Category Archives: The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: Sunflower Showdown continues to be a rivalry of streaks

Sunflower Showdown? More like Sunflower Beatdown.

Kansas State has won four straight football games against Kansas by a combined score of 191-54. Bill Snyder has owned this rivalry since he came out of retirement before the 2009 season. And that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Though K-State has won 16 of 20 in the series, it has won 15 of 16 with Snyder as coach.

Former KU coach Mark Mangino reeled off three straight against Ron Prince, but he only beat Snyder once, in 2004. K-State blew away Kansas twice when Turner Gill was its coach. Charlie Weis lost 56-16 in his introduction to the series last year.

There is a reason why K-State is favored by 17 points on the road this week.

What makes the Sunflower Showdown unique is that things get reversed during basketball season. Kansas has won five straight and 47 of 50 on the hardwood. Year in and year out, this is a predictable rivalry.

Here is a look at that and everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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The Week Ahead: Kansas State prepares for TCU and its strong defense

Kansas State is a rapidly improving football team. It is also a red-hot football team. The Wildcats have won three straight blowouts and are now within one victory of becoming bowl eligible.

They will try to keep their winning streak going against TCU on Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium. The oddsmakers have labeled them as 10-point favorites, and if they continue to play the way they have recently they could easily win by double digits. Then again, the game could be a challenge. TCU is unlike most teams in the Big 12. Its offense isn’t anything special. But its defense is among the nation’s best.

Here is a look at that and everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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The Week Ahead: Kansas State, Texas Tech both looking to make a statement

When Texas Tech raced to a 7-0 start, many labeled the Red Raiders as overrated. Why? Well, for starters their four conference victories came against TCU, Kansas, West Virginia and Iowa State, the Big 12′s weakest teams.

They have since lost back-to-back games to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. And they have since fallen from the top 10 down to No. 25. If they want to stay in the mix for a conference championship and keep their national ranking, they need to beat Kansas State on Saturday in Lubbock.

It appears Texas Tech chose a good week to unveil special uniforms with the words “Never Quit” on the back.

K-State at Texas Tech figures to be a highly competitive game. Much like the Red Raiders, the Wildcats’ only Big 12 wins have come against teams in the bottom four, West Virginia and Iowa State. They have won two in a row in blowout fashion, but they still have plenty to prove. A win would get them within one victory of bowl eligibility and give them legitimate hope of finishing in the top half of the conference standings after a 2-4 start.

Here is a look at that and everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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The Week Ahead: Kansas State looking for confidence-boosting win vs. West Virginia

Kansas State’s hopes of a second-half turnaround begin on Saturday against West Virginia.

The first half of the season didn’t go the way Kansas State hoped it would.

First came an unexpected loss to North Dakota State. Next came narrow defeats against Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor. The result is a 2-4 overall record and three-straight losses in Big 12.

With a favorable closing schedule, the Wildcats are hoping for a stronger second half and another trip to a bowl game. Both certainly seem possible. They have the look of an improving football team (fourth-quarter leads over ranked teams in back-to-back games and solid defensive numbers) but they need to learn how to win close games.

The journey begins on Saturday against West Virginia, a team that has looked excellent at home and shaky on the road.

Here is a look at that and everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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The Week Ahead: Can anyone stop Baylor?

You’ve got to hand it to Wofford. The FCS team from Spartanburg, S.C. is the only team that has held Baylor’s offensive juggernaut under 70 points this season.

The Bears managed just 69 points in a blowout win over Wofford. They have since gone for 70, 70 and 73. They are averaging almost 71 points a game. They are averaging nearly 50 points in the first half. Bryce Petty, Lache Seastrunk and Tevin Reese have their offense rolling.

Can anyone stop them? Kansas State will try on Saturday.

Here is a look at that and everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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The Week Ahead: Kansas State, Oklahoma State hope to bounce back from road losses

It no longer looks like the most difficult game on the schedule, but Kansas State’s upcoming matchup with Oklahoma State will be a challenge for both teams.

The Wildcats are trying to get back above .500 following a deflating loss at Texas. The No. 20 Cowboys are hoping to prove their surprising loss at West Virginia was a fluke.

Both teams think they are better than their record indicates. The winner of Saturday’s game at Boone Pickens Stadium will strengthen their argument. The loser will have a lot to prove.

Here is a look at that and everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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The Week Ahead: K-State hopes for sixth straight win over struggling Texas

Kansas State and Texas are teams heading in opposite directions.

The Wildcats have bounced back well from an opening loss with back-to-back wins and seem to have their running game back on track just in time for the start of Big 12 play.

The Longhorns have lost back-to-back games in embarrassing fashion (they let BYU and Mississippi combine for more than 800 rushing yards) and it seems like everyone and their dog is calling for longtime coach Mack Brown to resign.

It would seem as though K-State is catching Texas at the right time. There is one amazing soap-opera going down in Austin right now. But maybe this is the week the Longhorns figure out how to defend the zone read. Las Vegas oddsmakers clearly think that much is possible, as they have made Texas a four-point favorite.

One thing is for sure: This is a very important game for both teams. The winner will start the Big 12 season with a victory and pick up valuable momentum heading into important stretches. The loser will need to climb out of a hole. K-State has shown progress in its past two games, but the Wildcats don’t have much room for error at 2-1 with a trip to Oklahoma State up next. Texas is already in a world of hurt at 1-2. You have to wonder if players would quit on Brown after another loss.

Here is a look at everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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The Week Ahead: Kansas State expected to roll against lowly Massachusetts

Kansas State is a 39-point favorite against Massachusetts. It should get plenty of opportunities to celebrate another win on Saturday.

Kansas State addressed several areas of concern during a 48-27 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend.

It should be able to get totally right against Massachusetts on Saturday.

The Minutemen are coming off a shutout-loss at Wisconsin and a home loss to Maine, a Football Championship Subdivision opponent. Wildcats football coach Bill Snyder likes to get his backups on the field during nonconference games. K-State should be able to build a nice lead and get plenty of new faces out there in this one. The better it plays, the earlier it can begin looking ahead to its Big 12 opener at Texas.

Here is a look at everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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The Week Ahead: Kansas State tries to recover from opening loss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

During the Big 12 teleconference on Monday, Bill Snyder was asked about the message he delivered to Kansas State’s football players when they began preparing for their upcoming game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

His response: “I don’t think we strayed too far away from where we normally are. It’s about getting better every day. We have a lot of improvement to make. That is pretty obvious.”

There is always room for improvement following a loss. That fact is magnified following a loss to a FCS opponent. The biggest areas for improvement come on defense and in the running game. The Wildcats mustered 41 rushing yards against North Dakota State, with John Hubert and the offensive line getting outplayed in all areas. They also couldn’t put pressure on the quarterback or get off the field on third downs.

Snyder said all of those areas will be addressed in the coming days of practice. K-State will need to be ready to take on Louisiana-Lafayette, a team that won nine games last season and defeated the Wildcats in 2009.

In the meantime, Snyder is hoping his players adopt a better mental approach.

“We need to be a more inspired football team than what we are,” Snyder said. “It all boils down to caring. We will see how that plays out.

Here is a look at everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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The Week Ahead: Football season is here

For nearly two years, computer renderings (like the one posted above) have been used to help illustrate what game days will look and feel like at the newly renovated Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

On Friday evening, they will no longer be necessary. That’s right, we are five days away from the start of Kansas State’s football season. If you prefer to count in hours, we are about 100 hours away from the parking lots opening for tailgaters.

It’s an exciting time for K-State fans. They aren’t far away from watching a new team in a renovated stadium.

With that in mind, here is a look at everything you need to know about the week ahead.

The Game
K-State will open the 2013 season against North Dakota State at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. Craig Bolerjack will handle play-by-play, Joey Harringotn will be the analyst and Ryan Nece will be the sideline reporter.

The Opponent
North Dakota State isn’t your average team from the Football Championship Subdivision. It has won the past two FCS national championships and won its past three games against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents — Kansas, Colorado State and Minnesota. The Bison once again top the FCS rankings. They have a large and confident fan base and an experienced quarterback. There is no reason for anyone to overlook North Dakota State.

Snyder Owns Openers
How good is Snyder in season-openers? Well, he has won 20 straight … So, he is pretty good in season-openers. The Wildcats have not dropped their opening game under Snyder since his first season in 1989. Snyder has had some close calls recently, beating Massachusetts, UCLA and Eastern Kentucky by single digits in his first three years back, but K-State clobbered Missouri State a year ago.
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