The Kansas City Royals magic run has come to a close, which means we can FINALLY dive full-on into college football. So, for those of you who haven't paid much attention thus far ... welcome back!
We're glad to have you, beginning with this week's Round Table.
Shall we ... ?
In the first College Football Playoff ranking, the Kansas State Wildcats appeared at a solid No. 9. Your thoughts on that, plus, be honest, do you have any idea what the rankings are truly based on?
TB: That's probably about right. I'm working on putting together a spreadsheet so I can visualize all the undefeated, one-loss and two-loss teams. K-State is a one-loss team that has one good win (Oklahoma) and was competitive against another elite team (Auburn). They have their chances to add skins to the wall, and if they do, they'll be in the playoff.
00: To echo TB, that seems about right, given where we started the season and our resume. I'm in agreement with the vast majority of talking heads who think that if K-State runs the table, they're in. We're fortunate enough to be in charge of our own destiny at this point (though I really hate that turn of phrase). Just win, baby.
Jon: I'd go even higher, a little, but the 5-10 range is loose enough that I don't think anyone can really argue or boast about their position. I don't know what message the committee was trying to send, other than perhaps losing to the #17 team means more than losing to the #2 team.
Kitchen: In the context of this season and where the schedule is, No. 9 is just fine. The important part is to be a one-loss team and be somewhere in the discussion so that you're primed to move up as others drop. In the bigger picture, being a part of the conversation all season is invaluable. It isn't measurable how much value there is to a program to having a logo and name splashed on graphics and TV crawls non-stop all season long.
And no, I have no earthly idea what the Committee members are thinking about and/or using in determining their rankings. While we can guess among the elements we've been told are important, it boils down to wildly entertaining, totally unpredictable human element.
John Currie and Bill Snyder donated $2,500 apiece to make sure the student residence halls are open early enough for students to get back and attend the KU game. Just how brilliant is this?
TB: It's a great idea from an attendance perspective. I hope the residence-hall employees were chosen on a volunteer basis for this so they don't have to cut their own Thanksgiving breaks short.
00: I don't know. I'm actually sort of on the fence about this. I understand the need to help students make it to the game, but you're basically giving students (and staff) cash incentive to cut short the time they spend with their families. Aren't we supposed to be all about #FAMILY? Also, $2500 is like chump change for the individuals involved, so I'd be happy to hold off on beatifying Currie and Snyder for at least another year or so.
Jon: Not sure how it's a cash incentive to anyone, but my take here is that I don't think it matters. KU should be a sell-out even if you play the game without a single student in attendance, and you know what? If it's not -- if there are visibly empty seats in the stadium after six other home games all sold out -- what's that say about KU? "Oh, we didn't bother. Beneath our notice."
Kitchen: Hmm ... I'm kind of surprised to hear the general lukewarm feel from you all. Kids that want to come back early now have a way to do so. It doesn't take money out of any budget, and it helps with any potential sizable gap in physical attendance against the in-state rival. And, all of it was done without any extra programs or new processes or anything major having to be done. I think it's an easy, big score in the PR department for everyone involved.
On a scale of 1-10, the Oklahoma State Cowboys' threat level to Kansas State is: ____. What is the biggest cause for concern from OSU?
TB: Five. Any program that has had Oklahoma State's consistent success has the foundation to be dangerous. They're down, and they're inexperienced, and they're on the road, so K-State should handle them easily. I'm more concerned that they'll try to hurt Jake Waters than that they'll actually beat us.
00: Between 5 and 6. K-State knows as well as anyone that you can be beat by pretty much any team in your conference on any given Saturday. But I think Oklahoma State may be less scary than usual, thanks to a combination of injury, inexperience and playing in Manhattan.
Jon: I'm going to step away from the tiptoe path here, and suggest that if we ignore the whole "Oh, anything can happen" disclaimer, OSU's threat level is about a 2. Yes, anyone can beat anyone, and that's how you get massive upsets that should never have happened. But the question should really be about expectations, not hedging. And if things go as they should, the 'Cats are going to mop the turf with the Pokes.
Kitchen: I side with Jon here. Can a Big 12 offense - especially this one - find a few big plays and make it more than interesting? I'll buy in on that, but I'll also take that we're at the point in the season where we pretty much know what to expect. K-State has one of the top two defenses in the Big 12, and I think that's too much for OSU's current offense to handle to a level where it has a chance to win.
Mike Gundy is 3-1 against Bill Snyder. Please explain.
TB: Mike Gundy can recruit, and he has (or has had) good coordinators. Two of those wins came while Snyder was still rebuilding K-State and Oklahoma State was at its peak. Then there was last year.
00: It's mostly luck, isn't it? Gundy became head coach at Oklahoma State in 2005, just as Snyder was getting ready to retire. His next game against Snyder was in 2010, and the less said about that team the better. The Cowboys were the class of the conference in 2011, and we still nearly beat them. I have no explanations for 2013, and I'm not sure anyone else does either.
Jon: Mike Gundy vs Bill Snyder in games where K-State was even expected to be competitive: 1-1, and I'm being charitable to last year's "durr, what next, boss?" early-season squad. There's nothing here to explain, and it'll be 3-2 come Sunday.
Kitchen: You three nailed it. It's one of college football's weirdest set of circumstances. The end.
Finally, Morse made a triumphant return to Manhattan last weekend. Which will be true when he comes back again:
- A) Bill Snyder will have been cloned and Bill II will have already won a conference title
- B) Baby TB will be on scholarship at K-State
- C) The floors at Rusty's and/or Kite's will have a new finish that makes shoes sticking to them impossible
- D) Panjandrum will have been chosen to lead the nation's college football realignment committee (but only if he brings all of his charts and scenarios).
TB: Obviously I'm choosing B here.
00: I'm going with D because of the sheer entertainment value, and because E) all of the above was not one of the choices. (As an aside, I hope we're not still calling him Baby TB when he takes the field at K-State).
Jon: None of the above, because I have every intention of showing up next year now. That automatically makes A&B impossible, C ridiculously improbable, and D will never happen because society has brain damage.
Kitchen: Ooooh, look at Morse answering a list of hypotheticals with a fact based on intention. :) Umm.... I'll go this direction: A) Trick question, right? Because this IS Bill II, technically; B) Doogie "TB" Howser, M.D. -- not betting against it; C) Never will happen. Those floors haven't been sober in years; D) Just think of how many more spreadsheet color options Pan would have at that level. Possibilities would be endless and beautiful.