Kansas State is used to getting overlooked by the BCS, so maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Wildcats were left out of a mock playoff selection performed by Sports Illustrated this week.
Still, it was a bit shocking to learn they weren’t even considered.
The news outlet gathered up 11 athletic directors and asked them to select the four teams that would play in college football’s new four-team playoff if it was being put into action this year instead of 2014. They settled on Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida and Oregon. They also selected four other teams worth considering: Oregon, LSU, Texas A&M and Stanford.
Stunningly, that meant Kansas State — a recent No. 1 team and the presumptive 11-1 Big 12 champion — did not make the committee’s top eight. Most members could not get past the Wildcats’ 52-24 drubbing by then 4-5 Baylor.
“Even though they [have] one loss, it’s a nasty loss,” said Moos. “That’s why I left them out. The other ones we’re talking about are overtime losses and tough opponents.”
“I just think Texas A&M and Oregon would beat ‘em,” Smith said of the Wildcats. Asked if he would have said that even before the Baylor loss, Smith replied: “Yep, I would have.”
Demonstrating just how thin the difference is between teams, Stricklin noted, “If Pittsburgh had made that [33-yard] field goal in overtime, I don’t know how strong Notre Dame would be in this conversation. Kansas State and Notre Dame both have road wins at Oklahoma and both have good wins, but Kansas State lost to a .500 team basically, and Pittsburgh would have been similar for Notre Dame.”