If there’s a school that mirrors Texas A&M in the Big XII, it’s Kansas State. Kansas State in Kansas is looked at as the hated bastard stepchild of the blob coached Kansas Jayhawks. However, in football terms since the Snyder era started, the Wildcats have bitch slapped the Jayhawks around the gridiron similar to what the last half of the Jackie Sherill era and the first part of the Slocum era did to Texas for Texas A&M.
The truth is that outside of Texas Tech, a school whose degrees now don’t count until they can prove they mean something, Kansas State is by far the worst academic school in the Big XII. It’s a school that couldn’t be a member of the Pac 10 or Big 10 just because academically it’s about as prestigious as the University of Phoenix Tijuana branch. The fans of K-State, like A&M, are among the most hated in the Big XII, except that there seems to be a mutual instant friendship between K-State fans and Aggie fans.
The Aggies have been fairly successful against the Wildcats, including shocking them in the Big XII championship game and keeping them out of the national championship game. They have beaten the Aggies a few times, but this year they play in College Station and A&M should beat them.
K-State returns about half of their starters. Their offense was very good last year, and they return big play quarterback Josh Freeman but lose their top receiving threat. They have four junior college players coming in that will challenge for starting positions on defense. Their defense last year was not good especially down the stretch. K-State is tough to forecast because of their heavy reliance on jucos. Who knows, they may bring in six juco starters and win the north. The more likely scenario is that some of those JC guys will work out and some won’t. They’ll finish somewhere in the middle of the north division.
Following a Bill Snyder tradition, K-State plays three pathetic teams at home for the non conference schedule. They play the third best college team in the Metroplex, a team from Montana, and a Louisiana directional school. However, they throw in a game at Louisville in Welcome to Cici’s Stadium. Last year, they played at Auburn in addition to playing a bunch of nobodies. I guess since the extra game was added a few years ago, they are playing a game on the road they can’t win. The only good team they seem to beat on the road is Texas.
I’ve never met someone that went to Kansas State or that was a Kansas State fan, except at football games involving Kansas State. Like the Aggies, they must discourage non Kansas State alumni from wearing Kansas State jerseys. Their uniforms are among the worst in college football, especially their helmet logo. Their overall athletic department results are on par with Texas Tech and Iowa State at the bottom of the Big XII.
Ron Prince, the coach at K-State, was the third youngest Division I coach when he was hired at 36 years of age. He’s an emotional type, and players really seemed to react positively to him until the stretch run last year. He replace Bill Snyder from the anonymous position as offensive coordinator at the constantly underachieving University of Virginia, a school with tons more resources than West Virginia and Virginia Tech, schools that own Virginia in football. Prince has been a disappointment and a step down from Snyder, but K-State football is still in way better shape than it was for the sixty years before Bill Snyder showed up.
In conclusion, if this school was located in Texas, it’s a tossup if it or Texas Tech would be in the Big XII, or if it would be more like Midwestern State or Tarleton State. The fact that it’s in Kansas gives it the leeway to be a Divison I school, since there’s only one other school in Kansas, not counting Mark Turgeon’s previous basketball stop. Most Aggies tend to pull for K-State for some reason, but we all realize that we are superior to them and we’d always rather take our sick lab to an Aggie Vet instead of a Wildcat vet.
Kansas State Notes – Kansas State is the worst Division I college football team in history. They didn’t start having winning seasons more than once a decade until the Bill Snyder years. Manhattan, Kansas is known as the Little Apple, and an area close to campus is known as Aggieville. K-State has an honor pledge: “On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work.” The most famous alumnus of Kansas State is Herbert Dimond, inventor of the snooze alarm. Herbert just encouraged laziness.