The Holiday is fifth, although a second BCS invite would bump K-State up to the Wild Wings Bowl. That scenario would be probably be preferable, given the strength and depth of the Pac-12 this year, but you have to take what you can get. ESPN projects the opponent to be the loser of Stanford-Arizona State this weekend, and both would be tricky match ups.That’s because K-State would be matched up against the loser of the Pac-12 Championship game.
The Stanford Cardinal are 10-2, and 7-2 in the Pac-12. The nation’s #7 team already owns a victory over Arizona State. They also beat then #15 Washington, then #9 UCLA, then #25 Oregon State, then #3 Oregon, and then #25 Notre Dame (and we note the win over Oregon was an absolute spanking). A couple different bounces, and Stanford’s brutal rushing attack would be undefeated and in line for a shot at the National Championship.
Arizona State has done well for itself as well this season, sitting at #11 nationally with an identical 10-2 record. They’ve defeated then #20 Wisconsin (we won’t get into that game here), as well as victories over Notre Dame, Washington, and UCLA just like Stanford. The program where Rich Rodriguez came back like a phoenix from the ashes of his tenure at Michigan, RichRod’s squad is 8th nationally in scoring 43.3 points per game while limiting opponents to just 24.8.
Either of these opponents would be difficult, but I may take Stanford if I have to choose one to play. Stanford plays a power game. Arizona State looks to outwind you. I’ve got a smart cousin that wanted to play Alabama last year over Oregon, not simply because it was the national title game, but because K-State had a better chance of winning due to the type of football both squads play. Arizona State is more like Baylor. Stanford is a TCU-type (although obviously better). You pick which is the better match-up.