The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 06, 1994, Page 8, Image 8

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Kansas-K-State game
has gained importance
By Derek Samson __
Senior Reporter
The annual Kansas-Kansas State
showdown not only is one of the most
heated rivalries in the Big Eight, but
also has actually had some impor
tance in the last few years.
The two most rebuilt football pro
grams in the Big Eight will meet to
night in Lawrence, Kan., to fight for
bragging rights in Kansas in both
teams’ Big Eight openers.
The nationally televised ESPN
game should add even more pressure
to a couple of programs trying to
break up the “Big Three” monopoly
that Nebraska, Colorado and Okla
homa have on the conference.
In the Big Eight teleconference
Monday, both Kansas coach Glen
Mason and Kansas State coach Bill
Snyder commented on the impor
tance of the game.
“ When I go recru it, and
I'm sure it’s the same
with Bill Snyder, nobody
is talking about if we
can win games at
Kansas and Kansas
State. That's not the case
anymore. ”
Kansas football coach
When you start talking about
Thursday night games, if you’re a
football fan, you’re going to watch
this game,” Mason said. “(Tonight)
We have one program that’s having
a pretty good year and another that’s
having a great year.”
Snyder said he hoped for a big
national audience to tune in, because
the game matched the 4-0, 19th
ranked Wildcats against the 3-1,
27th-ranked Jayhawks.
“The No. I reason I want to be
lieve (people will watch) is the na
tional perception,” Snyder said.
“There are two pretty good football
teams that are playing on a Thurs
day night, and everyone is going to
see them play.”
It’s an audience that only five
years ago would have laughed at the
thought of a Kansas-Kansas State
game being televised across the coun
try. .
“We're awful pleased with the fact
our program was able to make some
progress,” Snyder said. “We take a
great deal of pride in the fact that we
brought our program to this level.”
Snyder used Nebraska as an ex
ample of a program that Kansas State
and Kansas were trying to duplicate.
“There is a matter of consistency
involved,” Snyder said. “If you get to
the top — how long can you stay
there? Nebraska has been at the top
of the Big Eight since I was a child.
and that was a long time ago. Now
that’s great consistency.”
But Snyder and Mason are off to a
good start.
Snyder was hired in 1989 after the
Wildcats were 0-21 -1 during the pre
vious two seasons.
In his first season, Snyder’s Wild
cats went I-10 and were named as
the worst college football team in
America by Sports Illustrated.
During the next four years, Kan
sas State has posted a 26-18-1 record,
including a Copper Bowl victory in
Mason took over the Kansas pro
gram in 1988, and after finishing in
the bottom half of the Big Eight in
his first four years, the Jayhawks had
back-to-back winning seasons in
1991 and 1992 and claimed an Aloha
Bowl victory in 1992.
Throughout the 1980s, Kansas
and Kansas State combined for a 29
104-6 record and finished 7th and 8th
in the conference during four of those
In the 1990s, the Sunflower state’s
Big Eight schools posted a 28-31-2
record, and tonight’s game will pro
duce the 29th win of the ’90s —
equalling the 1980s win total.
Mason said the struggling 1980s
were in the distant past for the two
“When I go recruit, and I’m sure
it’s the same with Bill Snyder, no
body is talking about if we can win
games at Kansas and Kansas State.
That’s not the case anymore.”
Teams’ finish in invite
surprises happy coach
By Pffc tanon
Senior Reporter
Less than a month into the sea
son, Nebraska cross country coach
Jay Dirksen has already seen some
pleasant surprises.
The Minnesota Invitational last
weekend gave Dirksen a better idea
of where both the Nebraska men’s
and women’s teams stand. And at
Minnesota, they stood tall.
The Husker women finished sec
ond behind Oregon.
Senior Julie Mazzitelli, who trans
ferred from Northern Iowa last sea
son, won the women’s side by com
pleting the 5,000-meter course in a
time of 17:12.
“After Minnesota, we know we
have a genuine No. I runner in Julie
Mazzitelli,” Dirksen said. “She beat
several outstanding athletes with
great ability up there. She’s risen to
the level that she will be an outstand
ing No. I runner for us.
“I never expected that she would
be that high. I was just hoping that
she’d finish in the top 10. There
haven’t been that many people to fin
ish with that good of a time in the
history of that race.”
Dirksen wasn’t disappointed in the
Husker men’s performance at the
Minnesota Invitational either.
The unranked Nebraska men’s
team faced four rated teams and still
managed to finish in fourth place.
Kevin Miller and Brady Bonsall
finished 14th and 15th, respectively,
while teammates Balazs Tolgyesi and
David Draheim came in 25th and
“Our men really ran well last
weekend,’’ he said. “Going into the
season, I thought we’d have a strong
team. The three teams that beat us
(in Minnesota) were in the top seven
in the country, so we did a really fine
job. Our men could be pretty good by
the end of the season.”
Dirksen said he is getting a little
better idea of what is in store for the
Nebraska cross country teams the rest
of the season.
“I think that Minnesota Invite was
really important for us in a lot of
ways,” he said. “It shows we have a
strong team. But right now, these
meets are more of just preparation for
the championships that are down the