Well hello 2003.
That year, Kansas State nearly derailed Oklahoma’s shot at a BcS title with a win over the Sooners in the Big 12 championship game. Nine years later, the mentor (pictured, right) has given his star pupil (pictured, left) yet another on-field lesson.
In one of four matchups featuring a pair of Top 25 teams, the No. 15 Wildcats traveled to the No. 6 Sooners and came away with one of the biggest wins in the program’s history. With the loss, OU drops from the ranks of the unbeaten and will tumble outside of the Top Ten in the rankings.
The magnitude of the loss, which snapped OU’s streak of 14 straight wins over ranked opponents at home under Bob Stoops, cannot be overstated, if for nothing more than a peek at the remainder of the schedule. The Sooners have four games left against teams currently ranked inside the Top 20 — home games against No. 12 Texas and No. 11 Notre Dame, road games against No. 8 West Virginia and No. 17 TCU — as well as the annual Bedlam showdown with Oklahoma State.
While the loss was costly for OU, it was significant on both a team and individual front for the Wildcats.
With the win, K-State will very likely take a significant leap into the Top Ten when the polls are released Sunday afternoon. It should also signal the obvious: the Wildcats are not only a significant threat to claim the Big 12 title, but could very well wedge its way into the BcS title mix as well.
One of the biggest reasons for that? A very underrated defense and one of the most underrated football players in the country. While Collin Klein totaled “just” 228 yards of offense, it was the 17 yards he accounted for on two fourth-quarter plays that showed the measure of the quarterback.
After an OU touchdown cut K-State’s lead to 24-19 with 4:09 left, Klein and the Cats faced a third-and-11 with just over three minutes remaining. A 13-yard pass later, KSU had a first down that had nearly extinguished the Sooners’ comeback bid.
Three plays later, that hope was officially extinguished. Facing yet another third down, this one three yards to go, Klein pounded out five gritty yards. Two kneel-downs later, the upset was official.
For Klein, it was a sequence that put him squarely on the Heisman map. For the Wildcats, it was a program-changing win that portends big things on the horizon.
For Snyder? It’s merely another data point that the Wizard of Manhattan is one of the best coaches in recent college football history, one who doesn’t get the type of national respect that he so richly deserves.