Kansas State has played nine football games this season. Of those nine games, four were slated for Saturday evening, four were scheduled for Saturday morning and one was played on a Thursday night.
The Wildcats have played at nearly every time available, with one obvious omission: Saturday afternoon.
That will change next week when they host Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown at 3 p.m. on Nov. 29. But first, they will head to West Virginia for another Thursday night game.
The schedule has frustrated K-State football coach Bill Snyder every step of the way. Not even news of a Saturday afternoon kickoff -- his favorite -- brought a smile to his face when asked about it Tuesday.
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“I have never heard of a 3 o clock game,” Snyder said. “And while you are at it, how many times have I said in here, ‘It won’t be long before we are playing TV games seven days a week.’ Right? We are up to five. I just looked last night at a list. There was a game Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night and, of course, Saturday. That is five out of seven. We’ve got two days to go and we will be having televised games seven days a week. I told you it was coming.”
Snyder has done little to hide his disappointment in K-State’s schedule. He would rather play on Saturday than Thursday, and he thinks three off weeks are overkill. Twice this week, he has said traveling for a Thursday game puts unneccessary stress on student-athletes that will miss two days of class.
But kickoff times, chosen by TV networks a week or two ahead of time, have compounded the situation for him.
Asked when he would schedule games, Snyder quickly replied “1:10 Saturday afternoon.”
Snyder has shared that opinion before, and he once again elaborated on his thinking Tuesday.
“It’s convenient,” Snyder said. “It used to be that everyone played at 1 o clock. That was game time for the most part. We wanted to be a little different, so we said, ‘We will start at 1:10.’ Then ours would be over later and people would pay attention to it.
“Secondly, there is a convenience for the fan base. You’ve got time in the morning to get here and go home if you can’t be one of those individuals staying overnight. If you play in the morning you’ve got to come the night before or get up at 3 a.m. Night game, same thing on the other end.”
Other Big 12 teams have faced bizarre schedules this season, most notably Oklahoma. The Sooners will play their sixth morning game on Saturday when they host Kansas at 11 a.m.
K-State could close out its schedule with back-to-back Saturday afternoon games if its trip to Baylor gets slated for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. But an evening start seems more likely.
Snyder wishes things were different.
“It’s about our community,” he said. “... If you play that game then, you are going to have people here virtually the entire day. And people, before and after the game, invest in the community and that helps the economy. If it’s a real late game, then that doesn’t always happen.”