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Tuesday Commentary: One Week Until Finals Edition

As you can tell by the title, it's crunch time for me right now.  If I start spouting random income tax principles during this post, just consider it free tax advice...and remember that it's from a student who doesn't know what the hell he's doing and should not be followed in any way, shape, or form.

On to this glorious day's news...

We'll lead off with the remainder of the football stories.  It just kind of sunk in on me today that the season was actually over.  I think the continuing nightmare that was the last five weeks of the season kind of mellowed me to what was going on, and the debacle at Fresno State was just the expected culmination.  Anyway, the KC Star bravely hands out grades for the year, and it obviously ain't pretty.  Aside from Jordy Nelson, pretty much everything was terrible.  It's funny, in a way.  If the grading had been taken at midseason, there obviously would have been a lot of high grades.  We were 4-2, had just blown out Colorado, message board chatter included getting Ron Prince an extension, and we were still a contender for the North.  Six weeks later, utter devastation.

Lee Barfknecht again ranks us last in the North, and again I can't disagree with him.  I've run him down a few times for what I considered crappy rankings (among other things), but Barfy is right more often than most fans--especially Nebraska fans--would like to admit.  He has a particularly insightful take on Josh Freeman in this morning's column:

After two seasons at quarterback, how much progress has Josh Freeman really made? The system needs to become less vanilla, and he needs to cut down on turnovers and stop staring down his first receiver.

Bingo, bango, bongo.

Big 12 all-conference selections are out, and K-State is surprisingly well represented.  K-State selections are listed below:

Offensive Newcomer of the Year: Deon Murphy
Defensive Newcomer of the Year: Gary Chandler
First-team all conference: Jordy Nelson, Tim Reyer, Ian Campbell
Second-team all conference: Justin McKinney
Honorable mention all conference: Alesana Alesana, Chris Careny, Josh Freeman, Rob Jackson, James Johnson, Deon Murphy, Jordy Nelson (returner), Michael Pooschke, Logan Robinson, Brooks Rossman, Reggie Walker

I'm not as surprised by Murphy's selection as offensive newcomer of the year as I was initially.  He has big-play ability and had decent numbers for a first-year player.  But, oh my, how much better those numbers would be if he could catch the ball consistently.

Gary Chandler figured heavily into our tackling totals, which is probably an unfortunate reflection on our poor defensive play.  I'm not entirely sold because, although I didn't get to see a lot of the last few games, there was something massively wrong with our safety pass coverage to allow players to continually run unchecked right down the middle of the field (Frantz Hardy just caught another touchdown pass between the safeties).

No real comment on Nelson and Reyer on first-team, but the selection of Ian Campbell left me dumbfounded.  Campbell is nowhere to be found among the Big 12 leaders in sacks, and is only tied for eighth in tackles for loss.  I guess he led the conference in fumbles recovered...

Making our way over to the hardwood, the KC Star reports that the  Cats won't be successful if Michael Beasley is a one-man circus.  Obviously a slow news day in the City of Fountains...

Over in the Capital City of Topeka, the Capital-Journal reports the Cats  returned home from the Old Spice Classic minus a trophy.  Yep, first-round losses to George Mason will tend to do that to you.

If you were to accuse me of sounding overly negative about the basketball team, I wouldn't argue with you.  The play in Orlando last week left me frustrated, and it's hard to see the light right now with games against Oregon and Notre Dame coming up.  But with all the talent on this team, I still feel like it's only a matter of time before things come around.  The Star was right to say that we can't win with Beasley as the only attraction--cliched as it is--but the fact that we have the possibility of multiple other players stepping into the spotlight on a given night is encouraging.  On any given night, we could see Bill Walker, Jacob Pullen, Blake Young or Andre Gilbert step up and score 20 points or more.  Oh, and did I forget to mention that David Hoskins is expected back within the next four-to-six weeks?  That will help.