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Slate: Wasted Opportunity

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Wildcats drop their 200th against KU, but there IS good news out of Wildcatland (just not basketball).

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Kansas
This picture just perfectly encapsulates that game...
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball

Woof. Losing by nearly 50 to Baylor was pretty awful, but the Bears are one of the best teams in the country. This KU team is probably Bill Self’s worst crew in his nearly 20 years in Lawrence, and yet a historically awful Kansas State team still looked like it didn’t belong in the same gym. It was the 9th-straight loss of the season, 4th-straight to KU, and 200th loss overall in the 294-game series between the two.

And because apparently the 13 other losses this season, including two historically bad showings and a loss to a DII school weren’t good enough, K-State’s loss in Lawrence was apparently a “soul searching” moment for the Wildcats. If we’re just now searching for our soul at 5-14, I think it’s already too late to find it.

Since this game was on a Tuesday night, we’ll thankfully have one more night of K-State not losing before the next game, because we’re going to need the extra rest before Texas Tech heads to Manhattan for what is sure to be the 8th-straight double-digit loss in Big 12 play (and a school record for double-digit losses). Go Cats.

Baseball

Pete Hughes and the K-State baseball team announced their full 2021 schedule, with the season opening on February 19th in Surprise, AZ with 2013 Super Regional foe Oregon State. The 2021 slate also includes 31 home games at the newly renovated Tointon Family Stadium (it looks legit from the road, I hope it looks as good inside), with the home opener set for February 26th against Western Michigan (weather permitting). One big surprise is that this schedule does not include the annual home-and-home series with Wichita State, as just the leg in Wichita will be played.Another change for this year for all Big 12 teams is all conference series are now 3-game weekend series, no more mid-week conference games (yay!).

Football

Video game giant Electronic Arts dropped a bombshell yesterday with the announcement of the return of EA Sports College Football, with the current plan to have the video game return for the 2023 season. Notably, the “NCAA” name will not be attached to the product, and EA has partnered with CLC to license schools for the game. K-State (like Ohio State, Notre Dame, and several others) is not partnered with CLC for licensing, but K-State’s SID Kenny Lannou reports that they are working with their licensing and media partners to make sure the Wildcats will be included.

Also, today is National Signing Day (the regular one). But don’t expect any news from the K-State football team, though there is a press conference from Chris Klieman scheduled for 11am and available on ESPN+, as the 2021 class was basically complete for the early signing day. There may be one or two high school athletes sign today, but they will likely be blueshirt or greyshirt candidates, and so the fanfare will be limited. That’s not to say all the spots are filled for the class, but at this point any new additions will likely come from the grad-transfer market as the K-State coaching staff tries to keep scholarships available for the loaded 2022 class.

K-State Athletics also announced that tickets for the “Allstate Kickoff Classic” will go on-sale beginning February 15th. Ticket requests will be allocated in Ahearn Fund priority point order, with preference given to 2021 K-State football season ticket holders (though 2021 season ticket information has yet to be announced...)

In a move that likely spoiled some of a later surpise, K-State football briefly posted the 2021 spring roster before taking it down. But one tidbit didn’t go unnoticed, and K-State officially made the announcement a little later in the day on social media. The big change: Skylar Thompson will be wearing the #7 jersey for the 2021 season.

Golf

In a tournament that featured a hole-in-one from junior Briony Bayles, the K-State women’s golf team finished strong with a 4th-place finish at the Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas. The Wildcats 4th-place finish put them behind fellow Big 12 foes Baylor, OSU, and Texas, but ahead of Texas Tech and nine others, including a slew of major-conference teams. They’ve now got a three-week break before headed to Tallahassee at the end of February for the FSU Match-up.