Running a little late today, since I had to stop at the community building in Grantville, Kansas to do my civic duty. If you haven’t already, make sure you do yours, too. If you don’t vote, don’t complain. Regardless of party leanings and political rancor, there is one point we can all unite behind: It will be a relief to have the political season behind us.
Now, on to the sports.
It’s time to put that West Virginia debacle in our rearview mirrors, as well. Coming attractions look pretty daunting, with the No. 14 Oklahoma State Cowboys coming to town, and no doubt coming in angry after they dropped last week’s game to Texas 41-34 in overtime. Kickoff will be at 3:00, and the game will air on big Fox. Oklahoma State is favored by 10, and K-State can’t complain about that line.
In his “Five Things” column, Kellis Robinett brings up bad memories of last season, when Cowboys tailback Chuba Hubbard rushed for 296 yards in his team’s 26-13 victory over the Wildcats. The game is pivotal to both teams’ hopes of claiming the Big 12 title.
K-State coach Chris Klieman broke from regular routine and held a Sunday practice this week. It was not punishment or panic after the ill-fated trip to Appalachia. He drilled the team on Sunday because election day is now an off-day for student-athletes.
Basketball talk so far has been minimal, but with the season-opening tipoff about three weeks away, expect the anticipation to rise soon. The pandemic struck another casualty, however, as the start of a planned three-game series between K-State and Nebraska will have to be delayed a year. The first game is now slated for December 19, 2021 in Lincoln. It will be followed by 2022 game at T-Mobile Arena in Kansas City and a game in Manhattan the following season.
Ryan Black at the Mercury reports on the death of Jim Iverson, a starting guard on the 1951 K-State team that made it all the way to the national championship game before falling to Kentucky. Iverson, who went on to coach nine seasons at South Dakota State, was 90.
On the women’s side, ESPN previewed the Big 12 season, naturally giving tons of focus to the dominant Baylor Bears. Two of the three columnists gave big love to K-State center Ayoka Lee, however, calling her the best “big” in the Big 12. Two of them also predicted Jeff Mittie’s squad will finish fourth and qualify for the NCAA tournament field.
Also, though not directly a K-State story, we would be heartlessly remiss not to mention the passing of former Oklahoma basketball coach Billy Tubbs, who died over the weekend at age 85. You would be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining moment from a rival coach than when referee Ed Hightower compelled Tubbs to admonish the crowd not to throw things on the floor at LLoyd Noble arena in a game against Missouri, and he complied by telling them to refrain from doing so, no matter how atrocious the officiating might be. RIP, Coach Tubbs. You were one of a kind.
K-State Sports Extra revisits the tennis squad’s big weekend at the Mike Goss Tennis stadium, focusing on the importance of team spirit in a sport that can, at times, feel like a solitary, isolating game.
The BatCats are up to the philanthropy game again, this time getting into costume for the annual ALS Halloween Game. Coach Hughes wasn’t able to assemble his costume of choice, but he pulled off a pretty good “Joker.” Lots of pictures and video of the fun in the link.