The Kansas City area has seen some higher-stakes sunflower showdowns in football, no doubt, but there’s reason to believe this year’s edition could be some of the best in recent memory.
Kansas has shown signs of life under first-year head coach Lance Leipold, and K-State is aiming for a bowl appearance that would extend their long streak of playoff invitations.
It’s also a big week for the Chiefs (when is not it’s the case ? it’s the NFL!), and local high school sports fans will have plenty of opportunities to cheer on outstanding area teams and the student-athletes they love.
Sporty KC? All they do this week is close out the regular season with no less than three games in the space of eight days. And then it’s also for the playoffs for them.
College football buzz
K-State and Chris Klieman picked up an important victory on Oct. 23 in Lubbock, Texas, passing the Red Raiders 25-24 to end an eight-game losing streak in conference.
Kansas led the Oklahoma standings at Lawrence the same afternoon before losing 35-23. The Jayhawks, led by freshman coach Lance Leipold, baffled the Sooners – they led OR, for real – before order was restored to the Big 12 universe.
Do we dream to think this year’s Sunflower Showdown is shaping up to be a competitive football game and maybe even the closest final score between these two neighbors since 2018, when KSU won 21-17? May be. After all, the Cats have dominated KU since a 52-21 Kansas win over Lawrence in 2008.
Not to mention Mizzou, here. The Tigers also play Saturday, and their task is gargantuan: in Georgia.
Chiefs fans have two chances at Arrowhead Stadium to see their team try to improve their lot next week.
The Chiefs host the New York Giants on Monday Night Football, then meet the Green Bay Packers here on Sunday, November 7.
It’s a busy week for Sporting KC. And it will get even busier, or more intense, anyway, at the start of the MLS playoffs.
Before we can start thinking about the playoffs, however, there are three more regular season games to play in the week ahead: Sporting KC are in Minnesota today (Sunday, October 31); in Austin on Wednesday; and at home, for the final of the regular season, against Real Salt Lake next Sunday (November 7).
And so the playoffs can begin.
College hoops are back
The K-State Men’s Basketball Team kicks off the 2021-22 season at the Bramlage Coliseum Thursday night against Pittsburg State.
Kansas and Mizzou’s first games respectively aren’t far behind: KU opens with a marquee game at Madison Square Garden against Michigan State on Tuesday, November 9, while the Tigers kick off the same day with a home game against Central Michigan.
High school sports party
There’s so much going on in high school sports for Kansas City area teams and individual competitors this week. Part of it takes place here in the metro, but much of it takes place elsewhere.
Here’s a look at what’s going on in addition to the myriad of preseason football games that will reduce the field of standings across Missouri and Kansas:
- Kansas Football Championships: The semi-finals will take place on Friday and the finals on Saturday at the pitches in Olathe, Wichita and Topeka.
- Missouri Volleyball Championships: The state tournaments are held Thursday through Saturday at the Show Me Center on the Southeast Missouri state campus in Cape Girardeau; the finals are Friday and Saturday.
- The Missouri cross: The State Championships are held Friday and Saturday at the Gans Creek Course in Columbia.