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BOTC Focus Group: A Little Momentum

Maybe a two-game winning streak is a bit modest, but after four straight losses it feels like pure heaven.  This week we discuss what this mini streak means for the basketball team, as well as new athletic directors and university presidents, Nebraska's obsessive radio announcers, and great drinking stories.  Don't miss that one.

The questions!

1.  Has the men's basketball team turned a corner with consecutive victories over Colorado and Missouri?
2.  Assuming this team has turned a corner, what's the upper limit for them this season?
3.  The video below is just too funny to pass up.  What's your best drinking-related story from a college sporting event?


Chick puking at Kansas vs. Oklahoma (via drgath)

4.  My fiance listened to the postgame radio broadcast of the Nebraska/KU game last night.  They had the Nebraska radio guys on and chatted a little football toward the end (it was probably more like the Nebraska radio guys were saying "We don't understand what you mean by this game 'basketball.'  If it's not football, who cares?").  Anyway, the Nebraska radio guy said something to the effect that it was going to be fun watching KU, Nebraska and Missouri battle it out for the North next year while K-State "is in the gutter, where they belong."
Care to respond, anyone?
5.  Bob Krause resigned as athletic director after 11 months and a lot of wasted money in Ron Prince's bank account.  Who do you want as the school's next athletic director?  Next university president?


1. I'm not going to bet my car or house on the possibility we make the NCAA tournament, but this team has shown definite improvement the last couple of games. All of a sudden, things clicked on the offensive end. We are making smarter passes, moving the ball quicker, and looking for open shots. I think the guys have gotten a huge confidence booster over the past two wins, and a strong showing in Austin would do wonders. It's hard to say if the corner has been turned completely, but we at least got the wheels going in the right direction.
2. If we play the rest of the season like we did last night, I can see us moving into the top half of the conference and possibly enter the Big XII tourntament as a bubble team. We need at least 7 more wins before we can talk about that seriously, though. I see a possibility of 8-9 wins to close this thing out, but we need a win over Texas, KU, or Missouri (again) to boost our RPI. The big dance dream is not dead, but it will take a complete effort the rest of the season. I think we can get there if we continue to roll like we did last night.
3. Bear with me, it's long....As much as it shames me to share this, I'll tell the story anyways. Some friends and I went to the Fiesta Bowl following our Big XII championship in '03. After about 3 days of partying in Tempe, gameday arrived and we tailgated from as soon as the parking lots opened right up to game time. I'd had my fair share of GoldSchlagger (sp?) and Natural Ice (classy, I know) throughout the day, so I was feeling good when we decided to go into the game. And by feeling good I mean bombed out of belief. On the way in I was stopped by several little girls who were selling Mardi Gras beads so their cheerleading team could go to nationals in Oklahoma ("Hey, I live by that state"...yes I said that). I paid them ten bucks for 20 beads and they all thanked me. I told them good luck and turned right around and puked in a trash can right in front of them. I continued with the libations throughout the game, and dejectedly watched us lose to a good OSU team. However, late in the 4th quarter, my phone started to ring continuosly, and my voicemail filled up within about 5 minutes. Apparently, I had been on TV. However, I wasn't just wearing the Mardi Gras beads, I had also found a large purple Cat in the Hat-type hat with shiny sequins and somehow managed to pay some lady to paint paw prints and some other stuff on my cheeks. My sister was able to capture the image from a video recording and give it to me for my birthday a week later. Unfortunately I only remember about 5 plays from that entire game....
4. I'll let someone else formulate a thoughtful response to that one. I don't hold much water in what Nebraska people have to say. After living in the city for over a year, I'm becoming immune to arrogance.
5. I haven't soaked up a lot of information on the three presidential finalists other than the press releases and resumes on the web site. After looking them over, I would have to go with Ballard. He has experience running a successful university at East Carolina, and he knows what it takes to make schools off the beaten path relevant. If not him, then Schulz, who is experienced with the land grant institutions. As for AD, my head is spinning so much that I can only manage two thoughts. 1.) Sheahon Zenger would be a great AD, but it sounds like he doesn't want to leave Illinois St. 2.) Don't appoint Sean Snyder as the new AD (not that he'd probably want it). I agree with Pan on this subject, that nepotism can only go so far. We need to prove that someone without the last name Snyder can be successful at K-State. We would take a huge PR hit if Sean was appointed, plus, we need someone with actual AD experience.


1.  If they haven't turned the corner, at least they have some confidence now.  It looks like getting that first conference win against CU was a building block.  Last night's game against Mizzou should have erased any lingering doubts this team may have had about its ability.  Now, the trip to Austin will be the litmus test for the rest of the year.  Are we going to give a good effort in a loss, thus cementing our status as an NIT team?  Or, are we going to play like we did against Missouri and steal a huge road win against a tough South opponent, and interject our name into the bubble discussion?  Yes, I realize that's big talk, but if this team starts playing with some confidence, the sky is the limit.
2. I already sort of answered this, but the upper limit is still the NCAA tournament.  We still have chances for resume-enhancing wins against Texas, KU, and Missouri.  Also, the back half of our schedule gives us a chance, if we continue playing at a high level, to rack up some wins against Iowa State, Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas Tech.
Still, the NIT is by far the most likely result for this team, and it's a result with which I would be satisfied entirely.
3.  For some reason, despite the fact that I was always the first among my group of friends to arrive at the stadium, and thus always shouldered the unhappy task of saving seats for about 10 people, I always ended up standing right next to the aisle.  But during my sophomore year, this seating arrangement provided me with some comic relief when a girl, who had clearly overserved herself, went tumbling down the stairs next to me with a (previously) full large Pepsi in her hands.  I helped her to her feet and she looked down despondently at her now-two-thirds empty pop, and for a second I thought she may cry as she whined "awwwww."  However, in the relatively short amount of time it takes a thought to cross a drunk person's mind, her eyes lit up and she said, "Oh well, more room for whiskey!" and wobbled off down the steps to her seat.
4.  While I am far, far from talking any shit to anyone about football, this should settle once and for all Nebraska's contention that they "don't care about" K-State.  The comment was made without any prior mention of the Cats and in a setting that did not require discussion of K-State.  It also shows me that others around the league are a little wary of Bill Snyder's return and the staff he has assembled.
5.  I'm completely on the Dr. Sheahon Zenger bandwagon.  K-State alum, successful athletic director at Illinois State, who could want more?  Also, I don't take the recent newspaper article as an indication that he isn't interested.  That sounds like early deflection of speculation.  He has tremendous respect for Bill Snyder, and I have a feeling that if we make a play for him, he may return to Manhattan.
I must admit to being a bad alum, because I haven't read anything about the University President candidates yet.  I'm hoping some of y'all can inform me.  Maybe later I'll check in with my thoughts.


1.  I'm not sure it's as much "turning a corner" as getting back to where we were.  I know we were playing less than impressive teams in pre-conference play, but we were able to see this team's potential.  The beginning of conference play was tough for us.  Not only were we playing more quality opponents, but we were also going through a slump.  I thought for a while that we just sucked terribly, but I'm starting to think now that it was more bad timing.  Missouri is a good team, and that was a huge win for us.

2.  Well, first of all they're going to have to show me they can win on the road at places not named Colorado.  If they can win three out of their five remaining away games, play well at home, and not embarrass ourselves at the Big 12 tournament – The Big Dance is not out of the question.  The NIT is probably a little more likely, but I'll take it with this young team.

3.  I'm with TB on this one.  Drinking at the games is not my cup of tea.  It makes it way too hard to pay attention, and if we lose – I would probably start crying… and that's just embarrassing.  Although sadly, I've come to expect and except losing lately.  I love tailgating, don't get me wrong, but I'm there for the hamburgers and chips and salsa more than the beer.  I save my craziness for when my team's not playing… mostly.  : )  Professional sports are a whole different story.

4.  Jealousy is a sickness.  Get well soon, Nebraska.

5.  Bill Snyder and Bill Snyder.  He's the only one I trust anymore.


1. No, turning a corner would have to consist of winning more than one game. The Colorado game, while a win, was not very impressive. The win, albeit at home, against a pretty decent Mizzou team was. Maybe I'm just being a little skeptical (Thank you Ron Prince), but I'm not going to get excited anymore anytime we pull an upset off. Let's start winning games we should win first.

2. I'm not assuming anything. We would have to go 9-1 the rest of the season to be considered for the tourney – given the fact that we beat KU and UT in that stretch. It's going to take a lot more than a win over Missouri for anybody to look past those losses in the non-conference to dance. The '09 team is NIT bound.

3. I plea the fifth. Extremely drunk people at the football and basketball games piss me off. I can remember more times I've wanted to punch a drunk guy rather than laugh at him.

4. What a schmuck.

5. Can't say that I follow much on the search. When it comes to sports, I generally have a lack of interest in any search except a head coach and maybe the top coordinators. I don't have the slightest clue on what it takes to make a great AD or university president. I too am a bad alum.

EMAW: Before anyone thinks I'm "that guy" at all sporting events after reading my story, I guess I should clarify that was a pretty extreme moment for me. I won't lie, I do enjoy having some drinks before a game if the opportunity is right, though I try not to overdo it, especially after the Fiesta Bowl incident. I was pretty upset with myself that I had such great seats (front row, back of end zone) and only remembered snippets of the game. I don't cuss and scream and make an ass out of myself like other drunks at games (that pisses me off too), but I just enjoy the taste of good beer or whiskey while partaking in the things I love. Just wanted to clarify before I become banned from anyone's tailgate parties....

TB: I can vouch for EMAW.  He's not "that guy" at games.
I have to be kind of careful, as I get pretty keyed up for games anyway.  Alcohol could be dangerous to my health in a game situation.

mystman995: Oh I drink and tailgage with the best of them, but going to games for 5 years as a student you can usually tend to spot out the regulars. You know the guys (and girls) who are so drunk before the game that when they leave for halftime to refuel - they never seem to make it back.
Oh, and I can vouched for TB. He definitely gets "keyed up" for the games. (Not in the alcohol sense of the word)

TB: Looking back on it now, and all the dumb things I said and did at games, even without the influence of alcohol, I must say: I am positively shocked that a fan of an opposing team never kicked my ass.

mystman995: Well I'll have to keep you in check this weekend after we hit up the German beer garten. Although I'm not really worried about the UT fans....just you....

TB: Most of the time, on the road, my instinct for self-preservation kicks in, and I just start making fun of myself or the team or something else if we are losing bad.
But yeah, keep an eye on me this weekend, mystman.

ksubailey: Don't worry, EMAW.  I thought your Fiesta Bowl story was hilarious.  I even shared it with my co-workers, who also got a good laugh out of it.  We've all been there - be it at a game or elsewhere.

EMAW: I've never understood people who go into an opposing team's stadium and act like they are there just to pick a fight with somebody. Then, when someone confronts them, they get royally pissed and want to fight. I've even been with guys who do that. I told them to shut up or I'd leave their ass in the parking lot to fend for themselves. I'm with TB, when at an opposing team's arena/stadium, I just cheer loudly for the Cats, or complain out loud about them. I don't try to rub it in.
This isn't because I'm a good guy, it's because I can't afford facial reconstructive surgery.

mystman995: Who can in this economic state?

ksubailey: Not to mention, that's really embarrassing to that entire institution.  I swear, I have the loudest, most obnoxious K-State fan sitting right behind me at the basketball games.  It is so embarrassing to hear the things coming out of his mouth at a home game - I can only imagine how he portrays our beloved university when he's in an opponents arena.  Well, imagine no more.  Last night, at the highest possible decible, he explained to his cronies that he was in attendance at the recent women's game in Lawrence.  Apparently he single handedly orhcesterated a yelling match with the KU fans, and flipped off a grandma in the process.  Oh some of the things he was saying were so awful, and I hate KU so you know it's extreme.  I feel so badly for the family who brings their 3-year-old in the row in front of me.  His mouth is nasty.  He is a disgrace.  He also spits on me while he tells these stories, so if anyone ever finds one of those little umbrella hats in purple and white - please let me know.

ksubailey: I don't know why I also remember to proof and spellcheck after I send something.  Sorry. (I intentionally left the above answer unedited so this comment would make sense...sorry bailey...ed.)

TB: Ditto, bailey.  At my first watch party with the Houston alumni group, I had "that guy" sitting at my table.  I'm not very easily offended, and I often curse like a sailor, but this guy was just flat-out vulgar.  If he ever goes to away games, I wish I could follow him around and say "we're not all like that" to all the fans who run into him.


1. I think so. I knew deep down this team wasn't as bad as they were playing, and I'm glad they pulled out of the tailspin because that takes coaching, which I was starting to become slightly worried about. All is good for now, though. Of course, this doesn't mean I expect a win on Saturday; I'd be happy with a spirited effort that falls short. I want to see us win out at home. We lost only two home games in 2006 with a less-talented team, and only two last year as well. That should be the standard. Preventing a Jayhawk sweep makes this a successful season as long as we get to the NIT.
2. A win at Texas puts all things back on the table. Get that win, win out at home, nab a game in the tournament, and we are firmly on the bubble.
3. Not really an amusing story, but certainly memorable. A lot of things about the Texas Bowl sucked, but that one that sticks in my mind is when a couple of drunk chicks came back from the concession stand with big beers, and one of them stumbled and poured half of it down my back. I was already pissed because Rutgers had started to put the first nail in Ron Prince's coffin at that point, so you can imagine how much her clumsiness improved my mood.
4. Meh. Nebraska fans are obsessed with us; what else is new? The funny part of that comment is that he apparently hates us so much he'll conveniently ignore that MU and KU have been in the gutter for most of their history as well. At least KSU was good for 10+ years running and not some 3-year fluke like those teams.
5. AD: Oh, jeez, I don't know. Zenger, Hocutt, and Veatch seem like good candidates, but I think we need some fresh blood. Not all nepotism is familial, you see.
UP: I don't have a real preference, but since no one else is talking about this much, I'll at least list some pros and cons.
Pros: Executive experience (Chancellor, ECU), regional experience (Oklahoma, UMKC), Ph.D. in Political Science (understands how to deal with the legislature?)
Cons: Has been on the East Coast for a while, ECU is decent in athletics but not amazing
Pros: Executive experience (President, University of Maine), regional experience (Iowa, Texas A&M), worked with National Science Foundation (knows how to get gov't grants?), Ph.D. in Botany (good fit for ag school?)
Cons: Has been on the East Coast for a while, liberal background that might not mesh with K-State culture? (got his Ph.D. from Berkeley), Maine is an FCS football program (very different from being in the Big 12)

Pros: Land-grant/rural school experience (Mississippi State), Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering (K-State has a very strong engineering program)
Cons: No executive experience (currently VP for Research, Mississippi State), has mostly served at small schools (Michigan Tech, North Dakota), no real regional experience, Mississippi State has a weak commitment to athletics (for an SEC school, anyway)
Although Schulz has been at a land-grant, I don't like that he has not previously been a president. I think it's probably between Ballard and Kennedy, and either would be a pretty good choice, I think. Keep in mind that Wefald had a history background and this was his resume before K-State:
"Before coming to K-State, Wefald served as Chancellor of the State University System in Minnesota from 1982-86, a system with seven universities. He was president of Southwest State in Marshall, Minn., from 1977-82; Minnesota's Commissioner of Agriculture from 1971-77, and a member of the faculty at Gustavus Adolphus from 1965-70."
Not something that would necessarily wow you. Given the events of the past year, I'll leave it to you to decide whether he was sufficiently qualified or not. Personally, I don't think his bumbling of late negates all the good he has done for K-State. Keep that in mind if the Board of Regents picks someone you think isn't a good choice. Resumes aren't everything.

BracketCat: Well, crapola. Wrote up all that stuff, and then just saw on GPC that Ballard pulled out of the search, so I guess Schulz has a 50-50 shot after all. My money's on Kennedy, though.