87 Days: The Best Tournament, Round One, Games 5 and 6

Four greats, but only two move on in our The Best Tournament
Photo: Richard Gwin
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Earlier in our yearly 100 Days until Kansas football countdown, we started a new knockout tournament featuring the greats of Kansas football. We’ve already gone through four matchups, and you can click here and here to check them out. Now we head to the bottom of the bracket, but first, a quick rundown of how this tournament is going to play out and how you can contribute.

Each of our writers will have a vote in the competition, but this isn’t just a BWR tournament. You will also get to vote here and through our social media accounts (instagram, threads and X). The winner in the fan vote will be counted as equal to each vote from our contributors. We will continue down this path until we have determined who is the best player to ever don the crimson and blue.

Here’s another quick look at this side of the bracket:

13 John Zook vs 20 Larry Brown

Today’s first matchup features guys who really strutted their stuff at the next level. Who’s it going to be in this massive first round battle?

John Zook, 1966-1968.

The big defensive end from Garden City, KS finished his Kansas career with 202 tackles. Zook was a two time all-conference performer and was an All-American in his final season at Kansas, one that culminated in a trip to the Orange Bowl in Miami. Zook played eleven seasons in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and St. Louis Cardinals. He was named to the All-Pro team in 1973.

Larry Brown, 1967-1970.

Ring of Honor member Larry Brown was perhaps best known for being a part of the dynastic Pittsburgh Steelers teams in the early 1970s. He played tight end for the Jayhawks, but in the NFL, he played that position as well as tackle. He won four Super Bowls with Pittsburgh and was named to their all-time team in 2007. 

12 Kerry Meier vs 21 Curtis McClinton

Offensive juggernauts go head to head in our 12 v 21 battle. Who makes it to the next round to face a legend?

Kerry Meier, 2006-2009.

Unsurprisingly, a highly recruited quarterback holds many school records. Surprisingly, those records are receiving records. Kerry Meier holds the career catches mark at 226 and is in possession of the top two seasons in Kansas history in catches made at 102 and 97 in 2009 and 2008 respectively. He also has the most receptions in a single game for the Jayhawks at 16 against Iowa State in 2009. Kerry’s 2,309 yards receiving is the third highest in Kansas history as well.

Curtis McClinton, 1959-1961.

A three time all conference selection, Curtis McClinton finished his KU career with 1,377 yards rushing. He was also a Big 8 hurdles champion who was later drafted by the Dallas Texans into the AFL. He played for that franchise as it transitioned to become the Kansas City Chiefs and McClinton was a part of their first ever Super Bowl Championship.

Remember to vote on all our socail media platforms to help your favorite Jayhawk make it to the next round.

Derek Noll


An avid Jayhawks fan his entire life, Derek graduated from the University of Kansas in 1999 and has been writing about the Jayhawks since 2014, getting his start at Rock Chalk Talk.  He specializes in uniform analysis for basketball and football and offers a humorous take on player performances through Player Ratings posts.