What are the prospects for the Washburn Ichabods in the MIAA Conference against such teams as Fort Hays State and Northwest Missouri State? How will the Kansas State Wildcats do this year after last years bowl win? Will the Kansas Jayhawks have to use the phrase “wait until basketball season” once again?
The Washburn Ichabods opened the 2018 season on the road in St. Charles, MO against Lindenwood. Coming off a 7-5 season which concluded with a 41-25 victory over Angelo State in the 2017 C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, the ‘Bods are poised for yet another successful season.
They return 21 starters off of last year’s squad that finished 6th in the ever tough MIAA Conference, which looks to be just as tough as last year with three teams in the AFCA Top 25 and five others receiving votes. Fort Hays State and Northwest Missouri State are tied for 5th with Central Missouri coming in at #18. Pittsburg State received 21 votes, Missouri Western received 14 votes, Emporia State received 11 votes, Central Oklahoma received 9 votes and Washburn received 1 vote.
Head coach Craig Schurig leads the team in his 17th season at the helm. He is Washburn’s all-time winning coach with a record of 110-74-0, including 12 winning seasons. He has coached 196 Al-MIAA selections and 2 NFL draft picks. In 2011, Washburn went 10-3 in route to their third NCAA playoffs in school history. The 10 wins was a school record.
Heading down the highway to Manhattan, we see that the Kansas State Wildcats are gearing up for another season under head coach Bill Snyder. The Cat’s finished 8-5 last year after defeating the UCLA Bruins in the Cactus Bowl last year. Kansas State had a tough stretch last season, losing to Texas, TCU and Oklahoma in three straight weeks, which saw their record drop to 3-4. A win against Kansas righted the ship as they finished the season on a 5-1 tear.
Kansas on the other hand, wrapped up their 2017 season on an 11-game losing streak after winning their opener against Southeast Missouri. Their only close game during that stretch was a 30-20 loss to Kansas State. It will be interesting to see what the Jayhawks do this year. How long will the new athletic director put up with losing football? Will he pull the cord during the non-con section of the schedule or does head coach David Beatty survive the year?
I’m always amazed that Bill Snyder was able to turn around the Wildcat program. It just shocks me that Kansas has yet to maintain any type of momentum with their program. Snyder not only turned the program around he has maintained it for several years. He is definitely one of the top coaches in the country. KU, meanwhile, has had a carousel at the head coaching position and it appears as though they’ll have another one fairly soon. I hope so, because hearing the phrase “wait until basketball season” has gotten old!
– Rob Mooney, Metro Voice Sports writer