Saturday, October 10, 2015

K-State’s bowl destination still unclear

Although Kansas State’s possible bowl destinations have become clearer since Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma, there is still so much that’s undecided.

The most likely scenarios have the Wildcats going to the Holiday or Texas bowls. But even that could still change, depending how the last two weeks play out — giving K-State an outside chance of going to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

Everything could come down to the two games this week though — Texas Tech at Texas on Thursday night and K-State at Kansas on Saturday.

A Red Raiders loss and a K-State win on Saturday would put both teams at 7-5.

The Holiday Bowl — played in San Diego — picks fifth in the Big 12 bowl pecking order and would choose between a K-State team that’s won five of its last six and a Tech team that’s lost five straight.

Other attractive selling points for K-State is that its women’s basketball team plays in San Diego that weekend and the Kansas City Chiefs play the Chargers on Sunday. The Holiday Bowl is Monday, Dec. 30.

The Wildcats are 3-0 in the Holiday Bowl, last playing there in 2002 when they defeated Arizona State 34-27.

If both Tech and K-State win this week, things could get more even more unclear.

Texas finishes it’s regular season with Baylor on Dec. 7, and losing out would make the Longhorns 7-5. Tech would be 8-4 and could slide into the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. Texas could create a potential matchup with Southern California in the Holiday Bowl — a 2006 national title game rematch.

That would drop the Wildcats into the Texas Bowl in Houston, where coach Bill Snyder has never coached. K-State was last in the Texas Bowl in 2006 under Ron Prince, where the Wildcats were soundly beaten 37-10 by a Rutgers team led by NFL running back Ray Rice and coach Greg Schiano.

There is one more bowl possibility for K-State if the Big 12 gets two BCS bids. The Big 12 champion will get one spot, and there’s still a chance the conference gets a second team in. Theoretically, the league champ would be an 11-1 Oklahoma State. And the second BCS spot could go to an 11-1 Baylor team — assuming both team win out. That would slide everyone up the Big 12 scale and drop the Texas Bowl out of the equation for everyone.

In that scenario, with a K-State win and Tech loss this week, the Wildcats could be headed to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. The Wildcats last played there in 2001—  formerly the Insight Bowl — losing to Syracuse, 26-3.

The bowl would be played in Sun Devil Stadium, the sight of the Wildcats’ 1997 and 2004 Fiesta Bowls.

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