Is Saturday’s match up against Oklahoma State a trap game?
I was surprised to hear that question pop up at Kansas State’s news gathering earlier this week.
While it seems like a reasonable question on the surface (the Wildcats debuted at No. 9 in the playoff rankings Tuesday and have three main opportunities remaining — at No. 20 West Virginia, at No. 13 Baylor at No. 7 TCU — to really move up the poll, and Oklahoma State is not among them) it also seems silly to ask Bill Snyder and his players if they are capable of overlooking an opponent this far into the season.
Honestly, is there such a thing as a trap game when Kansas State is involved?
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Sure, Snyder’s teams have struggled in recent openers, with players admitting they overlooked guarantee games against North Dakota State and Eastern Kentucky. But once the Wildcats get into the meat of their schedule they tend to take everyone seriously. How else do you explain their continued dominance against Kansas and Iowa State? K-State hasn’t lost to either team since Snyder returned to the sidelines in 2009. The only other Big 12 team to go undefeated against Kansas and Iowa State during that window is Oklahoma.
Other teams may look past struggling opponents. Not K-State.
Snyder has gone 48-23 during his second stint as coach, and I’m not sure any of the 22 losses can be blamed entirely on poor motivation/overlooking an opponent. A 24-21 loss to North Dakota State last year would be the most obvious culprit, but there were other factors at work that day and the Bison played well. Some have also wondered if K-State was overconfident going into a 52-24 loss at Baylor in 2012. It’s possible, but the Bears weren’t losing to anyone that night. In 2009 and 2010, K-State lost to some bad teams (Louisiana-Lafayette and Colorado come to mind) but the Wildcats weren’t great themselves. They lost six games both seasons.
Simply put: It’s been a long time since K-State was the victim of a trap game.