Kansas State Football: 2016 Sunflower Showdown Has Historic Implications

Kansas State football fans are gearing up for the annual Sunflower Showdown with the Kansas Jayhawks, and the Wildcats could make some history in this year’s game.

In April of this year, Richard Myers began serving as the interim President at Kansas State University, and the Kansas Board of Regents named him the school’s permanent president on November 15.

On Saturday November 26, Myers will preside over his first Sunflower Showdown,

Born and raised in Merriam, Kansas, retired Gen. Myers graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School in 1960 and enrolled at K-State. During the time Myers was on campus to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (1965), the Wildcats lost a lot of football games.

From 1961-65 the Wildcats’ rivals in Lawrence beat Kansas State by a combined total 147-0 while under the direction of coach Doug Weaver. The coach, who only won 8 games, would be replaced by Vince Gibson after the 1966 season.

But things are much different now in Manhattan, Ks. The Bill Snyder era has had a dramatic impact on the in-state rivalry. KU leads the all-time series, 64-44-5, but K-State football has won seven straight since Bill Snyder returned in 2009, and Kansas State (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) has won 20 of the last 24 meetings, including each of the last three in Manhattan.

The Wildcats have beaten the Jayhawks (2-9, 1-7 Big 12) every year since 2009 including last season’s 45-14 win at Memorial Stadium before a crowd of just over 23,000. This year, Over 50,000 fans are expected to fill the stands for the 114th contest at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Snyder is 20-4 against KU and 11-1 in Manhattan.

The series is one of six in the nation that have been played continuously for at least 100 years, including one of three that will be played on Nov. 26.

This week’s game has extra meaning for the 48 players on K-State’s roster from the state of Kansas. Of the 48 Kansans on the roster, 17 have made starts this season, according to the KSU Athletic Department.

Head coach Bill Snyder currently has 199 career victories, 160 more than any other coach in school history, and ranks first in the FBS in wins among active coaches at current schools, second in total wins among active coaches overall and 26th in all-time wins.

Snyder, who has 116 conference wins, is one of four coaches with 100 Big 8/12 victories – a list including Tom Osborne (153 wins), Bob Stoops (117 wins), and Barry Switzer (100 wins). Some pretty decent company for the Wildcats head coach.

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The K-State coach is one win away from becoming the 26th coach in FBS history with 200 career wins but just the sixth to do so at one school. How fitting is it that the win which would put him over that 200 mark could be against the Jayhawks, playing at home in Manhattan.

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