The season will soon be upon us. Season tickets have been sent out. The anticipation builds with those magic tickets in your hands. Today, I finish my three part look at the 2013 Kansas State Wildcats football season. You can follow my previous installments here: Part 1 and Part 2. Kickoff is just two weeks away, can you believe it! Purple will be ready to roll.
Part 2 Record: 6-2
Game 9: Texas Tech – November 9th at Lubbock
Series Record – 5-8 In Favor of Texas Tech
The Red Raiders are in a season of rebirth. After going 8-5 the previous season, Head Coach Tommy Tuberville bolted on Texas Tech before the teams bowl appearance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas for the University of Cincinnati job. Offensive Line coach Chris Thomsen coached the Red Raiders bowl game, a game that Texas Tech won, 34-31, over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. In comes Kliff Kingsbury, the former standout quarterback who sits second in most passing categories (Graham Harrell holds the top spots). Kingsbury takes the job after spending the past 5 years as a part of Kevin Sumlin’s staff (4 years at Houston, 1 year at Texas A&M). Last year, Kingsbury was Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback Coach for the Aggies and a certain Johnny Manziel. Kingsbury looks to bring back the bravado that his former coach, Mike Leach once had in Lubbock. Last year, Kansas State and Texas Tech had a close battle on hand in the first half. Then came the second half, and the Wildcats never looked back, winning 55-24. Gone is former quarterback Seth Doege, but does that seem to really matter at Texas Tech? I think this next year will be a transition period for Tech, as Kingsbury starts building his own brand of Texas Tech football. I see a win for K-State in a squeaker.
Prediction: Kansas State – 38 Texas Tech 35
Wildcats Record: 7-2
Game 10: TCU – November 16th in Manhattan
Series Record – Tied 3-3
2012 saw the arrival of two new teams to the Big 12, and a homecoming of sorts for former Kansas State Wildcat Gary Patterson. While TCU and Kansas State matched up in 2012, a game K-State won by the score of 23-10, it was held in Waco. This season, Patterson returns to Manhattan, but on the opposing coach’s side. Patterson has turned the Horned Frogs into a consistent winner in his 13 years at the helm. Patterson has an impressive record of 116-36, going 7-5 in bowls including a 2010 Rose Bowl win against Wisconsin. The team’s recent football success is considered one of the main reasons for the schools move to the Big 12. Back from suspension will be quarterback Casey Pachall, who went 4-0, throwing for 948 yards with 10 TD’s and only 1 INT during his shortened 2012 campaign. Pachall was considered one of the better QB’s in the Big 12 going into 2012 and the same is said this season. I believe this is a tossup game, and give the slight edge to Snyder at home. K-State will win, but not by much. The physicality of the Horned Frogs will show through as well. Last year, K-State followed up their win against TCU with the Baylor game. TCU should rebound and have a much better second year in the Big 12, but at home, K-State proves victorious.
Prediction: Kansas State – 21 TCU – 20
Wildcats Record: 8-2
Game 11: Oklahoma – November 23rd in Manhattan
Series Record – 18-70-4 in Favor of Oklahoma
As big as the West Virginia game was last season, it was only made possible by the 24-19 upset over Oklahoma. The win, as K-State entered ranked 15th and Oklahoma at 6th, put the season in motion. K-State won this game with the Bill Snyder blueprint, mistake free. OU stumbled that day, as K-State took advantage of a Justin Tuggle forced fumble that resulted in a Jarrel Childs touchdown return and a Ty Zimmerman interception. The Sooners went on to win the remaining of their conference games, thus becoming Co-Champs, but us Wildcat fans know who was the real champs last year. Oklahoma managed to lose three total games last season, but all to Top Ten Teams. (K-State, Notre Dame, Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M) Bob Stoops had only lost one previous time to Bill Snyder, the other time Kansas State won the Big 12 Championship, that fateful evening at Arrowhead in 2003. Jones, along with lead receiver Kenny Stills are both gone to the NFL. It’s Blake Bell’s team now. But what does that mean? Bell was primary used as a runner, spotting for Landry Jones. I think Stoops will prepare Bell, or the Belldozier as he is called in Norman, to adapt to the pass first run second mentality. It’s up to him if he takes to it or fails. Stoops and the Sooners will be hungry to come into Manhattan and avenge last season’s loss. After a bruising, physical hard fought victory against TCU, the Sooners couldn’t come at a worse time. I think factoring these two elements may be too much for the Cats, and the Sooners prevail.
Prediction: Kansas State – 24 Oklahoma – 35
Wildcats Record: 8-3
Game 12: Kansas – November 20th at Lawrence
Series Record – 39-57-5 in Favor of Kansas
The final game of the season is the “Sunflower Showdown.” The Cats have owned the series since Bill Snyder came to Manhattan, going 17-4 during his tenure. (Three of those four loses were when he first took over the program) On the flip side, Charlie Weis is in his second season at the helm of the Jayhawks. His only previous Sunflower Showdown? A 56-16 Kansas State beatdown in Manhattan last season. To give Coach Weis some credit, the program was left in shambles by former Coach Turner Gill. Weis team went 1-11, once again not winning a conference game. But the team made strides in making games closer. The Jayhawks lost four games by a touchdown or less. Rice 25-24, Oklahoma State 20-14, Texas Tech 41-34. And then there was the Texas game. The Jayhawks had the Longhorns on the rope, minutes away from their first conference win, and then Mack Brown’s team drove all the way down the field for the winning touchdown. Former Notre Damer Dayne Crist is gone, former BYU’er Jake Heaps is in. QB play was done right dreadful last season, and Heaps should help to improve. Weis I do believe will help get Kansas back to respectable. That could even mean 4-8 or 6-6. That would be a remarkable feat, maybe even Coach of the Year Award winning feat. But that is that, and Kansas State should be able to manhandle this one once again in a rout.
Prediction: Kansas State – 42 Kansas – 24
Final Regular Season Record: 9-3