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Record: 11-1
W 24-20
Holiday Bowl
vs. Washington

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Men's Basketball
Record: 6-4
Latest game:
W 68-64
vs. Old Dominion
Next game:
12/29 Georgia St.

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Record: 6-6
Latest game:
W 69-56
vs. Tenn.-Chatt.
Next game:
12/30 Tenn. State

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    Bowls represented

    Kansas State had become a popular prospect for the Fiesta Bowl prior to its 41-15 loss Saturday to Nebraska at Memorial Stadium. Its executive director, John Junker, saw the Wildcats for the second consecutive week. The Fiesta Bowl gets the Big 12 qualifier for the Bowl Championship Series unless that team finishes in the top two spots in the final BCS standings and advances to the Sugar Bowl.

    "You never know what teams you'll be watching," said Junker, "but with all the people they lost from last season, no, you couldn't have expected them to be 9-0 coming here. You know what, though? They're not building one team, they're building a program. That's what's exciting to me."

    The BCS shakedown is far from complete, which means K-State isn't out of the picture, even though it will likely fall from its No. 5 spot in those standings.

    In addition to the Fiesta Bowl, the Sugar and Orange bowls also were represented. The Orange, which passed on K-State as an at-large pick a year ago, could be the strongest BCS possibility still remaining for the Cats.

    "We look at all the what-ifs," said Orange Bowl president Edgar Jones Jr., "and I can tell you Kansas State is in it." Jones did express some concerns, however, when asked at halftime if a lopsided outcome against NU jeopardized the Cats' chances. He was not available after the game.

    Although K-State remains a possibility for a BCS game, one game outside that elite loop that looms as a strong possibility was also represented on Saturday.

    Cotton Bowl executive director Rick Baker said he realizes some K-State fans -- as well as some in the Wildcat football camp -- were upset the Cats were not invited to the Jan. 1 bowl in Dallas a year ago, but doesn't expect much fallout from that if the Cats are invited there this season to play a Southeastern Conference team.

    "Worried would be too strong a word. Is it something we think about, yes," Baker said. "But K-State fans are absolutely wonderful. Some teams treat it as a business trip, but K-State hasn't been spoiled."

    Unlike the 1997 Cotton Bowl, when K-State brought a record number of fans estimated at 45,000 to Dallas, Baker said the game doesn't need that kind of lift again. The SEC tie-in has allowed for the sale of more season tickets in the Dallas area.

    Of course, the Cats could still go to the BCS as the Big 12 champion if Nebraska loses to Colorado and K-State wins the conference championship in San Antonio on Dec. 4.

    Rheem's streak ends at 15

    One day after being named a finalist for the Groza Award, which recognizes the nation's top place-kicker, Kansas State junior Jamie Rheem missed his first field goal attempt against Nebraska.

    The Wichita junior lined up for a 40-yarder after the Wildcats produced a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, but the try was blocked by Nebraska's Kyle Vanden Bosch, his third block of the season.

    Rheem bounced back to drill a 35-yarder into the wind with 25 seconds left in the first half, drawing K-State within 24-9. However, the Huskers went on to block more K-State kicks, a pair of punts by Mike Ronsick. One resulted in a safety and the other set up a touchdown.

    "When you're 10 yards from the ball, like I was on the first one, it's not easy," Ronsick said. "All I could do is get it off as quick as I could. You feel really helpless sometimes, but you really shouldn't worry about stuff like that."

    Murphy hurt again

    The hard luck saga of K-State running back Frank Murphy continued. The swift senior went out with 4:30 showing in the third quarter when he re-injured the ankle that's been bother him. Murphy was solid in the second quarter when he gained 43 yards and finished with 51 on 10 carries.

    The setback came after a quick recovery from ankle surgery following an injury he suffered at Texas. Murphy's preseason time also was cut short by a broken foot he sustained during workouts last summer. K-State coach Bill Snyder said he didn't think the flare-up was too serious.

    K-State's leading rusher on the season, Joe Hall, got only three carries and gained 10 yards after David Allen drew the start at tailback.

    "We got ourselves backed into a corner," Snyder said of his reluctance to use Hall. "We could try to settle down and run the ball, and we did at the end of the half and there in instances in the second half, but by and large we had to throw the football if we were going to get back in the ballgame."

    Quick kicks

  • K-State will learn Monday whether its home game next week against Missouri will be televised. The most likely slot will be 11:30 a.m. on the Big 12 syndicated package.

  • The loss was the 16th in a row in Lincoln for Kansas State. Nebraska has scored at least 35 points in all of those games.

  • �In games played away from Manhattan, K-State stands 0-47 against Top 10 teams in the Associated Press poll.

  • �The entire midwest region, most of the Mountain Time Zone and all of the northeast section of the country received the game as part of ABC's regional coverage.

  • �K-State's string of games with an interception ended at 17.

  • Wide receiver Quincy Morgan logged his third 100-yard receiving game of the season with three catches for 116 yards.

  • The 46-yard TD carry by Nebraska's Dahrran Diedrick was the longest run against K-State this season. The previous best was a 35-yarder by Kansas quarterback Dylen Smith.

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