It’s finally time. The Chris Klieman era in Manhattan begins officially tomorrow, and we’ve got all the information you need to get on board the bandwagon.
Kansas State (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) hosts the defending Southland Conference champion Nicholls Colonels (0-0, 0-0 Southland) in the season opener for both teams. This is the first meeting between the two schools in football, and only the fourth time K-State has faced a current member of the Southland Conference, all since 2003. All three prior instances have led to big Wildcat wins, with K-State scoring exactly 55 points in each contest.
Nicholls has had its ups and downs over the years. The program started in 1972, and by 1975 they’d won their first conference championship (in Division II’s Gulf South Conference). They won the Gulf Star in 1984, and the Southland in 2005 and 2018. But they’ve had some terrible times as well; in 1992 and 2003 they were winless, and only had a single victory in 1995. More recently, the Colonels suffered through a four-year period in which they posted another winless season and two one-win campaigns, going 6-40 between 2011-14.
Suddenly, however, the Colonels emerged on the national conscience on Opening Day 2016. A 26-24 loss at Georgia was followed two weeks later by a 41-40 loss at South Alabama, the closest any FCS team has come to knocking off two FBS teams in one year in a long time. That campaign ended in disappointing fashion as one-score losses to Central Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana closed out a 5-6 campaign, but in 2017 the Colonels — following a very competitive 24-14 loss at Texas A&M — reached the FCS playoffs, and did so again last year after pocketing a win at Kansas.
This is not North Dakota State, but Nicholls is a legitimate FCS contender now, and not an opponent K-State can take lightly. Thankfully, K-State has a head coach who is extremely aware of this.
The current line is K-State -22.5, with a total of 47.5. That translates to a 35-12 or 35-13 win for the Cats. OddsShark has the game projected at 34-5 K-State, which is completely absurd for reasons going beyond expecting Nicholls to score a field goal and a safety.
Saturday, August 31 at 6:00 CT, Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,000) in Manhattan, Kansas.
Legally, it’s a sell-out, although a limited number of standing-room only tickets are available from the ticket office for $19. On the secondary market, there are still quite a few nosebleed tickets on the east side in the $30-40 range, corner tickets anywhere from $40-90, and a very few scattered tickets on the K-State sideline going for three figures.
NOPE. See below.
K-State Sports Network, with Wyatt Thompson, Stan Weber, and Matt Walters; also available on Sirius 111/XM 200.
The one game this season consigned to ESPN+, with Drew Fellios and Mike Golic Jr. on the call. Direct link to the game for existing subscribers is here, and you can subscribe here. The radio broadcast can also be heard via the TuneIn app, while live stats will be available via kstatesports.com.
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