Football Friday: Kansas State has owned Texas, but is the streak really that weird?

It’s time for another Football Friday. This feels like the biggest one of the year.

Kansas State will take on Texas at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Austin. It will be an important game for both teams. It is the conference opener for both sides, the Longhorns are desperately trying to get back on track and the Wildcats are hoping they can continue owning the series.

That seems like more than enough buildup. Now on to your questions:


Here’s the way I look at the streak: Is it odd that Kansas State, a team from the old Big 12 North with a 50,000-seat stadium, is the only team in the conference with a winning overall record against Texas? Yes. Is it strange that Ron Prince, a coach with a losing record who went 2-8 against ranked opponents at K-State, was undefeated against the Longhorns and beat them when they were ranked No. 4 and No. 7? Hell yes. Is it bizarre that K-State has beaten Texas three straight times since Bill Snyder came out of retirement? No. The Wildcats have been the stronger team since 2010, going 30-12 while Texas has hovered above .500 at 23-18.

That much is evident by the way they have won their last two home games in the series, 39-14 in 2010 and 42-24 last year. Those “We own Texas” chants have been justified. The last three wins were no fluke. The first two victories (Colt McCoy got hurt in 2006 and K-State scored on an interception return, a kickoff return and a punt return in 2007) were. K-State has also benefited from avoiding Texas in 2008 and 2009, when the Longhorns were the far superior program. But that’s the way it worked out, and K-State hasn’t lost to Texas since 2003. Is there magic involved? Maybe a little at the beginning, but the last three wins were expected.


It certainly could be when you consider what a loss will do to both teams. K-State has a small margin for error after its opening loss. A 2-2 start doesn’t sound very good with a trip to Oklahoma State up next. But K-State plays five of its final seven games at home, and one of the road games is at Kansas. Bowl eligibility remains in reach until further notice. Texas is in a worse spot. It can’t afford to lose at home. A 1-3 start would force it to finish 5-3 with games at TCU, at Baylor and vs. Oklahoma.


I think we will see a fairly even split between Daniel Sams and Jake Waters. It makes sense to use (and maybe even start) Sams as poorly as Texas has defended running quarterbacks this season. But Bill Snyder will want to stay balanced, and Waters ran well last week. Sams will definitely see added playing time, but it will still be a rotation. I also expect to see a mixture of quarterbacks from Texas. If Ash can play, he will start. But McCoy will probably get in. Mack Brown has said he might play freshman Tyrone Swoopes at quarterback, too.


While I didn’t expect Sams and Waters to share time the way they have, I would probably go with K-State’s struggles in the running game. The Wildcats returned their entire offensive line and John Hubert, but it took them until the third game of the season against lowly Massachusetts to start picking up yards.


I admire the confidence, but K-State won’t hold anything back in this game.


Man, I really admire the confidence. I picked K-State to win 38-35. It has won two in a row and rushed for 329 yards last week. That’s a good combination against Texas. Still, I could see this game going either way. K-State and Texas have both struggled on defense, and you’ve got to think the Longhorns have one good game in them. The only thing I’m sure of is that it will be a shootout.


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