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PICKS FROM JOES: A look at Oklahoma State’s series with Kansas State

Winsipedia is a great resource for football series between D1 schools, and also for comparing historical program achievements.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State is OSU’s 2nd oldest and 2nd most played Big 12 opponent with these two playing the first of 64 games in 1908 (Bedlam started in 1904). Over the next 28 years the two would play just seven times, five of those in Manhattan, with K-State winning six. It would be 11 years until the next meeting in 1947, the first of six over the next 10 years. Once Oklahoma State joined the Big Eight conference, the two played annually from 1958 through 1995, missing only 1963. It’s not clear why they didn’t play each other, although they should have because both could have used another win. The two teams combined for one victory in conference play that season.

OSU holds the lead at 39-25, amazingly with no ties, however this series has been a product of streaks for the most part.

Between 1947 and 1989, the Cowboys won 31 of the 37 meetings. K-State has had a couple of their own win streaks, including the one mentioned above and winning 10 of 11 from 1990 to 2006.

When coached by Bill Snyder, Kansas State leads 12-7. Granted, eight of those came in the 1990’s when OSU was HISTORICALLY bad and the Wildcats were historically good.

Since Gundy came to town he’s accumulated a record of 6-4 against the Wildcats, however three of those four losses have come since 2012 before which Gundy and the program had turned a fairly significant corner in status. Of the teams that have been in the Big 12 since the beginning, Gundy only has fewer wins against one (I’ll let you guess who that is), and only has a worse win percentage against THAT team and Texas.

This game is in Manhattan, and that’s NOT a good thing for OSU, where the Cowboys are 2-3 under Gundy. K-State suffered the sting of defeat in 2016, however the last time Oklahoma State won two consecutive trips to Manhattan was 1986 & 1988. Since then OSU is an abysmal 2-8 on the road, losing six straight before Gundy and Weeden broke the string in 2010. The good news for OSU? Kansas State has never won consecutive games during the Gundy era. Of course Texas Tech and Iowa State just stomped on two significant Gundy streaks, so maybe this isn’t good news…

The loss at home in 2017 was the first under Gundy during a year where OSU would end with a better conference record than K-State. With the Wildcats at 0-3 and the Cowboys at 1-2, the remaining schedule would seem to favor Bill Snyder with home games vs Kansas and Texas Tech and a road game at Iowa State, but then again the normally stable and disciplined atmosphere of the K-State program seems a bit shaky at the moment.

Only twice under Gundy’s guidance has OSU had a losing record in Big 12 play in a year that they played Kansas State. Both of those years the Cowboys lost to the Wildcats, however Oklahoma State and Gundy have never lost to Kansas State in a year where the Wildcats posted a losing record in the Big 12.

From a scoring perspective, Manhattan definitely provides a home field advantage for the Wildcats.

Overall, K-State surprisingly leads the average scoring per game 37-34 even though they are on the short end of the W-L numbers. OSU holds the edge in Stillwater, 40-38, however on the road the Cowboys lose 35-28. That’s a pretty strong trend towards K-State on their home turf. It’s also quite low scoring for OSU in the Gundy era. Only once under the Mullet has OSU bested 30 points in Manhattan, and that was 2016 when the Cowboys needed an interception in the end zone on the last play of the game to hold on to a 43-37 win. Even Weeden’s offensive juggernaut in 2010 could only manage 24 points in a 10 point victory, which, BY THE WAY, was the ONLY TIME UNDER GUNDY THAT K-STATE SCORED FEWER THAN 31 POINTS IN MANHATTAN. That was also OSU’s largest margin of victory over the Wildcats, with ALL other wins coming by a TD or less.


The three largest margins of victory in this series in the Gundy era have ALL taken place in Manhattan (10 pts for OSU, 14 and 34 points for K-State). The other seven games have an average margin of victory of just FOUR points. The end result of all this?

Alcohol and cardiac arrest.

It’s one of the closest scoring series in the Big 12, and definitely the closest for Oklahoma State. If they win, it will be close. If Kansas State wins, it’s 50-50 whether it’s close or a 2+TD blowout, and that K-State win is likely to be in Manhattan.

You’re welcome for giving you something to look forward to on Saturday.