KSU-Nebraska set for Thursday night

The Big 12 will be showcased in conference play again after Kansas State announced its Oct. 7 home game against Nebraska will be a Thursday night game shown by ESPN.

That game will be part of a six-game 2010 home schedule for the Wildcats. All but one of the games will be against FBS foes.

The Wildcats' game against Iowa State has been pushed ahead to Sept. 18 and will be played again at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. And KSU will finish the season with a Nov. 27 road game at North Texas.

The schedule will feature seven teams coming off bowl appearances, including five visiting Manhattan for KSU home games.

And it should be more conducive to making a bowl trip. The Wildcats notched two victories over FCS opponents last season, but could count only one toward the six-win minimum for a bowl appearance. The 6-6 Wildcats missed a bowl trip by one game.

Taking care of that was among several priorities that KSU attempted to address with the schedule, KSU athletic director John Currie said.

"Generally, we have five primary goals in scheduling,” Currie said. “We want to have as many home games as possible, especially early in the season; have at least 11 FBS opponents each season; attempt to include an open date during the regular season and create opportunities to provide further exposure for our program and university on a national level.

"With this schedule, we feel we have accomplished these goals and are looking forward to a sold-out Bill Snyder Family Stadium in 2010.”

The Sept. 18 game against Iowa State will be the earliest conference game for KSU since the Wildcats kicked off the Big 12 with the inaugural game in conference history against Texas Tech in 1996.

The schedule also features a game against Central Florida, beginning a two-game, home-and-home schedule with the Golden Knights.

Here's a look at KSU's 2010 schedule

Sept. 4 UCLA
Sept. 11 Missouri State
Sept. 18 Iowa State (at Kansas City, Mo.)
Sept. 25 Central Florida
Oct. 7 Nebraska
Oct. 16 at Kansas
Oct. 23 at Baylor
Oct. 30 Oklahoma State
Nov. 6 Texas
Nov. 13 at Missouri
Nov. 20 at Colorado
Nov. 27 at North Texas

It's interesting for a number of reasons. The Wildcats will begin their two-game cross-division schedule with Texas this season. KSU has been the most successful North Division team against the Longhorns in the history of the Big 12 and will come into the upcoming game with a two-game winning streak and a 4-2 record against the Longhorns since 1996.

The KSU schedule starts with four of their first five games at home and finish with the final three games of the season on the road. That should help build confidence for a young team early in the season, but will test them mightily as the season finishes up.