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Big 12 Round Table--Face of the Team Edition

Big 12 Blogger Round Table—Face of the Team Edition

1.  Pick one current player to be the "Face of the Franchise" for your team. You can only select one player so tell us why you selected the person that you did.

The obvious pick would be Josh Freeman, but I’m going to go with defensive end-turned-linebacker Ian Campbell.  Campbell is a senior (*EDIT* junior) while Freeman is a sophomore, and Campbell has accomplished more in terms of production and accolades.  Plus, he’s a senior (*EDIT* junior) who came up the hard way, being a former walk-on and rejected by other programs (Colorado State and Wyoming).  I’m not saying Freeman hasn’t worked hard, but he hasn’t had the obstacles Campbell has faced, and I would think that has rightly earned him some credibility.
Plus he once told me to stop running my mouth during an intramural basketball game, so I don’t want him looking for me.

2.  Tell us what makes your team’s stadium great, traditions, facilities, etc...

What makes Bill’s House great, to me, is the memories I’ve had there.  I’ll never forget watching the Cats beating Carson Palmer’s USC, or embarrassing Seneca Wallace, or hanging 49 on Nebraska.  Sweltering August days gave way to frigid November nights, and we showed up every Saturday for more and more.  You can’t forget the roar when Brandon Archer intercepted Brad Smith and took it to the house to seal a win in Bill Snyder’s final game.  You can’t forget the cheer when Willie decks some student-dressed-as-opponent at midfield, or the echo of "K!  S!  U!  WILDCATS!" when he gets up.  You can’t forget "Purple, get ready to roll!", or (in the better days) "The number (rank) team in the nation, your...Kansassssss State...WILDCATS!", or Willie’s roar or "Please welcome our guests from (city), (state)...BOOOOOO!!!!!!"  You can’t forget the roar of Harley Day, or the smell of exhaust lingering into the second quarter.  You can’t forget the forlorn look on the KU fan’s face after State handed them another loss.  And most of all, you’ll never forget your friends and the background you share because you were Wildcat fans and you lived all of this together.

3.  Hypothetical – Your team has to vacate their current stadium and play a game in another Big 12 stadium which one would you pick for them to play in and why?

This is a surprisingly difficult call for me.  I would say Colorado because of the mountainous setting, but I despise CU and can’t bring myself to do it.  Among teams I don’t hate, I would probably choose Kyle Field at Texas A&M.  Except for being about twice as large, it has some similarities to Bill’s’s mostly open on one end, and the upper deck can induce a wicked case of vertigo.  Most of the charm of Kyle disappears when the Aggies and their million traditions aren’t there, but I’d take it as a temporary home.

4.  Unthinkable – Take your team’s biggest rival’s head coach and make a case as to why he would be a good fit on your sideline.

Ugh.  It makes me ill to imagine either Mark Mangino or Bill Callahan on our sidelines.  While I would consider Nebraska our primary rival in football, if I had to choose between Callahan and Mangino I’d choose Mangino as a better fit.  Why?  He used to coach in Manhattan, and thus has an idea what it takes to recruit there.  Nobody is ever going to attract consistent blue-chip talent to Manhattan, and God only knows how bad Callahan’s teams would be if he had to rely on his coaching ability.  In my mind, Mangino is a much better X’s and O’s coach, if only because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist and an astrophysicist to decipher his playbook.

5.  Prediction Time
Tell us who is going to win;

Baylor @ TCU:  TCU (in a rout)
Colorado State @ Colorado:  Colorado
Kent State @ Iowa State:  Iowa State
Central Michigan @ Kansas:  KU (close)
Kansas State @ Auburn:  Auburn (low-scoring game)
Missouri/Illinois:  Missouri
Nevada @ Nebraska:  Nebraska
North Texas @ Oklahoma:  Oklahoma (big)
Oklahoma State @ Georgia:  Oklahoma State (my upset special, guaranteed to jinx OSU)
Arkansas State @ Texas:  Arkansas...oh wait, it’s Ark. State.  Never mind.  Texas.  Big.
Montana State @ Texas A&M:  Montan...never mind, the opponent isn’t Colorado.  Aggies by a lot.
Texas Tech @ SMU:  Road opener?  Still no problem against the Dallas rich kids.  Tech.

Matt over at Crimson and Cream Machine says we’re going to keep track of these predictions throughout the year.  Go ahead and pencil me in for last because I always second-guess myself out of the ultimately correct picks.  Thanks for organizing this Matt!