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Kansas State takes shot at No. 1 Oklahoma in Big 12 Championship


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

2003 Kansas State Football

 

Game No. 14 Big 12 Championship

 

No. 1/1 Oklahoma (12-0) vs. No. 13/13 Kansas State (10-3)

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2003

7:00 p.m. (Central)/ABC

Arrowhead Stadium (79,451/grass)

Kansas City, Mo.

 

Kickoff: 7:06 p.m. (Central)

 

Television: Live nationally on ABC Sports. Brent Musberger will call the play-by-play with Gary Danielson serving as the color analyst. Jack Arute will be the broadcast's sideline reporter. The game’s producer will be Bob Goodrich.

 

Radio: Live across the 28-station Mid America Sports Network. Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), Stan Weber (color) and Chris Allison (sideline) serve as the on-air talent.

 

On the Web: A live audio stream of all Kansas State football games is available via the Internet at K-State’s official site, www.k-statesports.com.

 

Records: Kansas State won for the sixth straight week and improved to 10-3 (6-2 Big 12) with its 24-14 victory over Missouri. Oklahoma maintained its perfect record with its 56-25 win at Texas Tech. The Sooners are 12-0 (8-0 Big 12).

 

Rankings: Kansas State climbed to No. 13 in the AP Top 25 this week, up one spot. The Wildcats jumped two places in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll to No. 13. As it has been all season, Oklahoma is No. 1 in both polls.

 

Series: Oklahoma has won three straight and leads the all-time series, 66-16. There have been four ties. The teams are meeting for the second time in the Big 12 Championship Game.

 

Coaches: Kansas State’s Bill Snyder is 126-54-1 (.699) in 15 seasons as head coach of the Wildcats. Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops is 55-9 in five seasons with the Sooners.

 

Kansas State takes shot at No. 1 Oklahoma in Big 12 Championship

Big 12 North Division Champion Kansas State makes its third appearance in the conference title game on Saturday, Dec. 6, when the No. 13/13 Wildcats take on No. 1/1 Oklahoma at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

 

Winners of six straight by an average of nearly 30 points to close out the regular season, Kansas State (10-3, 6-2 Big 12) enters Saturday’s championship game as one of the nation’s hottest teams after winning the North Division going away.

 

Oklahoma (12-0, 8-0 Big 12), the nation’s only unblemished team, ran the table during 2003 to secure its second consecutive Big 12 South title and in the process complete a wire-to-wire run atop both polls.

 

Like K-State, the Sooners are also making their league-high third trip to the Big 12 title game and look to become the first team in league history to win back-to-back conference championships after defeating Colorado, 19-7, in last year’s game at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

 

Cats, Sooners meeting again

The 2003 Big 12 Championship Game marks the second time Kansas State and Oklahoma have met in the league’s title game. The Wildcats and Sooners also squared off in 2000, with Oklahoma taking a down-to-the-wire 27-24 decision.

 

Like the 2000 title game, Kansas State and Oklahoma will once again battle for the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. In 2000, Oklahoma entered the championship game ranked No. 1 with a perfect 12-0 record, while K-State was ranked No. 8 with a 10-2 mark. This year’s title tilt features an unbeaten and top-ranked 12-0 Oklahoma squad vs. a 10-3 Wildcat team that is ranked No. 13.

 

It is just the second time in the eight-year history of the Big 12 that the league’s championship game has featured a re-match. Nebraska and Texas squared off in both the 1996 and 1999 title games.

 

K-State/OU series facts

         The 2003 Big 12 Championship Game will be the 87th meeting between Kansas State and Oklahoma and the second between the two teams in the league’s title game.

         Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 66-14. There have been four ties.

         K-State has won five of the last eight encounters, but OU has won three straight, including the 2000 Big 12 title game.

         The two teams have met four times in Big 12 play during the regular season with each team winning twice.

         Saturday’s game is the first between the two teams since a 38-37 Sooner win in Norman during 2001.

         Oklahoma has won the last two meetings by a combined four points.

         Four of the five contests since the two teams joined the Big 12 have been decided by 10 points or less.

         Kansas State’s longest winning streak vs. the Sooners occurred between 1993 and 1997, when the Wildcats won five straight.

         K-State head coach Bill Snyder is 5-7 all-time vs. Oklahoma.

         OU head coach Bob Stoops is 3-0 vs. the Wildcats.

 

On the tube

Kansas State will be making its seventh television appearance of the season Saturday, when the Wildcats take on top-ranked Oklahoma in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game on ABC.

The game marks K-State’s third appearance this year on ABC and the Cats’ second in their last three games.

 

Brent Musberger (play-by-play) and Gary Danielson (analyst) will call the action. Jack Arute will serve as the sideline reporter for the broadcast crew, which previously called K-State’s games at Texas and Nebraska this season.

 

The Wildcats are 3-3 in television games this year, including a 1-1 mark on ABC. K-State has appeared on ABC no less than twice in each of the last eight seasons and are 11-17 all-time when playing on the network, but 11-10 since joining the Big 12.

 

Just four of the previous 86 meetings between Kansas State and Oklahoma have been televised -- 1982, 2000 (twice), 2001 -- with all four games airing on ABC.

 

K-State/OU Connections

The football programs at Kansas State and Oklahoma are among the most connected in the Big 12 Conference. Below are a few of the many links between Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game combatants:

         Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops served on Bill Snyder's first staff at Kansas State, moving from defensive backs coach (1989-90) to co-defensive coordinator (1991-95)" Kansas State posted a 46-33-1 record during his seven-year tenure, including a 40-17-1 mark during the last four seasons, and competed in three bowl games.

         Stoops served on the staff with current Wildcat coaches Del Miller (offensive coordinator), Mo Latimore (defensive line), Greg Peterson (wide receivers) and Michael Smith (graduate assistant) as well as current Sooner assistants Mike Stoops (defensive ends) and Brent Venables (graduate assistant).

         Snyder’s staff also included three future head coaches (South Florida's Jim Leavitt, Kansas' Mark Mangino and Houston's Dana Dimel) and one athletic director (Iowa State's Bruce Van De Velde).

         Stoops got his start in coaching as a graduate/volunteer assistant at Iowa from 1983-87 on a Hawkeye staff that included future head coaches Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), Dan McCarney (Iowa State), Del Miller (Southwest Missouri State) and Don Patterson (Western Illinois).

         Snyder coached four members of the Oklahoma coaching staff as student-athletes, including three at Kansas State, while two other coached on the K-State staff" Oklahoma offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Chuck Long was tutored as an undergraduate at Iowa by Snyder, while assistants Brent Venables (1989-92), Darrell Wyatt (1986-89) and Mike Ekeler (1991-94) played at Kansas State.

         Other connections: Oklahoma graduate assistant Mike "Crash" Ekeler (1991-94) lettered four years at Kansas State and was a team captain as a linebacker in 1994" Oklahoma administrative coordinator for football Matt McMillen is a 1985 graduate of Kansas State and served as associate athletic director for external affairs for the school from 1987-97" Oklahoma assistant athletics director for development Kirby Hocutt was a four-year letterman at Kansas State (1991-94), where he led the Big Eight in tackles en route to earning all-conference accolades" OU assistant athletics director for media relations Kenny Mossman previously served as sports information director at Kansas State" Oklahoma video coordinator Brian Martin previously served as assistant video coordinator at K-State.

 

KC here we come, again

Kansas State, which had played in Kansas City just twice in its previous 107 years of intercollegiate football, will make its second appearance of the season at Arrowhead Stadium when the Wildcats square off with No. 1 Oklahoma in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 6. K-State opened its 2003 campaign at the Truman Sports Complex with a 42-28 victory over California in the Black Coaches Association (BCA) Classic back on Aug. 23.

 

Cats in Kansas City

Kansas State is 2-1 all-time when playing in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium. The Wildcats opened the 2000 season with a 27-7 victory over Iowa in the Eddie Robinson Classic before suffering a 27-24 setback to Oklahoma later that season in the Big 12 Championship Game. K-State kicked off its 2003 season at Arrowhead with a 42-28 win over Cal in the BCA Classic.

 

Third times the charm

Kansas State is making its third appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game and first since 2000. The Wildcats' three trips to the title game ties Oklahoma (also making its third), Nebraska and Texas for the most championship appearances in the league’s eight-year history. K-State is the only multiple championship game-qualifier in the Big 12 without a win in the league’s title game.

 

Missed it by that much

K-State lost both of its previous appearances in the Big 12 Championship Game by three points. The Wildcats dropped a 36-33 double-overtime decision to Texas A&M in 1998 in their first trip to the league's title game in St. Louis. Two seasons later, K-State fell to Oklahoma, 27-24 in the 2000 Big 12 Championship game.

 

Claim-jumpers

With its 2003 Big 12 North Division Championship, the Wildcats captured their first outright division championship since 1998 and second overall. Kansas State has now laid claim to at least a portion of the North title in four of eight seasons. The Wildcats also hit the six-win mark for the seventh time since the formation of the conference in 1996. K-State and Texas are the only two teams in the Big 12 to have at least six league wins in 7-of-8 seasons.

 

Been a long time

Kansas State has evolved into one of the nation's top programs under the direction of head coach Bill Snyder. Still, winning a conference championship has been an elusive goal for the Wildcats. K-State has not won a conference title since Pappy Waldorff guide the Cats to the 1934 Big Six championship.

 

Just as predicted

When told that Kansas State had been picked to win the Big 12's North Division title by the media back in July, head coach Bill Snyder's first reaction was to wonder out loud how many times the media has been right. Well, they got it right on both sides in 2003 as both Kansas State and Oklahoma won division championships after both being selected to do so in the Big 12 Conference's preseason media poll. It was the first time K-State had ever been predicted to win the North after being tapped as high as second in 1998, 2000 and 2001.

 

Odd years point North

The Big 12 North Division Champion has won each of the previous three championship games conducted in odd years. Nebraska captured the North’s first two titles in 1997 and 1999, with Colorado winning the 2001 championship game.

 

Hot and Hotter

Kansas State and Oklahoma enter Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game as two of the hottest teams in Division I-A. K-State puts a six-game winning streak on the line, while Oklahoma is riding a 14-game string of victories that dates to last season and is the longest active streak in the nation. K-State’s six-game sizz is the seventh-longest active streak. The Wildcats last loss was a 38-34 set back at Oklahoma State on Oct. 11. The Sooners last loss also came at Oklahoma State -- 38-28 on Nov. 30, 2002.

 

Cats are nocturnal

Nighttime has been the right time for Kansas State this season. The 2003 Big 12 Championship Game is Kansas State’s fifth night game of the season. The Wildcats are a perfect 4-0 in night contests so far this year, knocking off California, Troy State, McNeese State and Missouri in evening kicks.

 

K-State Big 12’s best

Kansas State’s victory at Nebraska not only placed the Wildcats alone atop the Big 12’s 2003 North Division standings, the win also moved K-State into the top spot -- along with Nebraska -- in the league’s all-time standings. Since the conference’s founding in 1996 no team has won more league games than the Wildcats. K-State has won over 75 percent of its Big 12 Conference games, going 49-15 (.766) in what is considered by many to be the nation’s toughest conference.

 

No place like home

Kansas State won for the ninth time in its last 10 Big 12 home games, concluding a perfect conference home slate with a 24-14 victory over Missouri on Nov. 22. The Wildcats have now won six consecutive Big 12 games at KSU Stadium.

 

Wagner Field magic

Kansas State’s double-digit victory over Missouri was typical of K-State’s home dominance over Big 12 opponents in recent years. In the last six league games on Wagner Field, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents 260-70 and have been held to fewer than 38 points just once. Over its last 10 Big 12 home games, the Cats' average margin of victory has been nearly 30 points with K-State outscoring opponents 382-105. During that span Kansas State opponents have averaged just 10.5 points per game.

 

Protecting home turf

Just how good have the Wildcats been in KSU Stadium? Kansas State is 27-5 (.844) in Big 12 home games since the league's inception in 1996. In all games since the start of the 1990 season, K-State is an amazing 81-10-1 (.886) when playing on Wagner Field, including a 41-9-1 (.813) mark in league games (combined Big 8/ Big 12). During that stretch, the Cats have lost more than once at home in just one season -- 2001, when K-State went 4-2 -- and have hit at least the six win mark eight times in the last 11 seasons.

 

Seven wins a record

Kansas State’s 24-14 victory over Missouri on Nov. 22 was its seventh of the season at KSU Stadium and tied a school record for number of home wins. The Wildcats have now posted seven wins in KSU Stadium four times under head coach Bill Snyder, including four of the last six seasons.

 

Cats also top road team

Since the inception of the Big 12, no team has won more when playing on the Big 12 road than Kansas State. The Wildcats have  won nearly 70 percent of their games in enemy stadiums, including their historic 38-9 victory at Nebraska. In eight seasons of Big 12 play, K-State is 22-10 (.688) when playing on the Big 12 road. K-State had a three-game Big 12 road winning streak snapped earlier this season at Texas as the Cats suffered their first league road loss since Oct. 5, 2002 at Colorado. Still, K-State is 5-2 (.714) in their last seven Big 12 road games.

 

Big 12 bottom line

In the eight years of Big 12 Conference football, Kansas State...

         Has amassed the league’s best overall conference record: 49-15.

         Owns the most Big 12 road wins in league play: 22.

         Is the only conference team to win on the road in every Big 12 stadium.

         Is the only conference team with a .500 record or better vs. every team in the Big 12 since 1996.

 

Eleven and counting

Kansas State’s win at Iowa State made the Wildcats bowl eligible for the 11th straight season. K-State has not missed the postseason since going 5-6 in 1992. The string of consecutive bowl appearances places Kansas State in elite company as only six other programs in the nation -- Nebraska, Michigan, Florida State, Tennessee, Florida and Virginia Tech -- have clinched at least 11 straight bowl berths.

 

A winning tradition

Kansas State’s victory over Missouri clinched the Wildcats’ seventh 10-win season under head coach Bill Snyder. K-State which has won at least nine games in 10 of the last 11 seasons, can become the ONLY team in the nation to win 11 games in six of the last seven years with a victory over Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game.

 

Most games for K-State

With its berth in the Big 12 Championship Game and anticipated bowl berth, Kansas State will play in a school-record 15 games this season. It is the most games played in NCAA Division I-A since Brigham Young went 14-1 in 1996. K-State played a current school-record 14 games in 2000, opening in the Eddie Robinson Classic vs. Iowa on Aug. 26 before taking on its 11-game regular season schedule, advancing to the Big 12 Championship game and playing in the Cotton Bowl. By playing their earliest game ever on Aug. 23 vs. California, Kansas State’s 2003 season could span seven months (including two practice day's in July and a possible New Year's Day or post New Year's bowl berth), and at least 156 days.