In a span of seven days, K-State fans will be treated to or possibly subjected to their Wildcats taking on four ranked teams combined in basketball and football. This presents an opportunity for Kansas State to make their respective programs presence known on a national stage in both major sports but it also could set up a potentially tough week for K-State fans.
The first ranked team on the conference schedule for the Wildcats basketball team is their main rival the Kansas Jayhawks, who while being down somewhat this year are still ranked and very dangerous. A win in Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday night would definitely make every Wildcat fan even more jubilant heading into the football teams Cotton Bowl matchup against Arkansas.
While a win is not likely to occur, Frank Martin does have his team playing their best basketball of the season. Four players currently average in double figures in points and it appears that Rodney McGruder may finally be rounding into form from a scoring perspective. If the Wildcats can keep the game close early and make Bill Self dip into his bench this game could get quite interesting.
On the flip side though is the chance that the Jayhawks once again run out to an early lead and take the Wildcats behind the woodshed. This kind of outcome unfortunately could be a precursor of a tough week ahead for K-State fans.
The aforementioned Cotton Bowl game takes place Friday night in a nationally televised game on FOX. While K-State fans were initially upset by being snubbed again by the joke that is the BCS system they have come to accept and embrace the opportunity their team has in front of them. Playing in a packed Cowboys Stadium on a national stage against an SEC team provides Bill Snyder and his staff a premium opportunity to show off his program to recruits and the nation.
The simple fact though that the game is on national television does open up the possibility that the entire country could be watching a game where K-State gets run off the field by a prolific Arkansas passing offense. This would be a tough pill to swallow for Wildcats fans coming off a loss to KU in basketball, even though it would not in any way diminish the success the football team had in the 2011 season.
Following the KU game and the football teams bowl game is the basketball squad's next two games on Saturday and the following Tuesday against teams ranked in the Top Ten. Those teams, Baylor and Missouri, look to be the frontrunners in the conference title race this season as each is currently undefeated.
Luckily for K-State they get the Bears and Tigers both in Bramlage Coliseum which by itself gives the Wildcats a chance at pulling the upset. A sweep of these two games in Manhattan would likely propel K-State into the Top 20 of the rankings even if the Wildcats fall in their conference opener.
Once again though these games could go either way and the possibility exists that K-State could go from being a ranked team to one that is 0-3 in their conference. Odds are fairly good though that Frank Martin and his team find a way to at least pull out one of the two home games.
So while K-State fans should definitely be excited about the upcoming sports week those feelings could be totally different a week from now. It is funny how sports can be such a roller coaster ride of emotions.