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Open Game Thread :: Game #9 :: Kansas State 4-4 (1-3) @ Kansas 5-3 (2-2)

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Hey, remember when I said last week was a must-win in a kinda-sorta way? Like, it didn't really seriously impact our chances of winning the Big 12 North, but it was a gargantuan opportunity to show up on National TV and, yet again, prove we belong with the big boys.

And. We. Blew. It. Like, in tremendous fashion. Not only was my hope diminished, but we have been reduced, by some, to simply yet another decent, middle-of-the-road BCS-conference team. And, honestly, I'm not so sure that isn't all that far off.

But now isn't the time or place. No, now is the time and place to kick some Powercat ass, start a brand-spankin'-new home winning streak and get right back in the Big 12 North race. We win today, assuming it isn't flukey or nothin', and we begin the long trek toward re-achieving some national respectability. A step forward that is necessary; if it isn't achieved today and we lose, some would argue that last season's progress has effectively been negated.

So, this is one of those games that I hate. Sure, it is nice to be favored and be at home against one of your rivals with an opportunity to knock the shit outta them and all that fun stuff. It's nice to be the significantly better team (but, and again maybe th is is simply a hangover effect from last week, are we really?). But it isn't a whole lot of fun to be expected to win, where the risk-reward ratio is pretty terrible. A win simply means we did what we had to do. A loss, however, does infinitely more damage; we would be left to scrape for a mediocre bowl, arguably re-enter 2005 Jayhawk territory (without the incredible defense, of course) and cause quite a few bandwagon football fans to give hope for the next couple of years.

Simply put, we need to win today. It is a must-win, in every sense of the word(s?), save the literal definition. While a loss wouldn't ruin the season, it would be incredibly painful.

But seriously, we need to win. And I think we do, Jayhawks 42 Powercats 31

Our defense won't be able to stop them, of course, but their defense is substantially worse than all of the teams we've played since, oh, I dunno, maybe all the way back to Sam Houston State.