Sitting firmly at No. 2 in the Bowl Championship Series standings and ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, as well as No. 3 in The Associated Press rankings, Kansas State can ill-afford to rest on its laurels.
Unbeaten at 9-0 overall and 6-0 for first place in the Big 12 Conference, Kansas State knows as well as anyone that it can’t let its guard down.
Even after beating Oklahoma State 44-30 last Saturday night, the Wildcats know they have a bull’s-eye on their back and they’re going to get everyone’s best shot. It starts all over again on Saturday night at 6 and televised on FOX, when Kansas State takes on Texas Christian (6-3, 3-3) at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.
No matter how well they play, according to Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder, there’s always room for improvement.
“He wants to recognize, to keep in mind, that we can always do better,” Kansas State senior linebacker Arthur Brown said. “That’s what Coach Snyder is definitely about, not just settling for something and always striving for more.
“It’s definitely been an enjoyable journey … just taking it step-by-step. One day at a time. Definitely a growing process.”
When Brown, who is up for numerous postseason awards, looks back on the season, maybe sometime in mid-January, as he gets ready for the NFL combine and subsequent draft, the stark realization might finally soak in.
Right now, it’s all about staying focused for the three remaining regular-season games — at TCU, at Baylor in nine days and at home against Texas on Dec. 1.
No time to dwell on the Wildcats’ season-long success. No time to bask in the joy of being one of the final unbeaten teams standing — in quest of a berth in the BCS national championship game.
Not now, anyway. Maybe after they put a wrap on the season.
Although Brown readily admits it’s been an enjoyable journey, he stops short of admitting that it has been fun.
“No,” said Brown, a sculpted 6-foot-1, 231 pounds, “because we put so much into it. So much of our time. So much is invested into what we achieve as a team.
“We definitely don’t want to take time to enjoy it. There are games ahead and we have to keep it straight.”
A native of Wichita, who transferred from Miami before last season, Brown leads the Wildcats with 67 tackles, including 40 solo stops. He has six tackles for loss, two interceptions, one sack and one fumble recovery.
on Klein’s injury
Someone once joked during Kansas State’s rise to prominence back in the 1990s that no secrets are let out of the Purple Pentagon.
In some instances, this is true.
Snyder has never been forthright about injuries. It’s not his nature, and he explained why at his weekly press conference with the media on Tuesday.
It comes as no surprise that Snyder and Kansas State, for that matter, have been mum on Heisman Trophy front-runner and Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein’s injury as they prepare for Saturday night’s game at TCU.
It’s always been that way, though.
Snyder still isn’t acknowledging what type of injury Klein suffered against Oklahoma State last Saturday night.
But here are some excerpts from what Snyder told the media after he was asked if Klein would play against TCU.
“I would certainly hope so,” Snyder said. “Let’s cut to the chase more than anything else. I understand your (media) position. I truly do understand you have work to do and job to carry out. So do I. I understand your role.
“My interest in our players is beyond football, and I always want to do the right thing for young people in our program. I think any coach in the country would feel exactly the same way.”
Snyder said he doesn’t want to put any young person in any undo jeopardy whatsoever.
“That’s why I don’t address injuries,” he said. “I have tried not to. I have probably said more than I should on some occasions, but I try to accommodate you. My first and foremost interest is in the young people in our program.”
Snyder, who said he made Klein off-limits to reporters because of the bombardment of questions Klein would have faced, finished his explanation by saying, “Would I expect him to play? I certainly hope that’s the case, and I would expect that to take place.”
Chapman honored by FWAA
Kansas State cornerback Allen Chapman picked up his third honor following his three-interception performance against Oklahoma State last Saturday night in being named the Bronko Nagurski national Defensive Player of the Week, the Football Writers Association of America announced on Tuesday.
Earlier in the week, Chapman was named as the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.
With the honor from the FWAA, Chapman has been added to the watch list for the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Tropy.
Besides his three picks, including his first being returned 29 yards for a touchdown, Chapman also had two passes broken up and total five tackles. His three interceptions were tied for the most in a single game in Big 12 history, while also tying for second in school history and the most by a Wildcats player since defensive back Chris Canty in 1995, culminated by their berth in the Cotton Bowl against Brigham Young.
The school record was set by Jaime Mendez, who had four interceptions against Temple in 1993. He was a consensus first-team All-America selection that season.