Baylor and Oklahoma State are the two hottest teams in the Big 12, but Kansas State isn’t far behind.
By KELLIS ROBINETT
The Kansas City Star
The Wildcats have won four straight games. They have become bowl eligible after a 2-4 start. And they are now four-point favorites over the No. 22 Oklahoma Sooners.
Here is a look at that and everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
K-State faces Oklahoma at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. The Wildcats are rarely favored in this matchup, but they are four-point favorites this week. It will be an important game for both sides. It will also be senior day for K-State.
Oklahoma might be the most hot-and-cold team in the Big 12. It looked great beating Notre Dame and Texas Tech. It looked abysmal losing to Texas and Baylor.
We saw both sides of Oklahoma on Saturday. It trailed Iowa State 10-3 late in the first half then went on to win huge in the second half.
The Sooners used three quarterbacks in that game, and there is no telling who will start against the Wildcats. Trevor Knight, Blake Bell and Kendal Thompson might all play. Bob Stoops, a former Bill Snyder assistant, says he won’t name a starter until game time.
Oklahoma has a strong rushing attack, ranking 17th nationally with more than 230 yards per game. It also has a strong defense, ranking 13th nationally and allowing 326 yards per game. The Sooners will resemble TCU with a better offense.
There’s one thing we know for sure about K-State’s bowl picture: It won’t play in the Pinstripe Bowl.
The Big 12 will only have six bowl-eligible teams this season, and the Pinstripe Bowl picks seventh. You can also cross off the Fiesta Bowl (or any BCS bowl), and the Cotton Bowl.
The Alamo Bowl (third in the Big 12 bowl order) remains a remote possibility, but the Wildcats would need to finish ahead of Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma to reach that high. The Sooners already have eight wins and the Longhorns beat the Wildcats. Passing both of them will be difficult, but possible.
The Holiday Bowl remains the most likely destination if K-State finishes 7-5 of 8-4. But K-State can go to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl if it wins its two remaining games. At 8-4, it could finish ahead of, or tied with, Texas Tech and Oklahoma and earn a trip to the Big 12′s No. 4 bowl.
If K-State loses its final two games, it will all but certainly end up in the Texas Bowl.
The Wildcats haven’t played a name opponent in basketball this season, but that could change this week.
K-State is headed to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off for a three-game tournament, where it will play Charlotte and possibly Georgetown, Michigan, Florida State and Virginia Commonwealth.
Bruce Weber said his goal for the tournament is to win the first game. That would likely give K-State a matchup with Georgetown in the second game. The Wildcats have looked far from impressive in their first three games against mid-major foes. We will see how good they truly are this week.
Another Snyder Note
There is another Bill Snyder note making the rounds. This one was written to Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro.
— Kellis Robinett (@KellisRobinett) November 18, 2013
– Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops doesn’t know who will start at quarterback against Kansas State. Even when he knows, he won’t share that information.
– Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel says the Sooners should start Knight against Kansas State. He also says the Sooners looked good against Iowa State on offense. But he also warns not to get too caught up in that success.