Winning in college football these days isn’t easy, and winning consistently is even tougher. However, Bill Snyder’s program is a model of consistency. This season, that consistency and the road to six wins in 2015 will be one of the toughest journeys yet.
The 2015 season is the perfect storm, creating a very scary, surprising and confusing season.
I’ll go ahead and go on record as saying this: the schedule sucks. And yes, I’m including the non-conference slate, as well. After the South Dakota game this Saturday, the Wildcats make a trip to a place that has haunted the Wildcat program and its fans for a long time. No, I’m not talking about Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s a more visually appealing place than that: San Antonio.
The Wildcats are 0-2 in San Antonio, where they have lost two Alamo Bowls. Now they return to the site where their season ended last year with a loss to the UCLA Bruins. Although they aren’t facing the Bruins this time, their opponents, the UT San Antonio Roadrunners, are not to be taken lightly.
The Roadrunners were picked last in the Conference USA media poll for the western division, but they’ll be at home with an 11 a.m. kickoff. This could be a recipe for disaster since mixing an early morning kickoff with a place that’s given you heartbreak can be a major distraction.
Then you have the final non-conference game against the cream of the Conference USA crop, Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs return 13 starters and now include Florida transfer quarterback, Jeff Driskel. The offense ranked among the best in the nation, averaging 37.4 points per contest, which might be good to see since the Wildcats will have a much taller task ahead of them.
I’m just gonna call it like I see it: the beginning of the Big 12 schedule is a death march. An absolute death march.
The Wildcats’ first Big 12 game is in Stillwater against Oklahoma State where the Wildcats haven’t won since 2003, going 0-4 over that span. Trust me, it gets even better. Up next is prohibitive conference favorite TCU at home, which would potentially be the Wildcats’ first opportunity to pull off an upset.
Opportunity number two comes the next week against a vastly improved Oklahoma Sooners team with a new quarterback and an impressive rushing game. The Sooners offense against the Wildcat defense should be must-see TV.
The last two games of this journey feature two other Texas schools. First up are the Longhorns, who may or may not be a threat in this conference, really depending on how consistent they can be within the offense. Then there’s the Thursday night showdown against Baylor.
It’s no secret that Baylor struggles during road games in tough atmospheres – take their loss at West Virginia last year for example. This is the prime spot for a Wildcat upset of the highly ranked Baylor Bears.
Following that brutal stretch, the Wildcats may already be in prime bowl position, or they could be looking at their final four games against Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas and West Virginia as a way of clawing their way into a bowl game.
History would be on K-State’s side. Their record against those schools since 2012 is 12-0.
Miracles do happen and Bill Snyder seems to have his brand of magic trademarked and bottled, but the facts are that this schedule is one of the more daunting schedules that K-State has had to face in recent years.
The way I see it, six wins and a sixth-straight bowl bid is this teams’ ceiling for the season. It’s not good, but it could always be worse. You could be playing football up in Lawrence.