How about 8-4, huh?
Admittedly, I missed most of this game and this post is really late because I’m coming off a really stressful two weeks of work at my real job that pays me money, and I was preparing for family to come to town for most of the afternoon. So this isn’t gonna be much about the actual game. But I will say this:
Jesse Ertz is good at football.
Yes, he’s lacking in places. He isn’t the most well-rounded quarterback and he’s far from a world-beater like living-Wildcat-QB-measuring-stick Colin Klein, but Ertz is solid, and his want-to-win is comparable with just about anyone to line up under center in Manhattan.
Based on the back end of the KU game, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that without Ertz, K-State’s season would be over right now. The Wildcats finished with eight solid wins and were just a few breaks away from 10. With Ertz, Alex Barnes, Justin Silmon, Dominique Heath, Byron Pringle and almost the entire offensive line returning next season, it’s easy to see at least 10 wins if the defense doesn’t completely implode (which could happen.)
Offense hasn’t really been a thing in Manhattan since Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett left us, but it could be back in a big way in 2017. As for what’s left of this year:
It’s looking as though K-State is headed to the Texas Bowl.
The Texas Bowl, otherwise remembered by Wildcat fans as “that time Ron Prince lost to Rutgers,” looks to place K-State against either old Big 12 foe Texas A&M or Georgia. Based on Bill Snyder’s recent history in bowl games, I don’t have high hopes, but a win over an SEC team would be a nice cherry to top this season that, in many ways, has been unexpectedly fun.
I’m not sure if I’m alone here, but at times I felt as though K-State was doomed to disappointment in 2016. No one expected Stanford to soil the bed as bad as they did this year, so the season-opening loss didn’t look very bad at first. But when Washington decimated the Cardinal a few weeks later, then K-State blew a 13-point lead to West Virginia the next day, things looked potentially grim. The Wildcats lost two of their first three conference games and looked to be lucky to scratch their way to six wins. Some questioned whether Snyder would reach 200. Some questioned whether a bowl was possible.
But then, with wins in five of its last six games — including road wins at both TCU and Baylor — K-State resurrected its year and Snyder found himself with 201. It’s been a volatile season. Even I — a usually unrelenting optimist — found myself questioning the very foundation of K-State football this year. But here we are, staring at date with an SEC opponent in a bowl outside the state of Arizona.
Not a bad little rope-a-dope, Bill.