MacThe Kansas City Chiefs put the finishing touches on what was a forgettable weekend for football fans in the state of Kansas, losing 19-13 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. KC has played a number of great games under the coaching of Andy Reid, but last Sunday wasn’t one of them.



Pittsburgh dominated KC at the line of scrimmage on offense and defense; it’s a wonder the score wasn’t much worse than it was. But that’s the way it goes in the NFL—when teams don’t play their best football, they walk off the field losers.



KC will have to quickly forget the Pittsburgh game and focus on their Thursday night game at Oakland (CBS TV). The Chiefs had many shortcomings last Sunday, but the worst of all was the inept tackling by the defense.



Kansas City will be, at worst, tied for first in the AFC West going into the Thursday night game. KC has played well against Oakland recently and the guess here is that the Chiefs will be ready to go Thursday.



From here on, the main thing for KC is being able to avoid any more serious injuries; that can decimate a team in a hurry.



Delusions of grandeur vanished as quickly as a late evening sunset for Kansas State’s football team following the 26-6 loss to unbeaten Texas Christian.



Dreams of a high national ranking and Big 12 championship are gone, but the realistic possibility of another bowl game remains. Kansas State has a 3-3 record and the Wildcats need six wins to qualify for a bowl game.



Before the TCU game, Coach Bill Snyder said, “At the outset of the season I think our players had a little bit of a misperception about how good they were. There was probably too much outside influence in regards to a playoff team, a conference championship team. We have to go back to what our premise is . . . it’s that 1-0 concept . . . it’s about today; let’s do all we can do today. Let’s be better today than we were yesterday.” That says it all.



K-State plays Oklahoma this Saturday (Oct. 21) at Snyder Family Stadium and the Sooners will be heavy favorites. Next up will be Kansas in Lawrence (Oct. 28) and that will be the fourth victory for the Wildcats.



After the KU game, K-State will likely have a 4-4 record with four remaining regular season games: a road trip to Texas Tech (Nov. 4), a home game against West Virginia (Nov. 11), a road game at Stillwater against Oklahoma State (Nov. 18), and the final regular season game with Iowa State at Snyder Family Stadium (Nov. 25).



The best chances for the two needed wins are the home games with West Virginia and Iowa State; however, all of the last four games will be challenging.



How much success K-State has in the second half of the season will depend greatly on whether or not QB Jesse Ertz can fully recover from his knee injury. Backup Alex Delton had a very rough game against TCU, but the blame wasn’t his alone.

At the halfway point of the season, the play of the offensive line hasn’t measured up to expectations; the OL’s run blocking and pass protection has been substandard.



The Wildcats’ defense has shown improvement and hasn’t been the main issue in K-State’s disappointing season; it’s the widely acclaimed offense that has been ineffective.



Misery loves company. Missouri’s move to the SEC and Nebraska’s switch to the Big Ten hasn’t helped their football recruiting. MU is 1-5 and lost to Georgia (53-28) last Saturday and Nebraska is 3-4 and lost (56-14) to Ohio State in Lincoln. So sad!



Kansas basketball fans don’t have long to wait until their favorite time of the academic year will be here. It promises to be a special season for the Jayhawks. Coach Bill Self and his 15th team at KU have many high goals for the season, but none would have a more far-reaching and lasting effect than becoming the first team in NCAA history to win 14 consecutive conference championships.



Kansas is currently tied with UCLA as the only teams to have won 13 straight league titles; if KU makes it 14 in a row this season, it will be a long, long time—or never—before that record is broken. The national media will be focused on the Big 12 race as never before because of the possibility of this improbable and incredible feat becoming a reality.



It won’t take long to find out where the 2017-18 Kansas team stands nationally; the Jayhawks play Kentucky in the Champions Classic on November 14 at the United Center in Chicago. What a great way to start the season.













Mac Stevenson writes a weekly sports column for over ten newspapers in Kansas. Reach Mac at (macsteve@cox.net) or 785-826-9200.