Category Archives: Cotton Bowl Countdown

Cotton Bowl Countdown: My prediction

Well, here we are. It’s been a month since we got the Cotton Bowl Countdown started with the promise to blog every single day leading up tonight’s game, and (amazingly) you guys helped me come up with enough ideas to deliver.

It’s been a good run. Thanks so much to everyone who e-mailed in suggestions. They were awesome. I couldn’t use them all, but I considered every idea that hit my inbox. Even though the countdown is coming to an end, feel free to continue hitting me up with non Cotton Bowl ideas at Let’s keep a good thing going.

Anyway, as you can tell from the headline on this blog I am going to give you my prediction for the Cotton Bowl. We’ve covered pretty much every angle of the game. The only thing left is to sit back and watch to see who wins.

I think Kansas State comes out on top. It will be close, as all the Wildcats’ games have, but I think they will win 30-28.

Arkansas is a strong team, easily on par with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. It could be the best team K-State has faced. Beating the Razorbacks will be a challenge, but with Collin Klein and John Hubert well rested and healthy for the first time in weeks, I expect the Wildcats to have success running the ball.

Anytime that happens, they have a good chance at winning. A key to the game will be K-State’s pass rush. Tyler Wilson and Jarius Wright are legit. If the Wildcats can’t put pressure on Wilson, they will connect for big passing plays all night long.

We’ll see what happens. This is a top 10 matchup that Arkansas enters as a touchdown favorite, but it could go either way.

K-State has walked into that type of game all season and had success. No reason to think that trend ends today.

Cotton Bowl Countdown: John Hubert closing in on 1,000 rushing yards

How easy is it to focus on Collin Klein as the driving force of Kansas State’s rushing attack?

I’ll let Wildcats co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel answer.

“In putting game plans together I started to find we were putting in a ton of quarterback run game,” Dimel said. “And at times I had to catch myself and say, ‘Hold on a second. John Hubert has a chance to be a 1,000-yard rusher.’ You’ve got to make sure you give him some touches, too.

“That’s what I would find ourselves doing, getting engulfed into what Collin could do and start forgetting that we have some tailback run game, as well.”

Some pretty good tailback run game, too. Not as good as the last two years, when current NFL running back Daniel Thomas was the focal point of the offense, but pretty good.

John Hubert, a sophomore running back out of Waco, Texas, is the best running back on the roster, and he is closing in on a 1,000-yard season. Few would have predicted that before the season, but Hubert steadily worked his way to 933 yards. He had a breakout game against Miami (166 yards and a touchdown) as well as a huge game against Iowa State (120 yards and a touchdown).

With another quality game, he will end the season with 1,000 yards.
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: Much like K-State, Arkansas is hoping for rare 11-win season

“We want to win every game, but we really want to win this one. We really want to get to No. 11. That might put us up there with the best teams in Kansas State history. That would be really special,” — Kansas State offensive tackle Clyde Aufner.

“We can win 11 games for the first time in a long, long time,” — Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino.

Take a look at those two quotes. Aside from the obvious reasons for wanting to win the Cotton Bowl, it’s pretty easy to tell what is driving both Arkansas and K-State this week.

They want to win 11 games.
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: K-State coaches already looking for the next Collin Klein

As this season has taught us, there is only one Collin Klein. So don’t mistake my headline as meaning Kansas State coach Bill Snyder and his staff are out on the recruiting trail trying to discover his younger clone.

What I mean is that the Wildcats have discovered how nice it can be to have a talented, dependable quarterback under center on a weekly basis. The position battles of the past two seasons are long behind them and the wildcat formation is no longer a necessity to keep the offense moving.

Klein has brought great stability to the huddle, and that has translated into success on the field. K-State coaches want that to continue for years to come, but he only has one more season of eligibility.

The Wildcats need to establish his backup for next season as quickly as possible and start grooming a quarterback for the future. When Klein leaves, they want to have the next guy in line to be ready to play well immediately.

So who will that quarterback be?

Right now it looks like Daniel Sams, a dual-threat player out of Louisiana who has spent his first year in Manhattan with a redshirt. But don’t count out incoming high school senior Tavarius Bender, who K-State co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel said today will come in next semester and practice with team during the spring, or Justin Tuggle.
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: The Judge

The most newsworthy item that came out of today’s Cotton Bowl media conferences was about Kansas State junior linebacker Arthur Brown. He says he will wait one more season before trying to make a NFL roster, and will be back with the Wildcats as a senior.

The most interesting item of the day may have centered on Brown, too.

K-State defensive coordinator Chris Cosh revealed his nickname: The Judge.

“That’s what we call him,” Cosh said. “He does a lot, but says very little. He’s always looking at us with that eye.”

Anyone who has met Brown can agree the nickname suits him. He rarely smiles, but is rarely upset. His voice and demeanor never change, regardless of his mood. And he always seems serious. Just like a judge.

You could also say his tackling style resembles a judge banging his gavel. Or maybe not. But you get the point. He’s good. He’s K-State’s best defensive player (he made a team-high 95 tackles and outplayed Heisman winner Robert Griffin III straight up in the fourth quarter of a close game). And he deserves a nickname.
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: Arkansas likes its chances on offense against K-State

It doesn’t seem like the Arkansas football team thinks it will have much trouble moving the ball against Kansas State’s defense in the Cotton Bowl.

When asked if it might be more difficult to throw against the Wildcats, a squad that sees high-powered passing attacks every week in the Big 12, than your typical SEC defense, which prepares for a smash-mouth style week in and week out, Arkansas wide receiver Jarius Wright decided to offer up some bulletin-board material.

“We just want to run our offense,” Wright said. “I don’t want to call the Big 12 an unphysical conference, but we are probably going to be a little more physical than they are used to.”

When asked a similar question, Arkansas tight end Chris Gragg had this to say: “We’re looking forward to the Razorback fans getting in here so we can put on a show for them.”
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: Happy New Year!

So I made it to Texas along with my pal Tony Adame, who will be helping me out with Cotton Bowl coverage all week. We’re having fun so far, but it doesn’t look like we’re having as much fun as Kansas State defensive lineman Raphael Guidry.

The senior passed along the above photo earlier today with the caption “I think I’m in love!!!!”

Looks like the start of an exciting week for the Wildcats.

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

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. Read More »

Cotton Bowl Countdown: K-State marching band looking forward to easy, exciting trip

Boarding a bus at 2:15 a.m. in Manhattan and sitting in the same seat for an eight-hour ride to Arlington, Texas might not sound like a lot of fun to you or me, but it sounds like heaven to the Kansas State marching band.

Unlike a year ago, when K-State Director of Bands Frank Tracz loaded 360 band members and cheerleaders onto several buses and took them across the country in a blizzard to New York for the Pinstripe Bowl, the pride of Wildcat land will enjoy a easy, relatively short trip to the Cotton Bowl.

“We’re not going to miss sleep for 48 hours like we did last year,” Tracz said. “We’ll be on the road for a normal eight hours instead of 31 hours.”

Wait a second, 31 hours! That’s got to be an exaggeration. No trip could take that long, right? Wrong. That was just the trip there, which didn’t end until K-State students got off the bus and pushed the buses through snow up to their hotel’s entrance.

“We got there the day the storm ended last year,” Tracz said. “We went 31 hours and a block away from the hotel we were going up hill and the buses got stuck. I said, ‘I’ll be damned if we get stuck here.’

“Kids got off and pushed the bus. They moved snow to get the buses up to the hotel. It was a test, but we passed it.”
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: Still looking for a ticket? You’re in luck. Prices going down

Kansas State football fans still on the hunt for tickets to the 2012 Cotton Bowl are in luck.

Ticket prices are going down.

Unlike a few weeks ago, when no ticket could be found on the secondary market for less than $209 and the most expensive suite was going for $56,846, tickets are now available for as low as $139 and the top suite is down to $27,897.

By no means cheap, but much more affordable.

Anyone who was frustrated by ticket prices when the sold out Cotton Bowl matchup was announced needs to give websites like StubHub, TicketCity and the Cotton Bowl’s official ticket exchange another try.

Below is a rundown of the cheaper tickets that can now be found on those three sites:

Standing Room Only: From $141
Upper Reserved: From $150
300 Section: From $195
200 Section: From $190
100 Section: From $208

Standing Room Only: From $139
Upper Reserved: From $139
300 Section: From $164
200 Section: From $200
100 Section: From $208

Cotton Bowl Ticket Exchange
Upper Reserved: From $150
300 Section: From $190
200 Section: From $195
100 Section: From $235

And who knows? Ticket prices may continue to fall as Jan. 6 approaches. Hopefully this softer secondary market will allow more real fans entrance to the Cotton Bowl.

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