The Kansas State Wildcats, if you haven't heard by now because you're dead or something else close, are on bye this week. It gives us time to shake off the Iowa St. ick for a final time, look ahead a bit to the Auburn Tigers and give our picks for the teams we would love to see play at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Any last lingering thoughts from Ames?
TB: Deep breaths, people. The team got stuck in a rut for a quarter against a team it clearly outclassed, but they pulled it together and got a win, on the road, in Week 2. We'll find out soon enough if the poor tackling was due to lack of effort and focus, or just poor fundamentals. I'm more concerned about the poor assignment discipline, but they have 11 days to work on that.
Jon: I'm still wondering what sort of "effort" deficiency prevents a football player from using his arms, but now I'm just harping. I'm not as upset as I was Saturday, though; I have faith that the problem will sort itself out, and I think the comeback was huge for this team going forward.
00: I witnessed something I've seen a few times before in a K-State game, though not in a Big 12 game: complacency. The team went up by two scores very quickly and then the defense just on its hands for a quarter. Much as we fans tend to do, I think the players forgot there isn't a huge talent differential between Iowa State and Kansas State. You have to play all sixty minutes all the time.
Kitchen: The lingering thought is ... papercut; what happened there was a deep papercut that caused an immediate sharp pain and bled like crazy but was gone in a matter of, in this case, about 15 minutes. Well documented by this point, it was a great learning experience for this group that it can't ever, ever, ever, ever, ever go stupid at this level for any length of time against anybody, or bad things will happen.
The Big 12 suspended the two individuals who were responsible for replay in the KSU/ISU game because procedure wasn't followed in time for Tyler Lockett's catch at the goal line to be reviewed. What's your take on the play - complete or not?
TB: Watching it live, I thought it was a completion. Lockett cradled the ball cleanly and it looked like he dragged his feet inbounds. The replays I saw were, at best, inconclusive. I was surprised they didn't stop the game to review it, so I'm not surprised there was a reprimand. I'm more interested to see if this signals a new era in Big 12 management of game officials, because I don't remember anything like this before.
Jon: I think K-State caught a break. It's a stupid rule -- it only makes sense if a ball carrier hitting the front edge pylon with the ball doesn't score a touchdown, and it's the only place on the field where the sideline extends vertically -- but it's the rule, and I think Lockett's leg hit the pylon before he caught the ball.
00: I'm still confused by the actual no-call. Even if it was a completion and even if the rule is open to interpretation, I'm still surprised they didn't halt play for the review. I guess K-State could be accused of gaming that a little, snapping the ball so quickly. But it is what it is.
Kitchen: It was clear-cut incomplete by college football rule. I think it's pretty unfortunate for Iowa St. that the process failed in such spectacular fashion to where no replay was even called for. While it was good for K-State's in-game chances, that sort of breakdown is not good for the game's overall integrity and needs to be fixed. The suspension had to happen.
The hopeful assumption through the first two games was that the Wildcats were mostly vanilla in their game-planning and calls against Stephen F. Austin and Iowa State. Let's assume again and say that's correct; what do you want to see unveiled most in the Auburn game?
TB: A new variation on the POP pass concept. We've already seen a few, with throws to the tight end, fullback, and wide receiver. We've already seen a handful of wrinkles, with the forward pass off jet motion against SFA and Gronkowski lining up a wide receiver to lead block. Those are possible setups if we have a wrinkle off those concepts.
Jon: I'm with Pan on this: I want to see more West Coast-style patterns out there to confuse Auburn's already questionable secondary.
00: Auburn's secondary is not all-world, so I think getting Waters to chuck it around a bit might help grease the wheels for the Cats a little. But mostly, I'd just like to see someone punt as well as Ryan Doerr in the OU game in 2012. Field position is everything.
Kitchen: It's hard to disagree with what all of you have said here in terms of opening things up, but frankly, I would like to see a different sort of progress where K-State has figured out what they are really good at and continue to hammer away with what works: Waters & Lockett working sidelines; Charles Jones in the red zone; relying on an organic pass rush as opposed to blitzing more than normal; etc. I'm just a big believer in, at the college level, trusting in a very particular set of skills (hi, Liam Neeson) as opposed to trying to be kinda decent at lots of things. Collin Klein might back me up on this.
Auburn will be here next week -- one of those types of games many K-State fans dreamed of seeing in Manhattan back in the day. Other big-name schools have been here, but many others haven't. Who would you like to see play at Bill Snyder Family Stadium if it was just one time?
TB: Don't ask me why, but I'd love a home-and-home with LSU.
Jon: So many to choose from. Alabama and Notre Dame would be at the top of the list, just because of the attention they'd bring.
00: Notre Dame. I think a home game against Notre Dame would be a historical event for the entire state. It would be a total media circus, but also a sign that we have finally arrived. I'd also like to see a regular/sort-of-annual series against Missouri. Just to make KU mad.
Kitchen: Man, Notre Dame and Alabama would be cool now that I think about it. I like that things are at a place where Mississippi State made me yawn a little. Hmm ... what about Penn State? Ohio State? Florida State? I guess any of the traditional powerhouses would be awesome. I'm not picky.