BOTC Focus Group: Still Searching

We're back, and I'm late again this week.  The basketball outlook is getting less rosy by the day, but here's hoping we can pull out a win Saturday in Lincoln.  Feel free to make your thoughts known in the comments.

1.  On a scale of 1-10, how important is this weekend's game against Nebraska?
 
2.  Rank the Big 12 men's basketball teams as of right now.
 
3.  Sam Bradford is coming back for his senior year.  Your thoughts on this decision's effect on Big 12 football next season.
 
4.  The NBAF Lab is coming to Manhattan.  What effect will this have on K-State in the coming years?
 
5.  Bryce Brown is now the top-ranked recruit in the country.  What are the odds he chooses K-State?

mystman995: I'm back!
 
1. I'd put it up there around 9 or 10. If we don't win this one, a lot of confidence will be lost and I'm not sure if we'll be able to win another road game all year. Plus I think 8 conference wins are out of the question if we don't sweep the lowly north opponents.
 
2. Hmm. Tough one – here goes:
1. Oklahoma
2. Texas
3. Kansas
4. Oklahoma State
5. Baylor
6. Texas A&M
7. Missouri
8. Iowa State
9. Nebraska
10. K-State
11. Texas Tech
12. Colorado
I can't justify putting K-State any  higher than we are since we still have yet to beat anything that resembles a Big 12 team yet. I'm still not sold on Okie State yet, and to be honest – Iowa State scares me. Colorado sucks donkey dick.
 
3. Found a somewhat entertaining post on Corn Nation about the Holy Trinity of college football (Tebow, McCoy, and Bradford) and I think corn blight nailed it perfectly. The return of Bradford is going to give more fits to the average football fan having to watch the over-hype-machine that is ESPN than opposing teams. Bradford rocked it as a freshman. He rocked it as a sophomore. He'll rock it again next year and won't quit until he has a national championship or a college degree. Bradford or no Bradford, K-State still loses to Oklahoma next year in Norman.
 
4. I think it's good and bad. Good for the money, attention, and the state of Kansas – for the obvious reasons. The one thing I really don't want this to happen is for the character of Manhattan. Why do we all love Manhattan so much? It's small town feeling! While I know this isn't going to turn Manhattan into a new trendy city to live in, it'll increase the amount of outsiders who probably won't give a hoot about K-State. According to a survey I made up for this focus group, 98.657% of the population in Manhattan bleed purple. Is Manhattan going to feel the same when that number changes to 72.167% in 2015?
 
I'm only slightly exaggerating……
 
5. Chances are slim. I'm not going to lose any sleep between now and when he signs but I will offer one piece of advice to Bryce: Look at the Michael Beasley effect. We will love you. You will be a god to the city of Manhattan. You will be a top-5 in the NFL draft when that day comes around. What more do you want? (Junction City is just down the road......)

ksubailey:

1.  8.  It would be devastating to start the conference out 0-3.  Not to mention, we need a road win that's not Cleavland State about now.  The loss to OU hurt, and the loss to KU was embarrassing.  We really need this win to boost confidence about now.  With the way Baylor played last night, we are capable of evening out our conference record in the next 7 days.
 
2.
OU - I think their win over Texas was very convincing.  Hard to lose with B. Griffin on your team.
Texas - They'll be able to beat up on almost everyone, except OU.
KU - I believe this young team will struggle more during road games, but they'll play some good ball at home.  Yeah, they beat Tennessee and us recently.  But I think Tennessee is very overrated, and we suck.  They also get the privilege of playing in the north.
OSU - Kind of random, I know.
Texas A&M - Good win over Baylor.  I think they're turning a corner in January.
Baylor - Maybe I'm just doubting them because of the game I watched last night.  I'm not sure they're what we thought they were.
K-State - Ask me again after Saturday.
Nebraska - I'm hoping we deserve to be above them.
Missouri - I think the 40 point win over CU is more of a statement of how bad CU is.
Texas Tech - The CU of the south.
ISU - Need I explain.
CU - This isn't intramurals CU.  And please tell your coaches to wear suits instead of polos.
 
3.  Yes, he's good, but it's not like OU wouldn't have been able to grab somebody else just as capable.  I don't think their talent pool begins and ends with Sam Bradford.
 
4.  I can't say I know much about this project.  Hopefully, it will bring added respect to K-State, and agriculture in general.

5.  He might surprise us yet, but I'm not getting my hopes up on this issue.  I'm glad he decided to give us a chance though.

TB:

1.  I'll put it at 8.  I don't think it's make-or-break, but I do think we will have to seriously reassess our season outlook if we lose.  The two losses so far have been more or less expected.  Sure, we'd like to protect home court, but OU is a top-10 team.  Yeah, KU is down this year, but we were still playing in Lawrence.  Nebraska is a team we have the talent to beat, but road games are never gimmees (unless you're in Boulder.  Yikes.).
 
2.
Oklahoma
Texas
Baylor
KU
Texas A&M
Oklahoma State
Missouri
K-State
Iowa State
Nebraska
Texas Tech
Colorado
 
3.  I think it takes OU out of rebuilding mode and puts them right back in contention, at least for the Big 12 title.  I also hear their offensive lineman (Williams) and tight end (Gresham) are coming back.  Sounds like another year of OU and UT battling it out for the South division, and almost undoubtedly manhandling the North opponent in Dallas.
 
4.  It's huge.  I hear ya, mystman, about losing the small-town charm, but I think Manhattan will be able to maintain it's college-town identity.  Increasing the population probably means more people in the seats at sporting events.  That means more money for the athletic department.  A bigger town with high-profile scientists and businessmen at the new businesses that are sure to locate in Manhattan increases the possibility of better commercial air service to MHK.  And better commercial air services means a big F YOU to Robert Hemenway.  Thought you could take our private jets away for recruiting?  Ha!  We'll just land a federal lab and get commercial service right into our town!  Let's see you get that in Lawrence, mofo!  (And now, TB knocks on wood, crosses his fingers, and rubs his lucky rabbit foot that Manhattan actually does get commercial air service, sparing him from looking like a real idiot in the future).
 
5.  I think the odds are still fairly low.  It sounds like he enjoyed his visit, and surely having the student section chant his name before the OU game had to help.  But I can't get over the fear that Brian Butler is going to push him to go somewhere else.  Like, Miami, where his brother plays.  I really hope he comes to Manhattan because, with the offense I think we'll be running, he could be a real force.  Stay tuned.

BracketCat:

1. 7. Given that we haven't won there in years, I'm not really expecting to with a young, inconsistent team, even though we actually have an advantage in the paint for the first time since Maric was in diapers. If we bring the same defensive effort from the guards as we did against Oklahoma, then Baylor is a win. 1-3 is acceptable for a start this brutal. Road wins can start to come once we get over the hump in Boulder.

2. I haven't seen enough to rank them 1-12, so I'll group them instead:

Tier 1: Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Kansas (in roughly that order)
Tier 2: Missouri, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M (in no particular order)
Tier 3: Nebraska, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Colorado (in roughly that order)

Tier 1 teams are tournament locks and probable Top 4 seeds in Oklahoma City. Tier 3 teams are just plain awful; only Nebraska has even an outside shot at the NIT and that home loss to UMBC should keep them out.

Tier 2 teams comprise what I call the "muddied middle." One, and maybe (but probably not) two, of those teams could make the Dance. They will all probably make the NIT, minimum. How they fare against each other will determine who goes to what tournament. I currently expect K-State to split with Missouri and lose at A&M and OSU, so right now I'd say we're 7th in the conference. We have to get a lot better to finish higher.

If we get even one win against a Tier 1 team, I'd consider that a pretty good season. I think we can get two: Baylor and Kansas. If we lose more than one game against a Tier 3 team, I'd consider that a very disappointing season. I think we'll lose one: at Nebraska. It's the Tier 2 games that are really going to shape our postseason fate, and I don't really know how those will shake out until they are played.

3. Meh. More hype. More South dominance over the North. Yet another BCS flop, probably. I expect to get killed in Norman regardless. One bright point: The return of the "Holy Trinity" effectively crushes Reesing's "Heisman candidacy" (LOL!) in the womb. So shut up about it already, Keegan.

4. Huge upon huge. I think it is nothing but good, as long as the community practices sensible planning and zoning around it to maintain the Manhattan atmosphere we all know and love. Maybe they'll finally be able to splurge on some road improvements and traffic control for gamedays.

5. Still slim to none. As with Kenny Kadji and Ray Shipman, we arrived on the scene with credibility too late. It's nice that we even have interest from him, but that will only pay off down the road with future recruits. Bryce is going to Miami or Oregon, I suspect.

Panjandrum:

1.  Well, it depends on what your goal is.  If you say, "Win the Big 12," then this game is a ten.  If your goal is to make the NCAA Tournament, this game is probably a nine.  If you want to make the NIT, this game is probably a five or a six.

Personally, I think this game is important because it shows that we "should" beat teams with inferior talent...even on the road.  Becoming a solid road team is critical for the long term success of Frank Martin and his program, so for me, this is an eight for that reason.

2. Here they are, in order:


1. Oklahoma
2. Texas
3. Kansas

4. Texas A&M
5. Baylor
6. Missouri
7. Kansas State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Nebraska
10. Iowa State

11. Texas Tech
12. Colorado


However, I have to admit that this list is crap because I haven't seen everyone play yet.  I do feel confident with 1-3 and number 12.  Everything else is just a crap shoot.

3. Bradford and McCoy are coming back, so the top two QB's are returning.  That obviously favors those two teams in terms of the conference race.  In college, a great QB can take you a long way.  Those two guys can take you all of the way (presumably).  So, I think that puts all North teams a great disadvantage.

4. Immeasurable.  If the estimates are correct, and Manhattan will double in size of the next 15-20 years because of this, that could mean so much to the community and university.  From a recruiting standpoint, if we get more subsidized flights into Manhattan, especially from a major hub like Chicago, Atlanta, and/or Denver, I think that would really help us overcome the current hurdle we have in being located two hours from a major airport.

And, from personal experience living in KC, the drive to Manhattan sucks from my neck of the woods.

5.  I'm out of the prediction business.  I think it's lower than a lot of KSU fans hope, and higher than a lot of outsiders assume.

However, I have zero inside info regarding Bryce Brown.  Just reading the tea leaves, seeing him in Manhattan last weekend for the OU game, and allowing KSU to court him this late in the process, tells me that we're more than a curiosity or a feeling of obligation.

But I will say that if Bryce Brown signs at KSU, I'll be floored, and I'll change my entire tune about the Bill Snyder hire (at least in regards to recruiting) because I don't think there is anyone else that could even get Bryce to sign on the dotted line here, and if Snyder does, that's a huge feather in his cap.

mystman995: So we all agree - 4-10 in the Big 12 this year is a crapshoot.

Panjandrum: The key, while pretty simple, is just being able to hold serve at home and win games against bad North teams on the road.

If KSU wins every home game from here on out, and they beat NU, CU, and ISU on the road, they'll finish 10-6.

I don't think they are consistent enough to do that, so I'll go with 8-8 +/- 1 at this point.  An 8-8 record gets us to 20 total wins, a spot in the NIT, and an assurance that we'll have three straight 20 win seasons/post-season appearances.

Considering where we've been the last twenty years, and where we're probably going with Frank's recruiting classes, that's one heck of a foundation.

mystman995: If the team can finish with over 18 wins the season will be a success - mainly considering we had a few seniors graduate last year and had two one-and-done players. I wouldn't say this is a rebuilding year - more of a developmental one.
 
I agree, with the foundation F-Mart (well that isn't catchy at all) has built, the next few years should be exciting. To even reach the 20 win mark back to back years without a true senior class is pretty impressive considering where this program has come from.

TB: F-Mart?  Now I've heard it all.  It's like the ghetto version of K-Mart (the store).
 
Wait, that's a redundancy.

mystman995: Yeah it's a little odd sounding. We need to come up with a suitable nickname for Frank that he will end up not having us disposed of for saying. I'm pretty sure if someone called him F-Mart to his face, he would have a new type of shoe to wear.

[Edit: Updated to include EMAW's answers...]

EMAW: Wow, busy day yesterday. Here's my abbreviated answers.
 
1. It's an 8. Our NCAA Tournament hopes are not completely faded, but we at least need to win this game to restore our confidence. Young teams can build off of road wins. Even those in front of 7,000 people at 5 p.m. in Lincoln, NE.
 
2. Along with the others, haven't seen everyone play, but here goes.
OU, Texas......KU, Baylor,...Mizzou, OSU, A&M, KSU, Tech,.................ISU, Neb., CU
 
I think we can all agree (and have on several occassions) any where from 3-11 is going to be up for grabs. I can even see us getting in a little groove, protecting the ball, and using JamSam and Colon a little better, and ripping off 5-6 straight to sneak in the top 4. It won't surprise me if we do this, or if we stumble to the bottom third of the pack. OU and Texas are dominant (although UT has chinks in its armor) and CU is plain awful.
 
3. I'm moving away from the field on this one. It's astonishing how little recognition Bradford got from the national media for being a good guy. He has a strong Native American heritage, yet everyone just looks past that and focuses on how Tim Tebow circumsized kids in Africa. Sorry for my mini-rant. As for the Big 12, I agree with Pan, the fact that Bradford and McCoy are back next season just creates a bigger schism between South and North.
 
4. While I doubt K-State sees a huge jump in enrollment because of the biodefense-lab, I do think it helps out the community  in a big way. It definitely puts Manahattan on the map, and should help pull in commercial flights to MHK. You would think with all of the people needing to travel to and from Manhattan, that some regional carriers would be put in for a couple flights a day. Considering its location, Manhattan should be on the same level as Baton Rouge or Lubbock, both smaller cities that have good accessability in terms of flights. Like others, though, I do worry about the "small town" feel quickly fading as the population begins to surge.
 
5. I will be shocked if Bryce Brown comes to K-State. I'm not someone who thinks he is the second-coming of Eric Dickerson or Barry Sanders, so I'm not too concerned if we don't land him. It seems like those guys that Butler "advises" seem to be a tad on the disfunctional side. See Chris Harper. (That guy will never again get a date in Eugene, OR.)

mystman995: JamSam - now there's a nickname that works.

EMAW: For the record, the other nicknames I've heard for Frank are:
Frankle
Frankie
Frankie Stone Eyes
Frank...just, Frank
 
The first two are from my wife. She loves the guy.

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