Without turning this into an all-out inter-blog lovefest, I want to admit my secret admiration of Rock M Nation's Roundtable posts. Usually, they are alternately informative, entertaining, and downright ridiculous. With that in mind, I wanted to do something similar here at BOTC.
A big thanks to readers mystman995 and ksubailey for participating in this first Focus Group. To all BOTC readers, if you have any interest in participating in these Focus Groups in the future, please email me at bringonthecats @ gmail.com and I will be happy to include you. We will probably do this about once a week to assess the season's progress. Also, feel free to answer the questions in the comments section.
Without further adieu, the questions!
1. Other than the game itself, name your single favorite thing about K-State home games.
2. This year we have North Texas, Montana State, UL-Lafayette, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa State at home. Which home game are you looking forward to most?
3. On the flip side, we play Louisville, Texas A&M, Colorado, KU and Missouri on the road. Which road game(s) are you going to see? Which one do you want to see most, if you can't make it?
4. Of the K-State games you have attended in person, what is your single greatest memory?
5. Predict K-State's regular season record, and describe how we get to that total.
1. Nothing better than tailgating. Especially if it's about a 6 p.m. game and you get to the parking lot and it's about a billion degrees outside. Hamburgers and beer have never tasted so good. But now that I've seen a lot of other tailgaters, I'm starting to get envious of those with hookups for their TVs. Seriously, K-State football and tailgating is awesome enough, but if I could watch other games while tailgating for a K-State game? Heaven. Now I just need to pay off my massive student debt and I can start thinking about getting such a hoookup.
2. In years when we play KU and Mizzou on the road, the most-anticipated home game has to be Nebraska. Plus, since I grew up there I tend to circle it more on the calendar than most. Last year's game notwithstanding, we really need to beat those red bastards this year.
3. I'm actually going to see both the A&M and CU games, which is by far my most travel in a single year. I've been to College Station before, so I know what to expect, but I'm really looking forward to seeing my Cats play there. Never been to Boulder and haven't been to Colorado in about 12 years, so that should be a good time, minus the hippies.
Wish I could make it to Missouri. All these years, and I've never seen a football game in Columbia.
4. It couldn't be anything but Arrowhead in December 2003. Watching the Cats take apart the "greatest team in college football history" was incredible enough, but it was the look on the faces of the 40+-year-old K-State fans that really makes that night special. They had endured so many humiliatingly bad seasons, but none of it mattered anymore on that night.
Oh yeah, and walking by hilariously drunken/despondent OU fans on the way through the parking lot was pretty enjoyable, too.
5. I've been all over the map on this subject this summer. I've finally settled on 7-5. I think we win all four non-conference games because Louisville looks like its really struggling. Then I think we get one win between the two games with A&M and CU, and we beat Nebraska and Iowa State.
1. Tailgating is also at the top of my list, but in an effort to be different - I'll go with the first "K-S-U" cheer of every game. I know we usually get to do this cheer more than once, but it rarely tops the strength and decibel of Willie leading it on the Powercat before the game. I get goose-bumps every time. It always reminds me that each game, no matter who we're playing, there's an opportunity for great things to happen. Sappy? Yes, I am.
2. This year, there are a lot of great reasons to be excited for home games. The athletic department has graciously spiced up two non-conference games. I'm looking forward to T. New and others going into the Ring of Honor at the North Texas game. Although I will be in Dallas watching my precious T. New during this game, I am excited that we are showing love and appreciation for Principal (that's what I call him) Wefald, and my hero and yours, Bill Snyder. Okay, but to answer the question... I'm always up for the Nebraska game, but this year - I'm looking forward to seeing how our supposedly much-improved defense matches up to the powerful offense of Texas Tech.
3. No final decisions have been made as to my actual attendance of any away games, but I'll probably be at CU or MU. Unfortunately, those are stadiums I've already checked off my BIg 12 list. I'm just glad to put one more purple body in wherever I can. People are trying to talk me into going to Lawrence, but that is probably out of the question. The Cats are 0-3 at games when I'm in attendance there (2 football, 1 basketball). Being that I am a very superstitious person when it comes to sports, I'm 90% sure I won't be there. What a miserable town. I have heard great things about College Station and I would love to see my Cats play in that stadium.
4. Wow, how do you choose? I'd have to say Bill Snyder's last game. What a beautiful moment when Jordy and Jeremy carried that wonderful man off the field. I'm seriously obsessed with this man, and I was so happy when we found a way to win that game for him. I was so sad that week. TB, you sat next to me in class the day of the press conference. You know I was a wreck. It was a really hard season. But that was such a great way to end it, and although it wouldn't have been my "dream send-off" (ahem, National Title, ahem) for Bill, it was the best we could muster at that time. I cried like a baby during his speech at the end, but that's really nothing new. And the sappiness continues.
5. 5-7, not that I think we can't achieve more. I'm going into this season with low expectations. That way if we do a little better - it's like Christmas morning! The last few seasons I've had such high expectations that I've only been let down. Plus, if we are 5-7, maybe the athletic department will rethink who they give 5 year contracts to in the future.
1. Hands down the most exciting moment in sports is when Willie comes out and completely decks the crap out of some poorly dressed sucker as our opponent. I can't think of anything else in the world that makes me that happy when I already know it's coming....(well that's not entirely true......)
2. To be honest, whichever ones they show on TV. If I had to choose one, it would be the Tech game. I love high scoring games and I see both teams putting up playstation-like numbers.
3. I will have the "honor" of seeing both the A&M and CU games with TB. First time in College Station – should be a good time. This will be my second trip to Boulder (hopefully they'll do better than they did back in 2002). That'll be five Big 12 football stadiums I'll have watched a game at. Hopefully I'll be able to see them all.
4. Greatest memory? Finally charging down those bleachers and rushing the field after the 2006 triumph over UT. That was one thing I've always wanted to do and I was so excited to do it on my last KSU football game as a student. Here's the next three (one's that I've been to):
2. 2002 vs. USC. Never had I heard the stadium get that loud.
3. 2003 @ Nebraska. Almost got into a fight with old man river…..
4. 2007 @ UT. I was damn proud to be a K-State Texan at that time.
5. Prediction time: Bowl eligible. 6-6 with a trip to a mediocre bowl game played before Xmas, but you never know. UNT, U-La-La, and Monty State are sure wins. Louisville, IA State, and Nebraska are very winnable games. And I think we can take either CU or A&M at their house. But here's where there's a twist in my prediction. We will definitely loose two winnable games (not one of the first three), and we will pull off an upset like the past two years. Who is this year's Texas? Well any of the four top 15 teams of course. One of them will go down. It'll be an up and down year just like last year. Next year we're a 9 win team.
TB: I know, bailey, I vividly remember sitting next to you in E2 as we listened to Bill announce his farewell on the radio. Almost had to put my arm around you to make you feel better.
I think one of mystman's points is worth discussing. Who is "this year's Texas"? Is there a "this year's Texas"? The list would probably have to be OU, Mizzou or Texas Tech. Personally, I would rather we just play more consistently over the course of the season.
mystman995: If this year's Texas is a team from the South, I'll be happy. I secretly want Tech to emerge as the South Champion so I hope OU goes down.
TB: Gotta agree with bailey on the K-S-U cheer. I set that up as one of the ringers on my new phone.
Speaking of going to different stadia in the Big 12, where has everyone been? I've been to Nebraska, KU, Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas. I'll add Colorado this year to make that six.
Oh, and I was a bit concerned about mystman's encounter with old man river at the Nebraska game. That guy might have been an old Marine who would have ripped your ribs out.
mystman995: Please, it would have taken him 3 minutes to even stand up. Besides, I don't beat up the elderly like some people.
Been to KSU (obviously), CU, NU, UT and soon to be TAMU.
ksubailey: I've been to KSU, KU, ISU, CU, and MU - all I need is NU to complete the north. However, I haven't been to a single one in the south! How far is it to A&M from Hutchinson?
ksubailey: TB, let me just give you a little sample of what you might encounter while in Boulder. When I was there 2 years ago - there was a lady... on top of a van... on the main drag... doing yoga. It kind of makes me think of Jeff Foxworthy, only "You might be a hippie if..."
ksubailey: Ohhhh, that's a could discussion topic for the week of that game. Have everyone think of something. Okay, Bailey - go to sleep.
ksubailey: and by "could" I obviously meant "good" As in goodnight.
TB: Glad to hear you don't beat up old people, mystman. Let's hope you also don't shoot people on campus.
It's about a nine-hour drive from Hutch to College Station. But why would you ever leave Hutchinson?
mystman995: If I can remember correctly, Hutchinson has one of the ugliest signs welcoming you to their city. There, somebody said it.
TB: I didn't pay much attention to the welcome sign. I was too focused on getting to Prairie Dunes.
ksubailey: What, I have no idea what you're talking about. We don't have a jayhawk sign by any entrance. Am I missing something?
9 hours, huh? That's pretty far. Other than K-State sports, there aren't many good reasons to leave Hutch - you're right. : )
mystman995: Sorry, it's the McPherson sign. It's right off of 135. That sign is just awful. Come to think of it, I've never been to or through Hutchinson......
TB: You're missing out.