ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 06: Collin Klein #7 of the Kansas State Wildcats huddles the offense against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 6, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Cotton Bowl loss to Arkansas is still fresh in the minds of Wildcat fans but it shouldn't damper a great season. K-State fans simply need to put things in the proper perspective.
Sometimes in life a person simply has to put the small things in perspective compared to the big picture. Of course little things can be bothersome or annoying at the time they occur but you have to realize that in the grand scheme they are not enough to bring you down.
The same train of thought should apply to the Kansas State football team and its fans following the 29-16 Cotton Bowl defeat at the hands of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Never should the team or KSU fans like losing and it naturally is depressing right now but in the big picture of things it is merely a blip on the radar. If you would have given the option to most every rational K-State fan before the season that the team would go 10-2 in the regular season and finish 2nd in the Big 12 but lose the Cotton Bowl, they likely would have quickly accepted the offer before it could be rescinded.
Oh by the way that 10-2 record included wins against the two teams abandoning the Big 12 conference in Missouri and Texas A&M. Mixed in was a second consecutive blowout road win against rival Kansas and a home comeback victory against eventual Heisman winner Robert Griffin III and Baylor. Also no K-State fan will soon forget yet another victory against the Texas Longhorns.
The Wildcats won eight games that were determined by seven points or less which made for a very stressful but highly enjoyable season. Even in the loss to Arkansas the Wildcats fought and scrapped and provided an effort which K-State fans should be proud of.
With their play from the regular season combined with the competitive bowl game the Wildcats should be looking at a high pre-season ranking entering next season. The 2012 football season will be one filled with vastly different expectations that may be hard to live up to but it should provide some fun games that fans can already begin thinking about.
Next season the Wildcats will welcome KU back to Bill Snyder Family Stadium after having had to play in Lawrence for two consecutive seasons due to scheduling changes revolving around conference realignment. Another opponent that fans will want to come and see next year will be the Miami Hurricanes who are still currently scheduled to visit Manhattan this coming September. Also there is a still a good chance that either TCU or West Virginia will be added to the home schedule.
Obviously before we get to those games there is still recruiting for fans to get focused on as well as spring football. At this point in time, Wildcats fans know to temper their expectations when it comes to signing day as Bill Snyder has a recruiting philosophy in place and will not change it.
Even with the success had this season, K-State will not be out stealing recruits away from the likes of Alabama or LSU. When the final recruiting rankings eventually come out, look for K-State to finish in the bottom half of the Big 12 yet again but as the 2011 team proved those rankings sometimes don't mean squat.