I'm a big fan of Chris Fowler, and I have been ever since he was hosting Scholastic Sports America back in the dark ages. In an environment where dignity is almost a forgotten element, he (along with Rece Davis) has retained his for the most part into a fourth decade as an important voice at the Worldwide Leader. For all that one might complain about ESPN, he has always been one of the good things about the network.
So naturally, I was terribly disheartened to see his statements which were mostly a rebuttal to Bo Pelini, but in reality a broadsides across the bow of pretty much everyone. I tend to agree with Fowler that we should extend the playoff committee the benefit of the doubt, but I also share the concerns of many of our commenters here, among others, who believe that the committee cannot help but be influenced by the media attention given to certain schools. And whether Fowler wants to admit it or not, or is even capable of it due to deep forest syndrome, ESPN's relationship with the SEC does impact their coverage and narratives. Perhaps it's not intentional, and perhaps it has nothing to do with their business relationships, but just watch SportsCenter on Saturday nights. Watch College Gameday Final. Then watch Fox Sports Live. The situation cannot possibly be more clear here. ESPN gives entirely too much attention to the SEC. Their reasons may be valid; obviously, covering the teams at the top of the polls is more important from both a journalistic and ratings standpoint than covering the rest, and therefore we should expect to see more airtime given to the SEC right now.
But not to the extent they're doing it, and that's why Fowler's characterization of the concerns people have about ESPN's role as being "stupid" is insulting. It's not stupid, Chris. It's valid, and you should take a moment to really consider the impact your network has on the sport as a whole before dismissing everyone in such a cavalier fashion. It's a bad look, especially when your network devotes three times as much airtime during its putative news broadcasts to the SEC as your rivals over at News Corp do.
And yes, I understand that the immediate rebuttal may be that FOX has a vested interest in promoting the Big 12 and Pac-12, in which case my only possible response is, "And you think we're stupid for suggesting you have the same motives?" I'm sure you can see the logical disconnect in that argument.
Because most of the staff was on the road yesterday, nobody posted anything. We're really sorry about that, but we're not going to apologize for having a totally awesome weekend.
Also, KSUEMAW! drunk is a sight to behold.
Later today, we'll have this week's Transitivity Rankings from brand new BOTC contributor jeffp171, and Nugget is taking over Unboxing the Polls from me, so he may have that up later today as well.
It's time to pre-order your bowl tickets.
Saturday's game will not be at 11:00 AM. The 'Cats will face off against Oklahoma State at 7pm on ABC.
K-State remained at #11 in both the AP poll and the coaches' poll yesterday, as Mississippi's loss wasn't enough to pull the Rebels south of K-State's position. However, the 'Cats did gain 25 points in the writers poll and a whopping 70 -- which would normally be good for a full one-spot rise in the rankings -- in the coaches'. That was aided by some votes shifting in the 'Cats favor from Baylor and (especially) Ohio State, both of whom lots a subtantial portion of their support this week. The only real shakeups this week were caused by Mississippi, USC, and Minnesota losing, with LSU being the primary benefactor along with Duke and UCLA creeing back into the bottom of the polls.
No link for this, but it's stunning: Texas Tech opened as five-point favorites over Texas.
The AP's Ralph Russo (via the San Francisco Chronicle) discusses the lack of defense among the playoff contenders, and I'm sure you all have some words for him after Saturday. Also from the AP, via USA Today, Dave Skretta says Bill Snyder's not worried about the playoff -- and wishes the media would talk about something other than who's going to be in it.
The SF Chronicle makes a second appearance today, as Jake Curtis notes that the first playoff poll coming out Tuesday is probably going to differ from the AP and Coaches' polls.
Zach Braziller of the New York Post is grumpy. He says the new playoff isn't much better than what we had before.
Matt Brown at Sports on Earth has his weekly rewind. Not much to say about K-State this week, but always a good read.
After all the Mississippi hullabaloo the last few weeks, NBC's Zach Barnett wants you to know that things are pretty spiffy in the state of West Virginia right now, too.
Speaking of West Virginia, Cam Huffman of the Beckley Register-Herald notes that the Mountaineers and TCU have finally gotten used to being in the Big 12.
Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News is worried the Big 12's going to get shut out of the playoff.
FOX Sports Southwest is amused at K-State owning Texas; also embedded in this article is video of Joel Klatt and Dave Wannstedt discussing the game.
Dante Barnett got a helmet sticker from ESPN's Max Olson, which is weird because he dropped more passes than all of K-State's wideouts combined.
The Tulsa World's John Klein is looking ahead to the titanic K-State/TCU matchup, although this coming weekend could potentially foul up those plans.
Power rankings from the Oklahoman's Berry Tramel. He's got K-State first. He's also got TCU third.
Finally, from the Capital-Journal: Kevin Haskin opines on the playoff poll release coming Tuesday, and Ken Corbitt introduces us to Matt McCrane, whose dad is a Longhorn alum.
Amina St. Hill and Iba Bago both went 4-0 over the weekend at the Drake Jamboree in that city TB claims doesn't even exist. The Wildcats notched 15 singles wins and 5 doubles wins on the weekend. This coming weekend in Houston, the Wildcats finish the fall schedule at the Jason's Deli Collegiate Invitational.
Former Wildcat Robert Streb now has a new title: PGA Tour Winner. Streb captured the McGladrey Classic title at St. Simon's Island, Ga., with a sparkling 63 to cap a come-from behind run on the final day -- which he began five strokes off the lead -- to force a three-way playoff with Will MacKenzie and Brendon de Jonge. Streb birdied the second playoff hole to capture the trophy.
Meanwhile, K-State's women are in fifth place after the first round of the Palmetto Intercollegiate in Kiawah Island, S.C. The Wildcats sit 16 strokes back of the leaders (and hosts) Coastal Carolina. Madison Talley is the highest-ranked K-Stater, tied for seventh place three strokes back of leader Eunice Yi of Georgia Regent's-Augusta.
From the Collegian: K-State educator salaries still lag behind what's needed to complete K-State 2025, and Patrick White discusses the chaos that will be caused by traffic changes involved in the 2025 plan, which will sever Claflin Road and Mid-Campus Drive.