With a win over the TCU Horned Frogs, the K-State Wildcats became bowl eligible for the fourth straight season. After a 2-4 start, it’s nice for fans to worry about their travel plans rather than if the Wildcats will play in a bowl at all.
With a loss on Saturday to No. 20 Oklahoma, all indications are that K-State will head to the Texas Bowl. The Texas Bowl is scheduled for Dec. 27 in Houston, Texas.
The Texas Bowl gets the fifth selection from both the Big 12 and Big 10. Bowls are not bound by conference standings, and are allowed to pick whichever team fits their bowl the best. With a loss, K-State will finish fifth in the Big 12. With all four schools ahead of K-State having prestigious programs, they will be taken by bowls that have an earlier selection than the Texas Bowl.
ESPN projects the No. 25 Minnesota Golden Gophers to be the other participant in the Texas Bowl. Minnesota has had a very good season, and they currently sit at 8-2. They have two very tough games left against ranked teams.
Minnesota’s head coach, Jerry Kill, a Cheney, Kan. native, has had his own off-the-field problems this year. He suffers from epilepsy, which has caused him to miss games and coach from the press box. Kill has done a great job of keeping his team together through his personal struggles. He said he will not return to the sideline this season because his team has taken off with him in the press box.
K-State could still face another team, of course. The Nebraska Cornhuskers and Michigan Wolverines are the other teams that have the best shot at playing in Houston.
Michigan is a turnover prone team, but still can put a lot of points on the board. They have struggled in recent weeks with their offense, scoring just 46 points in their last three games.
Nebraska is a good team that is very young. They have undergone a quarterback change this year. Senior Taylor Martinez is injured and out for the year, leaving the reigns to freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. Having a freshman at quarterback leads to a streaky offense. This would be an exceptionally fun game as two former Big 12 rival teams would clash.
No matter who K-State plays, it should be an even match-up. That’s the beauty of bowl season. National exposure and extra practice time are the biggest incentive when it comes to bowls. Playing a prestigious team would be great for the Wildcats, as it could mean higher TV ratings for the game.
K-State has played in the Texas Bowl before. In 2006, the Wildcats faced the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and lost 37-10. That game was a part of the five-game bowl losing streak that K-State currently finds itself in. The last time they won a bowl game was in 2002 against Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl. The Wildcats will look to end that streak in the Texas Bowl this winter.