Category Archives: Football Friday

Football Friday: Kansas State, Michigan, Nebraska and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Football Friday is back. Who else is excited?

This is a good week to talk Kansas State football. The Wildcats are headed to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl later this month to take on Michigan, and that should be a highly competitive game. Both teams went 7-5 in the regular season and K-State is an early 3.5-point favorite.

And with a title sponsor like Buffalo Wild Wings, you know the game won’t be decided until the final play.

Anyway, let’s get onto your questions. Thanks, as always, for providing them.

Nebraska vs. Kansas State definitely seemed like the more compelling matchup, and I think most expected the former Big 8/Big 12 rivals to meet in Tempe. The Cornhuskers won more games than the Wolverines and beat them head-to-head, yet the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl opted for Michigan. You don’t see that every day. It would have been like Texas Tech jumping over K-State in the Big 12 bowl order. There are, however, a few reasonable explanations why Michigan was the more attractive team. For starters, K-State and Michigan have never played. It’s always fun to create new matchups in bowls. K-State now gets a shot against a storied program. Conversely, Nebraska and K-State have played 95 times, with the Cornhuskers winning 78 of those games. They have even played in a bowl game (kind of) before. Anyone remember the 1992 Coca-Cola Bowl in Tokyo? I get that K-State vs. Nebraska would have been cool, but from a bowl executive’s point of view, are Nebraska fans going to be fired up for another game against K-State?
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Football Friday: Previewing Oklahoma and examining three early basketball losses

It’s time for another Football Friday. Who else is excited?

Before I get to your questions, I have an interesting K-State football stat to pass along.

If you add up the records of the four teams K-State has lost to (Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas and North Dakota State) you are left with a sparkling mark of 35-4. If you add up the records of the six teams K-State has defeated (Texas Tech, West Virginia, TCU, Iowa State, TCU, Louisiana-Lafayette and Massachusetts) you get a not-so-sparkling record of 25-38.

That places a little extra meaning on K-State’s upcoming game against Oklahoma. Wile there is absolutely no shame to losing to four teams with four combined losses, the Wildcats have only beaten two teams with winning records. The Sooners, at 8-2, could be the third.

I am expecting a close game with home field potentially playing a key role. My prediction is K-State 28, Oklahoma 27.

Anyway, onto your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

Though Oklahoma will be without three players on offense (QB Blake Bell, RB Damien Williams and WR Lacoltan Bester) and K-State will be down one player on defense (Zimmerman) I think the Wildcats face the more difficult transition. Zimmerman is the leader of K-State’s defense and the eyes and ears of its secondary, always helping his teammates line up in the correct spot and formation. He has been playing at a very high level recently and K-State struggled in its first game without him last year. Oklahoma, meanwhile, would have probably played Trevor Knight at quarterback anyway. He was great against Iowa State. And Brennan Clay is the team’s leading rusher. Not Williams. I’m sure the Sooners have other receivers who can fill in for Bester. That being said, Oklahoma rarely tries to beat defenses deep. The losses might be about even.
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Football Friday: TCU’s strong defense, Kansas State’s successful walk-on program and small crowds at Bramlage Coliseum

It’s time for another Football Friday. Who else is excited? Let’s get to your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

There’s no easy way to attack TCU’s defense. The Horned Frogs rank 19th nationally against the run (125.2 yards) and 10th nationally against the pass (224.2 yards). Verrett might be the best shutdown corner in the Big 12, so you don’t want to challenge him. Tyler Lockett will really have to work to get open on Saturday. But you can’t exactly run the ball 45 times against a stacked front seven, either. This is the best defense K-State will see all year. Nothing will come easy. My guess is K-State will favor the run, because John Hubert has been on a tear lately and Daniel Sams can create something out of nothing on the ground. But the Wildcats will try to stay as balanced as possible. If they can complete passes over the middle to Curry Sexton, Tramaine Thompson and Kyle Klein that could open up other things.
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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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Football Friday: All about Iowa State

It’s time for another Football Friday. Who else is excited?

Kansas State has a big sports weekend coming up. The men’s basketball team takes on Pittsburg State in its lone exhibition game tonight. Then the football team takes on Iowa State at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Speaking of Iowa State, most of the questions (as always, thank you for submitting them) this week revolve around the Cyclones, so let’s get to them.

Any shot at an upset starts with an early lead. The Cyclones fell way behind in their last two games and had no shot from there. They played Texas Tech and Texas tough through halftime and were in both of those games late. Iowa State, at 1-6, is a team low on confidence. At this point, its players look like they are waiting for something bad to happen. But the longer they stay in the game, the more confidence they will have. Beyond that, Iowa State will need to create turnovers. Its defense isn’t good enough to win games without a few of those. It is allowing more than 217 rushing yards per game, but teams are also throwing for 260 yards per game against it. Iowa State is allowing more than 50 points per game against Big 12 competition. If K-State takes care of business, it will win this game. But if it commits penalties and turns the ball over it could be close.
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Football Friday: Mid-season awards, healthy receivers, a starting 5 and Halloween advice

It’s time for another Football Friday. Who else is excited?

I thought about handing out some mid-season awards as a build-up to the questions this week, but then someone sent along an e-mail asking for a mid-season MVP. So, no intro needed. Let’s get to the questions.

That’s a tough one. It’s hard to name a MVP with K-State off to a 2-4 start, quarterbacks coming in and out and key players suffering injuries. A case could be made for Tyler Lockett, Daniel Sams, Blake Slaughter, Ryan Mueller and maybe even a few others.

I’m inclined to choose Lockett. Even though he has missed two games with a hamstring injury he ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 475 receiving yards and set a single-game program record with 237 receiving yards at Texas. Those numbers are too good to ignore, plus he has developed into a strong leader.

On the defensive side of the ball, I would narrowly choose Mueller over Slaughter. Mueller leads the team with 8.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and three quarterback hurries. And when he makes a big play, it is highlight worthy.
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Football Friday: Can Kansas State go 7-5?

It’s time for another Football Friday. Thanks again for all the questions. Let’s get right to them:

I think K-State’s final record will be 6-6. This is a team that has held a fourth-quarter lead in five of its games. This is a team that came close to pulling off upsets against ranked teams in back-to-back weeks. This is a team that isn’t far away from 4-2 or even 5-1. I think the Wildcats are getting better and will finish the season much stronger than they started it.

But they also haven’t won a close game yet, which is sometimes the hardest thing for young teams to learn how to do. So it’s not like a bowl game is assured. Best case, I see the Wildcats finishing 7-5. Worst case, I see 4-8.

Anything could happen. For fun, let’s breakdown the remaining schedule.
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Football Friday: How many points will it take to beat Baylor? How should K-State use Daniel Sams, Jake Waters and John Hubert?

It’s time for another Football Friday.

Kansas State will face Baylor at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium. It might be one of the most intriguing games of the day. The Bears and their offense are the talk of the Big 12, but they haven’t had much recent success on the road in conference play and has never won in Manhattan.

K-State might be the best team it has faced, and is coming off a narrow loss at Oklahoma State. The Wildcats also want to avenge their loss to the Bears last season, but in an odd twist the Bears are still angry about losing at K-State with Robert Griffin III two years ago (that was a truly great game, by the way). So it’s one of those rare games where both teams are thinking about revenge.

Anyway, thanks again for all the questions. Let’s get to them:

Definitely the most important question of the week. I’m going with 35, almost half Baylor’s season average of 70.5. K-State can score in the high 30s or low 40s against Baylor, but the Bears win if the game gets any higher than that.
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Football Friday: The Big 12′s best ranting coaches, Jake Waters, Daniel Sams, Robert Rose and the challenge of Oklahoma State

It’s time for another Football Friday.

Kansas State will take on Oklahoma State in the classic Big 12 game of the Week time slot at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in Stillwater. Both teams are coming off road losses, so this game will be crucial to both teams.

Thanks again for all the questions. Let’s get to them:

This might be my favorite Football Friday question yet. The Big 12 has witnessed some epic coaching rants in recent years. We all remember Mark Mangino bringing up dollar signs. Bo Pelini was probably the all-time best ranter. I mean, he was always ranting about something, even Nebraska fans. Mike Leach once blamed a loss on his players’ “fat little girlfriends.” That was probably the best single rant. It was funny and he didn’t criticize officials. Alas, those three coaches are no longer in the Big 12. Of the current 10 coaches in the league, the top-ranter award has to go to Mike Gundy.

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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.
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