We can just ignore that four week period surrounded by two bye weeks, right?
The first three weeks of the season started about as well as you could have hoped for the Kansas State Wildcats. Same for the last three weeks headed into today’s match-up. 3-0 over each of those spans, including big victories (come on, the Mississippi State victory was pretty huge at the time), especially in this second set. If we have to include those four lost weeks, the Wildcats are sitting at 6-2, and a lot of really big things are waiting on the horizon. But there are still some pretty big hurdles left in the path towards that horizon.
That starts today, with a very hungry Texas Longhorns squad waiting for the Wildcats in Austin. The Longhorns started the season with very high hopes, and after a close loss to current-#2 LSU in Austin, the Longhorns looked like a contender. But a loss to OU in Dallas, sandwiched by closer-than-expected victories over West Virginia and KU, and the upset loss to TCU just two weeks ago have the Longhorns looking more like frauds than contenders. At 5-3, Texas is on the brink. They can still turn in a solid season, even with a loss today, but 8-4, or even 9-3, isn’t nearly the expectation for Texas football.
For both teams, a shot at the Big 12 title game is still in play. But for that shot, winning-out is a requirement. Both teams know that too, which makes today’s game critical for both teams. Win today, and the team is still on a path that could lead to a game in Dallas on December 7th. Lose today, and title hopes are basically gone.
The Wildcats haven’t won in Austin since 2011, when Collin Klein led the Cats to a 17-13 victory, and haven’t beaten Texas in any venue since Charlie Strong was still coaching the Longhorns. And the Wildcats once impressive record against the Longhorns now sits at just 10-9.
A win today would mean a lot to K-State, in so many ways.
Be sure and check out our pre-game content for you this week. AMS brought you this week’s How to Watch post with all the important details for today’s game and TB dropped his Kicking the Tires preview of the Longhorns (and again, TB is sleeping on the Wildcats).
We remain in the afternoon time slot this week, with the 2:30pm CST kickoff airing on ESPN proper with Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Greg McElroy (analyst), and Tom Luginbill (sideline analyst) on the call. You might be able to stream the game via ESPN3/WatchESPN, if you are in the correct market.
If you don’t get ESPN, or can’t access the stream, the game can be heard across the 39-station* K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), former K-State quarterback Stan Weber (analyst), and Matt Walters (sidelines) calling the action. The game will also be on Sirius channel 137, XM Channel 200, and available on the TuneIn app. Live stats are available at k-statesports.com, and Twitter updates (@KStateFB) will also be a part of the coverage. *Several stations will be carrying the men’s basketball game that starts at 3pm, see that thread for more details.