Daily Archives: Nov. 8, 2013

Football Friday: Reliving Kansas State’s close call against Baylor, predicting a shootout at Texas Tech and bacon

Recent games across the Big 12 continue to reinforce how difficult it is to project a team’s future success.

When Kansas State started 2-4 and Texas Tech started 7-0 and Oklahoma won every game outside the Red River Rivalry, it looked like the Wildcats would be heavy underdogs against the Red Raiders and the Sooners. It seemed like they would have to sweep their less daunting matchups against West Virginia, Iowa State, TCU and Kansas to reach bowl eligibility.

Well, Texas Tech has lost back-to-back games and its 11 a.m. kickoff against K-State on Saturday is more or less a toss-up. And Baylor pounded the Sooners last night. Anyone still think the Wildcats will be overmatched against them at home?

If K-State can beat Texas Tech, that dynamic will change even further.

It won’t be easy. Jace Amaro is the best tight end in the country, and the Red Raiders are desperate for a win on senior day. But the Wildcats have momentum on their side. Make sure to wake up early for this one. It could be good.

Anyway, it’s Football Friday. Let’s get to your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

I think that is now allowed. Kansas State is the only team that has put up a fight against Baylor. And the Wildcats did a whole lot more than just put up a fight. They held a fourth-quarter lead, and came within a few secondary miscues of pulling the upset. I’ve seen people say other teams are trying to emulate K-State’s gameplan from that afternoon against Baylor — run for big yardage, control clock and stay patient. That’s telling considering K-State didn’t even win. I think someone else will play Baylor tough, especially with Tevin Reese out indefinitely, but K-State was the first team to do it.
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A few minutes with … Kirby Hocutt

Kansas State fans first met Kirby Hocutt more than 20 years ago as a linebacker on some of Bill Snyder’s early teams. He helped the Wildcats reach their first bowl game under Snyder – the Copper Bowl in 1993 – and he left the program as a memorable player.

Today, he is better known as an athletic director. In the past year, he has made sweeping changes at Texas Tech, hiring Kliff Kingsbury as the Red Raiders’ new football coach and hiring Tubby Smith as the Red Raiders’ new basketball coach.

After a 7-0 start to the football season, fan excitement boomed in Lubbock. Back-to-back losses have brought Texas Tech down to earth a bit. Now it will try to bounce back against Hocutt’s alma mater.

Hocutt was kind enough to talk about that matchup, his current job and his former school in a wide-ranging interview earlier this week. Some of the conversation was covered here. Here are the other highlights.

What kind of relationship do you have with Bill Snyder?

He is why I pursued a career in college athletics. The five years I spent playing under Coach Snyder, I enjoyed that time at Kansas State. I learned from Coach Snyder and Coach (Bob) Stoops and all of the coaches. Those experiences are still valuable to me today.
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