Mondays at The Salute

Mondays at The Salute

Welcome to Championship Week.

In 2003, Darren Sproles juked his way around “the best team in college football history” to give K-State its first Big 12 Championship. In 2012, Collin Klein – seemingly with Bill Snyder’s 16 goals for success tattooed on his forearm – helped push the Wildcats to their second conference title. Saturday, Tyler Lockett and the 2014 Wildcats have a chance to earn a piece of the football program’s third.

A win over the Baylor Bears gives K-State at least a share of the 2014 title. A loss means no trophy and gives the Bears a distinct shot at a spot in the first ever College Football Playoff. It’s almost a mirror image of the 2012 season, wherein a loss to Baylor knocked K-State from a spot in the BCS Championship game. I’ve heard that revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, Saturday’s high in Waco is 70 degrees, so I prefer the phrasing, “Revenge is a dish best served in front of a national television audience.” ESPN’s College Gameday has even decided to broadcast from Waco on Saturday. Yes, that’s right, the conference with no official championship game features a contest seen, essentially, as the best in college football on Championship Saturday.

The Wildcats head to Waco on the heels of a 51-13 win over Kansas. K-State piled up 500 yards on offense and scored with the ease of someone playing air hockey against a spoon. Meanwhile, KU’s greatest in-game accomplishment was the Jayhawk marching band playing the role of “The Interrupter,” blowing their horns any moment the K-State marching band began a tune.

The result was expected and the contest included receiver Tyler Lockett setting one career receiving mark (number of receptions) and tying another (touchdown receptions). So much has been said about Tyler Lockett this season that anything I type here could probably be considered plagiarism. His routes are so precise that he can shake his own shadow. His feet are so quick that he can outrun the vanity that comes with statistically being the most successful receiver in program history. Aside from a couple of ill-timed drops, his hands are the sort that makes opponents want to check for stick-um. Lockett won a title with the Wildcats in 2012, and you can bet he’s making sure that his teammates are prepared to embrace the opportunity for another championship.

Saturday will end with a trophy, or end with tears. With celebration or frustration. Saturday will end with the sort of triumph every fan hopes for, or just with attempts to shift focus on predicting bowl match ups.

It’s College Gameday. It’s revenge for 2012. It’s a shot at Snyder’s third conference championship.

It’s a virtual buffet of all that’s great about college football.

Welcome to Championship Week.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Derek Larson. You might remember me from such autobiographical blurbs as “Yo Soy Derek” and “Paste Blurb Here.” I was born and raised in the Manhattan area and I graduated from Kansas State University in 2005. Now I’m now adjusting to life in the land of husking corn. My groom’s cake was a Powercat and I was once convinced that the future of Wildcat basketball was a seven-foot volleyball player. I’ve written about K-State sports in different capacities, often without people asking me to. My hobbies include bringing more purple to Lincoln, Neb., and making vague (and not-so-vague) references to The Simpsons. Follow me on Twitter at @dereklarson.

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