Tom Keegan: Kansas primed to upset Kansas State

Kansas head coach David Beaty congratulates Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder on his 200th coach win following the Wildcats' 34-19 win over the Jayhawks on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Three weeks ago, when Kansas State was enjoying its bye week, coming off of a 31-12 blasting of Oklahoma State and Kansas was getting torched by Texas Tech, 48-16, it didn’t occur to me that the duly named Sunflower Showdown could amount to much this season.

More of the same seemed on the way, especially since Saturday’s 11 a.m. game is in Manhattan and KU never wins a Big 12 road game.

Call me crazy — you wouldn’t be the first — but I think Kansas is going to win.

First-year Athletic Director Jeff Long’s decision to announce that fourth-year head football coach David Beaty will be out of a job at season’s end can only help the Jayhawks.

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KU Sports Hour

Beaty's out — what's next for KU football?

As the Kansas football program moves on from head coach David Beaty, and athletic director Jeff Long zeroes in on ...

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Let a team that has a coach who strikes fear into his players know that the coach is on his way out and the players exhale and stop worrying about doing every little thing just so.

Do the same with a coach they really like but don’t fear enough to become detail freaks, and they have a chance to play out of their minds for him.

The Jayhawks like Beaty and this is the best chance of the three remaining games to give him a victory.

They have carried the burden of trying to save their coach’s job all season, and now that Beaty’s job status no longer is an issue, it just might free the players’ minds and make them hungry to try to show that nice guys don’t necessarily always have to finish last.

Plus, it’s not as if KU is playing Alabama. The Wildcats don’t resemble a typical Bill Snyder team in any way.

Special teams, a big part of Snyder’s winning signature throughout both stretches of his remarkable career, keep betraying the coach and he’s not handling it well.

Speculation about whether this is Snyder’s last season has grown from whispers to shouts in a short period of time.

Football’s an emotional game and even on the road, the edge lies with Kansas there because of the circumstances surrounding both coaches.

Both teams enter the rivalry game 1-5 in Big 12 play, 3-6 overall.

Tangible football reasons hint at an upset, as well.

K-State is weakened by injuries at quarterback and KU is tied for third (with Utah State) in the nation with 23 turnovers gained, one behind co-leaders Ohio and Georgia Southern.

KU’s greatest offensive strength matches up with K-State’s biggest defensive weakness. KSU’s defense ranks 116th among 130 FBS schools with an average of 5.35 yards allowed per rush. The Wildcats will have a tough time stopping Pooka Williams Jr. (6.1 yards per carry) and Khalil Herbert (4.5 ypc).

Many wise men — or should I say guys? — caution to never bet against a streak, and K-State has won nine in a row in the series. Kansas State is favored by 10-and-a-half.

Look for an upset: Kansas 24, Kansas State 23.

Comments

Robert Brock

It’s Bill Snyder’s Sunflower Swan Song:

K-State 58
Kansas 13

1 week, 2 days ago

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David Robinett

“You’re Crazy”

1 week, 2 days ago

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Randy Bombardier

Possible indeed. It will kind of piss me off all of a sudden this team decides to give it their best.

1 week, 2 days ago

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Suzi Marshall

Tom, we went through this a couple of years ago when we both felt an upset coming. Your prediction was a week earlier than mine. I also feel a KU win but this time we agree on the timing. KU 23 - !7....we miss an extra point on a bone head missed assignment....

1 week, 2 days ago

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Dillon Davis

If Carter Stanley plays, we'll win. If he doesn't, we won't.

1 week, 2 days ago

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Dirk Medema

At first I was disappointed that the announcement came the week before what has become our most winnable game. Maybe Long wasn't thinking about more than the evaluation and getting started on the next step in the process. Maybe he was thinking bigger picture and providing extra motivation. Emotions will only carry us so far. We will need good execution because grampa will have his guys focused as well.

Besides, this is the season of ending the streaks. 2 so far?

1 week, 1 day ago

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Joe Black

Upset won't happen. KSU is a better team with better talent. In Manhattan, KSU will win in a near blowout.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Eric Eakins

As much as I want KU to win I would bet on KSU with the spread for this one. I really hope I'm wrong. I do think talent level is even but I think Snyder will be motivated and as energized as ever to game plan this one and we just don't have the edge in the game coach area. It's part of Snyder's legacy and he will be in a zone on Saturday calling plays I'm sure. Our only hope is that the KSU players for whatever reason come in demoralized and unresponsive to their coach. We know what that looks like.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Bville Hawk

KSU 44, KU 14

1 week, 1 day ago

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Aaron Paisley

This is a bad KSU team that has been terrible on offense all year. KU's defense while not great, is the best it's been since 2012-2013 when Campo was mentoring Bowen. This will be a close game because KSU does not have a playmaker while KU does.

This will be a low scoring game because both offenses suck. If KU can get Pooka going though, KU can win this game because the KSU defense is far below a typical KSU defense.

This is a bad KSU team that peaked against an OSU team that had an off day. KU may not end up winning this game, but if they do, it won't be a blowout.

1 week, 1 day ago

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John Joseph Gorski

As bad as this KU team has been and despite how much Beaty sucks as a coach I don't think this team ever quit on him. I think KU will come out and play hard for Beaty and good enough to win but I also think KSU will want to win for what is likely Snyder's last Sunflower showdown.

Should be a good game. 27-24 KSU.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Dane Pratt

The loyalty and desire to win for their coach is much greater for Bill Snyder than for David Beaty. On paper this could be a close game but I can't see the Wildcats losing at home to their biggest rival in what will probably be the last season for their coach.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Joe Joseph

"The loyalty and desire to win for their coach is much greater for Bill Snyder than for David Beaty."

Not even close to being accurate based on what I've heard from former KSU players.

1 week, 1 day ago

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