Yesterday we began the series with honorable mentions, and today our official top 12 list begins. Here’s the first part of our list of best moments of 2013-14, as voted on by the bloggers of The Salute.

12Baseball sweeps Wichita State


Shocker fans were begging to play K-State (and KU) in basketball and we knew that wasn’t going to happen. (Although it almost did.) However, K-State did play their home and home series with WSU. We all know that this season didn’t live up to preseason expectations, it was still nice to sweep the Wheat Shockers.


It is fun to beat them in “their sport.” Of course, they suck now, so it’s a little less exciting. But we had to sweep someone, right? I’m almost more impressed with winning the series against Nebraska, even though we didn’t quite get the sweep.


Part of college athletics is being able to beat your in-state competition. A continued dominance, even in a down year, over the once proud WSU Baseball program does just that. We may have not been as lucky against The Flaw Down the Kaw, but we all know (hope) that should change next season.


Even in a down year Kansas State Baseball found a way to sweep an in-state, national brand in Wichita State. Losing a few arms before the start of the season really hurt the team this season. The good news is we can’t finish any worse in the Big 12 next season.


11Kaiden’s Play



There are some moments in sports that extend beyond the sport itself. Kaiden’s Play was one of those moments. When the 8-year-old, diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, was lifted up on the players’ shoulders, following his touchdown in the Spring Game, it was hard not to be overcome with emotion. It was a true example of the K-State Family and a celebration of what is positive about college athletics.


Amazingly it hadn’t gotten out that it would happen. Suddenly there’s a tiny #44 jogging out onto the field, and as Wyatt gave the call it was clear something special was happening. Not going to lie, I got some dust in my eyes.


It’s moments like this one that reminds you that sports is more than a hobby or pastime. Sports can heal people. The tragedies of 9-11 or the Boston Marathon Bombing have proven that. It’s nice to be able to do something like this for a kid that deserves it. Nice running, Kaiden!


What more can I say about this one? It’s simply fantastic to watch. It stirs the emotions. Even more so as the parent of two children. It’s impossible to watch the highlights of Kaiden’s Play and not shed a tear.



10Announcing Vanier improvements


I touched on this yesterday with in our Honorable Mentions, but this university continues to grow with Coach Bill Snyder at the helm. Snyder, combined with all of the great people with ties to Kansas State are shocking the Big 12 with our fundraising efforts. It’s one thing to have an athletic department that is aggressive in asking for the funds, it’s another to have people that are willing and able to continuously give.


I attended K-State because of the Architecture School. The renovations of BSFS are awesome and the drawings of the future renovations are even better. Closing the north end of can only increase the ‘Cats home field advantage. The Bill will be an even more intimidating stadium. Art Briles, if you thought it was tough place to play…just wait!


The Little Apple isn’t quite as little as it used to be, and neither is the football stadium. This is a testament to Bill Snyder, John Currie, a multitude of donors, and the young men that work so hard for each Wildcat Victory. This truly is the house we built, and the job isn’t done yet.


Oh man, that means the “Proud of This House We Built” thing is never going to end, is it? That’s ok, because it’s glorious. We’ll talk later in this countdown about what it was like to see the West Stadium Center come to fruition. So we know just how well things can be done now… and I can’t wait to see the finished product.


9Claiming Big 12 draft streak


Funny how the streak had some play for the past few years, but didn’t become HUGE until we got to the top. Sure, our top now stands at 21 straight after Texas had their 77(!) year streak broken. And sure we barely hung on with an offensive lineman (after really barely hanging on a couple years ago with a running back who played in 3 games for us before quitting the team), but sometimes it takes a little luck. Being tops in the Big 12 is just pretty damn impressive.


Another testament to the success of Bill Snyder at K-State. I really thought (ok, maybe prayed) that Cornelius Lucas would go in either the 6th or 7th round. Maybe Zimmerman somewhere in there too. Tavon Rooks was a surprise to me, but a most pleasant surprise.


It’s almost comical how it happened. A player that wasn’t invited to the combine gets drafted from Kansas State and the almighty Texas Longhorns, that are perennially atop the recruiting rankings, failed to get one of their highly ranked, Charmin soft players to the league. Good thing they hired a tough coach in Charlie Strong.


This streak is so cool, yet also a head-scratcher. How has this continued in down years? It reminds me of the home-court winning seasons streak in basketball. Even the 9-19 team of 1999-2000 managed a winning record in Bramlage. I was stunned to see Tavon Rooks name come up on Draft Day, but we’ll take it to keep the streak going.

Tomorrow the countdown continues with spots #8-5 in our Top 12 of the year

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