Kansas State University

Texas A&M's last conference visit to K-State no big deal

MANHATTAN — Realignment fatigue seems to have finally set in for Bill Snyder.

Before his Kansas State team faced Nebraska and Colorado for the final time as conference opponents last year, he got nostalgic. He talked about how beating the Cornhuskers five times in seven years elevated the football program.

Then, when Missouri announced it was leaving the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference, he said he felt "disturbed." Clearly, he will miss all three to some degree.

But after playing three farewell games in a year's time, he isn't getting wrapped up in what it will feel like to say goodbye to Texas A&M after today's game.

"I have not given any thought to that whatsoever," Snyder said. "That doesn't have any impact on me."

He doesn't see how it could. Unlike Nebraska, Colorado and Missouri, who had long-standing rivalries with K-State and all belonged to the old Big 12 North Division, the Aggies and Wildcats have played each other 14 times on an off-and-on basis.

Texas A&M leads the series 8-6 with the only truly memorable game coming in the 1998 Big 12 Championship game, which the Aggies won 36-33 in overtime to derail K-State's undefeated season and shot at a national championship.

Current players who grew up K-State fans are fine playing TCU and West Virginia instead of Texas A&M.

"With Nebraska, they were pretty much our rival," said freshman center B.J. Finney. "Texas A&M, we see them every other year, maybe two consecutive years if we're lucky. The history with A&M is that they're a terrific Big 12 team, and they're always a competitor. We've just got to go out and handle our business."

For any K-State player who recently joined the program, today will feel like a nonconference game. Unless they meet in a bowl game, this will be the only time they play.

Unlike a year ago, when players said they would take immense joy in winning their final home game against Nebraska before the Huskers joined the Big Ten, there are no heated emotions tied with the Aggies.

"That hasn't really been talked about," said cornerback Allen Chapman. "No, we're just going to line up and play."

SECOND HALF ADJUSTMENTS: The third quarter will be important for both teams today. In three of its four losses, Texas A&M has blown second-half leads. Opponents have outscored the Aggies 93-54 in the third quarter this season.

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