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The Kansas St Wildcats have been counted out in many games this year only to come from behind to win in this magical 2011 season for Kansas State, however tonight was not one of those nights. Kansas State trailed the entire game and did make a comeback to make the game interesting when they scored 16 unanswered ponts stretching from the second quarter to their first possession in the third quarter. Those 16 straight points made the score 19-16 and that is the closest that Kansas State would get to Arkansas State tonight.
Arkansas responded by ratcheting up their defense to shut down the Kansas State offense and scored the final 10 points of the game to win 29-16. The Arkansas defense ended up holding Kansas State's Collin Klein to only 41 yards rushing on a 1.7 yard average pre rush and he was sacked six times. Kansas State was held to 260 yards of offense tonight which was 83 yards below their season average and they turned the ball over two times.
Even though Kansas State lost tonight their 10-win season is their best record since the 2003 season when they finished 11-4 and played in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Kansas St. Wildcats defense had a scare at the end of the first half when star defensive end Meshak Williams was carted off the field as he was tackling Arkansas quarterback Travis Wilson. However. Willilams was injured when he collided with teammate Emmanuel Lamur helmet to helmet who came into assist with sacking Wilson.
News came out during the broadcast that Williams was being taken to Arlington Memorial Hospital for further evaluation, but there is good news as Williams has movement in all of his extremities. The full extent of Williams' injuries will not be known until he is evaluated at the hospital.
Williams is a big loss for the Kansas State defense as he led the team this season in sacks with seven and also led the team in tackles for loss with 10 on the season.
The Kansas St. Wildcats have fought their way back into this game and have scored another touchdown and now trail the Arkansas Razorbacks 19-16. Kansas State has scored the last 16 points in this game and they are looking like the typical Kansas State team. FOX announcer Gus Johnson made the comment that Kansas State is a zombie team and does not die, which is true. Kansas State has had multiple come from behind wins this season.
This last touchdown drive for Kansas State got off to a good start when the kick off went out of bounds which allowed Kansas State to start at the 40-yard line. Quarterback Collin Klein then showed everyone what he does all year by first completing a 21-yard pass to Tramaine Thompson and then took to his legs to finish off the drive. Klein ran for 15 yards to get Kansas State to the Arkansas 6-yard line. Then on first and goal Klein scored a touchdown on a delayed quarterback keeper. Kansas State now trails 19-16 and has a chance to take the lead if they can stop Arkansas' offense.
The Kansas St. Wildcats offense has been held in check and have been held to only 60 yards through the first half. The Arkansas offense has not been that much better as they have only 159 yards from scrimmage, but they did get help from Joe Adams who returned a punt for a touchdown in the first quarter.
The Kansas State defense has been able to keep their team in this game by holding Arkansas to two field goals and they also blocked an extra-point which was returned by Nigel Malone to put Kansas State on the board with two points. The Wildcats actually have scored the last nine points in the half to cut the lead and now trail 19-9.
Kansas State scored their touchdown when Adam Davis sacked and forced Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson to fumble which was then recovered by Ryan Mueller at the Arkansas 13-yard line. Kansas State quarterback then ran the ball twice to get to the Arkansas 4-yard line, and then on third down and one Klein completed a 4-yard pass to a wide open Andre McDonald to cut into Arkansas' lead.
The scary moment of the half came when defensive end Meshak Williams was carted off the field when he collided with teammate Emmanuel Lamur. Williams is currently being evaluated in the locker room and as he was being carted off the field he tossed up the Wildcats hand signal to the crowd.
The Kansas St. Wildcats had a scary moment right before the end of the first half when defensive end Meshak Williams was taken off the cart when he his helmet collided into his own teammate Emmanuel Lamur while tackling Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson.
Here is the play that injured the two players:
Lamur was banged up on the play but he was able to walk off the field on his own power.
Williams gave a thumbs up and the Wildcat hand sign to the crowd as he was carted off the field and taken to the locker room for further evaluation.
The Kansas St. Wildcats offense has struggled all evening Friday night and has not been able to move the ball at all against the Arkansas Razorbacks defense. However, the Kansas State defense has been holding their own and has held Arkansas to another field goal, but trail 13-0.
The 2012 Cotton Bowl is acting like the complete opposite of the prior high-scoring bowl games as it is a 3-0 game with the Arkansas Razorbacks on top. The defenses have been stepping up in this game and have held each other offenses in check. So far, Kansas State has only 24 yards and Arkansas has 37 yards after one period. These two teams average over 800 yards of offense between each other.
The Kansas St. Wildcats are in their first Cotton Bowl since 1997 Cotton Bowl when the current students were in elementary school. Naturally, Kansas State fans are making the trip as their team takes on the No. 6 ranked Arkansas Razorbacks and are extremely excited:
"This is awesome," Heaton said about the Cotton Bowl atmosphere. "I got to represent with the purple nation, this stadium will definitely be flooded with purple."
Students like, Kris Fitzgerald, marketing major at K-State, traveled to the Cotton Bowl in high excitement to attend the prestigious game.
"I am literally more excited than having a child right now, this is my baby right here, I love the Cotton Bowl and I love K-State."
These fans should be exited since this is the best bowl game since the 2004 Fiesta Bowl when they played Ohio State.
The Cotton Bowl is tonight and that means that bowl season is nearly over for the Big 12. The conference is already 6-1 in its seven bowl games and they could add a very impressive seventh win tonight against the Arkansas Razorbacks as the Kansas State Wildcats aim for a Cotton Bowl win. If they're going to pull it off, Collin Klein has to have a big night.
The K-State quarterback has been key all season to the entire offense. He's thrown for 12 touchdowns but ran for another 26 and he's a threat both ways if the Razorbacks play him incorrectly one way or the other. That places a pressure on the entirety of the defense to respect all of Klein's skills. David Ubben of ESPN says that he's the key to tonight's game.
Ubben writes, "Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein. He's the guy that makes everything run for Kansas State's offense. The Wildcats go as he goes. He's improved as a passer throughout the season, and with his legs as the offense's primary threat, it opens up easier throws down the field. Arkansas' defense has to make sure he's contained at all times, and make sure it tackles well. He's proved how tough he is to bring down all season, and Arkansas will find out just how difficult it can be tonight."
While there are several variables to tonight's big non-BCS bowl match between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Arkansas Razorbacks at Cowboys Stadium, one of the x-factors could be Arkansas returner Joe Adams. The walking highlight reel is a threat every time he gets the ball and a bit of space, and Kansas State would be wise to avoid him says George Schroeder of Sports Illustrated.
Schroeder writes, "Arkansas return specialist Joe Adams produced one of the all-time highlights on a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown against Tennessee, which featured too much darting, ducking and direction changing to describe here -- watch the video for the full effect. It was one of three punts Adams took back for TDs this season, averaging 16.2 yards per return. The senior receiver also has 49 catches for 630 yards and three more TDs. If you're looking for a game-changer, watch Adams. If you miss him -- or if Kansas State does -- you can check YouTube later."
SBN's resident stats ninja, Bill C., has his usual mind-bogglingly intricate preview of Friday's Cotton Bowl Classicbetween Kansas State and Arkansas up, and predicts a Razorback victory by 4.7 points. As for Kansas State's chances, he focuses on the Wildcats' mostly season-long success at running the ball, starting with quarterback Collin Klein:
The key to stopping Kansas State is simple: force them to pass, force them out of their comfort zone, and contain Collin Klein at all costs. This has been the blueprint all season, but few teams have actually pulled it off. Klein (1,745 passing yards, 58-percent completion rate, 12 touchdowns, five interceptions; 1,318 pre-sack rushing yards, plus-29.1 Adj. POE) is so tough, so smart, so sneaky fast, and so timely in the plays that, despite a shaky passing game and poor success rates, they still managed to score at least 30 points seven times, at least 40 points four times.
For a complete look at the breakdown on the Wildcats and Arkansas, check out Bill C.'s previewhere.
For more Kansas State news, be sure to visit Bring On The Cats. For Arkansas updates, check out Arkansas Expats. For a complete look at everything in college football, go to SB Nation's college football page.
The Big 12 has already won six of its seven bowl games so far this bowl season and the cherry on top of an already outstanding year-end dessert would be the Cotton Bowl win over the “third” SEC power Arkansas. The Kansas State Wildcats head to Cowboys Stadium for tonight’s premiere match-up and the Razorbacks are considered the favorite — a role the Wildcats have been used to all season. Yet at least one writer, ESPN’s David Ubben, sees the Wildcats for what they can really do and believes they can do it one more time.
Ubben writes, “I’ll take the upset in this one. I’ve had a bead on the Wildcats all season, and I think Kansas State gets enough stops and the grinding running game frustrates an Arkansas defense that isn’t strong enough to stop it. Since picking the Wildcats to lose by 14 to Baylor all the way back on Oct. 1, I’ve picked every Kansas State game correctly, including correctly picking them to win as an underdog four times. Let’s make it five. College football’s other Honey Badger at LSU gave Arkansas fits. Tonight will make it two.”
While it means another thing entirely for the pro game, a comparison to Tim Tebow in the college game is a compliment of the highest order. As one of the best college football players of all time, Tebow carried the Florida Gators to the national championship. Collin Klein, the Kansas State quarterback, has similar abilities to Tebow, says George Schroeder.
"Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is not fast, but he's big and very effective as a runner," Schroeder writes. "He's not an exceptionally accurate passer, but when the Wildcats absolutely have to have it, Klein somehow comes through. There might not be an offensive player in college football who is more valuable to his team. If this reminds you of anyone, well, sure. The inevitable comparison is to Tim Tebow, starting with on-field similarities and continuing to background.
"Like Tebow, Klein was homeschooled. Like Tebow, he is outspoken about his devout Christian faith. "You can certainly see some comparisons there," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "The size and the strength, the ability to break tackles, the ability to win games in the fourth quarter when the game is on the line. The ability to make big throws when the game is on the line. He is a really, really good football player."
Klein might have a shot at a coming out party tomorrow night against Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. It should make for a very entertaining game for two teams wanting some national respect and the chance to step out from the shadows of their conference rivals like Alabama and Oklahoma. A prime bowl game allows for such entrances.
The 2012 Cotton Bowl features a matchup between two top ten teams that were both spurned by BCS bowls. Arkansas was prevented from being selected by a BCS bowl due to a rule that says no more than two teams from a single conference can be selected. Kansas State was past over for the Sugar Bowl in favor of both Michigan and Virginia Tech.
Arkansas is 3-7-1 in the Cotton Bowl and Kansas State has split its two appearances.
Game date/time: Friday, January 6, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Kansas State Wildcats junior quarterback Collin Klein and running back sophomore running back and John Hubert have combined for 2,032 of the team's 2,324 rushing yards in 2011. The Wildcats were the 27th best team in all of NCAA football this season and is largely responsible for their 10-2 record and their berth in the 2012 Cotton Bowl where they'll face the Arkansas Razorbacks on Jan. 6.
On Wednesday, some of the guys from ArkansasSports360.com got together for a Cotton Bowl edition of the pressbox roundtable. One of those members was former Arkansas All-American defensive tackle Bruce James. He was asked what Arkansas should be worried about and his answer was the Kansas State running game.
To stop their running game, not allowing them to manage the clock and just basically stopping the run. That’s the biggest concern.
The fact that Klein leads the Wildcats in rushing, and has an amazing 26 rushing touchdowns, caused them to compare him to former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, due to the fact that he was the last quarterback that ran the ball efficiently that the Razorbacks faced.
Yeah, Newton comes to mind. That’s the last time we played a quarterback that ran the ball that successfully. I don’t think Kansas State’s offense line is as good as the one Newton had though. Arkansas has to top the run and make Kansas State pass the ball.
Arkansas' only losses came to the two teams who are playing in the national championship, LSU and Alabama, and their defense is going to need to be on their toes to stop from letting the Kansas State Wildcats rushing offense from handing them a third loss in the Cotton Bowl.
The Big 12 is 6-1 in its bowl season over these last few weeks, bringing up a conversation about conference dominance since the SEC represents both final teams in the National Championship contest. Some voters say that Oklahoma State deserves some first place consideration if LSU loses to Alabama. Perhaps that’s the case, perhaps not. But it does bring up a bigger discussion about the SEC versus the Big 12: which one is the better conference.
It’s also something brought up by the shift in conferences by Missouri and Texas A&M. Both schools left the Big 12 for the “greener pastures” of the SEC and were replaced by TCU and West Virginia. The SEC has the elite opportunities that both schools are seeking and yet the Big 12 has done nothing but win nearly every bowl game this off-season besides Iowa State, and it’s clear that the teams top to bottom are better in the Big 12.
The Cotton Bowl, however, is not the right thermometer for measuring head to head impact, writes David Ubben of ESPN.
“It’s a great game, but unfortunately, it’s not enough this year,” writes Ubben. "More regular-season matchups between the two leagues might settle this, but for now, we’re left to what is essentially chance each year in Dallas, an opportunity to meet and decide annually which is better. The Big 12’s been unable to crack the national title game the past two seasons while the SEC has racked up six consecutive national championships.
“Two teams that have had success as the antithesis of their leagues will meet in this year’s Cotton Bowl. It could be a classic. But it won’t tell us much about which league is better.”
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein wouldn't be categorized as your prototypical signal caller. After all Klein has more rushing attempts than passing attempts on the season and often resembles another running back in the Wildcats backfield.
A heavy workload from the 12 games regular season had Klein banged up but the five-week break he and the Wildcats have enjoyed have him refreshed, healed up and ready for the Cotton Bowl.
"I am feeling much better. We have a great training staff that has worked very diligently with me through the course of the season, keeping me up and rolling," Klein said, smiling. "A chance to refresh a little bit, and I'm ready for another round."
When Klein takes the field on Friday, he will be on the cusp of entering the record book. Klein's 26 rushing touchdowns places him one behind 1998 Heisman trophy winner Ricky Williams for the Big 12 record. It is also one behind the FBS record for quarterbacks which was set by Navy's Ricky Dobbs two seasons ago.
The Cotton Bowl is already going to be a spectacle in itself. After all, it’s the greatest bowl game outside of the BCS four (and you could argue this year that it’s bigger than some within it) and it features two top ten teams competing for national recognition in Bobby Petrino’s Arkansas Razorbacks against Bill Snyder’s Kansas State Wildcats. Two storied coaches. Two top programs. But that doesn’t even include the sheer wonder known as Cowboys Stadium.
Simply put, it’s one of the few places a team can play that can actually serve as a distraction. The Star-Telegraph’s Brent Shirley notes this and says that Arkansas’ experience there might come in handy.
“Arkansas will not intimidated by the Cotton Bowl’s massive arena. For three straight years the Razorbacks have played a regular-season, nonconference game against Texas A&M at Cowboys Stadium,” writes Shirley, “The Razorbacks, who won all three matchups, are comfortable in Arlington.Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, who called Cowboys Stadium another Razorback home site, said the first time a team plays in the venue, it’s nearly impossible to prevent players from staring at the 60-yard-wide video screen that hangs over the field.”
Bill Snyder has likely thought about the same on the Kansas State side of things, however it’s another element entirely to experience Cowboys Stadium firsthand. It should be interesting to watch how the Wildcats take in the first few drives of the Cotton Bowl.
Bill Snyder already has a minor reason to celebrate even before the Cotton Bowl game is played. That’s because junior linebacker Arthur Brown will be returning for his senior season instead of declaring for the NFL Draft.
While his stock would be lower than most who declare early, it’s possible that Brown would still be chosen. Yet he believes the best move for him is to finish his college career at Kansas State.
“I’m confident I will be back,” said Brown. “I feel like it will give me another opportunity to grow as a player and a leader. It will be great for our team for me to come back with all the other guys coming back. No, my decision is to come back and just to be part of the team. I find great value in being part of the team. I’m very team-oriented.”
Brown was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and turned heads with his play this year that included 95 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 interception.
No. 8 Kansas State, like they have been most of the season, is a heavy underdog in the 2012 Cotton Bowl, with No. 6 Arkansas favored by more than a touchdown.
High-powered offenses like the Razorbacks tend to have more positive publicity, while the SEC is widely seen as the most powerful conference in college football.
The SEC's reputation is the primary reason that Arkansas is rated so highly, as they did not challenge themselves in non-conference play and have only two wins (South Carolina, Auburn) over teams currently ranked in the top 25.
The two teams have one common opponent, Texas A&M, and both needed until the last seconds to defeat the 7-6 Aggies, with the Wildcats triumphing over them in quadruple OT while the Razorbacks mounted a furious second half comeback in the Death Star in Dallas, the site of the Cotton Bowl.
The SEC's calling card is defense, but Arkansas has given up only 5 fewer points a game this season, despite not playing any elite offenses in their conference while Kansas State had to match up with high-flying attacks like Baylor and Oklahoma State on a weekly basis.
The odds-makers are giving the edge to the Arkansas offense, as the over/under for the Jan. 6 bowl game is 64.
Even when a team makes it to the top ten, defeats Baylor among several other impressive opponents and lands in the top seven in BCS final rankings, they’re still not respected. That’s the case with the Kansas State Wildcats who are playing against Bobby Petrino’s Arkansas Razorbacks in the Cotton Bowl — the most prestigious bowl outside of the BCS four. Yet Bill Snyder’s team is still not taken seriously.
Jim Harris of Arkansas Sports writes, "So now, we come to this season’s Cotton Bowl, where the BCS standings reveal about as even a bowl matchup as any — next to the national championship game between LSU and Alabama — in No. 6 Arkansas and No. 8 Kansas State. Amazingly, another Hog bowl defeat and the all-time win percentage hits .333.
“We’re not certain the fan base can cotton to such a result. Surely a defeat to a barely-better-than-middling’ Big 12 team with leave a lot worse taste in Razorback fans’ mouths than the 31-26 Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State did last year.”
That “barely better than middling” team took care of Robert Griffin and elevated themselves in a deeply competitive Big 12 to the top despite the lack of respect and five star recruits. Collin Klein is a Heisman candidate for next season in the making and Bill Snyder has his team playing together as well as anyone. It will be interesting to see how Snyder uses their under-the-radar stature in the game against Arkansas.
If anything, this is a chance on a national stage to prove some people wrong.
The Cotton Bowl match-up between the Arkansas Razorback and the Kansas State Wildcats is going to involve a match-up of two quarterbacks who could be among the nation's best next season -- assuming that both are returning. That's because it will be the senior season for both Collin Klein and Tyler Wilson, two quarterbacks who could not be any different and yet can both hurt defenses in their own way.
For Wilson, it's his ability to find the open man no matter what opposing defenses throw at him. Ed Aschoff writes, "Tyler Wilson is completing 64.2 percent of his passes when opponents send five or more pass-rushers on a play this season with a plus-eight touchdown-to-interception ratio. Wilson has been outstanding against the blitz when not facing the top three pass efficiency defenses (Alabama, South Carolina and LSU), completing 66.7 percent with no interceptions in 102 attempts. Kansas State enters the Cotton Bowl ranked 73rd in pass efficiency defense."
Wilson on the season is 257 of 407 for a 63.1 completion percentage. He's thrown for 3,422 passing yards and 22 touchdowns against only 6 interceptions.
The Arkansas Razorbacks are well aware that they must pay attention and thus account for Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein’s ability to burn them with the rush or the pass. The 6-5 junior threw for 12 touchdowns and ran for another 26, showcasing an amazing ability to continue a drive through the end zone rather than settle for many field goals. It’s that ability that Edward Aschoff says might come into play in the 2011 Cotton Bowl against the Razorbacks.
He writes, “Kansas State has scored a touchdown on 29 of 33 (87.9 pct) goal-to-go situations this season, the 13th-highest percentage in the nation. The Wildcat’s knack for the end zone is built upon quarterback Collin Klein’s legs as he has scored more close touchdowns than any other player in the nation.”
If Klein has a solid Cotton Bowl performance, he’s going to be a natural contender for the Heisman Trophy next season and the buzz will grow even more if K-State can pull off a win.
From one year to the next, fans and boosters want university athletics to shift based on the success of the year before. Sometimes that’s not the best move to make since continuity can provide something that a brand new face and regime cannot. That’s the lesson learned by the Kansas State Wildcats this year as they rose in the Big 12 football standings.
“I think they have done a wonderful job,” Snyder said. “That should be pretty obvious. They have done a nice job of bringing players along. From top to bottom, you see guys that have made very consistent improvement throughout the course of the season.
They have gotten fundamentally better and that does not happen if our coaches are not doing a good job of working and teaching. They have been able to put schemes together that have done some very positive things. They have managed their youngsters well, on and off the field.
“We have had a lot of young guys that have received national and Big 12 recognition that probably were not projected at all and that lies in the capacity of their coaches to improve their play. There are quite a few offensive and defensive players of the week, there were four special teams players of the week. We had a number on all-conference teams and a couple guys that were on All-American teams and that comes because their coaches have helped them a great deal.”
Arkansas' Greg Childs didn't have the sort of senior season that he might have hoped for: he caught just 16 passes for 192 yards after averaging 47 catches per year in 2009 and 2010 and compiling more than 1,500 yards between the two years. But Childs' demeanor hasn't changed much, and he's looking forward to a big performance in the 2012 Cotton Bowl against Kansas State that could boost his 2012 NFL Draft stock.
"I'm just waiting my time; it's coming real soon," Childs said. "It's going to be a show."
Childs has dealt with the aftereffects of a knee injury that cut his 2010 campaign short after eight games, and has only slowly built back to the combination of size and speed that made him a terror for SEC defenses to deal with, and has been passed as a target by Jarius Wright and Joe Adams. Arkansas hasn't quite lived up to expectations, either: the Razorbacks went 10-2, but lost in dispiriting fashion to both LSU and Alabama.
But a big game in the Cotton Bowl could improve Childs' mood, and probably help Arkansas' chances of taking a lofty perch in the 2012 preseason rankings.
Ask Bill Snyder what his team has to worry about against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the upcoming Cotton Bowl and he’s likely to say one word: “everything.” It’s clear the Kansas State head football coach has a lot of respect for his opponent as he recently praised the SEC power in a recent interview.
When asked what Arkansas does well, Snyder responded with positive comments all around.
“Anything and everything you can think of," Snyder told the Wichita Eagle. "They have a good kicking game and the best punt returner in the country. They are sound in the things that they do. They run well. They are a fast and physical football team. "Offensively, they can throw it around with the best of them. I think they average 308 yards per game throwing the ball. They have a very good quarterback who handles and manages the game well in addition to throwing the ball as well as he does. As much as they throw it, they are not at all afraid to run it. They seemingly want to be able to run the ball well.
"Defensively, they have been a good football team. They play in a variety of fronts with a lot of movement up front."
Why did the Big 12 get slighted this year compared to other conferences when it came to the year end bowl placement? Certainly Kansas State had a better season than most and ranked No. 7 in the final BCS Rankings, so how do they miss out on a major BCS bowl if they deserved it?
ESPN’s Ryan McGee recently attempted to answer the question of why one conference is favored over another to see who exactly gets the best bowl chances. The Big 12 came out fourth after the SEC, Big Ten and ACC and it’s clearly a frustrating issue as he tells the tale of Nebraska who has succeeded more since leaving the conference:
The Big 12’s problem is the complete opposite of the ACC’s. Its bowl menu is more attractive at the top, but there aren’t enough of them. The Cotton is college football’s finest non-BCS stage and provides a stand-alone prime-time TV slot. The next game on the pecking order is the Alamo. It’s a solid game but can feel like a letdown for a team that was on the cusp of a conference title.
Remember that quote from the Nebraska official? He wasn’t wrong. In 2010, the Huskers won the Big 12 North, lost the conference title game by three points, and went back to the Holiday Bowl for the second consecutive year to play 6-6 Washington. This year, they won one fewer game, finished third in the Big Ten Legends division, and they’ll be playing on New Year’s Day in the Capital One Bowl vs. No. 9 South Carolina.
It’s something that Missouri and Texas A&M might soon prosper from themselves — even if the SEC is a bit tougher on them in some areas, the increased exposure and ties to the SEC could still benefit them more in the long run.
SB Nation's resident college football stat monster Bill C. has undertaken an impossible task - mathematically ranking the 2011-'12 college bowl slate by potential excitement, team prestige and the games likeliest to be close at the end.
Kansas State's trip to the Cotton Bowl to face Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium should be, by Bill's math, not a high scoring, 80 points combined affair, but a relatively close game. Using the "MACtion" scale (named lovingly after the high-scoring, defensively weak MAC), the Cotton Bowl rates 31st out of 35 bowls, meaning it's unlikely you'll see a 42-39 finish.
However, the game ranks very high (sixth out of 35) on the standard F+/- index, which measures complete team value (i.e., which bowl game features two high quality opponents). This ranking would certainly confirm the gripes of both Razorback and Wildcat fans who feel snubbed by the BCS system. In terms of closeness, Bill C.'s rankings project the margin of points to be 4.7, which is good for 18th out of 35 bowl.
For a complete list of bowl games ranked by various scales of watchability and interest, click here. For everything college football visit SB Nation's college football news hub, and for more on Kansas State, check out Bring On The Cats.
Kansas State might've been among those teams short changed by the BCS selection process this season, but Wildcats defensive back Nigel Malone has some BCS title company in SB Nation's inaugural All-America team.
The junior college transfer's seven interceptions earned him company among national title participants Marc Barron (Alabama), Morris Claiborne (LSU) and Tyrann Mathieu (LSU). Here's SB Nation's Bill Connelly explaining the pick:
Malone breaks the Bama/LSU monopoly because of some ridiculous ball skills. Only 18 defensive backs managed at least 16 passes defended (interceptions plus passes broken up), and of those, only two did so with more than five interceptions: N.C. State's sophomore ball-hawk David Amerson (11 interceptions, five passes broken up) and Malone (seven and nine). Unlike Amerson, however, Malone took on a series of ridiculously good quarterbacks in the Big 12 and still managed the feat.
Head coach Bill Snyder joins Malone as SB Nation's pick for coach of the year. Bill C's reasoning, among others, is that the Wildcats' ten win campaign is still so surprising:
Kansas State went 10-2 without the love of either stats or recruiting rankings. They won games with nothing but special teams, field position, turnovers, Collin Klein and craftiness. Vanderbilt's James Franklin worked wonders in his first season in Nashville, Art Briles turned Baylor -- BAYLOR! -- into a nine-win team, and hell, Lane Kiffin engineered a ferocious mid-season turnaround at USC. But Kansas State simply had no business winning ten games in a fierce Big 12; to get there, Snyder simply pulled off the best coaching job of his career.
Former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Paul Haynes was introduced as Arkansas’ new defensive coordinator during a press conference Monday, as Haynes replaces Willy Robinson after four years in Fayetteville. Haynes is known as an exceptional recruiter, and his immediate for 2012 is to position the Razorbacks into becoming an elite SEC defense.
"We know our offense can put up points. We’ve got to take the pressure off of them in not having to win games 45-40," Haynes said. "Be an effective defense. Our goal — and we’re not going to sell ourselves short — is to be the best defense in the country."
However, Haynes first job as of now is to assume defensive coordinator duties for Arkansas’ game against Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 6.
Big 12 teams are 5-10 all time in the Cotton Bowl, and Kansas State is 1-1 in the game. Haynes will have to have the Hogs' defense ready to rock and roll to bring the Cotton Bowl trophy to Fayetteville.
For more analysis on the Kansas State Wildcats, be sure to check out SB Nation blog Bring On The Cats. For more on the Arkansas Razorbacks, check out SB Nation blog Arkansas Expats. Be sure to stop by the SB Nation college football hub for more news.
The word “lucky” is not one that comes to mind if you’re a Kansas State fan. Certainly the Wildcats feel as if they were unlucky, slighted actually, when it comes to the national BCS picture and how they, at No. 7 in the BCS Rankings, were left out in the cold when it came to one of the big bowl games. That does, however, mean that the Cotton Bowl lucked out with their premiere match-up of Arkansas and K-State.
"We’re really lucky," the Cotton Bowl selection committee chairman told the AP. "We were looking at Arkansas really early on, and we were looking at K-State early on, and then we thought we were going to lose them, and then we got them back. We came down to the last second. We didn’t know what was going on until they came out with the BCS."
While the Wildcats will always be able to lodge a legitimate complaint against the BCS for its failure to include KSU in the bigger picture, the Cotton Bowl does present a great match for Bill Snyder to prove the team’s value to a national audience.
Coming right after the four major BCS bowls including the National Championship game between LSU and Alabama, the Cotton Bowl featuring the Kansas State Wildcats against the Arkansas Razorbacks ranks No. 5 out of all of the 35 bowl games coming up this bowl season in college football over at the National Football Post. Every year, Dave Miller ranks the games from “strongest to weakest” and puts out his list and K-State lands in a high enough bowl that some respect will still come their way. Still that doesn’t keep them from being slighted.
Miller writes, “Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein is perhaps the most underrated dual-threat signal-caller in the nation, and he’ll be going up against a Razorbacks defense led by coordinator Willy Robinson, who will not be retained next season. Offensively, quarterback Tyler Wilson has seen the Alabama and LSU defenses, so he’ll be ready for Arthur Brown and Co.”
It will be even more intriguing to see if Bill Snyder’s squad will be out to prove something given that they were ranked No. 7 in the BCS standings and yet failed to land one of the top 8 spots. Perhaps a strong performance in the Cotton Bowl will prove something to voters.
The Kansas State WIldcats can definitely be termed "losers" by anyone surveying the Bowl Season field. They finished among the top teams in the BCS Standings and yet they find themselves left out of the major BCS Bowls. But ESPN's Alex McGee says that makes the Cotton Bowl one of the biggest "winners" since they're receiving a very impressive K-State team along with the Arkansas Razorbacks in their match-up -- making it as good as nearly any of the BCS bowl games.
"I have long maintained that the Cotton Bowl looks, feels and should indeed be a BCS bowl," writes McGee. "No one provides a bigger prime-time stage, no one has a nicer facility, and no one does a better job of piecing together great matchups. This year, the Jerry Dome will host the Kansas State Wildcats, who were jobbed out of a Sugar Bowl berth, and the Arkansas Razorbacks, whose only two losses came to the top two teams in the land."
The No. 8 Kansas State Wildcats take on the No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks in the Cotton Bowl on Friday, January 6th in Dallas.
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