Coming off a loss to Baylor that squashed a shot at playing for the national title, Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder said there are advantages and disadvantages to having a bye week.
K-State players will get Thanksgiving weekend off. The Wildcats can still clinch the Big 12 title with a win over Texas next week in Manhattan, Kan.
“You have to learn how to deal with the emotions of this,” Snyder said. “There's a tremendous amount of disappointment. Eventually that turns into frustration, then anger. Then each of us, individually, must look at things we can do better, players and coaches alike.”
Snyder was asked whether the Wildcats felt pressure of being one of the nation's last three undefeated teams.
“That's a tough question to answer,” Snyder said. “The outward appearance, I don't think it was a major issue. That doesn't mean that it wasn't. But they didn't give that appearance. I thought going in they were a reasonably well focused football team.
“No. 1, we probably weren't as well prepared as we needed to be. Secondly, Baylor played extremely well both offensively and defensively. The combination of those two doesn't always provide favorable results.”
AGGIES-LONGHORNS COTTON BOWL MATCHUP?
Texas and Texas A&M's annual Thanksgiving night game ended when the Aggies joined the SEC. Oddly enough, there are some projections that have the two teams playing in the Cotton Bowl.
“That's way beyond us,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. “I hope they're right that we win enough games to get to a great bowl game. Obviously you'd love to play in the BCS if you can.
“There's always a lot of talk about Texas and Texas A&M. It's emotional this week since we're not playing them anymore in the regular season. But we're playing TCU Thursday night. All our focus will be on TCU.”
BAYLOR FOCUSES ON SIXTH WIN
The Bears' upset attracted a lot of national attention, but Baylor coach Art Briles said the focus to get at least one more win to become bowl eligible. Baylor plays Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium and next week hosts Oklahoma State.
Briles said the benefit of knocking off the No. 1 ranked team will enhance recruiting but the challenge is to avoid a letdown.
“What will help is this is Thanksgiving week where our guys only have classes on Monday and Tuesday, then we kind of get to isolate for two or three days, really make sure our focus is where it needs to be,” Briles said. “In our minds, as a program and a team, we haven't accomplished anything, yet.”
HORNED FROGS EMBRACE NATIONAL EXPOSURE
TCU coach Gary Patterson said one benefit to joining the Big 12 is every conference game is televised. This week, the Horned Frogs play at Texas on national television on Thanksgiving night.
“(OU) coach Bobby Stoops talked about he didn't like playing too many night games,” Patterson said. “I would take as many night games as I could because that means you're winning a lot of games, are at the top of the conference and everybody is watching you.”
And his thoughts on replacing A&M in Texas' traditional Thanksgiving game?
“That's an unbelievable deal for us,” Patterson said. “I've been watching the A&M-Texas game forever. For TCU to be part of that game is where we want to be.”
MOUNTAINEERS STRUGGLING IN BIG 12
Because he spent more than a decade in the Big 12 as an assistant coach at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen was well aware the Mountaineers were stepping up in competition.
But losing five consecutive conference games is a reality check for a fan base accustomed to playing in BCS bowl games.
“I'd say that's an understatement,” Holgorsen said. “Because West Virginia has had so much success, won a lot the past couple of decades, they get used to that. Winning is contagious. It's also quite a bit of fun.
“So when you're used to it and it doesn't happen people get fairly bitter. It's been an eye opener to a lot of people. I think we fit in; it's just going to take some time to develop the way of life, the way it is.”