Down but not out: Why KSU has a shot

5 Nov

This game has many K-Staters a bit unnerved. It’s a reasonable worry, considering that the Sooners pummeled the Wildcats 58-17 in Manhattan on homecoming last week … and Oklahoma State is widely believed to be better than Oklahoma. However, I don’t think you can just count Kansas State out of this one.

  • To start with, the loss to Oklahoma was just one loss. Kansas State is still a 7-1 team, and you don’t fall into seven wins. It just does not happen. The Wildcats have mastered the art of making due with what they have. Being disciplined, fundamentally sound and sticking to assignments sounds incredibly cliché and boring, but it is what this team does. In those first seven games, all those workmanlike, mundane, detail-oriented categories made up for any perceived lack of talent. Obviously you give credit to Oklahoma for the win, but in that game, the Wildcats made some of the mistakes they had not made earlier in the season. It’s entirely possible the Cowboys will force the same type of errors, but I would not be shocked to see a singularly focused team tonight.
  • How about the leadership on this team? Between Collin Klein and Arthur Brown, I’m not sure you could ask for anyone better. Those guys inspire their teammates – and vice versa, they would certainly tell you. I have all the confidence in the world that those two, and many others who just are not in the spotlight as much, have helped get this entire team prepared to play tonight. Both Klein and Brown have tremendous toughness, and I think the Wildcats have taken on that persona as a whole. Think of all the comeback wins. Think of all the games this team was supposed to lose. Kansas State was picked to finish eighth in the league, and now it’s nationally ranked. It might not win against one of the top three teams in the country, one that boasts a record-breaking duo of quarterback and receiver who forewent the NFL so they could have their senior year together … but I would never bet on this team to lose, and that is everything to do with the people who are on it.
  • Kansas State is hungry. Oklahoma State might be a little complacent. You know that last week the Cowboys’ coaches must have been saying, “Oh, %#$&. How are we going to keep the guys from looking past this team now?” as the Sooners steamrolled the Wildcats. The Cowboys have not yet tasted the nasty flavor of defeat, but Kansas State certainly has, and it wants to get rid of that sensation. Besides, Oklahoma rebounded well from a shocking home loss of its own. Why can’t Kansas State do likewise? Certainly, this one is much less probable. But hey, that has not stopped the Wildcats before. They were not supposed to beat Miami, Baylor, Missouri or Texas Tech either. You just never know. And really, that’s a beautiful thing.
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