The Big 12 and Big East have announced the pairings for the 2021 Big 12/Big East Challenge, and for those of you hoping for something new and different... welp, sorry.
It’s always fun to play Marquette, don’t get us wrong. But on December 8, K-State will host Marquette for the second time in this inter-conference challenge, and it will be the third time in the last four years the two teams have met. If you’ll recall, K-State and Marquette scheduled a home-and-home on their own for 2018 and 2019; the latter game, K-State’s home game, was absorbed into the first iteration of the challenge.
Brewtown Andy over at our sister site Anonymous Eagle breaks down all the reasons this is stupid, so there’s not much point in our rehashing it. Frankly, there’s no excuse for two teams to play twice over the course of a four-year scheduling arrangement of this nature under any circumstances. Andy notes the much more interesting options available to Marquette, and let’s look at how those would affect K-State if the pairings swapped:
Marquette has never played Oklahoma. Oklahoma will be playing Butler; K-State has played Butler once, the infamous Elite Eight game in 2010.
Marquette has played Texas once, 44 years ago. Texas will be playing Seton Hall; K-State has never played Seton Hall.
Marquette has played Texas Tech once, 15 years ago. Tech will be playing Providence; K-State has never played Providence.
It’s been 16 years since Marquette has played TCU, although they’ve met six times. TCU is playing Georgetown; K-State lost to Georgetown in 2013, in the only meeting between the two schools.
Iowa State played the last of their eight games against Marquette 17 years ago. Iowa State got Creighton; okay, there’s an annoying rivalry we’re okay with avoiding, but it’s worth noting that of the five teams mentioned here Marquette has played Iowa State the most often by far, so that’d be Marquette’s least-favored solution to this problem anyway.
K-State has also never played Villanova, St. John’s, or Connecticut, although there are good reasons why Marquette wouldn’t want to swap pairings to get Baylor, Kansas, or West Virginia.
Even worse, of the potential opponents here, K-State has played Marquette more than just about anyone. December’s game will be the thirteenth meeting between the two schools, a series K-State leads 7-5.
Again, this is in no way a screed against the Golden Eagles. They’re just as much the victim here. Any of the first three pairings swaps above would be incredible for both Marquette and K-State, with the Oklahoma/Butler swap even preserving the relevant home court assignments... and yet the conference offices both utterly fell asleep at the wheel.
Reggie Stubblefield committed to K-State as a grad transfer from Prairie View three weeks ago, but per his own Twitter he now won’t be suiting up. No concrete explanation was given, although one suspects it’s an academic issue. (Stubblefield was an academic All-American, so it’s not “grades”, but — and we stress this is just an example — he may not have met the necessary prerequisites for the specific graduate program for which he was applying.)
The 2022 College Football Hall of Fame ballot is out, which means it’s time for the eyeroll-inducing annual arguments about whether Howard Schnellenberger is being unfairly penalized by “stupid rules”. (He’s not.) But there’s a more important factor for us: Michael Bishop is on the ballot. Also of local interest, on the divisional portion of the ballot (players and coaches outside FBS) Northwest Missouri State wide receiver Tony Miles is under consideration. The ballot is a Big List; 177 players and 40 coaches are up for the honor this year.
Collegiate Baseball has announced its 2021 All-America teams, and Jordan Wicks was named to the third team. With the honor he becomes the 31st Wildcat to be named an All-American of any non-academic stripe, and the first since the Glorious People’s Revolution of 2013.
K-State placed 19 members of its rowing team on the 2021-22 Big 12 All-Academic team. Ellie Hahn, Madison Jensen, Kate Odgers, Lauren Plum, Marisa Rodriguez, and Jessica Schenk achieved the honor with 4.0 GPAs; it’s the second consecutive year for Hahn, Odgers, and Schenk. Senior Logan Frost was named to the team for the fifth year in a row, thanks to COVID.
The other Wildcats to achieve first-team recognition were Lindsey DeVreugd, Taylor Hartman, Kaitlyn Henke, Kelsey Ladlie, Elizabeth Mummert, Alyssa Pemberton, Idallis Shaffer, Morgan Thompson, Lauren Walker, and Lisa Zuiderveen. Alyssa Buettner and Megan Kelly earned second-team honors.