KU-Nebraska: Digging deeper inside the numbers
In the aftermath of Kansas University's 76-39 exorcism of its Nebraska football demons, countless scribes have been scouring the record books searching for some deeper meaning in Saturday's slaughter.There's the stuff you've surely read about by now:- KU's 76 points were the most scored on Nebraska in a single game in the program's 117-year history.- The 76-point explosion was the third-highest point production in KU football history and most ever in a conference game - not just in the Big 12, but in any conference.- Kansas scored touchdowns on 10 - yes, you read that correct - straight possessions. If that's not a national record, it must be pretty darn close.But let's look a little deeper into the numbers just for the heck of it. Here's a few more interesting tidbits:- KU's three highest scoring performances against Nebraska have come during the past three years (76 points in 2007, 40 in 2005 and 39 in 2006). Prior to that, the previous high was 36 in 1899 and 31 in 1960.- Nebraska hung 70 points on Kansas in a shutout victory in 1986. The Huskers have scored 60 or more points on the Jayhawks five times and 50-plus 18 times.- Of the 10 decades between 1900 and 2000, Kansas scored less than 76 points in a decade against Nebraska in six of those decades ('00's, '10s, '20s, '30s, '70s, '80s).- Thirty-four different Kansas University football coaches have led the Jayhawks against Nebraska since the first meeting back in 1892 when KU escaped Lincoln, Neb., with a 12-0 victory.Of those 34 coaches, only 12 ever defeated the vaunted Cornhuskers. Current KU coach Mark Mangino is one of just seven Jayhawk bosses to lead his squad to multiple victories against Nebraska. Jack Mitchell is Kansas' winningest coach against NU with a 4-5 mark. His teams won four straight from 1958-1961 before losing in each of Mitchell's final five years at the helm. A.R. (Bert) Kennedy and J.V. Sikes both posted three wins against Nebraska.TOO GOOD NOT TO NOTICE: Apparently Kansas' mauling of Nebraska was a big enough deal that a few people outside of Lawrence took notice. The Jayhawks surged three more spots in the Associated Press and Coaches' polls this week by moving up to No. 5 in the land. Meanwhile, they leaped on up to No. 4 in the BCS standings, leapfrogging Oklahoma and officially entering the national championship picture. Only unbeaten Ohio State (first with a .995 BCS average), and one-loss teams LSU (.941 average) and Oregon (.918 average) are ahead of KU (.843 average).TITLE TALK: For those concerned that KU might not catch the other three if they win out, consider this: If the Jayhawks take care of Oklahoma State and Iowa State during the next two weeks, then they'll play BCS No. 6 Missouri in the regular-season finale. A win there would set up a likely meeting with BCS No. 5 Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game. Winning those last two would provide a serious spark to KU's strength-of-schedule rating, and it might be enough to land the Jayhawks in the BCS title game.But first things first: Kansas has a tough road contest Saturday at Oklahoma State. KU fans can keep celebrating the win over Nebraska, but the Jayhawks had better not. There's still a lot of work left to do.