MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas State University (K-State) Wildcat football is practically a lock for the Sugar Bowl.

The Wildcats play Texas Christian University (TCU) in the Big 12 Championship this Saturday in Arlington, Texas. K-State is seemingly headed to the Sugar Bowl regardless of this weekend’s outcome.

If the ‘Cats win, they will be the automatic selection to the Sugar Bowl, per policy that the Big 12 Champion plays in that bowl game. If they lose, TCU will be a perfect 13-0 and likely get into the College Football Playoff (CFP). In this case, TCU would be the Big 12 Champion but unable to play in the Sugar Bowl. K-State would take its place.

“In the event the Big 12 Champion is displaced from the Sugar Bowl to participate in the College Football Playoff Semifinals, the championship game runner-up shall serve as the Sugar Bowl replacement team,” a spokesperson from the Big 12 Conference told 27 News.

TCU is ranked No. 3 in the CFP Rankings that came out Tuesday afternoon. Four teams get into the playoff. Therefore, the Horned Frogs are practically guaranteed a spot if they win on Saturday.

There are only two ways the Wildcats would not play in the Sugar Bowl. Both these avenues are nearly impossible:

  1. TCU wins the Big 12 Championship but does not get into the CFP. Given that the Horned Frogs are 12-0 and ranked third in the CFP’s latest rankings, this would be unheard of. TCU likely can’t fall out of the playoff if they win on Saturday.
  2. K-State wins and gets into the College Football Playoff itself. This is also incredibly unlikely. K-State is ranked No. 10 in Tuesday’s CFP rankings. The Wildcats would need to jump six teams to get a spot in the playoff. The selection committee would have to choose K-State over multiple teams which have just one loss for this to happen.

The Sugar Bowl will be played in New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 11 a.m. The game will take place in Caesars Superdome, the home of the New Orleans Saints. The Superdome also hosted last year’s NCAA basketball Final Four.

K-State will play a yet-to-be-determined SEC opponent in the game. The official announcement is expected on Sunday, Dec. 4.