clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kansas State athletics, 1913-14: entering the Missouri Valley Conference

Basketball stays above water, but football and baseball suffer.

A new home, for awhile.
A new home, for awhile.
Missouri Valley Conference via Wikipedia PD

With the dawn of the 1913-14 academic year came official membership in the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association, alongside Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa State, Drake, and Washington (MO). It would be a rough introduction, although their conference schedule was severely limited.

The season started ominously enough with a home loss to in-state foe Southwestern, something which would have been unthinkable over the prior few years. A week later, the Aggies lost 24-6 at Nebraska in their first official Valley contest.

A 33-0 win a week later over Emporia Normal helped soothe the pain, but it was redoubled the following week in a 26-0 loss at home to the hated Jayhawks. The see-saw continued; beating Wichita at home 30-7, losing at Texas 46-0. A 6-6 tie at Washburn ensured a losing record for the first time since 1904, but a 12-0 win over Texas A&M in a return game for the previous year’s trip to College Station at least made the final tally somewhat respectable: 3-4-1, but 0-2 in league play.

Two Aggies were honored as Missouri Valley All-Conference selections: guard Fred Loomis and tackle Art Burkholder.

Running total: 70-53-8, 64-53-3 against colleges, 0-2 Missouri Valley

Although the official record claims this season as still being under the hand of Guy Lowman, the 1913 Royal Purple clearly states that Carl Merner would be taking over in 1914, and the 1914 Royal Purple refers to Merner as the head coach. As a result, we can unofficially but accurately put Guy Lowman’s career as head basketball coach at KSAC to bed, with a record of 20-9.

Little is known of Merner, although later in his career he would be the head track coach at Columbia of the Ivy League.

Better results could have been hoped for by the 1914 Aggie cagers, but their first season in the Valley was by no means a failure. Their first official game in the larger conference was a 19-7 season-opening home win over Iowa State. The Cyclones avenged that defeat the following night, however.

After a home win against Southwestern, the Aggies hosted the Jayhawks for a pair, losing the opener before evening the set the following evening. A home loss to Washburn was followed by dropping a pair in Lawrence. KSAC then won a pair of home games against Emporia Normal and Haskell, sandwiching an overtime road loss to Washburn, before heading to Missouri for a four-game trip.

The Aggies swept both games from Mizzou, both of which were close affairs, the first a 35-32 overtime after the Aggies had trailed at one point 21-19. On the third night of the trip, they fell at Washington (MO) before rebounding to take the second game. That win secured a winning overall record for the season, but their first conference placement hung in the balance pending the final weekend.

The Aggies hosted Missouri for two on the final weekend of February. A massive 32-20 win on the 27th ensured that their first season in the Valley would not be a losing one; an even more decisive 34-21 win the following night ended the season with a record of 10-7, 7-5 in the conference. KSAC finished in second place in the south division, but they were five full games adrift of the Jayhawks. No Aggies were selected for the Valley all-conference team.

Running total: 63-56, 55-49 against colleges, 7-5 Missouri Valley

The Aggies entry into the larger league in baseball somehow involved fewer Missouri Valley games than had the previous year’s unofficial debut. KSAC played ten games against Valley teams. They lost five of the first six, three to Missouri and two to the Jayhawks; the sixth was a tie against the Tigers. The Aggies also suffered setbacks against Emporia, Washburn, Saint Mary’s twice, and another loss to the entirely fictional Chinese University of Honolulu. Wins over Washburn, Bethany, and Haskell did not salve the wounds.

But the final five games salvaged the season in many respects. The Aggies won twice against Washington (MO). After the second loss of the season to Saint Mary’s, the final two games were at home against Kansas. The Aggies won both, 4-1 and 6-0, and beating KU makes everything better. Suddenly, going 7-10-1 wasn’t so bad after all.

(Note that the K-State media guide is missing three games which are present in the 1915 Royal Purple recap of the 1914 season: the two early losses to Kansas, and the second win against Washington.)

Running total: 160-94-3, 141-86-3 against colleges, 4-5-1 Missouri Valley

The track team fell 61-24 in a dual indoor meet at Kansas, and lost 53-48 outdoors at Oklahoma and 75-34 at Kansas before forcing Missouri to win the final event, the relay, in order to secure a victory. The season ended with the first Aggie victory of the campaign, a 73-36 win over Emporia Normal.

There is no information regarding a conference track meet, and no tennis information for 1914 exists either.