Kansas State Trivia

 – After going 50-16 from 1999 to 2003, Kansas State has slipped to 26-33 over the past five seasons. In the Big 12, only Iowa State (24-37) and Baylor (21-40) have had fewer wins during that span.

 – Keep an eye on K-State’s overall record in 2009. While a 6-6 record is usually enough to merit a bowl bid, the Wildcats will have to go 7-5. Why? Kansas State played Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech, both FCS schools. Under BCS bowl eligibility rules, only one of the wins will count toward bowl eligibility.

 – The 2008 Kansas State recruiting class was unusual, at best.  No fewer than 20 junior college players were signed by the Wildcats (out of 34 – the entire CU class of ‘08 was 20, with one from a JC).  Oklahoma State was a distant second in the conference in signing juco’s, with eight.  The remaining ten teams in the Big 12 signed 18 junior college transferees – combined.  

 – Before Bill Snyder came to Manhattan in 1989, the Wildcats had posted only four winning seasons in 53 years. In over half of those seasons – 27, to be precise – the Wildcats lost at least eight games. Snyder inherited a 27-game winless streak when he came on board, a streak which was stretched to 30 games before the Wildcats won their first game for Snyder, a 20-17 win over North Texas. It would prove to be the Wildcats’ only win in 1989.

– On the all-time list for losing streaks, Kansas State appears four times. The Wildcats hold the third longest streak ever, 28 games (1945-48), but also appear with streaks of 18 games (1961-62), 17 games (1964-66), and 16 games (1987-89). (Colorado tied its longest streak ever – 10 games – between the end of the 2005 and the start of the 2006 seasons).

– The Wildcats have a quirky tradition of the band playing “Wabash Cannonball” after every kickoff following a KSU score. The tradition originated in tragedy. In 1969, the KSU music department burned down just before a football game. The only music salvaged was in the band director’s briefcase, where there was sheet music for “Wabash Cannonball” was found. The band played the song early and often the next week, and a tradition was born.

– KSU was the “Aggies” in the early years, then the “Farmers”. In 1920, coach Charles Bachman arrived from Northwestern (also named the “Wildcats”), and the new name was applied.

– Kansas State has won three Big 12 North titles, the latest in 2003, the same year the Wildcats won their only league title. KSU never won a Big Seven or Big Eight title in the history of either conference (1948-95), but did win a Big Six crown in 1934.

– Famous alumni – football – The only number retired at KSU is #11, worn by both Lynn Dickey (1968-70) and Steve Grogan (1972-74). KSU has had nine consensus All-Americans, including Gary Spani (1977), Chris Canty (1995-96), Terence Newman (2002); and Darren Sproles (2007-08). Other greats include a NFL Hall-of-Famer in running back Gayle Sayers, plus running back John Riggins, quarterback John Hadl, and safety Nolan Cromwell.

– Famous alumni – other – Kirstie Alley (actress); Gordon Jump (actor); Erin Brockovich (activist).

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