10. The game is part of the Border Showdown, which started in 2002. Each year, every athletic contest between the schools counts toward the showdown score. Saturday’s winner will earn three points. Other events count 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 points. MU leads 5.0 to 4.5 so far this season and the series 3-2.
9. Saturday’s winner will own the MU-KU bass drum, which is the third incarnation of the rivalry’s trophy. Alumni from both schools bought the first in 1935 at a pawn shop in Kansas City. It was lost in the 1980s, and replaced by a drum made by the Taos Indians. In 1999, KU replaced that drum with the current one.
8. Saturday’s winner will take the lead in the overall series. After 115 meetings, the record stands at 53 wins, 53 losses and 9 ties. Although KU was forced to forfeit its victory in 1960, the Jayhawks say they lead the series at 54-52-9.
7. MU coach Gary Pinkel will trigger bonuses in his contract if the Tigers keep winning. Pinkel will earn $25,000 if MU wins the Big 12 Conference North Division, and his overall compensation will increase by that amount after every season. That total increases to $50,000 if MU wins the Big 12. He will receive $100,000 if MU reaches the national championship and $250,000 if it wins.
6. MU quarterback Chase Daniel and Todd Reesing, his KU counterpart, are campaigning for Heisman Trophy votes. Great games Saturday may convince sportswriters to remove Florida QB Tim Tebow from the top spot on their ballots.
5. Before we consider the grandiose, let’s focus only on this game. First, the winner claims the Big 12 Conference North title. That accomplishment is noteworthy since neither team has won the North since the Big 12 started in 1996. Kansas has never finished higher than fourth in the division.
4. If MU wins the North, it would be the school’s second Big 12 title in any sport, the fewest of any school in the Big 12.
3. Another big game awaits the winner: the Big 12 Championship on Dec. 1 in San Antonio. Oklahoma is the likely opponent. But if the Sooners lose to Oklahoma State, Texas could take the South by defeating Texas A&M.
2. If Saturday’s winner loses in San Antonio, the consolation prize will not be worthless. A BCS berth as an at-large team is possible in one of the elite, lucrative January games: the Orange, Sugar, Rose and Fiesta bowls.
1. This is the giant step — the National Championship Game. As the No. 2 team in the Bowl Championship Series standings, Kansas will definitely play for the title if it wins out. That scenario’s not certain for No. 4 MU, but it will probably compete for the title if it wins out.