Campus Corner

K-State Q&A: Bracketology, football and Big 12 teams as video game consoles

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Thanks, as always, for your participation. Lots of great topics to get to this week, so let’s dive right in.

This question is in response to Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology update at ESPN, which has K-State in the field as a No. 11 seed (in Wichita!) but below Big 12 teams it has beaten this season.

A wretched nonconference schedule is the main reason why.

It will stop “killing the Cats” when the postseason begins and things like schedule strength no longer matter. Until then it will hurt K-State. Remember, its nonconference schedule ranks near the bottom of college basketball, checking in at No. 342 (out of 351) nationally, per the latest RPI numbers.

TCU played the nation’s 69th hardest noncon schedule, and Texas ranks 85th in that category. The selection committee isn’t supposed to look at conference record, so bracket experts think those teams have stronger resumes than K-State. The Wildcats will need to do much more than other teams to convince doubters they belong. Beating Texas Tech on Saturday would be a good place to start.

On average, Bruce Weber will win 20 games and go about .500 in conference play. His best seasons are really good. His worst seasons aren’t so good. You’re right. That’s been established.

If you’re looking for reasons to be more optimistic at this moment, the schedule is about to open for the Wildcats. They haven’t figured out how to beat Kansas, Texas Tech or West Virginia (0-5 so far) but they have mastered beating everyone else in the conference (6-0 so far). Texas Tech is up next. After that, it’s six straight games against teams they have already defeated.

Fourth place is within reach. Can they pull it off like the Flint Tropics?

Texas Tech is playing really well, and that game will be hard. But you’re right. K-State could go on another winning streak. As mentioned above, all of its conference losses have come against Kansas, West Virginia and Tech. It is undefeated against the rest of the conference.

If that happens, and K-State can get to 10-5 in Big 12 play, it would move off the bubble and be looking at a 6-8 seed in the NCAA Tournament, depending on how it finished the regular season.

If this K-State basketball team has taught us anything it’s that it is unpredictable.

Could the Wildcats win their next three games? Absolutely.

Could the Wildcats lose their next three games? Same answer.

It really depends on the opponent. When K-State plays teams that use bad man defense, like Oklahoma and Iowa State, or bad zone defense, like Baylor, it is going to score. Give Dean Wade a bad matchup, and he is going to exploit. Same with Barry Brown.

But the good defensive teams, especially the ones that can mix in zone, have been a problem. That’s why the Texas win was so important. The Longhorns have good rim protectors and play defense, yet the Wildcats found a way to win.

Great question! Last week, we had the BoJack Horseman comparisons. Now, video games. It’s a golden age for K-State Q&A.

Let’s go by the current Big 12 standings:

Kansas = Playstation 2. Someone started a KU dynasty back when EA Sports still pumped out college sports games and has had the Jayhawks on a Big 12 championship roll ever since.

Texas Tech = XBOX. The Red Raiders have never been very good at basketball or even looked to try all that hard at the sport, compared to football. But it arrived on the scene this year like Microsoft and its first home console.

West Virginia = Nintendo 64. Classic games that never go out of style like West Virginia’s press. But the system is hard to maintain. Losing streaks happen, you just have to be ready to take out the cartridge and blow the dust off until it works again.

Kansas State = Sega Dreamcast. A huge improvement over the Sega Saturn and (on paper) a better gaming system than anything else on the market when it was released. Crazy Taxi was fun! But many gaming fans preferred the older Nintendo 64 and the Dreamcast could never figure out a way to beat the Playstation 2, the XBOX or the Gamecube.

Oklahoma = Wii. The first few times you play the sports game it seems like the greatest thing ever invented. It feels like you’re actually at the bowling alley and the golf course. Your character looks exactly like you. How great is this? Then, after time goes by, you realize it’s a one-trick pony and the graphics are lacking. There are better systems out there. Reminds me of Trae Young and the Sooners.

Texas = Playstation 3. Bet you can’t watch Blu-Ray discs on your gaming system.

TCU = Super Nintendo. The classic Nintendo is more fondly remembered, but Mario is all by himself on that system. He gets to ride a dinosaur on SNES.

Baylor = Sega Genesis. Sonic the Hedgehog is fun, and you can play Mortal Kombat while you’re friends with the Super Nintendo have to settle for Street Fighter. But, admit it, if you had your choice, you would rather have the SNES.

Oklahoma State = Nintendo Gamecube. The Cowboys had it good with Brad Underwood, but were unable to keep him in Stillwater. They’ve moved on with a decent team that can be fun to watch and win at Kansas, but ultimately disappoints like the tiny discs and weird games that came along with this system.

Iowa State = Nintendo. Hilton Coliseum makes me think of the old NES for some reason. Classic system with games that will never go out of style, but sometimes you want new.

Yes, and they will beat Northwestern, Davidson, Weber State and New Hampshire in the Elite Eight.

Gene Taylor probably has the most longevity.

Jeff Mittie seems happy here and he’s done a nice job. He’s next.

You can probably lump Bruce Weber, Suzie Fritz and Brad Hill together. All three coaches have won big and had their struggles.

We probably have to end with Bill Snyder. He openly flirts with retirement every year. No idea when he decides to actually stop coaching, but, at the age of 78, it will happen sooner than later.

I still expect K-State to announce Blake Seiler as the new defensive coordinator at some point, but I have no idea when that will be. I mean, Snyder still hasn’t even publicly announced that Tom Hayes retired.

It’s possible Snyder could give the new defensive backs coach the title of co-defensive coordinator along with Seiler, but Seiler will get a promotion.

Best Olympic sport to watch? That’s a good question. Sadly, I don’t find any of them all that interesting. Watched some last night and gave up after a few minutes. The trick skiing/snowboarding can be fun, but you see that all the time with the winter X-Games. Hockey is cool, but there’s the NHL. Curling is fun for a few minutes, and then gets really boring.

I would rather watch Cool Runnings.

I think Skylar Thompson will ultimately be the guy, but Alex Delton isn’t going down without a fight.

A lot may depend on what Andre Coleman expects out of the position, as opposed to the old regime.

Spring ball will be fascinating.

I expect big things out of Hunter Rison. If the Michigan State transfer counts as a member this recruiting class, I’m going with him. He was a contributor as a freshman at Michigan State and his father was great in the NFL.

The failed Carlos Strickland experiment gives me some pause here, but I think Rison is better equipped to take advantage of his redshirt season and contribute right away in 2019.

Hard to say who will turn out to be a steal. You never know. My guess: Ekow Boye-Doe. The Lawrence corner seems like a hard worker and has some talent, the type of in-state combination that tends to work well for the Wildcats.

Bruce Weber talks at news conference after Texas win on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett