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Oregon, K-State mutually dropped game

By Joel Jellison

In college football, headlining series between teams are scheduled all the time.

And just as often as they are scheduled, they often get rescheduled or fall to the wayside as teams make coaching changes and, as of recently, conference changes.

As the landscape of college football has changed, so too have the schedules.

With the Big 12 looking to go to 10 teams and a nine-game conference schedule, and Oregon looking to play LSU in the season opener in 2011, Kansas State and Oregon mutually agreed to call off a home-and-home series that was scheduled to begin in 2011 with a game in Manhattan. The other game of that series was to be played this season in Eugene, Ore.

So when K-State passed Oregon in the BCS last Sunday, old stories began to resurface.

On the Wildcats’ end, they have been made out to be scared of playing the Ducks on the road. Despite that, K-State has the best road record against Top 25 teams of any team in the top 5.

CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel suggested the Wildcats have hurt themselves in the mutual decision to cancel the series. Doyel said the Wildcats might have beaten Oregon and its redshirt-freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota early in the season, as he learned the ropes of the Ducks’ offense.

It was Oregon coach Chip Kelly who got ESPN’s Ivan Maisel interested in finding the truth behind the cancellation. Maisel said Kelly told him K-State pulled out of the series. Oregon was playing the victim card, but an assistant athletic director at Oregon said when the 2011 Cowboys Classic offered a slot against LSU, the Ducks asked K-State to reschedule. With the Big 12 schedule going to nine games, K-State and Oregon agreed to call it off.

In August of 2010, just after the series was cancelled, K-State athletic director John Currie addressed it in a Q&A on

“Since we will likely have a nine-game conference schedule in 2011, we have reached a mutual agreement with Oregon to cancel that series without any financial penalty to either school,” the K-State AD wrote.

What resulted was the weakest non-conference schedule of any team in the BCS top 10 for Oregon. The Wildcats still faced Miami in their non-conference schedule, giving them a boost.

Oregon still has three ranked teams left on its regular season schedule, including two in the top 10, and a potential fourth game if it wins out and plays USC in the Pac-12 title game.

K-State has two ranked teams left on its schedule, while TCU and Oklahoma State are both receiving votes in the AP poll.

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