Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Let the war of words begin for this week's "Sunflower State" showdown.
Kansas State players started smack-talking early for their game Saturday against Kansas. And they didn't stop until the end of their media availability Monday in Manhattan.
Understand the Wildcats have been pointing to Saturday's game for several months. A countdown clock in the team's training facility has clicked away the hours until the Kansas game since the summer. And the team broke its huddle after losing last week to Oklahoma by chanting "Beat KU."
The Jayhawks have claimed three of the last four games in the series since former KSU coach Bill Snyder ran off an 11-game winning streak against the Jayhawks from 1993-2003.
Kansas State wide receiver Deon Murphy had some bold pronouncements about Saturday's game to the Lawrence Journal-World.
When asked how much top Kansas State defensive end Ian Campbell could have helped the struggling Kansas pass rush, Murphy boldly told the Journal-World:
"They're probably going to wish they recruited this whole team the way we're gonna play this weekend."
Kansas State sophomore center Zach Kendall had an interesting answer when asked what the first thing he thought about when asked about Kansas.
"Hate," he told the Journal-World. "For lack of a better word."
Later, when asked by the Journal-World why he felt Kansas State had the better football program, Kendall said, "Heart. I feel like we have more heart."
Murphy was only getting started as he made a bold prediction about Saturday's game.
"I'm taking one to the crib this weekend, that's the bottom line," Murphy said.
Saturday's game will have high stakes for both teams. The Wildcats can climb back into the North Division title race with an upset and need two victories to become bowl eligible.
Kansas still holds a share of the Big 12 North lead, despite losing back-to-back games against Oklahoma and Texas Tech in their last two games.
The Jayhawks have the reputation of being one of the more tight-lipped programs in the country. But it will be interesting to see what coach Mark Mangino and his players have to say about these comments during their media availability later today.