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College Football Spotlight

The Great Debate

September 14, 2003|JIM RHODE;JIM BARRERO

TWO OF KANSAS STATE'S FIRST FOUR GAMES

WERE AGAINST DIVISION I-AA OPPONENTS. IS

THIS ANY WAY FOR A MAJOR-COLLEGE SCHOOL

TO PUT TOGETHER A SCHEDULE?

POINT: Yes, in the name of the almighty undefeated season, it is. Last season's fourth opponent, USC -- a contender for the national championship -- was replaced by Massachusetts, creampuff. Miami of Ohio from the often-pesky Mid-American Conference fell off the 2003 schedule and McNeese State, creampuff, magically appeared. Let the BCS computer chips fall where they may, Coach Bill Snyder's passion for pastry should set up a sweet 5-0 record going into the Wildcats' first test, at Texas on Oct. 6. With no Oklahoma on the schedule, if Kansas State can escape road ambushes against Oklahoma State and Nebraska, then it figures to be one of the few teams to be left standing unbeaten when the Big 12 championship game rolls around in December. This year's game is in Kansas City, Mo., so there figures to be a Purple-Rain / Let's-Go-Crazy kind of crowd at Arrowhead Stadium that could witness a coronation of Kansas State as Big 12 king. Then the Wildcats and their 50,000 maniacs take the sojourn to New Orleans and throw down the gauntlet for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl. Ah, the Big Easy -- early season schedule that is.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday September 17, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
College football -- Kansas State plays at Texas on Oct. 4, not Oct. 6 as reported in a College Football Spotlight item in Sports on Sunday.

-- JIM RHODE

COUNTERPOINT: Bill Snyder must have been a fan of Tiny Tim because both are experts at tip-toeing through the tulips. The stubborn and sullen Kansas State coach, who never met a Division I-AA school he didn't like, cries for respect and denounces anyone who dares question the wisdom of a nonconference schedule loaded with more patsies than can be found at a Star Trek convention. Kansas State's insistence at scheduling the likes of McNeese State, Massachusetts and Troy State might fatten up its record -- not to mention the school's coffers -- but it does nothing for credibility. Discard the notion that such a schedule sets up the Wildcats for a national-title run in these days of computer-generated matchups. Championships are still won on the field and nonconference games are supposed to prepare a team for those times when the going gets tough -- a notion Kansas State falls embarrassingly short of understanding.

-- JIM BARRERO

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