Time To Worry: Kansas State Wildcats Face Another SEC Team
Kansas State football has had a difficult time against teams from the Southeastern Conference, but coach Snyder doesn’t seem worried.
Considering the agreements with the Big 12 Conference, there was little doubt over the past week where the Kansas State Wildcats would play and who they would be playing in this season’s bowl game.
On Sunday, the Texas Bowl confirmed the speculation with formal invitations to the Wildcats and Texas A&M to play at NRG Stadium in Houston on Wednesday, December 28– another Texas team and another Southeastern Conference opponent.
Over the past couple of decades, Kansas State has struggled against teams from the SEC.
In last season’s Liberty Bowl, the Wildcats lost to Arkansas 45-23.
In the January 2012 Cotton Bowl, Arkansas also beat Snyder’s ‘Cats 29-16.
During the regular season in September of 2014 Auburn edged the Wildcats in Manhattan 20-14.
The Wildcats also opened the 2007 season with a loss to the Tigers at Auburn’s Jordan–Hare Stadium 23-13. Don’t blame that one on Bill Snyder.
The last time the Wildcats beat an SEC team was New Year’s Day of 2001 when they whipped Tennessee 35-21.
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The Wildcats have a lot of work to do to bring home a bowl win against the Aggies.
While the bowl opponents were busy recruiting, coach Snyder’s staff had been busy preparing for the Saturday, December 3, TCU game.
The ‘Cats will now turn their attention to beating a Texas football team for the 5th time this season.
“Texas A&M is an extremely talented football team. I don’t know a great deal about them at this particular point in time, other than I have great respect for head coach Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M in general,” Snyder told reporters on Sunday.
Sumlin, whose Aggies started the season 6-0 but finished 8-4, also shared a little love for Snyder.
“Obviously, Coach Snyder has done this for a long time. He’s one of the most respected coaches currently and probably ever,” the Aggies’ head coach said. “From where Kansas State came from to where it is right now, you’re coaching and playing against a legend. It’s an honor to be able to coach against him.”
For K-State, the trip to Houston will mark its 20th bowl game and seventh in a row.
“I’ve always said the Big 12 Conference, from top to bottom, in my eyes and my thoughts, is right up in the top echelon of conferences in the country,” he said. “If you go back and look at the Big 12 Conference, you see so many teams that someone might consider to be not an upper-echelon program and you see them winning ballgames against some of the best in the conference or playing extremely close with some of the best in the conference.
“I have a very strong feeling about the competitive nature of the Big 12 Conference from top to bottom. The SEC and the success they’ve had goes without saying.”
After starting the season 3-3, K-State captured five wins in its last six games. Doing so gave the Wildcats eight wins prior to the bowl game for the fourth time in the last six years. It also marked the second-straight year they closed the regular season with three wins in a row.
“We became an improved football team collectively across the board,” Snyder said. “That’s been the mantra of our program over years, at least that’s the values of daily improvement. Our players believe in that and consequently have made the effort and commitment to do so, and, at the end of the day, we became a little bit better day in and day out.
“It’s not totally consistent but, at the end of the day, we have gotten better on a very regular basis.”
During their final six games, the Wildcats have averaged nearly 300 yards rushing to boost their per-game average for the season to 232.9, which ranks 25th in the country.
“I’m very proud of our offensive line and the progress they have made throughout the course of the year.
The Wildcats offensive line will need to be ready when the line up against a tough Texas A&M Defense on November 28.