand one of the greatest coaches in the history of NCAA football, so exemplary the stadium sports his name. Weis stands as a man driven out of South Bend, Indiana after failing to achieve consistent success at Notre Dame. His team will face the #7 ranked Wildcats. Four games into the season, K-State already owns a blow out over the storied Miami University and lays claim to the status as the only ranked team to walk into Oklahoma University’s stadium and waltz out with a win the Bob Stoops era. On the other side of the football, the Jayhawks bring a 1-3 record to the table with no wins over Division I opponents.
Yet five years ago, few fans could say they knew this would be the scenario before them. In 2007 KU was coming off an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech (it would follow this feat with a 42-21 win over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl – a less impressive bowl win, but still excellent). K-State, on the other hand, was mired in sorrow. The end of the Ron Prince experiment was coming to an end as the team finished 5-7 with a losing conference record (3-5) and a loss to the Jayhawk team it became accustomed to dominating throughout the 90s and early aughts. Prince would be released in the middle of the following season. And in spite of Wildcat successes, KU retains a sizeable 64-40-5 series advantage.
What does all of this mean on Saturday? Essentially nothing. Weis may be a good coach, but he’s playing checkers against a chess master. There’s also a stark disparity in talent between the teams. So when KU defensive tackle Keba Agostinhods tweeted that the Jayhawks’ lead in the the Sunflower Showdown was “More like an A$$ whoopin than rivalry,” he was right in the historical context. However, not many fans on either side expect historical context to keep KU’s Charlie Christ safe from Tre Walker and Justin Tuggle.