(Ed: I'm not using the standard headers today, because I can't make this work if I do! Apologies for the extreme tardiness of today's Slate. I had some internet connectivity woes. Ugh.)
A is for Apathy or that sense of utter disinterest one gets when reading this article, which suggests Big 12 hopefuls TCU and Kansas State need a lot of help to make it to the playoffs. (Todd Saelhof, Calgary Sun)
B is for Bring on the Podcast where Luke Thompson talks to Kyle Porter of the Pistols Firing blog about all things Oklahoma State.
C is for Curry Sexton, whose emergence as a receiver has helped Kansas State add another offensive weapon. (Kellis Robinett, Kansas City Star)
D is for Defense and our cousins at Cowboys Ride for Free previewed the Kansas State defense, noting the Wildcats' stoutness against the run and hoping the pass coverage is weak enough to allow Daxx Garman some yards through the air. Garman could use a good game, as he's regressed considerably since his 370-yard Big 12 debut against Texas Tech. (Berry Tramel, The Oklahoman)
E is for Elijah Lee, the freshman linebacker who is making waves at K-State, an unusual situation for a freshman. (Kellis Robinett, Kansas City Star)
F is for Family, a concept embodied by the Kansas State linebacking crew, who have grown together as a unit. (Emilio Rivera, K-State Collegian)
G is for Gundy, as in Mike, the head coach at Oklahoma State. This is his tenth year heading up the Cowboys, but only the fifth meeting with Bill Snyder. Gundy is a surprising 3-1 against Snyder, including a win last year. He's also infamous for his "I'm a man" rant, brilliantly parodied by a kid here.
H is for History. The year was 1989 and Bill Snyder was a rookie head coach taking over the worst program in college football. Oklahoma State was reeling from a 1-4 start, and its quarterback, one Mike Gundy came into the game limping. But he left the field triumphant, as reflected in this archival piece: Cowboys' Mr. Clutch: Gundy rallies OSU past Kansas State. (Berry Tramel, with archival content from Bob Hersom, The Oklahoman)
I is for Improvement and Kansas State is showing daily progress on that front. That's good news for a program that prides itself on getting a little bit better everyday. (Tate Steinlage, K-State Collegian)
J is for Jake Waters, who is leading his team to a possible Big 12 title. Though Waters' production remains modest (i.e. he has not had a 300-yard passing game this season), he can make things happen with his legs and as a dual-threat, he remains dangerous to opposing teams. (Associated Press, via FoxSports.com)
K is for Kansas State, widely predicted to win this weekend, including by Oklahoma State fans. One fan at CRFF even referred to Bill Snyder as Voldemort (and now you've said You-Know-Who's name? You are in so much trouble).
L is for Line, which is currently at -14.5 for this game. The games between Oklahoma State and Kansas State have been close the last few years though.
M is for Mississippi State, the sport's newly anointed leader, and a school that is following its own path to success, finding lightly recruited players and turning them into conference superstars. That sounds really familiar. (Dan Wolken, Cowbell Thunder)
N is for Narrative, as in the tale of seemingly unrelated events ESPN uses to describe the SEC West's dominance over college football. (ESPN staff, SEC blog)
O is for Orange Is the New Black (and Orange). Halloween has always been Oklahoma State's favorite time of the year, but playing in Manhattan could be a scary proposition for the Cowboys, who are 1-7 in road games against Kansas State. (Kyle Fredrickson, The Oklahoman)
P is for Primer, and here's ESPN's primer on the Kansas State-Oklahoma State game (Max Olson, ESPN's Big 12 blog).
Q is Quote, as in this one from Gundy (quoted by Bill Haisten, Tulsa World):
There’s not a lot of promises out there in the world," Gundy said this week, "but one of them is you don’t have to worry about me (coaching) at 75.
That makes me sad. There's nothing I want more than a Gundy senior citizen rant: "I'm 75! I'm an old man!"
R is for Rim Rock Farm, which is the host site for the Big 12 cross country championships. The women are expected to have a strong showing to match or exceed their fifth place finish last season. The men's team is hoping to improve on last year's eighth place finish.
S is for Stars, and as reported by KSUEMAW!, Kansas State now has two brand new three-star commits: defensive back Bryce Balous (McKinney, Texas) and athlete Alex Barnes from closer to home in Pittsburg, Kansas.
T is for Tennis, and the Wildcats will wrap up their fall season with a trip to Houston for the Jason's Deli Collegiate Invitational. The team will be led by sophomore Iva Bago, along with fellow sophomores Sara Castellano and Palma Juhasz. All three have posted more than five singles wins this season so far.
U is for Umbrage. Now it's Kirk Hebrstreit's turn to take offense at the idea that ESPN may have a particular bias. He sounded off to Colin Cowherd on the issue, calling the people "clueless" and using metaphors for low-hanging fruit and sheep to describe recent concerns about ESPN's SEC slant. Interestingly, he points out the one area where ESPN is left out. When SEC games are on network TV (on CBS) opposite ESPN's own Saturday night coverage, Herbstreit and the other broadcasters are not even allowed to discuss the CBS game. (Chance Linton, 247Sports)
V is for Violence, which really ought to have no role in sports celebrations. But fans of the World Series-winning San Fransisco Giants did not get that particular memo, as fan celebrations turned raucous and the gunfire was exchanged. It's the sort of thing you expect from fans in Morgantown or East Lansing. (Associated Press via the New York Daily News)
W is for Wildcats in the NFL and their Week 8 performances as profiled by BracketCat.
X is for eXhibition. The women's basketball team hosts Emporia State in a two-game exhibition series at Bramlage on November 3. Be there to support the team!
Y is for Yesterday and specifically, it's for the Your Town Sucks meme that was alive and well in the Slate comments section.
Z is for Zumach, as in Kylee Zumach, the freshman volleyball player who needs only 10 more kills to reach 300 for the season. She will be only the sixth Kansas State player to reach this milestone. The No. 22-ranked Wildcats are back in action this weekend against Texas Tech at Ahearn Fieldhouse.