Kansas State will open the 2016 football season with a Friday game at Stanford, the Wildcats announced Wednesday. The trip is part of a two-game series that will send Stanford to K-State for a rematch in 2021.
The series completes K-State’s 2016 nonconference schedule. The Wildcats will open the season on Sept. 2 at Stanford, get a week off and then have home games against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 17 and Missouri State on Sept. 24.
K-State officials had hoped to play three nonconference home games next season in order to maintain its streak of playing at least seven home games per year. But with the 2015 season well underway, few teams had openings. Rather than attempt to schedule a home game against a second FCS opponent on top of Missouri State, they decided to play Stanford.
The choice means K-State will play six games at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, the first time it’s played fewer than seven in a home schedule since 2010.
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“We kept working every possible angle to find a seventh home game,” K-State athletic director John Currie said in a statement. “But with just 11 months remaining before the 2016 season, the Stanford series became an attractive option that gives us an opportunity to further our program and university on a national level.
“This accomplishes our goal of having at least 11 FBS opponents on the schedule each season and ensures that we will have a high-visibility peer conference opponent on our schedule for the next six years.”
Other notable nonconference games include a trip to Vanderbilt in 2017, a home game with Mississippi State in 2018, a trip to Mississippi State in 2019 and a home game with Vanderbilt in 2020.
In 2017, K-State will also play Charlotte and Central Arkansas. The Wildcats have one opening in 2018, 2019 and 2020. They have two openings in 2021.
Kellis Robinett: @KellisRobinett