Cotton Bowl Countdown: How good does that 36-35 win over Baylor look today?

As the final month of college football’s regular season began, Kansas State football fans probably would have been conflicted when trying to agree on the Wildcats’ best win of the season.

Beating Miami 28-24 on a goal-line stand in the final moments was thrilling, and the momentum that came out of that victory is really what started K-State’s run to a 10-win season. It was probably the most meaningful victory.

Beating Texas A&M 53-50 could easily be described as the most exciting game of the season. It was the first overtime game to ever be played at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, and it took four overtimes to decide. It also halted a two-game losing streak. Quite the win.

And then there was the 36-35 win over Baylor. At the time, it looked like an amazing win. The Bears were ranked 15th and came to Manhattan undefeated. Robert Griffin III was beginning to pick up buzz as a Heisman contender, and he looked fantastic for three quarters. Then K-State came up with some big defensive plays and won by a point. A great win to be sure, but when Baylor followed the defeat up with lopsided losses against Texas A&M and Oklahoma State and ugly wins against Kansas and Missouri, it began to look average.

Well, not anymore. Baylor was just in a slump, and ended the year with impressive wins over Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas.

Then Griffin III won the Heisman.

Then came last night, an epic Alamo Bowl win over Washington in which the Bears scored 67 points. That’s right, 67 points! It was literally as if they were running a video-game offense.

When K-State played the Bears, it held RG3 and their high-powered offense to 35 points. Arthur Brown was the player of the game, and Ray Kibble and Jordan Voelker helped K-State’s defense outplay Baylor’s offense.

After Baylor’s late-season charge, that might go down as a win over a Top 10 team. A victory that looked great at the time and then seemed average for a month will go down as the most impressive win of the season.

Well, unless K-State beats Arkansas in the 2012 Cotton Bowl.

If the Wildcats do that their win over Baylor, even after last night, will simply be K-State’s best win of the regular season.

Editor’s Note: On Jan. 6, the Kansas State football team will face Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. With that in mind, I began counting down to the big game in Cowboys Stadium on Dec. 6 by attempting to write 31 blog posts in 31 days. I use the word “attempting” because I can only think of so many blog ideas at the moment. I’m confident that I can go 31 for 31, but your help is appreciated. Feel free to send a blog idea (or two) my way at