If state pride plays a factor in Saturday's Sunflower Showdown between Kansas State and Kansas, the Wildcats should be at a times-two advantage.
K-State's projected starting lineup Saturday will include 11 Kansas natives, not to mention two additional Jayhawk Conference transfers, compared to only six Jayhawks who played their prep ball within the state borders.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder says of the state-pride game, "You have a lot of youngsters that are from the state and they talk about bragging rights. Whether you play at Kansas, where you are highly motivated, or if you play here, you are highly motivated."
Projected starting Wildcats from the state of Kansas are: Chris Harper (Wichita), Cody Whitehair (Abilene), B.J. Finney (Andale), Travis Tannahill (Olathe), Braden Wilson (Smith Center), Arthur Brown (Wichita), Tre Walker (Olathe), Jarard Milo (Olathe), Ty Zimmerman (Junction City), Anthony Cantele (Wichita) and Marcus Heit (Derby).
In addition, Meshak Williams and Adam Davis both played their community college football at Hutchinson.
Jayhawk starters that are Kansas natives come from Rossville, McPherson, Dodge City, Hutchinson, Mulvane and Olathe.
Colorado native Collin Klein said of the Sunflower Showdown, "It is an important game because you have to live with it for a whole year. You either have a Governor's Cup in your trophy case for a year, or you don't. It's good to have it."
The senior quarterback added, "I've been around here long enough to understand the meaning of the rivalry. It is very special. You are either a K-State fan or a KU fan."
This will be the 19th time in the Bill Snyder era that K-State will be playing a game coming off a bye week. The Wildcats have won 13 of the previous 18, which includes victories over Kansas in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1996.
Last week, Snyder said, "I think the bye week went reasonably well for the most part. They practiced with a fair degree of intensity. It is hard for me to imagine that any young person around the country that enjoys the competitive nature of intercollegiate football would not understand the value of being highly motivated and want to carry that motivation to the practice field to improve themselves."
As for playing the Jayhawks coming off the week of rest, like his coach has said over and over again, Klein echoed the fact that "... it's just another game. It's another step in our journey, but it is KU. You only get that game once a year. We'll focus on taking care of our business and do the best we can."
And that's all that Snyder asks of each of his Wildcats.
"You get 12 games a season. That is 12 times for a competitive young guy to really be competitive," said Snyder. "This is 12 out of 365 (days), and that is it. There is not anymore, so how could you pass up the opportunity to do what you love to do and be as competitive as you can because you love to be in any game that you play?"
Page 2 of 2 - The Sunflower Showdown has definitely been a game that K-State has wanted to play in the 20 previous seasons under Snyder. K-State is 16-4 in those games, and in KSU Stadium/Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Snyder sports a 9-1 record.
In five of the nine wins K-State has scored at least 40 points, and in those nine KU losses in Manhattan it has scored 10, 3, 6, 6, 9, 16, 7, 9 and 12 points.