BOTC Focus Group Is Back!

Sorry for the interruption in the Focus Group last week.  It got thrown off track by a little thing called "Ron Prince's firing and subsequent incredibly awkward press conference."  I suppose I could have posted it, but I didn't think that two responses, followed by a tagline like "Four hours and one football coach later..." would work very well.

Anyway, we're back this week, telling stories at the funeral of the K-State/Nebraska rivalry, wondering if Gary Pinkel is hormonally imbalanced, and enumerating what makes K-State great.

The questions!

1.  At least for the time being, the once-great K-State/Nebraska rivalry is dead.  Give us your favorite memory of past matchups with the corn.
 
2.  Basketball season started, sort of, with Sunday's 81-57 exhibition win over Washburn.  What are your expectations for Frank Martin's squad this season?
 
3.  It's a terrible weekend of football, not only in the Big 12, but nationally, too.  Is there any game you're looking forward to, or are you going pheasant hunting like EMAW?
 
4.  Gary Pinkel is a little pissy about how the game in Columbia ended on Saturday.  Your thoughts?
 
5.  To take our minds off the frustration, and in keeping with the athletic department's marketing campaign this year: What is your K-State?

TB:

1.  My favorite moment had to be the 2003 game in Lincoln.  It was supposed to be a huge matchup between two teams fighting for the right to play OU in Kansas City.  It turned into a blowout that caused a post-game meltdown by Nebraska's current coach.  Watching mystman almost get in a fight with an 80-year-old was also pretty entertaining.  Singing the fight song and Wabashing in a nearly empty stadium when it was all said and done topped it all off.
 
2.  I'll get into this a little more in the post we are working on for tomorrow, but I think we're going to be better than some people think.  Not that I'm predicting even another NCAA appearance, but I think we'll be a bubble team.  I really, really like the addition of Denis Clemente to the backcourt, and Jacob Pullen should make some big strides this season.  If we can get some scoring punch down low, I think we can have a very solid season, and look forward to a big year with this year's players and the 2009 recruits.
 
3.  I think I'm actually going to see the Houston/Tulsa game on Saturday night.  So that's mostly what I'm looking forward to.  Also, I'll probably watch UT/KU in the morning, just to see if the officials do anything that may cause Mark Mangino to have a fit after the game.
 
4.  I understand that Pinkel was trying to be a nice guy, but to paraphrase Dan Hawkins, this is Big 12 football.  I expect no quarter from conference coaches -- although I appreciated it when Bob Stoops backed off this year -- and this game was no different.  I'm not really sure what Pinkel was worried about.  Banks scored on a 93-yard run with 1:11 left to make the game 41-17.  Was it really in danger, Pinkel?  Was our offense really going to score 24 points in a little more than a minute?  So we recovered an onside kick, and then scored with our backup QB in the game, with 0:22 left.  Given that it was your Senior Day, I'm sure you wanted to get some guys in the game, but even with backups in, did you think we were going to catch you given the margin of the game?  C'mon.
 
5.  My K-State is a lot of things.  It's Saturdays at Bill's House.  It's Saturday night in Aggieville with your friends.  It's Saturday night at a house party with your friends.  It's between-class lunches in Aggieville.  It's frigid winter days inside Bramlage, and driving there with six people in your Honda Accord and one guy in the trunk.  It's beautiful fall days at Colbert Hills and Manhattan Country Club.  It's a pitcher of beer during a class break at the K-State Union.  It's getting yelled at by Ian Campbell for running your mouth a little too much in an intramural basketball game.  It's classroom arguments over politics and law.  In short, it's exactly what college should be.

EMAW:

1. Any win over Nebraska is a great day in my book. One that specifically sticks out is the 2000 matchup in the snow. I was a senior in high school and actually was in the school play that night. I kept running back to the dressing room to listen to the game on the radio in between my scenes. I heard the end of the game and started going nuts. Until that point, I don't think I had an adrenaline rush quite like that by listening to a game on the radio.
 
2. I am looking forward to seeing this team play, just because it should be a total team effort compared to the Beasley show last year. I expect us to run the table in our home non-cons, and get at least one against either Oregon, Kentucky, or Iowa/West Virginia. I feel good about getting an NCAA birth, but I expect us to at least get in the NIT. I know there will be plenty of growing pains, but I can live with those as long as there is improvement. I think it's a safe bet Frank will drop plenty-o-F-bombs, too.
 
3. Even though I'll be out of town and will be otherwise pre-occupied, I'm still holding out hope we can make a good appearance against the Huskers. A win is not impossible, and I'm not one of those who is hoping we lose in order to justify the Prince firing. Other than KSU/Nebraska, I'll just be checking scores on Sunday.
 
4. I'm sorry Gary feels that way, but, seriously? The game is played for 60 minutes. Not 55, not 50...60 minutes. If he felt so confident in the lead that he could pass up easy points, then so be it. But, don't get upset at a coach who is still trying to win the damn game. I was impressed with the move. It showed Prince still had some fight left, and he wasn't going down without at least trying to win.
 
5. My K-State is fall days tailgating, with burgers, brats, beers and summerbrew. It's warm spring days walking by Hale Library and the purple and white. It's a legacy of pride and not being ashamed to say "I went to K-State". Most of all, it's great memories, and (hopefully) a promising future.
 
Bring Gary Home!!!!

mystman995:

1. Um…ditto what TB said.
 
2. I think we're going to have a season like 2006. We're not going to put up as many conference wins, but may be a good chance of sneaking in as a bubble team. We lost our two best players, but we're definitely never going to be as bad as Colorado. Stupid hippies….
 
3. Well my anti-Nebraska side thinks: Screw the rest of the games this weekend – I'm ordering PAY-PER-VIEW BABY! This time Freeman will throw for 600 yards on them! Bo is going to wish he would have destroyed those blackshirts! He's going to throw another fit!
 
My realistic side thinks:  Hmm….I think there's a Belgium beer tasting event at the Gingerman this Saturday……
4. I've got only one thing to say about that – what a weiner. What the hell is he complaining about? Both teams did the right thing. Missouri didn't rub it in by not adding extra points. Prince did what ALL coaches do when they're down and there's only a minute left – onside that bad-boy. This is a complete non-issue.
 
5. My K-State is long hours in studio, frequent needed trips to the Cat's Den, anything and everything that is Aggieville, chanting K-S-U at the top of my lungs after Willie drills the other team's mascot, (this list may never end....), lifelong friends, and oh did I mention long hours in studio and Aggieville?

EMAW: I'm interested to hear a little more about your encounter with Ian Campbell during intramural basketball. Let me guess, you drained a three and held your release up in the air while you backpedaled down the court yelling, "Oh, I am just FEELING it. You can't stop me, you can't stop me. C'mon Soup, where's your thick and chunky, now?"
 
Well, that's the image that first popped in my mind...

ksubailey:

1.  I agree, the 2003 game was awesome.  I wasn't at the game, but I
had a great group of people around me back in Manhattan.  It was
probably the most fun I've ever had watching a football game, and
that's saying something.  Afterwards, we charged the streets of
Aggieville and then walked (because driving would have been illegal at
that point... who am I kidding, drinking was illegal - I was 19) over
to Ahern to watch the volleyball team win a Big 12 Championship.  It
was a great day to be a Wildcat.

2.  I expect the team to struggle a little bit, especially when we get
into conference play.  We are still quite inexperienced this year, and
we will be lacking a big man to provide defensive stops.  There will
be moments of brilliance and moments where I want to bang my head into
a wall.  However, I am really looking forward to basketball season.  I
know Frank isn't going to feed me any BS, and I trust that he is
building a good program.  And, there will be F-bombs.  Frank was
already pissed off at the students last week for not showing up for
the exhibition game.  I love his fire!  Not that I made it up there
for the exhibition game either.

3.  Florida A&M vs. K-State, Southeast Missouri State vs. K-State.
I'm just really excited to be back in Bramlage for some Wildcat
Basketball!

4.  Someone needs to call the whambulance.  You won.  You're winning
the north.  Call me when you get some real problems if you want to
complain, Gary.

5.  My K-State is 6 a.m. tailgates, playing washers with a cup of beer
in one hand, seeing President Wefald stop on his way to work to pick
up a piece of trash, casual Thursdays, working in Anderson Hall and
hearing the chimes play "Alma Mater", finding best friends on your
dorm floor, beer towers at Kites, sitting at the dinner table for two
hours just talking to friends, storming the court/field, smiling at
random people as you pass them on the sidewalk just because you're
happy to be a K-Stater, owning 10 pairs of purple gameday underwear,
bawling uncontrollably because you don't want to graduate, sharing a
small room with five other people and absolutely loving it.

TB: F-bombs.  Lots of f-bombs.  Wonder if Bob Lutz will write a column about Frank's language again this year if he calls another player a "motherfucker."

mystman995: Damn it TB, there could be kids reading this blog! How dare you!

ksubailey: I think Lutz wrote the 2008-2009 f-bomb article in the off-season, and
he's been holding it.

TB: Oh, sorry kids.  I meant "mofo."

Panjandrum:

1. During my first year at KSU (2000), I attended the KSU/NU game at "The Bill".  Man, what a finish.  I remember seeing Quincy catch that slip screen across the middle from Beasley for the game winning touchdown.  I vividly remember doing the "K-S-U" chant while Willie spelled out the letters on top of the press box, and I remember standing under the North goalpost while we tried to tear it down.  If I recall correctly, we only got one of the uprights down because they were the non-breakable goalposts.

2. For the season, I'd like to see 20 wins (because the non-con is so easy), and I'd like to see a winning record in the Big 12.  A trip to the NIT would be good; a trip to the NCAA tournament would be gravy.

3. I'm headed to the KSU/NU game, so, I'll probably just watch that.  I'm just more interested in continuing to follow the coaching search that apparently hasn't started yet.

4. I'm surprised that Pinkel is upset.  What was KSU supposed to do?  Stop trying because MU did?  What in the Hell is the difference between a 31 point victory and a 17 point victory?  Unless Gary was betting on the game, or he had friends who did, who cares if we tried to score?  Much ado about nothing.

5. That's a good question.  I honestly don't know.  I've always believed in the adage that you don't choose who you love; it chooses you.  So, in this case, I never went to KSU expecting to really love the university, or feel the kind of bond that I do with the city of Manhattan.  But I do.  So, I guess my K-State is feeling that unconditional loyalty to a place that has given me a a lot of great memories, and a lot of opportunities personally and professionally.

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