Lost the luster?

Some of the most electric games in Big 12 history have been between K-State and Nebraska. But now with the two teams fighting to stay in the North division hunt, has this once classic match up lost the luster?

It's been 11 years since the Kansas State/Nebraska game has not been televised. Over that time, there have been classic match ups, huge upsets, blowouts, and snow angels.

But this year, one thing might be different—the first time both have teams have entered the game unranked and with nobody but the fans of the two respective schools caring about the outcome.

So, with both K-State and Nebraska struggling this season, has the game lost its luster or importance, just one year removed from last year's Wildcat victory in Lincoln?

"I think it's the same feeling as it always is when we play Nebraska," K-State senior center Mike Johnson said. "Obviously they're going to come in here and they're going to play and they're going to play hard.  It's a rivalry every time we play them."

Not only has the two teams' records changed from a year ago, but Nebraska now passes the ball and K-State expects to beat the Huskers each and every year.

The Wildcats have defeated Nebraska four of the last six years, including three straight in Manhattan.

"When I got here it was a storied program and it meant a lot to beat them my first year," said K-State senior tight end Brian Casey. "My first year here we beat them 29-28 here in the snow. It was one of my best memories to beat them my first year here. We expect to beat them now. Previously, before I got here, we really didn't expect to beat them, and if you did beat them it was a great victory. We got over the hump last year and beat them at their place. Now I just feel that we have the confidence that we can beat Nebraska and they are not the bigger program than us."

Wildcat head coach Bill Snyder said the Huskers' passing attack actually might make Nebraska a better football team than its one-dimensional attack they had for the last 50 years or more.

"I think it has benefited the offense immensely," he said. "If you look at the numbers, you see that they are very, very balanced in regards to the run and the pass, and once again that just makes it more difficult to defend against. They've got good running backs and they've got lineman that have majored in the running game most of their career. It makes a lot of sense that they invest in the running game while they develop their passing game, and they've done exactly that, and they have done well with it."

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