Marvin Simmons stood out.
The 6-foot-1, 230 pound junior college transfer who only sees the Wildcat uniform for home games -- as he's mired deep in the depth chart -- sat in the K-State Student Union on Thursday afternoon, laughing and hollering at an otherwise subdued group of Wildcat football players.
Simmons stands out -- the big linebacker with the big biceps. But the atmosphere surrounding the K-State football team Thursday could only be described as quiet. Those several dozen huddled together near the food court talked quietly amongst themselves, oblivious to the blank stares of a student body constantly questioning why the Cats aren't winning.
Indeed, that is the same atmosphere that pervaded Tuesday's weekly press conference, attended by only a handful of players. The focus was and is squarely on the Buffaloes, Kansas State's opponent in Saturday's 1:10 p.m. tilt at KSU Stadium.
This is a team, co-defensive coordinator Bret Bielema said, that realizes the chances that yet await the senior-laden group. After Nebraska was upset in Columbia, Mo. last Saturday, every team in the Big 12 North controls their own destiny simply by winning out. That, Bielema said, includes the Cats.
The same attitude was expressed by Thomas Houchin, and Ell Roberson later in the afternoon. Saturday's game marks that rare "third chance" for a K-State team that last year didn't even get a second chance. After losing to Colorado -- and Texas two weeks later -- the Cats won out only to finish second in the North.
But this season, even after two losses, those guys in the Union realize the opportunity that still exists.
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