Kevin Haskin: Must-win for Cats comes against Big 12’s top-rated team

Musings: Matchup with TCU chance to clear up ‘misconception’ stemming from hype

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder indicates his team may have bought too much into preseason hype with the Wildcats sitting 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12 entering a home game Saturday against No. 6 TCU. (2017 file photo/The Associated Press)

Musings at the mid-week:


— Too often, too many football games are labeled must-wins.

— The reason is really quite simple. Relatively few opportunities exist on a football schedule.

— Lose one and a hole gets started. Lose two and the hole deepens. Etc., etc.

— Kansas State has lost both its road games.

— The setback at Vanderbilt continues to look worse. The double-overtime loss at Texas not so much yet with the Longhorns tied for the Big 12.

— TCU shares that lead and visits K-State on Saturday.

— Must-wins can be difficult.

— Especially if the Wildcats truly lack the goods many projected in the preseason.

— “They had a little misconception about how good we were,’’ coach Bill Snyder said of his players.

— The underdog card is always easier to play and at K-State it has often been an ace to draw from.

— Hey, at least Snyder did not compare media compliments to “rat poison,’’ like Nick Saban did following Alabama’s eight-point win last week over Texas A&M.

— Maybe the Cats are concentrating on what they control with a big statement possible against No. 6 TCU.

— Must-win?

— Yes, if players want to prove to everyone, including their coach, that there was no misconception about their ability to challenge in the Big 12.

— K-State seemingly needs to let Alex Delton throw the football if its wants maximum effectiveness from the sophomore quarterback.

— This is K-State, though, and what it generates from its quarterback run game is sensational sometimes.

— Case in point: The 79 yards Delton gained after entering late in the third quarter at Texas.

— Few coaches perform turnarounds from so-so seasons like TCU’s Gary Patterson.

— The two previous times the 17-year coach came off a losing season in Fort Worth, the Horned Frogs bounced back with 11 wins in 2005 and 12 in 2014.

— The K-State game also means a little extra something to the former K-State player from Rozel.

— The Iowa State game has arrived and no one is saying this is the Big 12 matchup that potentially favors Kansas.

— Geez, wonder why?

— The Cyclones are coming off their greatest win in history.

— The Jayhawks are coming off their greatest margin of defeat this season.

— David Beaty was hired a year before Iowa State’s Matt Campbell.

— The Jayhawks beat the Cyclones 34-14 in their only Big 12 win, under interim coach Clint Bowen, the season prior to Beaty’s arrival.

— Iowa State is a three-touchdown favorite for Saturday’s game before what figures to be a wildly enthusiastic crowd in Ames.

— Beaty calls his quarterback situation a competition rather than a controversy.

— Worth pointing out that for a controversy to erupt there must be some level of interest.

— I am more interested in how Udoka Azubuike fits in alongside his swift basketball teammates and competes as KU’s prominent big man.

— I am sure most KU fans are too.

— Anyone have the Chiefs going 16-0?

— Nah, but picking the team that trips them up makes for meaty conversation.

— Injuries mount, opponents adjust, mistakes happen.

— Yet the Chiefs have steamrolled so far and I must mention this …

— Good for Alex Smith.

— Seamheads is a nickname applied to baseball enthusiasts.

— It seems that during the playoffs, many of them get their jollies by repeatedly stating that baseball is the best of all sports.

— I love baseball too.

— But get with it expediting the pace of play.

— Baseball needs more enthusiasts younger than I.

— Condolences to Aaron Crow and his family on the passing of his mother, Julie.

— I met her walking out of a game at Missouri, which Aaron pitched as the top collegiate hurler that season.

— She was proud of her future All-Star, who pitched in high school for Washburn Rural. Rightfully so.

Contact Kevin Haskin at or @KevinHaskin on Twitter.



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