We're going to broaden out a bit this week with the Round Table as the Kansas State Wildcats manage a bye week in preparation for next week's tilt with the Oklahoma Sooners.
Before that, though, we unfortunately need to discuss Travis Green ...
What does his possible prolonged absence mean moving forward, especially when it appeared he was fast-becoming a vital part of the defense?
Jon: It means Kaleb Prewett's going to have to step up soon. He's not ready yet, which means lots of Dylan Schellenberg against Oklahoma. Schellenberg wasn't the unmitigated disaster against the Sooners last year that he was when he was suddenly thrown into the TCU game, and he was actually decent against Kansas. Of course, prior to TCU last year, he had barely seen the field, whereas he's gotten a lot of game reps this year. Still an open question whether he can handle the starting job, though.
TB: An open question at minimum, but he will play. We've already burned Prewett's redshirt this year (he played against SFA, UTEP and Texas Tech), so it's not like playing him would be a huge stretch. But, he's had two months of practice and games to unseat Schellenberg, and it hasn't happened. Further, I'm not convinced that a true freshman at safety in the Big 12 should happen.
00: On Prewett, I question if he can really be brought up to Travis Green-levels before the OU game, and I'd argue it isn't really possible to make that transformation in that time, especially as he was not the clear #2 over the summer. Schellenberg has at least played (if not necessarily all that well) against the conference's best teams, so I have hope he'll be a serviceable backup.
Kitchen: It means KSU loses the second-best hitter in the secondary and perhaps a little bit of that fear-factor swag that had started to blossom. If so, I think opponents will feel better about calling more stuff down the middle than maybe they would have otherwise. It's going to take a big play from whomever, Schellenberg or Prewett, to re-establish those fears.
Bill Snyder just celebrated three quarters of a century inhabiting this rock. Truly, he has to be the
only best thing to ever come out of St. Joseph, Missouri, or the "Show Me" state in general, yeah?
Jon: Well, I mean, I was born in Missouri... okay, even my faux-ego isn't bloated enough to claim I'm better than Bill Snyder.
TB: Missouri's not that bad. And I would imagine Walter Cronkite may have something to say about "best thing from St. Joseph," but to K-State fans, even that's probably not a contest.
00: I think Mark Twain would take issue with the "best thng to come out of the 'Show Me' state" remark, but out of St. Joseph? Bill Snyder is pretty much all there is.
Kitchen: I don't want to believe Bill Snyder came from Missouri, but if you have to claim it, I'd say being from the northern edges of that place is much better than being from Northern Arkansas - that stretch of "unfortunate" that lies south of a St. Louis-to-Rolla-to-Springfield line. Not to burst ol' Wally Cronkite's bubble, but Snyder is the best, and that's the way it is.
Never met anyone who actually likes a bye week. Coaches worry about changes in schedule. Players -- besides those dealing with legit injuries -- would rather play games than suffer extra practice time. Men (and ladies, too, depending on who the sports nut is in the relationship) have no excuse for lack of weekend productivity. But, here we all are. So, what will you do this weekend that you've put off since late August?
Jon: The same thing I do every Saturday. Spend the entire day watching football. Well, except for three hours in the evening, when I'll be watching the Royals beat Baltimore. The only difference between a K-State game and the rest of the schedule is that we all know which game I'm watching if the Cats are playing.
TB: The kid turned two this week, so we'll have family in town for birthday party. I'll be watching Texas-Oklahoma,
00: I'm going to be in the stands at The Bank, watching Minnesota take the lead in the B1G West. There, I called it. :)
Kitchen: Off to McPherson and Winfield this weekend to hang with the fiance's family and celebrate her grandpa, a World War II veteran, turning 99. Pretty cool stuff.
In the latest chapter of one of the most interesting cockroach rumors college football has ever produced, Jim Harbaugh has again been linked as a possible coaching candidate for the Kansas Jayhawks. Pretend, if you're able, that this won't-die thing has some legs. What would Harbaugh mean for Kansas? The Sunflower Showdown?
Jon: I suddenly have visions of 38-9 and Bo Pelini and ... look, let's just not allow this to happen. Harbaugh to Michigan, save us the trouble.
TB: He can certainly coach, and he built a program at Stanford. But if his wife (WHO'S FROM OLATHE IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW) has such pull over where he coaches, then why has he coached in California for the last 10 years? It could happen, but I am from Missouri, so you will have to show me.
00: This is like a roll of stupid wrapped around a cake of stupid. It will never happen. I'm not convinced Harbaugh alone is enough to change the tide in the Sunflower Showdown, though KU has had demonstrated success when they've had even a halfway competent football mind walking the sidelines. So yeah, let's make sure this never happens!
Kitchen: Nothing is impossible, but I will give credit to this storyline's ability to recycle. Harbaugh would be fun for headline purposes, but if I'm a KU fan, I would always question how long he would stay, which isn't an easy feeling when you know your program lacks stability. As for the K-State rivalry, if Harbaugh (or anybody else) isn't ever long for that gig, I don't see it affecting the rivalry much with one side in constant flux. (Then again, I say that like K-State fans don't have to consider the quickly-approaching day that Bill Snyder won't be on the sideline.)
We rarely go this far out, but how about a parting shot regarding any college football topic you'd like. What's top-of-your-mind regarding news and things around the sport?
Jon: I was amused to see everyone make a big deal out of the Big Ten granting lifetime athletic scholarships. Folks, a Big Ten member (Indiana) had already done so individually. There was no way the rest of the conference wasn't following suit with quickness, because failing to do so would have meant a recruiting advantage for the Hoosiers. And now that the entire conference has done it, you can expect the rest of the Power 5 to follow suit soon-ish, although the SEC might be slower. After all, they aren't recruiting students ...
TB: It's time for us to stop focusing on the number of SEC teams in the polls as evidence of some huge SEC bias or conspiracy. The SEC West is as good a division as I've ever seen this year, though I won't be surprised if we find out that Alabama, LSU and Arkansas aren't that great. It's not the number of teams in the poll that concerns me, it's the behavior of the pollsters in response to big wins (or losses) by SEC teams and changing the narrative as the season goes. If we get to November and people are still saying "Texas A&M had a really good win over South Carolina," then yeah, scream bias all you want.
00: I'm fascinated by the Heisman race and how it's essentially an off-field creation by ESPN and other mainstream media outlets. Yesterday, one of the talking heads essentially admitted that Dak Prescott has the inside edge over Todd Gurley because "Prescott has a better story." Not better on-field accomplishments, not better statistics, none of that. Prescott is a better story. Once you hear someone on ESPN say this, how can you not acknowledge that they essentially crown Heisman winners for their marketability and not their athletic prowess? (Yes, this is basically fallout from an argument I had several weeks ago on BOTC!)
Kitchen: Everybody everywhere likes to point at their rivalry and trumpet it as the most intense/best one. Brothers and sisters, I'm here to tell you there is nothing that comes close to Alabama vs. Auburn. The latest example: The capital murder case that just found a man guilty of shooting ex-Auburn players at a party in 2012 after a fight broke out. You combine that with tree poisonings, Phyllis from Mulga (Google her), and the daily mud-slinging on Paul Finebaum's show, and the level of crazy is unlike anything else.