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Kansas State athletics, 1912-13: one last trip around the KCAC

With a move to the big time looming, the Aggies plowed Kansas.

Guy Lowman and his 1912-13 Aggie cagers.
Guy Lowman and his 1912-13 Aggie cagers.
Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries

The 1912-13 academic year would be the final year before KSAC finally joined the big time, as their application to join the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association was approved. However, they would not officially begin play in the conference until 1913.

So there was really nothing else to do on the way out of the KCAC but unofficially win one more conference championship. The Aggies lost twice, at Nebraska 30-6 and at Kansas 19-6. But the rest of the season was nothing but wins, including a 13-10 victory at Texas A&M and a 14-6 home win over Colorado. The remainder of the schedule? Outscoring six Kansas colleges by a total of 165-38. The Aggies marched on to an 8-2 record.

Despite the fact that KSAC was not officially playing in the Missouri Valley yet, tackle Jacob Holmes was apparently named to the MVIAA all-conference first-team.

Running total: 67-49-7, 61-49-2 against colleges

Despite playing more than half their games away from the friendly confines of Nichols Gym, the 1912-13 Aggie basketball squad had a superb season. The year began with five straight victories, including back-to-back wins on consecutive nights in Lawrence. After a one-point loss at Warrensburg Teachers (Central Missouri) the following night, the Aggies concluded their excursion by doing to Missouri exactly what they’d done to Kansas. In the space of five nights, KSAC had beaten both the Jayhawks and Tigers twice each on their own floors.

They were now 7-1, but getting there may have tired them out a bit.

Just five days after that trip, Kansas returned the favor by coming to Nichols for a pair of games, and won both easily to balance the scales. Over the next two weeks, KSAC won at home over Washburn and Missouri, then embarked on a quick trip up north. The Aggies handled Nebraska Wesleyan, but fell to the Cornhuskers.

The season ended with four wins over the usual suspects, an 11-4 total, and — as with football -- the unofficial KCAC championship, having gone unbeaten against all other schools in the state save Kansas. In the process, the Aggies advanced their all-time record above .500.

Running total: 53-49, 45-42 against colleges

The 1913 baseball season was a time of major change, however. Despite not technically being a member of the Valley yet, 60% of the nine’s contests were against Valley members. The Aggies only went 3-6 in those nine games, posting single wins over Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas while losing to MIssouri twice, Nebraska once, and three times against the Jayhawks.

Four of the remaining six games were in-state, and KSAC didn’t even win all of those, suffering a 10-8 loss to Emporia Normal. They did beat Warrensburg Normal, but the strangest loss of the season was also the most interesting. The Aggies lost a game to something called the Chinese University of Honolulu, which wasn’t a university at all. Indeed, the players weren’t even students. It was a barnstorming team, whose promoters basically lied. In 1913, who knew?

So for the first time since before Mike Ahearn patrolled the dugout, the Aggies went down to a losing record, at 7-8. But some solace can be taken in knowing one of those games shouldn’t count.

Running total: 153-84-2, 134-77-2 against colleges

The track team lost a pair of dual meets against Kansas, and got swamped at Missouri, but did win the KCAC state meet.

In tennis, the Aggies tied with Southwestern by losing both singles matches but winning doubles, swept Washburn, lost to Baker with one singles win, tied with Washburn (winning a lone singles match while losing doubles), and were swept by Saint Mary’s. In the state tournament, the Aggies were eliminated by Baker in the first round in doubles, but both singles entrants reached the semifinals before succumbing.