Archive for Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sorrentino: Allot time for biggest KU-MU game ever

November 20, 2007

Saturday's installment of the Kansas-Missouri Border War will mark the most momentous sporting event in the Kansas City area since the Jayhawks and Oklahoma Sooners played for the NCAA basketball championship 19 years ago at Kemper Arena.

Those who don't hold a ticket to the game, which kicks off at 7 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium, should clear their calendars Saturday night and turn the dial to ABC, Sunflower Broadband channels 9 and 12.

Already have plans?

Cancel them.

The oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi, which dates back to 1891, is about to embark on the biggest game in its 116-year history.

Sure, I'm drinking the KU-MU hype-flavored Kool-aid, but any Midwest sports fan in his or her right mind would do the same. The winner has a legitimate chance to play in the Bowl Championship Series title game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans.

The winner also will have a legitimate right to boast for its quarterback being deserving of the Heisman Trophy. At this point, I'd say Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing and Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel only trail Florida quarterback Tim Tebow for the most prized individual honor in college sports.

Reesing has taken over Lawrence and killed any basketball buzz that's normally in the air this late in November.

The Austin, Texas, native has had a historic season. In fact, I'm already willing to consider Reesing one of the best quarterbacks in Kansas football history.

If you think the statement is too bold, consider these facts before you go rummaging through old videotapes. The KU record for career touchdown passes is 35. Reesing already is two shy of the record and has 30 this season alone. Remember, he's only a sophomore.

Kansas also is 11-0 for the first time in school history. The Jayhawks never have won seven conference games until this season. Reesing is the captain of the Jayhawk ship sailing to uncharted waters.

As for Daniel, Missouri fans might want to have similar thoughts on the Southlake, Texas, native as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in Columbia, Mo.

With 3,590 passing yards this season, Daniel broke the Missouri single-season record of 3,527 yards -- and he still has Saturday's game to pad those stats.

Oh, and the guy he passed? Himself, last year.

Daniel is on pace to destroy Brad Smith's MU record of 56 career touchdown passes. Daniel, in his junior season, already has 59.

This is college's version of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning.

Fans of high-powered offenses and exciting quarterback play will enjoy Saturday's game. Kansas averages 45.8 points per game, while Missouri averages 42.45.

Saturday will be the fourth time No. 2 Kansas and No. 4 Missouri have been ranked for the big game. The No. 2 ranking is the highest the Jayhawks ever have been ranked.

To make Saturday's game even more interesting, whichever team wins will take the lead on the all-time series, which currently is 53-53-9. It doesn't get much more even than that.

So cancel all plans for Saturday night and rely on Thanksgiving leftovers.

It'll be well worth it.

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