KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 1 - Kansas State’s players won’t feel slighted if they beat No. 1 Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game and the Sooners still end up playing for the national title in the Sugar Bowl.
“IF WE BEAT Oklahoma, we’re the Big 12 champions,” Kansas State linebacker Josh Buhl said Monday. “That’s something we set out to do. How it falls out after that, it’s not in our control. We can’t worry about that. All we can do is take care of our business at the Big 12 championship game.”
The Sooners (12-0) have such a big lead in the BCS standings that they likely will play in the Sugar Bowl even with a loss.
The 13th-ranked Wildcats (10-3) had their national title dreams ended with three straight losses early in the season. They are 13½-point underdogs this week and getting very little attention.
Talk in recent weeks has centered not on whether Oklahoma will win the Big 12 title Saturday night in Kansas City, but on whether Southern Cal or LSU would pose the bigger threat to the Sooners in the Sugar Bowl.
“As a team we don’t feel slighted at all,” Kansas State tight end Thomas Hill said. “They deserve to be where they are right now — No. 1 in the nation. We’re just glad to be in the Big 12 championship game against the No. 1 team in the nation.”
A victory would likely send Kansas State to the Fiesta Bowl. They’ve played there before the BCS started, but this would be their first appearance in a BCS bowl.
A loss might land them an Alamo Bowl bid. It would also deny the Wildcats their first conference championship since they hoisted the Big Six trophy 69 years ago.
“If I’m accurate, there are no other undefeated football teams,” said coach Bill Snyder. “If we were fortunate enough to win this ballgame, I don’t know why it would hamper (Oklahoma) from playing in the Sugar Bowl. That’s the BCS system. That’s what we go by.”
Despite the overwhelming odds, Snyder feels his team still has a chance against the mighty Sooners.
“We’re probably not unlike any football team in the country, our players have a strong belief if you prepare well — emotionally and physically and mentally, week in and week out — that any football team in the country can probably beat any other team,” he said.
“It’s proven to be true. We feel like we fit in that category. We’re capable of winning and we’re capable of losing. It depends on how well you prepare and how well you play.”
With the game in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, many people — including Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops — believe the Wildcats will have what amounts to a home-field advantage.
“I don’t know,” Snyder said. “My guess is Oklahoma will have a large contingent there as well. I think a lot of the tickets have been sold to neutral fans. You’ll have to see the color scheme when you get into the stadium as much as anything.”
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