Second Half Adjustments

20 Oct

Looking to this second portion of Kansas State’s schedule, most people have skipped ahead to three games: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. Just for fun, then, let’s take a look at what these teams have done and – because I am a Kansas State student – see if we can find loopholes for optimism about the Wildcats’ chances against them.

Oklahoma When questioning a team’s prowess, one of the best targets is strength of schedule. The Sooners have completely destroyed four of their opponents, but when I run down the list of names, you may not be impressed. They beat Tulsa 47-14, Ball State 62-6, Texas 55-17 and Kansas 47-17. To me, none of those are super-stellar victories. “What about Texas?” you may ask. Well, the Longhorns are coming off a 5-7 season. They were ranked #11 (due solely to the school’s name) when they played the Sooners but have since fallen from the rankings. Oklahoma’s other wins came against then-#5 Florida State (23-13) and Missouri (38-28). So it looks to me like the Sooners have not really hammered anyone of talent comparable to theirs. Obviously, though, the low scoring by their opponents indicates that their defense is not one to mess around.

Oklahoma State (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) Despite the fact that the Cowboys are ranked below the Sooners, the game in Stillwater might be the most difficult for the Wildcats. Obviously, this one’s an away game for Kansas State, and the Cowboys are the only ones in this trio of terror coming up that have beaten one of the other teams in it. They edged the Aggies 30-29 in late September. Other than that, their closest calls have come against Texas (38-26) and Arizona (37-14). Predictably, Oklahoma State pounded Louisiana-Lafayette (61-34), Tulsa (59-33) and Kansas (70-28). As the scores indicate, the Cowboys’ quarterback-receiver tandem of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon is a scary one. However, their defense might have a little more give than Oklahoma’s.

Texas A&M (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) While the Aggies failed to secure what would have been a resume-building win over Oklahoma State, they’re not looking too shabby by any means. Their only other loss (42-38) came against Arkansas, currently ranked 10th in the AP poll. While they had their blowout wins against Southern Methodist (46-14) and Idaho (37-7), they also got the last shot off in a high-powered duel against Texas Tech (45-40) and a somewhat surprising romp over Baylor (55-28).

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