K-State Q&A: NCAA Tournament chances, keys to beating Oklahoma State and the football season that was

We’ve got a loaded K-State Q&A today, so let’s jump right into your questions.

Thanks, as always, for asking them.


Maybe I’m a bit on the optimistic side, considering the latest Bracketology doesn’t even list K-State on the bubble, but I think K-State has a great shot (maybe 70 percent) of making the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have won eight in a row and they have victories over Mississippi, George Washington and Gonzaga. They are a good basketball team.

I understand that early loss to Northern Colorado will haunt them all year and that their RPI is in the high 80s, but a winning record in conference play should be enough to get them in. The Big 12 is surprisingly a beast of a basketball conference this season. Simply playing league games will boost K-State’s RPI.

There’s certainly no guarantee that K-State can go 10-8 or better in the Big 12, but it’s possible the way Marcus Foster and Jevon Thomas are playing. The key may be beating teams like Texas Tech, TCU and West Virginia. The Wildcats have no room for error. They need to sweep those games, split with teams like Texas and Oklahoma and try to knock off Kansas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor wherever they can.
Read More »

Michigan quarterback Shane Morris gives Kansas State something new to prepare for

ShaneMorris
Michigan football coach Brady Hoke insists there is a chance Devin Gardner will start at quarterback against Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, but all signs point to Shane Morris leading the Wolverines’ offense.

Gardner, a dual-threat veteran who amassed more than 3,000 yards of offense and threw for 21 touchdowns this season, hasn’t practiced since the final game of the regular season and arrived in Arizona on crutches. He is apparently suffering from a nasty case of turf toe.

In all likelihood, that will force Morris front and center. Hoke said Gardner may be able to play on Saturday if he can start practicing on Wednesday. If he stays on crutches, Morris, a freshman who completed five of nine passes for 65 yards this season, will start.

Michigan would obviously prefer Gardner to play, but Hoke seems confident in Morris. After a month of practicing with the first-string offense, Hoke thinks Michigan’s offense will look like it did during the regular season if Morris is taking the snaps.

“I don’t know how much it would change it,” Hoke said Monday at a Buffalo Wild Wings news conference. “The throws don’t necessarily have to change. Obviously we think he’s a pretty good quarterback. His ability both with his legs and arm is pretty good. I think they’d have to respect that.”
Read More »

Five things you should know about Michigan

BradyHoke
Two days have passed since the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl announced it was inviting Kansas State and Michigan to play in its annual postseason game.

K-State coaches, no doubt, have been researching the Wolverines ever since. So have I. Here are a few things that stand out about their season:

1. Michigan and Kansas State have been polar opposites this year.

The Wolverines started 5-0 with a signature victory over Notre Dame. The Wildcats started 2-4 with an unexpected loss to North Dakota State. Yet, both teams finished 7-5.

Narrow wins over Akron and Connecticut can now be viewed as signs that Michigan wasn’t as good as its hot start indicated. But a loss to Penn State truly sent Michigan spiraling downward. The Wolverines lost that game 43-40 (in four overtimes) and never truly recovered. They needed 63 points to beat Indiana in their following game and then lost four of their last five, with the only victory coming in three overtimes against Northwestern.

Michigan didn’t play horribly during that stretch. It lost to Nebraska by four, to Iowa by three and to Ohio State by one. But it will head to Arizona with zero momentum.
Read More »

Is Kansas State headed for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl or the Holiday Bowl? A Sugar Bowl executive will provide the answer

DanielSams1
As strange as it may sound, a New Orleans man in a blazer will decide Kansas State’s bowl destination.

The Wildcats face two possibilities:

1. The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, which will be played against a Big 10 opponent (possibly Nebraska) on Dec. 28 in Tempe, Ari.

2. The Holiday Bowl, which will be played against a Pac-12 team (potentially Arizona State) on Dec. 30 in San Diego.

K-State could end up in either game, but the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl seems like the current favorite. That’s a drastic shift from a few days ago, when K-State appeared destined for the Holiday Bowl. The bowl’s executive director said it was planning on selecting the Wildcats. But the dominoes of college football have fallen in a way that may bump K-State up to one of the Big 12′s top four bowls.
Read More »

If Kansas State reaches a bowl game, the Texas Bowl could be its destination

The Kansas State football team hasn’t played in front of a bowl representative this season, but that will soon change.

With the Wildcats at 4-4 after back-to-back blowout victories, they look more like a team that will qualify for the postseason than a team that might reach bowl eligibility.

It’s still early, of course. With four games remaining they could finish anywhere from 8-4 to 4-8. They could play in a nice postseason game. They might not make the postseason at all.

But it’s never too early to examine where K-State might end up if it finishes with six or more victories. So let’s give it a whirl.

At this point, there are three main possibilities. The Texas Bowl looks like the early favorite. The Holiday Bowl could become an option if K-State finishes strong. The Pinstripe Bowl is a long shot.

I suppose the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is also a slight possibility, but K-State would need to finish 8-4 and receive help to move up that high.
Read More »