By Mark Janssen
The calendar just flipped to November, but Saturday, 22 Kansas State seniors will be featured on Senior Night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium when the Wildcats close out their home season against the University of Texas.
For certain, it will be an emotional night.
Quarterback Carson Coffman said he had not taken time to think of the emotions of the day, but he did say, "It's kind of weird that we still have quite a bit left in the season, but this will be the last home game. That's just how the schedule worked out."
K-State will play its final three games on the road at Columbia, Mo., Boulder, Colo., and Denton, Texas. The game against North Texas was moved from early in the season in order to get an open weekend.
"It has kind of came upon us quickly," Coffman said of playing for the final time at home. "We want to go out with a win."
K-State has gone 3-3 in its last six "Senior Games," with the wins over Iowa State in 2008, in 2006 against Texas, and in 2005 against Missouri in Bill Snyder's final game before his retirement.
In the last three-plus years, the current four-year senior class has gone 15-8 on its home turf, which includes this season with wins over UCLA and Central Florida, but losses to Nebraska and Oklahoma State.
It's a mark that leads defensive end Antonio Felder to say, "There's nothing like playing in your own back yard."
While responsible for recruiting only a handful of this year's senior class, Snyder said, "I wish I had the opportunity to be with them for a longer period of time. I think they are a lot of good guys, fine players and fine young men. They are guys of quality and character, who have taken their education very seriously. Thirteen of them are graduates already (end of the fall semester)."
Summarizing the thoughts of the K-State seniors, Felder said, "We love our fans and they love us. Making plays and hearing the home crowd will be missed."
STILL LOOKING FOR THAT 6TH WIN: With a record of 5-3, Kansas State is still one victory away from becoming bowl eligible for the 2010 postseason.
Sidestepping the bowl topic, Snyder simply said, "I would think they would have a sense of urgency to improve our performance level."
On the bowl subject, however, Snyder put out the reminder that a sixth win does not guarantee a bowl invitation.
"We have a lot of teams in our conference that will be bowl eligible," said the Wildcat coach. "There is no guarantee that six wins will put you into a bowl game."
With eight bowls aligned with the Big 12 Conference, it's very likely that no more than nine teams will reach the six-win total, and even that may be a stretch.
Nebraska, Missouri, Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have already reached seven victories. Stuck on five wins are Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas A&M. With four wins are Texas and Texas Tech.
Left on the Wildcat schedule are games against 4-4 Texas, 7-1 Missouri, 3-5 Colorado and 2-6 North Texas.
"Some may think we always have more games to win that sixth game, but we want it this week," said linebacker Blake Slaughter. "We want to go out every week and beat the team in front of us."
Coffman added, "We want to go 4-0 to finish things out. We want to go 1-0 four times and end up with nine wins."
THE REST OF THE WAY: Five Big 12 teams are already bowl eligible with seven wins - MU, NU, OU, OSU and BU. Headed into the final month of the season, every other team still has a chance to reach six victories. Be sure to check out www.kstatesports.com/bowlgame for official bowl planning information, including ticket information.
Kansas State (5-3) - UT, at MU, at CU, at North Texas
Iowa State (5-4) - NU, at CU, MU
Texas A&M (5-3) - OU, at BU, NU, at UT
Texas (4-4) - at KSU, OSU, Florida Atlantic, A&M
Texas Tech (4-4) - MU, at OU, Weber State, Houston
Colorado (3-5) - at KU, ISU, KSU, at NU
Kansas (2-6) - CU, at NU, OSU, MU (in KC)
BIG 12 BOWL PARTNERS: (In order of selection)
BCS - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 1, Tempe, Ariz.
AT&T Cotton Bowl (vs. SEC), Jan. 7, Dallas, Texas
Valero Alamo (vs. Pac-10), Dec. 29, San Antonio, Texas
Insight (vs. Big Ten), Dec. 28, Tempe, Ariz.
Bridgepoint Holiday (vs. Pac-10), Dec. 30, San Diego, Calif.
Texas (vs. Big Ten), Dec. 29, Houston, Texas
New Era Pinstripe (vs. Big East), Dec. 30, New York, New York
Dallas Football Classic (vs. Big Ten/ACC), Jan. 1, Dallas, Texas