Ron Prince can't win for losing right now. Both the Topeka Capital-Journal and the Wichita Eagle pile on Prince for twice kicking field goals when inside the five-yard-line, though the TCJ is much more charitable than Bob Lutz.
We'll get to the decision to kick field goals in a minute, but these two episodes illustrate something that has been a severe problem all season. Technically, K-State ranks third in the conference in Red Zone Offense. But that's a little deceptive, because the conference rankings go by percentage of red zone possessions that lead to points. From that standpoint, K-State is playing well, converting red zone possessions into points 90 percent of the time.
However, a closer look reveals the problem Wildcat fans have known about all year. Our red zone ranking is directly attributable to the efficiency with which Brooks Rossman has kicked field goals. While conference red-zone leaders Missouri and KU have scored 38 and 42 touchdowns, respectively, when in the red zone, the Cats have only put up six points 29 times. Our percentage of red-zone touchdown conversions is a putrid 56 percent (Mizzou and KU put up six points at a 69 percent and 67 percent clip, respectively).
Lutz' column implies that Prince's "timidity" in the red zone ended up costing K-State the game against Mizzou. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see us convert red zone possessions into touchdowns more often (we scored two touchdowns in four red-zone possessions against Mizzou on Saturday). But against Mizzou, even a really good red-zone scoring rate only leads to one more touchdown and one less field goal, or a net gain of four points. Last I checked, we lost by 17. I understand the "momentum" argument, but I kind of question how much that really plays in here.
On top of that, this is really a weak argument to make against Prince. If Prince goes for it on the one yard line, like he did against Iowa State two weeks ago, and against Mizzou last year, and doesn't make it, like both games mentioned, he gets roasted for not taking the points. I can almost guarantee that if Prince would have gone for it and come up short, Lutz' column would have roasted him for being too daring. After all, it's not like Lutz has anything important to write about, like Wichita State basketball or Wichita East football.
Anyway, here's my ultimate point: as frustrating as red-zone failures were on Saturday, and throughout the season, we have a much bigger problem right now. I think the following video will accurately capture the essence of that problem:
So anyway, we're moving on to Fresno State this weekend. The Bulldogs are 6-4 on the season.
The women's volleyball team finished a strong home campaing by sweeping Colorado, 3-0, Saturday at Ahearn Fieldhouse. The Cats went 11-3 at home this season, and will face the Texas Longhorns in Austin this Wednesday in the season finale.
It'll be a big week for K-State with the game against No. 3 Texas, as a win would clinch a third-place finish in conference for the Cats. Unfortunately, it's probably a must-win for third, because Oklahoma finishes with matches against Mizzou and Iowa State (combined record 19-17) and swept two matches off K-State this season.
Not a whole lot new to report here. The Cats' poor performance against Western Illinois on Saturday has head coach Frank Martin extremely upset.
"We were an embarrassment to Kansas State," K-State's first-year coach continued. "Everything about the game — the way we played the game. We embarrassed the game of basketball. We embarrassed what basketball should be played like. We embarrassed our university. We embarrassed our fans by the way we lined up and competed tonight."
Um, easy there, coach. Perhaps you haven't seen the following video:
For a fuller review of the game, see the comment by "ksubailey" on the prior post. There are probably some attitude issues on this team right now, but we're not really an embarrassment at this point.
I have not done much to follow the women's basketball team thus far. The Cats suffered their first loss of the season in the hinterlands of Laramie, Wyo., to the Wyoming Cowboys.
This week, the women travel to Cancun to play Tulane and Michigan State, while I travel north to get snowed on.
Nothing new here as the men have concluded their fall season, but I forgot to mention last week that sophomore Joe Ida, a Fort Scott native, was named Big 12 player of the month.
Tomorrow's a travel day for me, so if anybody feels like contributing in the diaries, I'll be happy to bump you to the front page. Specifically, feel free to link to the stories from the KC Star, Topeka Capital-Journal, and Wichita Eagle, along with your comments on each.
Also, while you're being active, swing by Double T Nation and wish Seth and his wife well.