Kansas State football will benefit from a home-heavy, travel-friendly schedule

If you have access to a car, you can easily attend all 12 of Kansas State’s football games this season.

Perhaps that’s the best way to describe just how travel-friendly the Wildcats’ schedule will be this year.

It features eight home games and only three trips across state lines. And it is one of the main reasons many believe K-State will exceed preseason expectations, which have the Wildcats qualifying for a middle-tier bowl and finishing sixth in the Big 12 standings.

Let’s take a closer look at the schedule perks: K-State will benefit from five conference home games, as opposed to four last year, and play all three of its nonconference games at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

K-State hasn’t played eight home games since 2006, when Ron Prince had his lone winning season and the Wildcats reached the Texas Bowl. The last time it happened during the Snyder era was 2002, when the Wildcats won 11 games and beat Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.

This is the type of schedule Snyder prefers. He has been building toward it since he returned to the sidelines in 2009 and only played six home games in his first two seasons back.

It starts with three relatively easy nonconference home games. Sure, North Dakota State has a track record for beating FBS teams on the road and Louisiana-Lafayette beat K-State the last time they played, but the Wildcats will be heavily favored in their first three games. Some consider their nonconference slate to be among the nation’s easiest. They should enter Big 12 play 3-0.

Once conference play begins, K-State will have to start traveling — but not far. A season-ending road game at Kansas means K-State only has to leave the Sunflower State three times. The Wildcats will still board three chartered flights for three road games (at Texas, at Oklahoma State and at Texas Tech) but none of them will be long.

Fans will easily be able to travel to those games in cars. Oklahoma State and Kansas are quick drives. Texas and Texas Tech are less than 12 hours away. No flights necessary.

It’s an ideal schedule for everyone involved. The K-State faithful can make it to more games without spending a lot more money, and the K-State football team can break in a new quarterback and several defensive starters with eight home games.

Enjoy it while it lasts. K-State is back to seven home games in 2014.

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E-mail: krobinett@wichitaeagle.com
Twitter: @KellisRobinett