It's a game of firsts and lasts as the Jayhawks head to Lincoln for a matchup against the Cornhuskers on Saturday night. It's the first time Turner Gill will enter Memorial Stadium on the visitor sideline. It's also the last time the Jayhawks and the Cornhuskers will square off as Conference opponents.
In what currently stands as the nations longest continuous matchup between two teams the Cornhuskers and Jayhawks will face eachother for the 117th time. The series started in 1892. Ironically it began with a Kansas victory in a 12-0 thriller in Lincoln.
The Omaha Sunday Bee described the scene as a "perfect day for football had it not been for the high wind from the South". The atmosphere featured Kansas and Nebraskans and a familiar Jayhawk chant, "The Kansas team had many adherents among the crowd and the ''Rock Chalk" was sometimes almost as strong as the university yell."
Times have certainly changed and the series has long favored the Cornhuskers who at the time of the original contest were known as Bugeaters. When Kansas heads to Lincoln for the final time they will look to move the overall record to 24 wins, 90 losses and three ties if they can manage to surprise everyone with an upset.
The more likely scenario at this point would be a Husker victory and a 22nd straight victory over the Jayhawks in Lincoln. It's never been a particularly competitive series and because of that it hardly qualifies as a rivalry, but anytime something this longstanding goes by the wayside it's certainly worth noting.
After a miracle come from behind win last week in Lawrence over the Colorado Buffaloes, Kansas will look to carry that momentum into a sea of red. Finding a rhythm offensively will certainly prove more challenging and putting a stop to a potent Husker ground attack provides a very difficult matchup.
It's an opportunity for Turner Gill to take his team back to where he started his college football career. A chance to take his team back and show them a little bit of the reason why he knows about big time college football. A warm welcome surely awaits from the Husker faithful who revere the Kansas coach most likely more than most Jayhawk fans do at the moment.
At the end of the day it's still about football. It's about taking the positive momentum gained from last weeks game and his first Big 12 win and pushing his team and program forward. For all the side stories, the firsts and lasts, all that matters to Gill and Kansas on Saturday is finding a way to perhaps shock the world with a sendoff to the series in the same fashion it began, and that's with a Kansas win.