Calling this a tremendous weekend for the Kansas State Wildcats athletics program would be an understatement. The Kansas State volleyball team upset #2 Nebraska, in Lincoln, to advance to the sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, Kansas State’s men’s basketball team remained undefeated beating George Washington Thursday night and followed it up with another win Sunday afternoon on the road against Virginia Tech. The Lady Cats also won an impressive overtime game against Iowa on Saturday. But the weekend was capped off Sunday night as the Kansas State Wildcats discovered that they have been chosen to represent the Big 12 in the 2012 Cotton Bowl.
Kansas State fans should feel nothing but excitement for this bowl game against Arkansas. It’s a chance to prove a point to the world that Big 12 football is not a cake walk. Sporting networks (which I do not wish to mention) are still more or less claiming Kansas State is not very good, or that they haven’t beaten anybody, or the Big 12 is basically a joke. This is our chance to shut them up against a very talented Arkansas Razorbacks team (currently ranked 6th in the nation). Still, a problem with the system has been found, and needs to be corrected.
The BCS system has finally shown that it is truly corrupt and flawed. In 1998, Kansas State finished #4 in the nation after losing to Texas A&M in a heartbreaker, and was sent to the Alamo bowl. After that horrible mess there was a rule created where if a team is in a BCS conference and should finish in the top four then that team would get an auto bid. I like to call this the “Kansas State” rule.
So this leads me to wonder what the excuse is going to be this season? Kansas State finished the season ranked higher in both the computer poll rankings and the coaches/Harris polls than both Virginia Tech and Michigan (ranked 11th and 13th respectively). K-State has defeated more ranked opponents than both Virginia Tech and Michigan COMBINED.
Maybe if you are reading this then you are of the opinion that losing to quality opponents is an important asset when comparing teams. K-State lost to #3 Oklahoma State, and #14 OU. Michigan lost to unranked 6-6 Iowa (who I might add lost to Iowa State), and #16 Michigan State (whom represented Michigan’s division in the Big 10 championship). Virginia Tech did not beat a single team currently ranked in the top 25. Both of Virginia Tech’s losses were to #15 Clemson, which won the ACC for an automatic BCS bid.
This leads me to an argument for another team in the Big 12 conference: Oklahoma State. The main reason they will not be representing the Big 12 in the national championship game is because they lost to 6-6 Iowa State and Alabama lost to #1 LSU. This is a completely understandable argument. The argument that OSU has is the fact that OSU beaten more teams currently ranked in the top 25, and actually won a conference championship. Both are valid arguments. But if Alabama’s reasoning was correct then why is Kansas State not playing in the Sugar Bowl for those exact reasons?
It is hard to understand how anyone can call this system fair when it doesn’t even make consistent decisions in similar circumstances. Kansas State played a stronger schedule, had more quality wins/losses, and is ranked higher than both Michigan and Virginia Tech. So why is K-State left out of the BCS? The only argument Michigan or Virginia Tech has is that they have a supposedly stronger fan base which will generate a larger revenue for the people in charge of the bowl. This brings to light that college football has truly sold out and no longer rewards teams that deserve a chance to showcase their school but instead rewards those with a fancier name.
But let’s talk about that horrible traveling fan base of Kansas State for a moment. Was it not Kansas State that set the record for most fans to cross a state line to see a bowl game? K-State has sent almost a minimum of 30,000 fans to nearly every bowl game. Not to mention having previously sent 40,000+ to the Fiesta bowl and the Cotton Bowl. Virginia Tech on the other hand, could not even sell its share of tickets to the Orange Bowl last year (that they lost 40-12, by the way). The Virginia Tech athletic department reported a loss of $421,046 which would have been much worse if the ACC had not stepped in and paid $1.2 million to help them. (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/story/2011-09-28/bcs-bowl-games-cost-some-schools/50582512/1 link for those interested).
I am not sorry that Kansas State is playing in the Cotton Bowl. It is a tremendous bowl game, and the Wildcats will be lucky to face such an extremely talented opponent. It will be in Dallas at one of (if not the) nicest stadiums in the nation on a day that no other bowl game will be played so Kansas State will get a large viewing audience. Not to mention it is a chance to show the Big 12’s worth against the SEC.
Still there is a problem in the system and it cannot be ignored. The BCS was supposedly created to avoid human bias. However, this year has shown that there is more human bias than ever before. The only logical answer is for a playoff system. The fans want it, the players want it, and the coaches want it. The only people who don’t want a playoff system are the biased millionaires making millions off of their corrupt system. I personally believe this season will be a major stepping-stone into the possible creation of a college football playoff system.
My advice to Kansas State fans would be to not focus on all of the negativity. This Kansas State team accomplished feats nobody except for the players themselves could have predicted and will be playing in a truly great bowl game that has an amazing tradition. So fans, please fill Cowboys stadium, send a statement to the crooks in the BCS, show nothing but pride for what this great team has accomplished, and be proud of this nationally-ranked team no matter what the outcome. EMAW