This week's focus group is a little shorter than the past couple of weeks. TB, while still contributing, is a little preoccupied with the gulf-sized hurricane making a beeline towards the greater Houston area, so his pithy dialogue is unusually sparse.
However, mystman995 and ksubailey do a great job of sharing their thoughts on this young season (as always), and everyone shares how they feel about the slimming power of black Nike polo-shirts.
As always, if you're interested in participating in these focus groups, go ahead and shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com.
1. After two games have been played, and a bye weekend is upon us, it's time to reflect on what we've seen thus far. As of right now, what has been your biggest (pleasant) surprise of the season?
2. Along those same lines, what has been your biggest disappointment?
3. Going into this year, a lot of people were on the fence about this team and what they would accomplish. Have you adjusted your expectations at all given how the team has looked after thrashing North Texas and Montana State?
4. After observing the Big 12 for two weeks now, is there one game that you thought K-State would lose before the season, but now you think they have a good shot at winning?
5. Off-topic question: The coaches have been wearing black shirts and pants during the games. Some folks care, some folks don't, but does it matter to you?
1. I'd have to say the improved offensive play-calling. We always knew that Freeman had a big arm, but no one ever really knew about it because he was forced to throw short routes all day long. I'd have to say that my biggest surprise so far is how much better the entire offense looks (execution in the running game aside).
2. Obviously, it was the inability of the offensive line to establish good holes against Montana State. During the North Texas game, there were multiple holes open for Valentine and Dold to choose from. During the Montana State game, it seemed like the only time K-State gained yards is when Freeman kept the ball himself, or they ran some form of reverse. This HAS to get better if the Wildcats want to beat Louisville and win some games in conference play.
3. Before the year, I was pretty sure this team would go 6-6 and, maybe, 7-5 with the schedule they have. However, after seeing how good the offense could be, I think there is a chance for them to win eight or nine games IF the stars align properly.
4. I thought that the team had a decent shot at beating Texas A&M this year, but now, I'm pretty much sure of it. The Aggies look absolutely horrible. I also have to think, with as much as they've seemingly struggled these past two weeks, that KSU has a legit shot of beating Texas Tech in Manhattan. I think this defense was built to handle the spread, and if Harrell is slumping when he comes to Manhattan, Freeman will pick their defense apart.
5. I like the black polo shirts, and I want one myself. They look slimming.
Here I go, before things start to get really wild down here...
1. I'm still going with Josh Freeman. Yes, everyone talked about how he was the most improved player on the team and all that, but even at that he has been impressive. I realize we've played less than nobody so far, but he just looks good playing the game right now. Uh oh, now I'm starting to sound like Ron Prince, acting like Freeman is my golden god.
2. Tackling. My goodness the defense really did not look good against Montana State. Yes, they held them to less than 200 yards. That's good. But we've missed so many first tackles I'm concerned. Form tackling needs to be a key point of emphasis in the next (almost) week as we get ready for Louisville.
3. I'm trying not to. And I was disappointed by some of the questions asked in Tim Griffin's mailbag this week
. Folks, we are not going to get recognition, nor should we, until we play a decent team. North Texas is not decent. Montana State, on the FBS level, is not decent. We still have a lot to prove, and nobody, Josh Freeman included, is going to be on anyone's hot list until we/they prove it against a good team. If we play well and beat Louisville soundly, we'll start getting some recognition. If we beat Texas Tech, we'll get a lot of recognition. But we have to be patient.
4. I always thought we could win at College Station because I didn't think Texas A&M would be very good. But we've been so snakebitten in that stadium and against that team that I just couldn't call it. But it turns out A&M is just God-awful. We really need to pick that one up. Yes, it's a big stadium. Yes, it's loud. But the team on the field is not as good as our team. We must win there.
5. I've never been one of the hardliners on the "black issue." I know our school colors are purple and white (or silver or gray or whatever), but I love-love-love the look of purple on black. Now I do wish the polos had some purple on them, but I still think they look really good.
As far as getting one for the "slimming" effect, I'm one of those people who has to wear horizontal stripes. I'm leaving it at that.
1. I am pleasantly surprised with the amount of points put on the scoreboard. In recent years there haven't been as convincing victories against teams we would have normally blown away (insert your Ike and Tina joke here). Remember the 24-23 escaping of Illinois State two years back?
2. Television exposure......what? I'm just pissed I haven't been able to see the Cat's yet this year. It's hard to get a good read of the team by looking at a box score and a minimal summary from the AP.
3. The convincing victories definitely gotten my hopes up - to see what the team CAN do. But until I see what they WILL do against a reputable team, my expectations stay the same.
4. A&M for obvious and previously stated opinions. But the two teams that might be more winnable now could be Tech and KU. They both don't look as strong as their preseason hype. I think Tech will resolve back to the solid team they seem to bring every year. And as for KU, until the Friday night game comes, I still think they don't deserve to be in the top 25. They are still only 1-1 against top-25 talent teams since the start of last season.
5. Haven't really seen any pictures of this new look other than a top shot of RP. I have to say RP is looking slightly slimmer, but I have never been able to stand the look of a white powercat. Purple is the only color the powercat should sport.
Mangino in black is just plain silly.
I have to be honest; my favorite K-State t-shirt (of which I have many) is black with a silver PowerCat. It looks pretty fly.
So, to a man, we all agree that Texas A&M is an abomination of a football team.
Congratulations, Mike Sherman, way to kill all of that tradition in less than a year on the job. You've managed to make a mess of things even worse than Bill Callahan did, and that's saying something.
1. I've been surprised with the same things - Freeman, and the amount of points we've been able to put up. I am, in no way, comparing this team to the 2002 and 2003 teams - but it does remind me of the early games in those seasons. Freeman is finally backing up his hype. I'm sure you all caught the FSN K-State Football Preview where Josh does this corny little speech about how he'd rather "get out on the field and prove it." That pissed me off so much when he said it because I haven't seen him proving it (except against Texas) for the last 2 seasons. Anyway, let's just say - if I saw him in the mall tomorrow I wouldn't glare they way I would have 3 weeks ago. I'm sorry, but he is usually frustrating me.
2. I would like to see more sacks and tackles for a loss in these kinds of games. Our opponents are keeping up with us in that category. Not cool.
3. Yes, I was one of those 5-7 people in the beginning. Looking at the team after game two, I will be very disappointed if we don't go bowling. Now, it's my own personal form of heart-break defense to stay negative when it comes to K-State - but I'm thinking more along the lines of 6... maybe 7 wins. It really isn't a question of this team physical capabilities. It's a matter of keeping their heads in it when the going gets tough. Last year, they crumbled.
4. Well, obviously when it's narrowed down to Big 12 - you've gotta say A&M. Outside the Big 12, I thought there was a very slim margin that we could go to Louisville and keep up. Now, I feel like we can dominate that game if we go out and play like we can.
5. I can't say it's bothered me. Ron was looking a little tubby last year, so whatever helps. KU can keep the fattest coach trophy. However, I don't want this to encourage fans to wear anything but purple to a game. I am definitely one of those people that hates to see gray, white, or black worn to any K-State game. If it's a blackout - I'll let it slide. We only have one official color and I think the fans need to respect that. And - if it's cold, get a purple coat! If it's rainy - get a purple poncho! If you can't afford to have a purple version of everything Hobby Lobby sells fabric dye. Purple up whatever you need to.
Let the games begin!
I hear you on the purple. People need to "man-up" and just wear the color with pride.
But the thing that pisses the hell out of me is this shit:
I hope the jackass who decided to make everything pink rots in hell.
Sorry, this is the shit I REALLY can't stand:
Since when did football get so damn girly? If the only reason you get your girlfriend to watch football is to buy her a pink jersey, you need to find a different girlfriend.
I would accept this t-shirt for events like: going to class, going to Aggieville (not on gameday) or something like that. It should never leave the closet on gameday - not even for an away game that you're watching on TV. People who wear this on gameday say to me "I have more pride in my personal appearance than I have pride in our school."
The pink jersey is disgusting. I'm glad K-State hasn't made one of those... yet.
You know, if the proceeds from that shirt went to fight breast cancer, I'm okay with it.
Otherwise, rotting in Hell is appropriate.
Personally, going back to the black theme, I'm for a shirt that spells out "Kansas State" with sparkle bead things.