We’re nearly 10 years removed from the most recent Kansas State football team that had a serious chance at a National Championship. The 2012 season was a magical one in Manhattan, however the Wildcats dropped a November game to the Baylor Bears which ended their chances at playing for a National Championship in the BCS era.
On Saturday, November 17th, the Bears crushed the Wildcats 52-24. I was actually living in Woodward, Oklahoma at the time and had traveled to Kansas City for a Bruce Springsteen concert that evening. The game was on in the Power and Light District and the K-State fan base was crushed from the get go. And while this K-State team ended up losing the Fiesta Bowl to Oregon, we will never know if this team would’ve had a chance to win the National Title.
But in a recent piece by Kellis Robinett, he talked with former Wildcats from the 2012 team and Chris Harper said he thinks that had K-State gone undefeated, they would’ve taken on Notre Dame in the National Championship, and Harper believes they would’ve rolled the Irish, saying, “We would’ve killed Notre Dame. I know some players that were on their team, and I told them that when we were good together in the NFL. They weren’t good. I’m surprised Alabama didn’t beat them by more (42-14). Had we won the game against Baylor, I can definitely say that we would have won the National Championship.”
Those are bold words. I’m not sure if that would’ve been the case. But I love the optimism. Now I’m pumped to see if Chris Klieman can one day get Kansas State back into that kind of a position. It won’t be easy, but it would be a helluva story, just like the 2012 team.