BOTC Focus Group: Week 2

The gang is back for Week 2, as me, mystman995, ksubailey, and Panjandrum tackle the most pressing issues of the day and argue about cities.  Enjoy, and remember, if you want to participate, email me at bringonthecats @ gmail.com

The questions!

1.  Attendance against North Texas was a little more than 45,000, and ksubailey is on record as being unimpressed by the crowd, both in numbers and enthusiasm.  Diagnose and offer a solution for the sub-par fan support.
 
2.  Montana State destroyed Division II Adams State and beat Colorado a couple years ago.  Let's use last week's scale again to measure your comfort level with this weekend's game: 1 means you are as uncomfortable as a Houston summer day, 10 means you are as comfortable as being asleep on a bed of feathers.
 
3.  Other than Texas A&M, what was your biggest surprise from Week 1 in the Big 12?
 
4.  It's an awful week of games in the Big 12, with Oklahoma State/Houston probably the "marquee" matchup.  What are you watching this weekend?
 
5.  In Week 1, we saw that Josh Freeman is pretty good, Brandon Banks is a nice surprise, and Lamark Brown could be pretty good.  What are you looking for this week?

TB:
1.  It's probably as simple as better play.  In this post from this summer, I noted that our highest attendance averages in the last 10 years have come following good seasons.  I have heard that the student ticket system this year is all jacked up, but until I get someone who will go on record describing it and their problems with it, I can't really do much to bring those issues to light.
 
For those who go to the games often (Panjan, ksubailey), is there something different about the atmosphere?  When I was there for the Colorado game last season, the atmosphere seemed pretty good, but it was strange not to be sitting in the student section.  Maybe I'm just getting old.
 
2.  I'm in the 9-10 range.  If we show up and play well, this game will be a breeze.  Montana State has some good athletes, but they're not deep enough to run with the Cats for four quarters.  Granted, we should be looking for a lot more than simply beating an FCS team, but the whole point of this is overall comfort level.
 
A note onmy answer last week, in which you probably noted a tinge of fear.  I'm notorious for expecting the worst, often fearing before a sporting contest or other big event that an unimaginably horrible result will occur.
 
3.  First of all, I don't really consider the Texas A&M debacle that big of a surprise, because I fully expect Mike Sherman to be Bill Callahan reanimated.  But that's another discussion.
 
My biggest surprise had to be Missouri's defense.  I didn't expect it to be great, or even surpassingly good, but I damn sure didn't expect them to allow Juice Williams to throw for 450 yards.  It's a good thing they have possibly the best offense I've ever seen, but that won't be enough if they can't stop anybody.
 
4.  First, I'm hoping to God I hear something about someone in Houston knowing where to watch the K-State game.  I am absolutely not willing to spend any more money on my TV package than I already do, so I won't get it at home.  A nearby sports bar may be my best bet.
 
Other than that, I'll probably watch that school down the river take on Louisiana Tech.  La Tech surprised Mississippi State last week, and KU was underwhelming against FIU.  Not predicting an upset, but I want to see that other school in Kansas in action.
 
5.  Better defense overall.  Reports indicate the tackling was average at best.  We didn't force a single turnover.  Man that's awful.  And on top of that, we only picked up two sacks against a pass-happy offense that surrendered more than three per game last season.  Six points was a nice final line, and even though it should have been zero (thanks to a backup QB's interception), the parts that went into that final number were less than impressive.

mystman995

1. Diagnosis: Boring ass games.
 
Possible Solutions: Discounted tickets for the cupcake games. Gameday incentives for those actually at the games. Playing teams that are actually worth watching. Free Parking on non-conference games against FCS teams. Halftime entertainment that doesn't include repeat performances from our marching band. Bring in teams from the past who have wronged us at one point to establish a nice little rivalry game. Create a new taco cannon to throw out Taco Bell tacos during TV timeouts. Create a new dance team to rival the Classy Cats and call them the Un-Classy Cats (I'll let you use your imagination on that one).
 
Whatever it is, make the "preseason" games worth going to. Living in Dallas, there is no way in hell you could persuade me to go to a game like U-La-La when I can make only one trip to Manhattan a year. Throw in more games like Auburn and then I'd have to think about heading up to Manhattan a little bit more often.
 
2. Division 2 is a close step away from high school football in Texas. Colorado was just plain awful that year. 9.
 
3. Colt McCoy rushing for 102 yards. I had to go back and check out his stats, about 450 yards total last year, but I had no idea he was capable of putting up Vince Young like numbers on the ground. I always thought of him as a fragile little white kid who should avoid being tackled. See 2006 KSU-UT game when he tried pushing through the pile in the red zone.
 
4. I'll be at the Counting Crows concert on Saturday. It's a good thing that there is no tv watchable games this weekend.
 
5. I'm looking for pretty much a repeat of last week with maybe the exception of the running game to be more effective against a FCS team. I'd also like to see a special teams/defensive touchdown. Oh and at least 50 points at the end of the game.

Panjandrum

1. On a serious note, I'd have to say creative ticket pricing.  Every ticket that goes unsold is a lost opportunity cost.  Why we aren't using a tiered pricing structure (i.e. seats in the upper deck and North Endzone cost less than one in the west side chair backs) is baffling to me.  I've sat in the top northeast corner of the upper deck, and it's not worth $35 bucks (at the very least).  Why there hasn't been a change in this regard is just stupid.

Also, to get the crowd going, we need to kill the 'Wildcat March'.  That flute-filled, piece of crap song drains the life out of the pre-game.  Kill that and fill the video board with video clips and music from the "300" soundtrack.

To answer TB's question, I don't know if it's an attitude change so much as it is sitting in a place other than the student section.  Back in the day, when we were winning eleven games a year, the ICAT section was a blast.  Everyone was 'Wabashing', we were helping folks crowd surf after touchdowns, and we screamed at the top of our lungs for no apparent reason.  Now, sitting in the East side expansion, I have to say that all of that has been replaced by sitting around families with little kids, trying to look around old guys that have trouble climbing the stairs (not their fault), and getting annoyed with tailgaters that decide to meander into the stands somewhere in the middle parts of the first and third quarters (blocking my view as they stumble up the stairs after a hastily chugged Busch Light).

I think winning will cure all, but the fact of the matter is that these games are just like NFL preseason games.  You usually don't have a lot to cheer for, and you only look for improvement and hope no one gets hurt.  Most folks are looking at the game analytically and not really cheering because there isn't much to play for yet.  I think it's always kind of been that way.  Things will most likely improve when Texas Tech rolls to town in October.

2.  Again, I'm going with a ten.  This won't even be a contest that's in doubt after the first five minutes.  With respect to your guest from Montana State, anyone who thinks we'll only score 31 against MSU is probably retarded.  After watching this team demolish UNT last week, MSU will be lucky to be down thirty-five at half.

Carson Coffman better be on his game this week because he's going to get a whole lot of snaps in the second half.

3. KU keeping Todd Reesing in the game all four quarters against FIU, and more importantly, seeing that he threw the ball fifty-two times to score 40 points.  I've been told, numerous times (by Jayhawks in the KC area), that the KU offense is nothing short of spectacular, and Todd Reesing is the greatest thing since Jessica Alba strapped on a pair of chaps in "Sin City".

I've seen a lot of mediocre football in the last five years, and I'll be honest, my 'crap football' alarm is flashing red lights and clanging loud bells at what's going in in Lawrence right now.  They'll be lucky to make it out of the next two weeks at 2-1.

4. I'm watching KU/La. Tech.  I honestly think that this is going to be much, much closer than folks think.  In fact, if things in Lawrence don't improve in a hurry, I'd be surprised to see KU win by more than ten.  They need to be able to rush the ball if they want to compete in this conference, and if they can't do it against FIU (who had the 105th ranked rush defense a year ago), they are going to get murdered in Big 12 play.

5. I want to see pressure being applied from the defensive line.  We know that our defensive backs are excellent, and we know that our linebackers can close, but we need that defensive line to step up and dominate a FCS offensive line.  Also, tackling in space needs to improve.  Granted, the defensive team speed will make up for a lot of the bad tackling, but there are teams on our schedule that will make us pay for that down the road.

mystman995: Ah yes, the Wildcat March, the biggest buzzkill in modern day sports. Nobody dances to it, nobody yells to it, get rid of it. John Philip Sousa was a genius, but he has no place in a college football pregame. Sure he specifically wrote this piece for K-State back in the Aggie days, but he also wrote plenty of other pieces for many other schools, mainly in Big 10/11 country(credit:wikipedia). Why couldn't this piece have been forgotten in the great fire of 1968?

TB: Agreed on Wildcat March.  It needs to be moved or done away with.  I always remember being extremely pumped up and loud...and then came a song to which I didn't know the words (if there are any) and really does nothing to pump anyone up.

Panjandrum: It's like if the worlds greatest sweater-maker made us a Christmas sweater sometime back in the early 1930's.

Sure, it's cool that someone that great made us a sweater, but it doesn't change the fact that it's still a dated, piece-of-shit sweater with candy canes and Christmas trees on it.

TB: Since Panjan was mentioning things KU doesn't do well, i.e. running the football, I thought I should bring up something they do very well, namely get in trouble.  Just saw this pop up on ESPN.com.

mystman995: The funny thing is that they have to take the orientation again next year. It's like being 20 and still in high school.

Panjandrum: Well, in the case of Darrell Arthur, that might not exactly be a bad thing.  He could use the help in math class.

What a couple of nimrods.

TB: I thought a visual representation of Panjan's comparison (Jessica Alba in chaps to KU's offense) was in order.  So let's see.
 
This...
  Reesing_medium
 
...is the greatest thing since this...
  Albachaps_medium

Yeah.  I doubt it, too.

 Panjandrum: To be fair, to most male KU fans, the sight of Todd Reesing in a football uniform generates the same kind of excitement that we feel when we see Jessica Alba in that particular ensemble.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Linebackers_medium

mystman995: Always a classic picture, but who in their right mind would do a picture like that? What was the goal of that photoshoot? Was the photographer secretly a K-State fan? Is this an authorized photo of KU athletics?

Panjandrum: The goal of that photo was simply to illustrate how fabulous Kansas Football is.

Cosmopolitans and Cher ... that's what KU Football is all about.

ksubailey:

1.  Ksubailey is going on record again and saying - it's just not like it used to be.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that it's still pre-conference play, and I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm not sitting in the student section anymore.  Yes, playing crappy teams early in the year isn't that exciting.  BUT, I have always said, if you want the team to care - you've gotta care.  Now, not later, is the time for the fans to show their support for this team.  If we wait until Texas Tech - we've wasted too much time.  They need to go back to practice the next week and remember that winning and playing well doesn't only matter to the team - it matters to 55,000 rabid fans.  We're sending the wrong message.  I'm sorry, I'm always preaching about how people need to care more.
 
2.  I'll say about an 8.  I don't ever think we should go in too comfortable.  The team needs to look at every opponent like they're in the top 10.  It will help them prepare better and play with a fire!  See - I have a theme for the week.
 
3.  I was surprised there wasn't more coverage of Mark Mangino's supposedly miraculous weight loss.  Honestly, I've been living under a rock (aside from going to the game Saturday) for about the last week and a half.  I really feel uniformed.
 
4.  I Love Money on VH1 really looks to be getting heated on Sunday night.  I'm looking forward to the start of the NFL season also.
 
5.  I want to see the ball in the hands of a running back a lot more, but it's not going to happen.   

TB: Some good ideas floating around there about the tickets.  I agree with Panjan that it's ludicrous to charge the same price for a ticket in the eastside upper deck as a sideline seat in the bowl.
 
And bailey's right, too.  Just look at the interview with Jonathan Beasley.  It was the crowd's fire that played into the team wanting to lay it all on the line.  We really need to get some fire back in the crowd...soon.

TB: Oh and bailey, here are my thoughts on the start of the NFL season...

Snooze_medium

Panjandrum: What's the NFL?

I vaguely remember something called the "NFL" here in Kansas City a long time ago, but I think they left town with [insert hockey team name here].

ksubailey: You may think snooze... unless you're a Cowboys fan!

mystman995: Since we are being visual today.....

Dallascheerleader_medium

Panjandrum:

Kucheerleader_medium

mystman995: Well it looks like their basketball team isn't like their football team. They actually had WOMEN in their rooms....

TB: ksubailey, actually when I think about "America's Thugs," I usually start twitching and get the urge to break something.  Which is something mystman probably understands, being forced to live in that city.

mystman995: Since when is the Bengals America's team.........oo you meant....damn Tank Johnson and Pac Man....who cares I'm a Bears fan....

ksubailey: Tank and Adam are turning their lives around.  Everyone deserves a second chance.  After watching "Hard Knocks" on HBO last night - I'm certainly not worried about Pac.  He's being mentored by Deion Sanders.

TB: Deion Sanders definitely sets the standard NFL players as role models.  Sorry, ksubailey, living down here in Houston, it's entirely too easy to hate the Cowboys.

Panjandrum: Wait, does this mean that Pacman is going to release a horrible hip-hop album as well?

Deion Sanders - Must Be The Money (via FrankCynadra)


TB: It's "Adam," Panjan, not "Pacman."  C'mon, the guy's trying to rehab his image, and you're just continuing to run him down.

ksubailey: Well, I guess I forgot what a strong fan-base and tradition the Texans had.  AND - I happen to own that album and I like it!  (Okay, that's actually a lie.)

Panjandrum: What's wrong with supporting single mothers and struggling med students by 'making it rain'?

With a little creative accounting, it can be a tax write-off.

mystman995: I'd like to make it rain one day...

ksubailey: Okay, can we just get back to hating KU?  Something we can all agree on.

Panjandrum: I don't know.  I kind of like where this is going.

I think they should start a 'Pacman' fund for dancers in the Dallas area.  If he's not going to the clubs anymore, student loans may go unpaid.  If those go unpaid, banks may forfeit.  If banks forfeit, the economy will continue to downturn into a spiraling depression.

Adam, be a patriot, and do your civic duty; make it rain.

TB: As an aspiring attorney, I would advise you not to attempt writing off "contributions" to "single mothers" on your income taxes.  The IRS can get kind of nasty about those things.
 
mystman, for now you should just make it hail.  You know, go to the club and start throwing coins around.

mystman995: I have to agree with you on this one. If certain 'people' aren't getting paid, it means there's less money to go around in the Dallas economy. This can ultimitely lead to drops in property values, less work available, and turn into a dirty city that noboby wants to go to. You know, like Houston.

mystman995: well that's just not very Pacmanesque.

TB: Houston population: 2.2 million
Dallas population: 1.2 million

TB: The Texans suck and I hate them.  But I always, always, always will hate Dallas.  And the Cowboys.  It's science.

ksubailey: You can thank Hurricane Katrina for that extra million.  And - you must have lived in Texas a little too long, TB...bigger isn't always better.

ksubailey: I'm just a woman with a small brain.  A brain a third the size of yours.

mystman995: Quality, not quantity my friend.

TB: I hate Texas.  I love Houston.  And Katrina actually only gave us about 150,000 permanent residents.
 
Well, I shouldn't say only.  Houston made it quite clear as Gustav approached that Louisiana refugees were not welcome.

mystman995: Sounds like Houston is full of a bunch of jerks. Oil-backed, non-sympathetic, non-Dallas loving jerks.

TB: While Dallas is full of arrogant $25,000-a-year millionaires.

mystman995: We prefer the term 'yuppie' thank you very much. No wait, those are only the SMU kids.....

I don't know about 25k. According to a survey I made up for this roundtable, graduates of community colleges make an average starting salary of $31,459. So it's more like the $32,000 Millionaires.

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