Lunchtime links: 'Sparky,' 'Old Faithful' lead Kansas

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I love nicknames and always have. I think it started when I was a kid playing APBA baseball and football and found the occasional nickname found on a player card. It always seemed to give a player a little more color and pizzazz back in those pre-cable television days when I'd be lucky to watch one or two games a week.

Today, those nicknames don't seem to be nearly as prevalent. But when they come, it still sticks out to me.

That's why I liked Dugan Arnett's notebook so much this morning in the Lawrence Journal-World where he discusses the play of Kansas wide receiver Kerry Meier.

It seems that Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing has christened Meier with the nickname of "Old Faithful" because of his reliability to the Kansas offense.

"I don't know about the 'old' part," Meier told Arnett, "but 'faithful' is good."

It's not surprising that Reesing would be the one giving the nicknames. Reesing is known by his teammates as "Sparky," bestowed to him by Kansas coach Mark Mangino because of his fiery attitude.

They are bonded by more than their nicknames. "Sparky" and "Old Faithful" are going to be integral parts of the Jayhawks' upcoming charge to the Big 12 North Division title.

Here are some other stories from across the conference today.