One thing I’ve noticed a lot of national writers jump on lately is the fact that Kansas State and Oregon were originally scheduled to play the second game of a home-and-home series this year, but decided not to go ahead with the games.
With K-State ranked third in the BCS standings and Oregon ranked fourth, plenty of people now wish they would have played. A head-to-head game certainly would put to rest questions about which team is better.
Most have blamed K-State for cancelling the series, stating that Bill Snyder didn’t want to play the game. While it’s true Snyder griped about former football coach Ron Prince scheduling Virginia Tech and Oregon while he was retired, and he didn’t want to play Oregon and Miami in the same month, Snyder didn’t just snap his fingers and make those games disappear.
In the case of K-State/Oregon, the Ducks didn’t want to play the games as originally scheduled, either. They wanted to push it back and make room for a game against LSU in Arlington last year. According to ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel, Oregon asked K-State to reschedule the series. The Wildcats suggested not playing at all. Both teams agreed.
K-State athletic director John Currie also explained it was a mutual agreement to cancel the series on August 3, 2010 in a letter to fans.
“Since we will likely have a nine-game conference schedule in 2011, we have reached a mutual agreement with Oregon to cancel that series without any financial penalty to either school,” Currie wrote.
But Oregon fans are still upset, because without K-State on the schedule their nonconference slate was filled with cupcake opponents. Before the start of Pac-12 competition, the Ducks played Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech.
The Wildcats beat up on Miami in their second game. Along with wins over Oklahoma and West Virginia, strength of schedule helped K-State jump Oregon in the latest standings.
Though K-State is benefiting from the cancelled series at the moment, no one could have envisioned this scenario playing out two years ago when both sides decided not to play. Remember, when the series was originally scheduled K-State was part of the Big 12 North and played four nonconference games every year. And the Pac-12 had 10 members.
Conference realignment and the Big 12 moving to a nine-game, round-robin schedule, forced a lot of schools to get creative in the scheduling department. You think Oklahoma wanted to start its season at UTEP? You think Oklahoma State wanted to play Savannah State? K-State also had to cancel the return game of a home-and-series with Central Florida. K-State offered to reschedule the game to a later year, Central Florida said no and the Wildcats ended up buying out of the game.
In this case, Oregon wanted to add a game and K-State wanted to cut a game. So they agreed not to play.
If you want to blame someone for that, blame conference realignment.
– Everyone wants to know what Collin Klein is doing differently this year as a passer. He has improved significantly from last season. But it all might come down to confidence and experience.
– Robert Griffin III says he would vote for Collin Klein to win the Heisman Trophy if he voted today.
– How did Texas Tech score so easily on its game-winning touchdown? Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal explains.
– Texas Tech receivers are thriving on their physicality, writes Nick Kosmider of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal.