KSAL Staff - November 24, 2014 8:00 am
MAC STEVENSON LIVES IN SALINA, AND WRITES A WEEKLY COLUMN FOR OVER TEN NEWSPAPERS IN KANSAS
Intriguing subplots abound in the upcoming Kansas-Kansas State football game to be played in Bill Snyder Family Stadium this Saturday (Nov. 29). The Sunflower Showdown will be nationally televised by Fox Sports1 with a 3:00 p.m. start.
Will this be Coach Bill Snyder’s final home game as K-State’s head coach? Snyder is 75 and he can’t go on forever. It’s no secret that Coach Snyder would like to see his son, Sean, succeed him as the Wildcats’ head coach. K-State AD John Currie has been noncommittal on who Snyder’s eventual successor will be.
Bill Snyder has contributed so much to Kansas State football with his loyalty and success that he’s become a living legend. Since Snyder wants his son to have the chance to be K-State’s next head coach, the Wildcats’ hierarchy owes him that and much more.
This must be done with a caveat: Sean Snyder should get his chance to continue K-State’s success; however, if it becomes obvious after two seasons that it isn’t going to work, then a change would have to be made. Kansas State’s football program has come too far to let it slide downhill like it did during Ron Prince’s short tenure.
On the Kansas side of the ledger, the Jayhawks are in the process of hiring a new coach. KU’s interim coach, Clint Bowen, has done as well as could be hoped for with the present team; KU’s players and fans alike are solidly behind him for the head coaching job.
KU and K-State will play for 112th time this Saturday. Kansas leads the overall series 64-42-5. But Kansas State has dominated the series during the Snyder era, winning 17 of those 21 games. Most of the Snyder-coached wins have been decidedly one-sided.
If Bowen could lead KU to an upset, he would undoubtedly become the Jayhawks’ new head coach; the same could be said if it’s a close and competitive game, even if the Wildcats win. K-State won last year’s game in Lawrence, 31-10. After the Oklahoma debacle, Bowen began focusing on K-State by saying, “I told ‘em we’re not gonna let this one beat us twice . . . it’s time to move on.”
This game will be touted as KU’s bowl game while K-State is still in the hunt for a Big 12 championship. Snyder’s Wildcats cannot afford to look ahead to the Baylor game on December 6.
Last week K-State defeated West Virginia (26-20) on Thursday while KU was crushed Saturday at OU (44-7). Kansas State’s running game has faltered in their last two games; they should be able to correct that against a Kansas defense that gave up 510 yards rushing to Oklahoma—including an NCAA record of 427 yards on 34 carries by freshman RB Samaje Perine.
Kansas State has superior talent and more depth on both the offensive and defensive lines; that’s where most football games are won or lost. And the Wildcats have a big edge at quarterback with senior Jake Waters throwing the ball effectively. KU QB Michael Cummings has played fairly well since taking over for Montell Cozart, but he doesn’t get the pass blocking that Waters does.
Kansas State is the better football team, but the Wildcats don’t have the same type athletes that play for Oklahoma. K-State should win playing at home; the Jayhawks have been inept on the road. But Clint Bowen has instilled a new spirit within his team and—even though they didn’t show it at OU—the Jayhawks will be ready to give it their all in their final game of the season.
Kansas State will be a heavy favorite, but it will be far from easy.
The Kansas City Chiefs suffered a devastating loss at Oakland last Thursday. KC had defeated New England and defending Super Bowl champion Seattle on the way to a 6-3 record and a tie for first with the Denver Broncos. That made the momentum-killing loss to an Oakland team that was 0-10 even harder to take.
KC’s loss to Oakland took the gloss off the Sunday night (Nov. 30) game with Denver. It’s still a meaningful game, but not what it could have been.
Kansas City is hurting at the wide receiver positions. Dwayne Bowe is the Chiefs’ only receiver with solid NFL talent and he’s inconsistent. Injuries and the lack of a deep threat at WR have handicapped QB Alex Smith’s passing.
Regardless of the Chiefs’ shortcomings, they’ve played superb football in most of their games and Coach Andy Reid will have them ready for the Denver game. It should have been one of the biggest games of the NFL season; as it stands now, KC-Denver is still a vital game for the Chiefs if they hope to remain a viable contender for the playoffs.