It’s time for another K-State Q&A.
We’ve got lots of fun questions on tap this week, so let’s get right to them. Thanks, as always, for your participation.
That seems like a reasonable assumption.
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Two years ago, horrible weather descended upon Lawrence for a Sunflower Showdown involving two teams with a combined record of 4-17 (K-State was 4-6 and KU was 0-11) and I honestly wonder if this game will have fewer fans in attendance than that one. The weather forecast is clear, so that shouldn’t deter anyone from buying a ticket. But there just doesn’t seem to be much interest in this game. KU fans are already focused on basketball. K-State fans aren’t thrilled with how this season has gone. The Wildcats and Jayhawks enter with a combined record of 4-10.
All I can really say is, kudos to the fans that go.
K-State football before Bill Snyder vs. KU football after Mark Mangino is a very interesting debate.
While I agree with Snyder that no major college football program has been in worse overall shape than K-State was when he arrived, I also think the Jayhawks are currently playing every bit as bad as some of those throwback Wildcats teams. Advanced statistics indicate this is among the worst KU teams of all time. Its team from two years ago was every bit as terrible.
My hope is that 1988 K-State and 2015 KU would play to a scoreless tie with no overtime (it wouldn’t be fair to make a team from the 80s play by current rules), giving the Frank Beamer meme a run for its money.
That’s the most definitive answer I can provide at the moment. Bill Connelly’s excellent statistics website gives the Wildcats a 38 percent shot at going bowling, favoring them in only one of their remaining five games -- at KU. Next week’s trip to Texas Tech will probably provide the answer. It’s not the greatest matchup in the world for K-State, as it will be hard to keep up with the Red Raiders’ high-powered offense. But they have lost three of their last four, including a home beat down at the hands of Iowa State. With Oklahoma up next, another loss could send Kliff Kingsbury’s team on another second-half spiral.
If K-State takes advantage and wins its next two games, I think it reaches bowl eligibility and maybe even finishes 7-5. If K-State loses one of its next two, you’re looking at 5-7 or 6-6 more than 6-6 or 7-5.
K-State has never lost to West Virginia at home. So that’s a good sign for that game. K-State hasn’t beaten Oklahoma State in Stillwater since 1999. That’s a bad sign for that game. K-State has won nine straight over Iowa State, but the Cyclones are a new team under Matt Campbell. Not sure what to make of that game.
Here’s guessing K-State is once again bowl bound. But there isn’t much margin for error.
Kind of looks that way right now, doesn’t it?
Kansas State began the season ranked and dreaming of a Big 12 championship. Now it’s just hoping for a bowl. Meanwhile, Iowa State is now ranked with a road win over Oklahoma. They’ve switched places. Farmageddon should be fun at the end of the season.
Vanderbilt and Texas are the games that should bug K-State fans. Not the last two.
Oklahoma and TCU have a combined record of 13-1, and K-State played both with its backup quarterback. The Wildcats are arguably a better team now than they were before those games. We will see if that translates to better things down the road.
If Jesse Ertz is 100 percent healthy, which Bill Snyder says he anticipates K-State’s best quarterback being on Saturday, then the Wildcats should go ahead and start him. Limit his snaps, and make sure Alex Delton/Skylar Thompson are involved, but play him. If he’s perfectly healthy, there is no need to hold him out just because the opponent is bad. Playing against KU could help him shake off some rust and find his rhythm against Texas Tech.
But if Ertz is something like 70 or 80 percent healthy, and his knee legitimately requires more rest, then you sit him. Delton, or even Thompson, is good enough to win this game. The last thing you want to do is put a hobbled Ertz back in for this game.
Again, though, if he’s ready to go he should play.
The five-win part of your question depends on how many teams reach bowl eligibility. Ask me again in a few weeks.
If you read my Monday Rewind earlier this week, you already know I am less critical of Dana Dimel than most K-State fans. But I am still critical!
For the most part, I think it’s lazy to blame the offensive coordinator for every single bad play that happens on offense. Should Alex Barnes have seen more than six carries against Oklahoma? Yes, absolutely. Was the offense bad in the third quarter? You bet. Very bad. Was he way too predictable against TCU. Oh yeah. But I also think it is unfair to blame the offensive coordinator for a loss when the defense gives up 619 yards. I’m surprised there was so much anger over the offense punting three times in the second half against OU and so little anger for Tom Hayes insisting on using man coverage when the defense was getting torched. If not for a miracle interception from Denzel Goolsby and Lincoln Riley mercifully moving (an ailing) Baker Mayfield (off no practice) to receiver for a handful of plays, is that game even close?
But I digress ...
Let’s look at perhaps the most scrutinized play-call against Oklahoma: Alex Delton’s interception in the first half. You can watch it at about the 1:03:15 mark of the following video.
It came late in the second quarter on a first down from K-State’s own 30 with a 21-7 lead. The Wildcats had been murdering the Sooners on the ground, and Dimel decided to try and surprise them with a pass down field to Isaiah Zuber on a stop-and-go route. It’s hard to say whether this was a good decision or not, because the play was horribly executed. K-State lined up with Zuber spread left, two receivers spread right, a tight end on the right edge of the offensive line and a fullback in the backfield.
Those seven blockers were meant to give Zuber time to run his route and Delton time to get the ball to him, but it didn’t work out that way. Adam Holtorf, Tyler Mitchell and Winston Dimel ended up blocking the same OU defensive tackle, leaving a gap for a linebacker on a delayed blitz to pressure Delton. That forced Delton to throw the ball early, which was bad because he was locked onto Zuber, and OU defensive back Jordan Thomas wasn’t fooled in the slightest by his route.
The result: Interception.
FOX analyst Joel Klatt was critical of the call, describing it as a “highly questionable” for not even using a play-action fake. Maybe that would have helped. But K-State had been hurting OU with QB keepers. The Sooners should have been expecting run, regardless. And if K-State’s seven blockers adequately slow a five-man pass rush Delton has time to make a better throw, look to his check-down options or take off on a scramble.
Could a different play have worked better? Yes. But that play could have worked with proper execution. Who do you blame?
The NCAA passed a special rule a few years backs that specifically states K-State is not allowed to play press coverage. It’s called the Tom Hayes rule.
I like happy BoJack. Obviously, you have to hammer his character with bad luck for parts of each season, because his miserable-ness keeps the show going. His pessimistic views perfectly play off Mr. Peanut Butter and Princess Carolyn and Todd. But some of the best episodes come when he is happy.
My favorite scene in the entire series is when BoJack mistakenly thinks he has been nominated for an Oscar and Todd asks how he feels. A half naked, BoJack shakes off his hangover, throws on a pair of shades and declares that he feels “AWESOME.” Try not to laugh when he is excited about being a judge for Felicity Huffman’s Booty Academy: Los Angeles and is yelling at everyone on the way to work that they have been judged.
Of course, the episodes where he is miserable are really funny, too. So whatever.
Aliens propbably exist somewhere else in the universe, but I find it incredibly unlikely that we will ever encounter them.
I envision a small step forward.
Kamau Stokes and Barry Brown should form one of the better back courts in the Big 12, and they will have capable help off the bench from Brian Patrick, Cartier Diarra and Mike McGuirl. If Dean Wade and Xaver Sneed can both take a step forward, this team won’t miss Wesley Iwundu and D.J. Johnson.
The biggest thing going for K-State is the makeup of the Big 12. Iowa State and Oklahoma State will be down, and there should be quite a bit of parity after Kansas and West Virginia. Unlike recent years, there could be a few legitimately easy wins in the conference, which could push the Wildcats’ record above 20 wins and comfortably into the NCAA Tournament instead of on the dreaded bubble.
I think he summed it up best at K-State media day when he described himself as a potential glue guy.
He should be one of the team’s best guards off the bench, and maybe score 10-plus points every few games.
Probably depends on how long Gregg Marshall sticks around as Wichita State’s coach.
The Shockers have been the better team in recent years, and they just moved into a new conference. They are currently ranked in the top 10. K-State isn’t at that level.
But momentum can change dramatically in college basketball. Look at how quickly K-State began trending up when Michael Beasley arrived. Look at Missouri right now. A good recruiting class can mean a lot.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett