Kansas State lost to Texas on Saturday, 24-20, in a game that could have gone either way. Nothing can feasibly change that loss into a win, but something did happen that was almost as if the Wildcats did indeed won -- they found themselves.
This is a K-State team that was waiting for a defining moment, and they may have found it in the way they ran off the field together, with the northeast corner of DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium -- clad in purple -- giving them a round of applause. Unity is what may have been lacking, and what may have been found, in the sweltering Texas heat. While it wasn't found early enough to turn two losses in favor of the Cats, it may have been found just soon enough.
K-State travels to Oklahoma State this weekend for a Big 12 tilt with big-time implications. THe Wildcats ripped the Cowboys last year after a loss eerily similar to the Texas game, a 35-31 upset on the road in Boulder to the Buffalos. The Wildcats undoubtedly realize they can run the tables and make a return trip to Arrowhead Stadium into a reality. By beating Oklahoma State, winning out and in the process, knocking off top-10 Nebraska, K-State would take the tie-breaker over the Huskers and would likely face the winner of this weekend's Red River Shootout.
But one glaring difference lies in the fact that K-State never had to regroup from two consecutive losses last season. The last time that happened was 2001, and the Wildcats didn't respond well -- losing two more for the program's first four-game losing streak in a decade.
It's probably presumptuous to think K-State's season is heading the direction of the 2001 squad, but more hinges on this weekend's game in Stillwater than most K-State fans think. Indeed, every game from now until the end of the season is the Wildcats' biggest game -- and it all starts this weekend.
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