|First meeting||October 4, 1902|
Kansas 16, Kansas State 0
|Latest meeting||October 24, 2020|
Kansas State 55, Kansas 14
|All-time series||Kansas leads, 64-49-5|
|Largest victory||Kansas State, 64-0 (2002)|
|Longest win streak||Kansas State, 12 (2009-present)|
|Current win streak||Kansas State, 12 (2009-present)|
|Locations of the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.|
The Kansas-Kansas State football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Kansas Jayhawks football team of the University of Kansas and Kansas State Wildcats football team of Kansas State University, contested since 1902, making it one of the longest running rivalry games in college football, with 118 match-ups as of 2020. The Governor's Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the game. It has been awarded every year since 1969. The rivalry is known as the Sunflower Showdown.
Kansas leads the overall series 64-49-5, including KU's forfeit of the 1980 game imposed by the Big Eight Conference (Kansas disputes the forfeit). Kansas State leads the Governor's Cup series (since 1969) 32-19-1. The most recent game, played on October 24, 2020, was won by Kansas State 55-14. Despite Kansas State's dominance in the last 32 games, 24-8 in favor of Kansas State, Kansas still maintains a 15 game lead in the series due to their 56-25-5 record in the first 86 games of the series.
The two teams had a very long history prior to the inauguration of the Governor's Cup: they began play in 1902 and have faced each other every season since 1911, making this the sixth-longest continuous series in college football history.[A 1] With 118 games played, it is also the 2nd-longest rivalry between two public universities in the same state featuring the names "University of _ v. _ State University" (behind Oregon v. Oregon State). The University of Kansas built a large advantage in the series by 1923 (17-1-3), but the series has subsequently been much more even, with the series lead by K-State 48-47-2 since that time.
The two schools disagree on the overall series record, though both agree Kansas leads the series. The difference arises from the 1980 game, which KU won 20-18 on the field. However, the Big Eight Conference ordered KU to forfeit the game after a player was ruled ineligible. As a result, KU claims to lead the overall series 65-48-5, while Kansas State reports that KU leads 64-49-5. Kansas cites NCAA policy to explain its refusal to reckon the 1980 game as a Kansas State win; the policy states that NCAA schools must acknowledge forfeits imposed by the NCAA or those dictated by the rules of the game, without specifically referencing conference-imposed penalties.
The Governor's Cup is the third trophy associated with the rivalry. In 1902, in the first match-up, a "Governor's Trophy" was given to the winning team. Then, beginning in the 1940 football season, the winner of the KU-KSU contest received the "Peace Pact Trophy", which was miniature bronze goalposts. The trophy was intended to keep the winning team's student body from tearing down the loser's goalposts. However, as years went by, these trophies were forgotten.
|Ties||5 (1916, '22, '23, '66, '87)|
|Neutral site wins||--||--|
|Total points scored in the series||2084||1921|
|Most points scored in a game by one team||55 (1947)||64 (2002)|
|Most points scored in a game by both teams||80 (2011 - KSU 59, KU 21)|
|Fewest points scored in a game by both teams||0 (1916, 1923)|
|Fewest points scored in a game by one team in a win||5 (1909)||6 (4 times)|
|Most points scored in a game by one team in a loss||22 (1969)||29 (1968)|
|Largest margin of victory||55 (1947)||64 (2002)|
|Smallest margin of victory||1 (1967)||1 (1972)|
|Longest winning streak||10 (1956-65)||12 (2009-present)|
Kansas and Kansas State have played each other in football every year since 1902, except for 1910. The 1910 game was cancelled after the two teams were unable to agree to eligibility rules for the contest. KU coach A. R. Kennedy tried to compel Kansas State to play the game by publishing provocative comments in the Lawrence newspaper in May 1910, but Kansas State coach Mike Ahearn refused to change his school's rules.
For seven straight years, from 1927 to 1933, the two teams alternated wins, with the visiting team winning every game in contrast to the usual home field advantage in sports. In the six games from 1928 to 1933, every game was also won by shutout.
Kansas State won the first contest in the Governor's Cup series 26-22 on October 11, 1969, in Lawrence, Kansas. The game was a classic in the series, contested by two high-quality teams. Kansas was coming off an appearance in the Orange Bowl the previous season, led by future Pro Football Hall of Fame running back John Riggins, while Kansas State in 1969 was an offensive juggernaut led by quarterback Lynn Dickey and running back Mack Herron. The game was not decided until the final play, when two K-State defenders jarred the ball loose from a KU receiver in the end zone. The loss sent KU's season into an irreversible tailspin, and the Jayhawks, suffering greatly from the loss of Bobby Douglass and John Zook to the NFL, finished the season 1-9 despite Riggins' brilliance, culminating with a 69-21 loss to Big Eight Conference champion Missouri at home.
Following the game, Kansas State fans tore down the goalposts in KU's stadium - an act with a long history in the rivalry, and that K-State fans would repeat in 1994 after ending an 11-game losing streak in Lawrence.
On November 1, 1980, Kansas defeated Kansas State 20-18 in Manhattan, Kansas to take a 9-3 lead in the first dozen years the Governor's Cup was awarded. However, it was later determined that Kerwin Bell, a running back for Kansas in that game, was a partial qualifier despite his high school transcripts indicating otherwise and he was ruled academically ineligible at the time of the 1980 season. In 1982 the Big Eight Conference ordered Kansas to forfeit three conference wins and one tie from the 1980 season, including its victory in the 1980 Governor's Cup game. As a result, the two schools now dispute the overall record in both the Sunflower Showdown and more recent Governor's Cup series, with each school claiming victory in the 1980 game.
The lone tie during the Governor's Cup era took place on November 7, 1987, in Manhattan, and is the most infamous game in the history of the series. Termed "The Toilet Bowl" and "The Futility Bowl" by national commentators, the game featured 1-7 KU and 0-8 K-State. The contest lived down to expectations and resulted in a 17-17 tie, which was secured when Kansas blocked a field goal at the end of the game. Following the tie, both teams lost their last two games of the season. KU coach Bob Valesente was fired following the season. His counterpart Stan Parrish kept his job, but did not make it past 1988 after the Wildcats posted an 0-11 campaign to extend a winless streak to 28 games. Parrish's dismissal led to the hiring of Bill Snyder, who would shift the direction of the series in favor of the Wildcats.
The only match-up in history of the rivalry while both teams were ranked occurred on October 28, 1995, in Manhattan. The University of Kansas came into the game 7-0 and ranked #6 in the AP Poll, while Kansas State University was 5-1 and ranked #14. Both teams would finish the season ranked in the top ten, but this day belonged to Kansas State. KSU started strong and maintained the advantage throughout for a decisive 41-7 victory.
Kansas State, 6-2 and ranked #14 in the AP Poll, routed Kansas in the largest margin of victory in the series by either team, 64-0, in Lawrence. The Wildcats built a 30-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter and lead 43-0 at halftime. Wildcat quarterback Ell Roberson ran for 3 touchdowns and threw for another as the Wildcats outgained the Jayhawks 494-115. The Jayhawks also committed 7 turnovers in the loss. Kansas State went on to finish the season 11-2 and beat Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl, while the Jayhawks, under 1st year head coach Mark Mangino, finished the season at 2-10 and winless in conference play.
An 11-year winning streak by Kansas State that began in 1993 - at that time, the longest by either team in the series - was broken on October 9, 2004, when KU won a back-and-forth 31-28 thriller in Lawrence. The head coach of the Jayhawks was Mark Mangino, a former Wildcat assistant under KSU coach Bill Snyder. Mangino bested his mentor in Snyder's final visit to Memorial Stadium during Snyder's first term as KSU coach.
In 2007, KU won in Manhattan for the first time since 1989 and also posted its only victory ever over a ranked KSU team. Kansas entered the game 4-0 while Kansas State had a 3-1 record, but KSU was favored in the contest and ranked 24th in the AP Poll. Kansas overcame several mistakes through the course of the first half, tying the contest 14-14 at halftime. Following a strong second-half performance by KU, the visitors from Lawrence posted a 30-24 victory. Kansas went on to build an 11-0 record on the season before losing a game, and secured an at-large bid to the 2008 Orange Bowl.
For the 100th consecutive autumn, KU and KSU faced each other on the football field on October 14, 2010, in Lawrence. This was only the seventh college football rivalry in history played for a century straight. The game was the second since Bill Snyder returned to coach KSU and was reminiscent of earlier blowout Wildcat victories during Snyder's first tenure, with KSU claiming a 59-7 victory over KU. The 2010 victory by Kansas State was the second win in an active eleven-game KSU winning streak over KU (tied for the longest winning streak in series history).
Kansas State defeated Kansas 55-14 in Manhattan on October 24, 2020 in a matchup of second-year coaches Chris Klieman (Kansas State) and Les Miles (Kansas). The game was the twelfth straight win by KSU over KU, establishing a new record winning streak for either team in the series.
|Kansas victories||Kansas State victories||Tie games||Forfeits|