Sooner Football Record at K-State Better Than Against Cats in Norman


You can dismiss the notion of home-field advantage when it comes to Sooner football games with Kansas State.

The 2015 schedule takes Oklahoma north this weekend to Manhattan, Kan., a place where no Big 12 coach enjoys going to play, and a date with coach Bill Snyder and always-tough Kansas State.

The Sooners dominate the all-time series between the two schools, winning 72 of the 95 games played. The two teams have played 12 times since Bob Stoops, a former assistant and co-defensive coordinator under Snyder at Kansas State, became the 21st head coach in OU’s historic football history. The Sooners have won nine of those games, including the 2000 Big 12 championship game.

Oct 18, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Cody Thomas (14) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Interestingly, Oklahoma’s record in games played at K-State under Stoops is better than when the two teams have met on the Sooners’ home turf at Owen Field. Stoops is 5-0 when he takes his team north to play Kansas State in Manhattan, but he is only 3-2 against the Wildcats in Norman, including consecutive losses the last two times K-State visited venue once known as the Snake Pit (Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium).

The sports books in Las Vegas also seem to be relying somewhat on the Sooners’ road success against Snyder and Kansas State, having established Oklahoma as an early 5 1/2-point favorite over the Cats this Saturday. I have to admit that this is a little surprising to me, given how well K-State played against then No. 2-ranked TCU last weekend and how poor the Sooners looked in losing their annual Red River battle with Texas.

In his 17 seasons at the OU football helm, Stoops’ and his Sooner teams have done very well playing on the road. Oklahoma is 52-20 (.720 winning percentage) since 1999 in true road games (excluding games at neutral sites, like the Cotton Bowl in Dallas).

Oct 18, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard (3) runs with the ball during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Anyway you look at it, however, Saturday’s game in Manhattan between the Sooners and K-State will be a strong test of character for both teams, which should make it a close contest.

Oklahoma not only have a better win percentage when playing on the road at Kansas State with Stoops as the Sooners’ head coach, but the average margin of victory has been over twice what it has been when the two teams tangle in Norman.

The Sooners have won by an average of 18.8 points in their last five trips to K-State, but won by just 10 points in their last visit (41-31 two seasons ago).

In the last five OU-K-State games played in Norman, by contrast, the last two of which have been won by Snyder and the Wildcats, the average score differential has been just 7.6 points in favor of the Sooners.

In the all-time series between Oklahoma and Kansas State, which dates back over 100 years to 1908, 46 games have been played in Manhattan. The Sooners are 36-10 in those games, including a 17-game win streak at K-State between 1935 and 1967. Ten of those 17 Sooner victories during that span were by shutout, and three others were by seven points or less.

I am not suggesting that Oklahoma will win the game at K-State on Saturday, but as hard a place as it is to win for visiting teams, the Sooners historically have played very well there, perhaps the best of any opponent in Kansas State football history.

It will be the 10th meeting between Stoops, the pupil, and his former boss, teacher and mentor, Bill Snyder. The pupil is 8-2 in those 10 games and 5-0 at the place that bears the teacher’s name: Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Will the Sooners continue their winning streak in Manhattan on Saturday? The math is in their favor, but not if they play the way they did against a Texas team that is not as good as the one they will go up against in the Little Apple.