Yes, the team that shattered Kansas State's national championship dreams in 1998 with a 36-33 double-overtime loss in the Big 12 title game in St. Louis …yes, that same school has opened the door to the Wildcats reaching that dream destination this year with its win Saturday over No. 1 Alabama.
It was on Nov. 7, 1998, that K-State clobbered Baylor, 49-6, which put them No. 1 in the nation in the USA Today Coaches' Poll on Nov. 9, where it stayed through victories over Nebraska and Missouri the next two weeks, prior to the loss to the Aggies.
Throughout that time, the Wildcats were No. 2 in the Associated Press poll.
Today the Wildcats are No. 1 in the poll that counts most which is that of the Bowl Championship series that determines the championship game. It's a game that will be played on Jan. 7, 2013 in Miami, Fla.
Only if two of those teams should lose will Alabama, the No. 1 team for the majority of the season, re-enter the title-game possibility.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:
Folks have squabbled over the BCS rankings through the years, but remember, it has only one purpose.
That is to decide the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the nation. Nothing more than that.
The rest of the BCS collection of bowl games are determined by the bowls themselves, and those choices have nothing to do with how teams are ranked.
Those 1-2 teams are determined by:
• One-third Harris Interactive Poll done by former coaches, ex-players, administrators, etc.
• One-third coaches USA Today Poll done by current head coaches.
• One-third computer rankings from an average of the Sagarin, Peter Wolfe, Wes Colley, Seattle Times, Richard Billingsley and Kenneth Massey listings.
With a maximum score of 1.000 for the Harris and USA Today poll, and the average of the computer rankings, the scores from those three avenues and totaled, and divided by three to determine the No. 1 and No. 2 teams.
The Harris Poll currently has Oregon, K-State, Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia in its top five, while the USA Today listing goes with Oregon, K-State, Notre Dame, Georgia and Alabama. With the collection of computer rankings. The high score and the low score for each team is eliminated with an average taken of the remaining four polls.
As for the computer rankings, Notre Dame is No. 1, followed by K-State, Florida, Oregon and Alabama:
• Sagarin: Notre Dame, K-State, Florida, Georgia, Oregon
• Wolfe: Notre Dame, K-State, Florida, Oregon, Alabama
• Colley: Notre Dame, Florida, K-State, Alabama, Oregon
• Seattle Times: K-State, Notre Dame, Florida, Oregon, Alabama
• Billingsley: K-State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Alabama, Georgia
• Massey: Notre Dame, K-State, Florida, Oregon, Alabama
Add the three components together and it's the three unbeatens – Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame – followed by Alabama and Georgia heading into the final three weeks of the season.