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Miscellany

Bill Snyder Backed Out of a Kansas State-Oregon Game Two Years Ago, a Cunning Move That Looks Brilliant Right Now

Kansas State hammered West Virginia Saturday night in Morgantown, 55-14, and in the process, leapfrogged Oregon in the BCS Standings. Kansas State is 7-0, and has passed its first two challenging road tests of the year (also a win over Oklahoma). There is only one left: at TCU November 10th.

The Horned Frogs, though, are a mess – their QB is in rehab, and they’ve lost two of three without him. Kansas State almost certainly will be favored in the rest of its games. KSU is a 7.5 point favorite against Texas Tech this weekend in Manhattan.

So, is Kansas State headed to the National title game? Of the four teams atop the BCS, the Wildcats have the easiest schedule. There’s no Big 12 title game in the way. Alabama still has to travel to LSU and likely will play Florida in the SEC title game. Notre Dame still has to visit Oklahoma and USC.

And then there’s Oregon, which had a laughable non-conference schedule, and has a backloaded Pac-12 slate: at USC November 3rd, vs. Stanford Nov. 17th and at Oregon State Nov. 24th … followed by the Pac-12 title game, which probably will involve another game against USC.

Why is Kansas State in such a great spot? The greatness of Heisman leader Collin Klein and brilliant 73-year-old coach Bill Snyder, obviously. But also because of something that happened in 2010: The Wildcats decided to cancel a home-and-home series with Oregon. KSU was going to visit the Ducks in 2011, then host Chip Kelly’s powerhouse in 2012. So what happened? Here’s what the Register-Guard wrote in September:

By 2010, Bill Snyder was looking ahead to his second season after returning to Kansas State; with a reputation for avoiding powerhouse nonconference opponents, Snyder and the Wildcats soon backed out of their game at Oregon.

Wise move, Snyder. Are the Wildcats unbeaten today if they had to play Oregon instead of Missouri State or North Texas? Probably not.

Here’s a likely scenario for the BCS: Alabama wins out. Oregon loses once. Notre Dame loses once. The “other” unbeatens (Oregon State, Ohio, Mississippi State) all lose a game.* Would any of the 1-loss teams vault Kansas State? KSU’s BCS rating won’t go up much the rest of the way due to the weak schedule.

* The Ohio State Buckeyes are unbeaten, but ineligible for the BCS title game.

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