Character, class, and dignity. These are all words which, when used in reference to Kansas State and its athletic programs, don't cause guffaws and snickers and outright belly laughs. Sure, there have been some missteps here and there over the last 25 years, but they've mostly been of the "stupid decision" variety. Why, K-State even once took a scholarship away from a player who was accused of a crime even though the end result of that fiasco was the alleged victim nearly getting arrested for filing a false report.
So when Jimbo Fisher talks about how Florida State runs its program with character and class and dignity as a means of defending the circus surrounding his star quarterback... let's just say that perhaps we need to go find Jimbo a dictionary. Because even if you ignore the 800-pound gorilla in Jamies Winston's closet, it's hard to look at Florida State's program and think "character". It's hilarious to think of him being chased out of Publix with a bunch of crab legs jammed into his sweats and use the word "dignity." And it's impossible to think of Winston's vulgar outburst that got him suspended and apply the word "class". That's really not what any of these words mean, Jimbo.
The simple reality here is that Jimbo Fisher shouldn't be defending Winston. Coaches constantly talk about molding young men, and when they recruit a player there is an implicit message to the parents is that the coach will in large part be the kid's parent. We hear about this all the time whenever a parent is interviewed about why their child chose a school. But when the player acts like a complete idiot, and the coach not only does pretty much nothing about it -- including just standing around looking helpless and bemused when the suspended player runs out onto the field in full pads -- but actively defends him, that sends a message.
And that message is "We don't care how much of an embarrassment you are off the field. Just win games."
That's not character, Jimbo. That's basically the exact opposite of it.Sure, your job is to win football games. You can do that without looking like a clueless idiot. You need Winston on the field? Fine. Play him. This isn't a call to bench the guy. But don't sit there with a microphone in your face and make a fool of yourself trying to pretend everything's unicorns and rainbows. Jameis Winston is a kid who has no concept of consequences for bad actions, and you are not helping him learn. Even if you're riding him in private, publicly you're covering for him. In the process you're sending the message to him that nothing is more important than football.
K-State lands at #11 in both the AP and coaches' polls, having wrested that position away from Oklahoma in single combat. Over in the fanposts, jeffp171 offers up this week's Transitivity Rankings, which if you haven't been checking out... well, you should. In this week's edition, the Wildcats check in at #6.
Sports on Earth's Matt Brown thinks an 11-1 Big 12 champ will get into the playoff -- maybe. But if not, he's still penciling the conference in for two of the Big Bowls.
SI's Andy Staples points out that while the Big 12 is actually looking good, the non-conference schedule may actually help the SEC push the Big 12 out of the playoff. He also says K-State is cheating (and so is everyone else running the POP). Honestly, he's not wrong.
Also at SI, SB Nation alum Martin Rickman offers three key facts from Saturday's win.
Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News (via the Houston Chronicle) thinks Baylor and OU just shot the Big 12 in the foot.
USA Today's Paul Myerberg is on the bandwagon, claiming K-State is definitely in the playoff picture.
NBC's Kevin McGuire breaks down the Big 12 tiebreakers. You know, just in case there isn't One True Champion.
Power rankings: David Ubben has the 'Cats second, and so does Berry Tramel.
On the homefront: at the Capital-Journal, Kevin Haskin examines K-State's immediate future, as well as reporting on their immediate past. Also, Ken Corbitt digs into the ups and downs of being Morgan Burns.
Finally, for the first time in a dozen years Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri State played somewhere other than Arrowhead. Justice prevailed, as the Gorillas ruined the day for 11,000 people in Maryville.
Sophomore Sara Castellano reached the semifinals of the ITA Central Regional Championship on Sunday before bowing out in straight sets to Oklahoma State's Vladica Babic.
K-State finished third in Varsity 8 and second in Novice 8 at the Jayhawk Jamboree in Lawrence on Sunday. All three boats which finished ahead of the Wildcats in those two races belonged to Iowa, which should send at least one staff member here into paroxysms of outrage. The Varsity 4 also went to Iowa, with three Hawkeye boats finishing in the top four; Tulsa was second, and K-State B took fifth. On the bright side, the Wildcats beat Kansas across the board... other schools participating: Wichita State and Drake. The event concludes the fall schedule.