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Kansas State athletics, 1906-07: a conference title

Baseball claims a crown and football beats Kansas.

Carl Mallon, K-State’s first real local hero.
Carl Mallon, K-State’s first real local hero.
College Annual 1907, Kansas State Agricultural College

1906 marked the first year that Mike Ahearn was in total control of the athletic program at KSAC. Unfortunately, it would be a couple of years before he found across-the-board success.

The football team took a small step back in one respect, only going 5-2 as compared to the 6-2 1905 campaign. But that was largely a result of dropping Saint Mary’s from the schedule and losing a game which, during this era, was generally a coin flip.

The season began with a pair of home games, both wins: a 35-0 rout of the College of Emporia and a close 10-5 contest with Haskell. That was followed by a trip to Topeka and a fourth straight loss to Washburn by the weird score of 5-4. The Aggies came home and lost 10-6 to Wichita on November 5; they would not lose again.

Ottawa was dealt with easily, and the season ended with a 10-0 win over KSTC (Emporia State). In between, however, was a critically important first: the Aggies hosted Kansas on November 24 at Athletic Park (near 8th and Bluemont) and defeated the Jayhawks 6-4. It was the first football win against the cross-state rival. Carl Mallon, architect of the prior spring’s no-hitter against Ottawa, scored the lone touchdown.

Running total: 26-35-6, 20-35-1 against colleges

Ahearn took over the basketball program and actually took a step backward. The season began with four straight losses: a one-point affair at home against Haskell, then on the road the Aggies suffered routs at Baker and Ottawa and less of a rout at Kansas. A four-game home stand followed, in which KSAC defeated Bethany and Ottawa... and then scored two huge wins against Missouri and Kansas. Unfortunately, a pair of home losses to Kansas City Dental College and Baker sent the Aggies down to a 4-6 record.

Running total: 11-19, 5-14 against colleges

KSAC played a whopping 23 games in 1907, a number which would not be matched again until 1960. They lost three of 18 contests at home, one of which doesn’t really count as, like in 1906, they hosted Saint Paul of the American Association. Even then, KSAC only lost 3-1. The other two were against Baker (14-12) and Haskell (3-2). On the road, the Aggies went 4-1, the lone loss being an 8-7 setback at Washburn.

So in four losses on the season, KSAC lost by a total of six runs.

But that leaves 19 other games, right? The Aggies destroyed their opposition in 1907. That six-run deficit in losses was completely overcome by the six-run advantage in three wins over Kansas. The road loss to Washburn was avenged by two wins in Manhattan, and the Haskell loss was similarly countered by a home win to end the season. Other notable wins were over Missouri and Wichita, and the Aggies were crowned champions of the “Topeka Conference”, which was a name being used by what would eventually solidify as the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference — a league which still exists today, and still includes 1907 Aggie opponents Bethany and Ottawa.

Running total: 81-61-1, 78-59-1 against colleges