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New Team, Same Results
Kansas State followed a familiar script this season, starting off slow and then incrementally improving to end the season on a high note. Coach Bill Snyder discussed the improvement in his Sunday teleconference:
In all reality, we just got better and became a good football team collectively across the board. That’s been the mantra of our program over the years. That’s the value of daily improvement, and we’re not alone in that – most teams across the country are dedicated to that, and we certainly are. Our players believe in that, and, consequently, have made the effort and commitment to do so. At the end of the day, we just became a little bit better, with some ups and downs.
It's been the opposite case for the Aggies, who once again faltered in November. Kevin Sumlin's team has lost four of six after starting the season 6-0.
Location Important for Texas A&M
With the game being held in nearby Houston, the Aggies are basically getting a home postseason game. The good fortune there is not lost on Kevin Sumlin.
"A large portion of our team is from the Houston area, and we have a tremendous fan base in the city of Houston," Sumlin said in a Texas A&M release. "We look forward to getting the chance to play in front of 12th Man in NRG Stadium, which is one of the top football venues in world."
More than just his current players, a large part of Sumlin's recruiting pipeline resides in Houston. An convincing win in this spot would help erase the recent struggles from some of his area targets.
Snyder Looking to Get Back to Winning Bowls
As good as Bill Snyder is at getting to bowl games, he's really struggled winning them of late.
"In the Wildcat’s last six bowls, K-State has won just one of them, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in 2013," writes SB Nation's Alex Kirshner.
Whether it's the extra time to prepare for Snyder's straightforward attack or going against well-rested, better athletes, bowl wins have been elusive of late for this otherwise stellar program.