The Kansas State Wildcats enter this weekend’s showdown with No. 24 Oklahoma State as one of just four unbeaten teams who still have a shot at playing for the national title this season. But despite the fact that K-State is currently No. 2 in the BCS rankings and that they stand a good chance at being undefeated when the regular season ends, they may get left out of the national championship equation.
If you think things seem complicated now, they could get even more complicated (or clear) after this weekend’s slate of gigantic games. The obvious hope wish for Coach Snyder and his bunch of Wildcats would be to defeat Oklahoma State in convincing fashion and for Oregon to lose on the road to USC, and for Alabama to lose on the road at LSU. That would setup a potential BCS title game of Kansas State vs Notre Dame. This would be the best-case scenario both in terms of getting the Wildcats in the title game and it would also give them their best shot at winning when they get there.
The problem for Kansas State is that Notre Dame has the easiest remaining schedule of any of the top four remaining, with only a finale against USC standing in their way, and if both teams finish undefeated, much of the country believes the Fighting Irish will find their way into the title game. It’s also unlikely that both Oregon and Alabama lose this weekend, so beyond the obvious rooting interests for Kansas State fans, there are some other teams Wildcats fans should be rooting for to make their team look better in the eyes of the computers and the human voters.
Last weekend was a relatively good weekend for the Wildcats (other than Oklahoma’s loss to Notre Dame) because Oregon’s resume grew much weaker with losses by USC and Oregon State.
After this weekend, Kansas State has potentially two pretty good matchups remaning, at TCU next weekend, and at home against Texas in their final regular season game. It may become only one after this weekend though and K-State fans should probably be hoping that it does because a West Virginia win over TCU would be more beneficial to the Wildcats resume. TCU is unlikely to move back into the top 25 with a win over West Virginia this weekend because they did not receiv any top 25 votes this week.
West Virginia is a team on the decline for sure, but they could change some of that perception this weekend by beating TCU and move back into the top 20, making Kansas State’s win in Morgantown more impressive once again.
While that game could have a slight impact on K-State’s resume, the team they should be rooting hardest for right now is Texas. If the Longhorns can win their next three games (at Texas Tech, vs Iowa State, vs TCU), then that could setup a very solid final contest for the Wildcats against a team that will likely be ranked in the top 15 at the very least and possibly in the top 12 range.
Since Kansas State doesn’t have the benefit of playing in a conference title game this season, they could use a final game to make a statement and leave a lasting impact on the voters before the final BCS rankings are revealed.
In the Pac 12, Kansas State fans should be rooting for Colorado to beat Stanford this weekend (ehhh…not happening) and for Oregon State to lose to Arizona State (the much more likely scenario). Next weekend, an Oregon State win over Stanford would take some of the luster away from the Cardinal’s matchup against the Ducks in three weeks. So if you’re scoring at home, root against the Beavers this weekend, for them the next, against them in three weeks, and for them again in four weeks. Sounds simple enough right?
Of course USC and LSU could just help out a bit and win this weekend and nothing else would matter. But with the BCS rankings, seemingly otherwise trivial games do matter.