Seeking a replacement for UT-San Antonio on next year’s football schedule, K-State Athletic Director announced Monday that K-State will play the University of Texas El Paso in 2014. UTSA, who backed out earlier this fall, got the best of UTEP earlier this year, taking the Conference USA matchup 32-13. The game will take place on September 27.
UTEP should provide more of a breather compared to playing UTSA. San Anton finished their season at 7-5, ending on a five game win streak to take second in Conference USA-West with a league mark of 6-2. UTEP, on the other hand, struggled throughout the year and closed out the season with a 48-17 loss to Middle Tennessee State while finishing 2-10 overall and just 1-7 in league play.
One man who likely isn’t complaining about the change in the schedule is coach Bill Snyder. Kansas State hosted UMass this year, opting to play one of the worst teams in the nation in order to gain experience and avoid any chance of a nonconference loss. And while the team will experience less turnover in 2014 than it did this year, Snyder has never shied away from securing a favorable schedule to open the year.
Of concern in creating the schedule is a looming game against SEC West Champion Auburn next year. The Tigers are coming off a victory over #1 Alabama and will pose a huge test for the Wildcats. Auburn will come to Manhattan, as K-State already traveled to play the Tigers in 2007 under the home-and-home format. The Wildcats now struggle with establishing an early-season schedule, having determined what teams will be played. K-State opens the season against Stephen F. Austin on August 30, and then faces two consecutive byes before facing Auburn.
While the additional prep time could be beneficial, that much is likely unnecessary. Currie is said to be looking at getting an early conference game scheduled for September sixth, which would still allow a bye week before Auburn while also creating one later in the season. However, the prospects of that move seem unlikely at this point.