John Currie explains why K-State benefits from occasional Thursday football games

The wait is over. This afternoon, Kansas State announced that it will play Auburn on Sept. 18, a Thursday, next season. With that, the Wildcats’ 2014 football schedule is finally set.

K-State had been waiting on ESPN, which will televise the Auburn game nationally, for a decision on the date of the game.

When asked in December about the possibility of moving the Auburn game to a Thursday, Wildcats football coach Bill Snyder had this to say: “It’s the last thing in the world I want to do.”

Weekday games are always met with mixed reactions in Manhattan. While some are excited about playing in front of a large audience, others complain of inconveniences such as rushing to the game after work.

On Monday, K-State athletic director John Currie explained why he supports (occasionally) playing football games on Thursday in a letter to fans.

From the letter:
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A few more thoughts from John Currie

It’s hard to believe, I know, but I have a few interesting tidbits about John Currie and his plans for Kansas State athletics that didn’t make it into my profile of him over the weekend.

Don’t know that this blog needs any further buildup than that, so here they are:

Football Scheduling
One of the most challenging tasks for K-State’s athletic director has been working with coach Bill Snyder to schedule nonconference football games. In little more than two years on the job, Currie has called off scheduled games with Oregon and Virginia Tech and added a series against Texas-San Antonio.

Those moves coincide with Snyder’s long-held preference of playing beatable opponents at home early in the season. Currie told me he likes that approach, but every now and then a big-name team will show up on K-State’s schedule. After much debate, he decided to go ahead with a series against Miami. And there has been talk of setting up a series with Wisconsin.

Now, don’t expect that caliber of opponent to show up on the Wildcats’ nonconference schedule every year, but they will be there every two or three years. Currie said he has received lots of positive feedback from K-State fans who made the trip to Auburn for a road game in 2007. They enjoyed the experience, so Currie will try to keep those games on the schedule in a limited capacity. And while we’re on the subject of Auburn, the defending national champs owe K-State a return game in 2014. Unless an “extraordinary opportunity” presents itself, Currie told me he expects that game to be played as scheduled.
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K-State goes old school with UTSA series

Bill Snyder wants Kansas State’s future nonconference schedules to look like its old ones.

Of this, he has made no secret.

He wants to play beatable (preferably very beatable) opponents, he wants to play them at home and he wants to parlay that combination into a bowl trip.

Such a strategy may no longer be possible for the Wildcats on a yearly basis — what with the price of guarantee games soaring higher than $1 million, and all — but K-State certainly turned back the clock on its football schedule today by announcing a future three-game series with Texas-San Antonio.
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