This season has been a disappointment. Even if Kansas State plays with its collective hair on fire next week against West Virginia and makes it to a bowl game without having to lean heavily on APR scores, that the season has fallen short of expectation is not at issue.
It's comforting then to know that the Wildcats can always be counted on to win one game on the schedule every year. Kansas State's ownership of the Sunflower Showdown under Bill Snyder is so complete that the worst iteration of Wildcats football in a decade still managed to win the game in a blowout.
That's right, Kansas. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Kansas State beat Kansas and it was not close, as Jon Morse notes in his recap. For the first time since the Big 12 opener, the Wildcats got an early lead and held on to it through four quarters. For the first time since that Oklahoma State game, Kansas State so thoroughly dominated the first quarter that the foot came off the gas pedal long before halftime. For the first time since I-can't-even-remember-when this season, Kansas State ran right over a lesser opponent.
The 45-14 rout was an emphatic statement, but there's still cause for concern. Bill Snyder did not enjoy the entire game, noting that the team didn't handle its early success well and played a poor second half (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).
That does not detract from the efforts of the team, however. Special teams play was outstanding in this game, and Morgan Burns had himself a game. He recovered a fumbled punt snap, scooped up a blocked punt in the endzone for a score, and managed Kansas State's only interception by a defensive back this season (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal).
For Kansas, the loss put the final zero in a winless season, the Jayhawks' first run of true futility since 1954. It was a sad and historic end for the "History Awaits" campaign. Our own Panjandrum hit the nail right on the head yesterday:
KU Football 2015: History Accomplished.— Panjandrum (@PJ_BOTC) November 29, 2015
But the award for maximum self-awareness belongs to the Kansas mascot, who summed up the game--and maybe the entire season--thusly:
Big Jay expressing how every KU fan feels right now pic.twitter.com/H5w3LNP3C4— Snyder's Windbreaker (@KSUWindbreaker) November 28, 2015
So long, Kansas. See you next year for another episode of the Sunflower Beatdown (Timothy Everson, K-State Collegian).
The VolleyCats' road trip didn't go quite as well. Taking on the Baylor Bears for the final regular season match, Kansas State was swept 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-22). The Bears held the Wildcats to a .103 hit percentage, the third-lowest mark of the season, while tallying 84 digs, the third highest allowed by Kansas State this season.
On the bright side, the Wildcats also had 74 digs of their own, the highest total in a three-set match since 2002. Junior Brooke Sassin had 14 kills and a team-high 19 digs, her 15th double-double of the year.
The Wildcats are now in a tie for 4th place in the Big 12 and could get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Selection Sunday is today on ESPNU at 8 PM.