Horned Frogs and Wildcats. It’s an all purple matchup in Arlington for this year’s Big XII Championship. TCU is undefeated on the year. But they also know one slip-up and their playoff dreams could be done. Kansas State had a strong year going 9-3, and they come into this one fresh off a thorough beating of in-state rival Kansas. While “Every Game Matters” in this conference, this game doesn’t really matter at all for the Wildcats. Win and they go to the Sugar Bowl as the Big XII Champion. Lose…and they go to the Sugar Bowl, as the 2nd place Big XII team and TCU in the playoffs. Still, Chris Kleinman would love to get a conference championship under his belt. Here’s the Message Board Geniuses preview of the Big XII Championship.
#10 Kansas State vs #3 TCU (SAT, 11:00 AM CST, ABC)
We’ve got College Gameday coming to town Saturday morning for this matchup of top ten teams. Arlington is expected to have partly cloudy skies and mid 50s temps all day; perfect football weather, if our northern brothers and sisters will forgive us for a moment.
TCU has had a heck of a season so far. So good in fact, four of the Big XII honors were handed out to Fort Worth players. Max Duggan took home the Offensive Player of the Year, Sonny Dykes was awarded the Coach of the Year, Johnny Hodges won Big XII Defensive Newcomer of the Year, and Derius Davis was named Special Teams Player of the Year. Additionally, 10 Horned Frogs were given All-Big XII First Team Honors by the Conference, the most of any school. A heck of a season, indeed.
The TCU fans remember the last time they played in the conference championship back in 2017, a 41-17 beatdown by the Sooners, but they see a different spark in their squad this time around.
A big part of the confidence is getting two of Duggan’s playmakers back healthy. Kendre Miller and Quentin Johnston are both expected to be a full go on Saturday.
One thing TCU fans aren’t loving? K-State Fans.
There’s absolutely no way this backfires.
Predictions Frog fans?
And in the other corner, hailing from Manhattan, Kansas, the legacy of the great Bill Snyder, we have the Wildcats of Kansas State.
Kansas State secured their spot in Arlington last week after a big win over the Jayhawks. Special Teams has always been a point of pride for K-State and it showed up again last week. So too did the Wildcat defense, holding Kansas in check most of the night and coming up with big stops when they needed them. The Big XII saw fit to honor two K-State players with awards this year: Felix Anudike-Uzomah won Defensive Player of the Year and Cooper Beebe won Offensive Lineman of the Year. All in all four Wildcats were awarded First-Team Honors, with another five grabbing Second-Team.
The last Big XII title for the Wildcats came in 2012, when Collin Klein led them to an 11-1 record and a Fiesta Bowl appearance. Flash forward ten years and Klein is now Offensive Coordinator, looking to guide Will Howard to a 10-win season of his own.
There’s no love lost from the fans on this side of the matchup either, TCU.
And while K-State might already be looking ahead to the Sugar Bowl and a likely showdown with Alabama…
…the Wildcat faithful are confident they’ll be facing the Crimson Tide as Conference Champions.
We’ll see all y’all on Saturday at 11 sharp in Arlington.