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SLATE: The COVID Follies continue

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Plus the preseason polls are starting to roll in.

Now, why are we using a Mountaineer logo?
Now, why are we using a Mountaineer logo?
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Before we get to the dreary pandemic news, we’ll start your day off with something you were all already used to before this hellyear began: Kansas State being disrespected.

The official Big 12 media preseason poll is out, and to the surprise of nobody here K-State landed in seventh place. As is our wont, we broke down the vote totals to see what’s really going on.

The first and most striking thing to note is that at least 80 of the 90 voters — the same number of voters who picked Oklahoma first — picked Kansas to finish last. It’s potentially higher than that, as what the 100-point total for Kansas means is that they got ten points more than unanimity in some fashion; for all we know, some nitwit picked them to finish second and 88 voters picked them dead last. Ten voters picking them ninth is far more likely, though.

As for the Sooners, there are literally only two possible conclusions one can draw from their point total: either one voter picked them to finish fourth (80-9-0-1), or they went 80-8-2.

Four Big 12 teams very neatly slotted into their positions in the poll, being 90 points clear of the teams nearest them in any direction. The Sooners and Jayhawks obviously fit that description; Iowa State was an undisputed fourth, and the Wildcats were the clear pick for seventh place. Oklahoma State (with six first-place votes) and Texas (with four) are expected to battle it out for the other spot in the Big 12 Championship Game, Baylor and TCU are pegged to fight over the five and six spots, and Texas Tech and West Virginia are in a hot race for eighth and ninth. The Baylor-TCU question is the toughest one of the poll, as the two teams were separated by a mere 12 points.

College Football News, aka USA Today, has their own preseason predictions for the Big 12. Pete Fiutak shows K-State more respect than the Big 12 media, picked the Wildcats to finish sixth. For what it’s worth, Fiutak expects K-State to be better this year than they were in 2019.

At Pats Pulpit, our sister site covering the New England Patriots, Bernd Buchmasser reports on the chances of an undrafted free agent wide receiver making the roster. Who? None other than erstwhile Wildcat Isaiah Zuber.

And now, onto the Rona.

Josh Peter at USA Today reports on concerns that college football players are merely being used as guinea pigs this summer by universities trying to determine whether they’ll actually be able to reopen. In an embedded video on the same article, the inestimable Christine Brennan points out that the Ivy League’s decisions often presage what the rest of football — even the Power Five — will do, so you might want to prepare for a fall without football.

MetroNews in Charleston, W.V., reports — off what appears to be a simple press release — that 19 more Mountaineers have tested positive since their last release. That is more than two-thirds of the 28 positive tests since athletes returned to campus in June, and the overall positivity rate since they returned is 8%. Unfortunately, there’s no prior testing update in West Virginia’s news archive; those new cases could all be from this week or could be new cases since players reported in the first place. Transparency for the win!

K-State’s last update on testing was a week ago today. It should be noted that in comparison to West Virginia’s 28 positive tests on the football team, K-State had 29 positive tests across all sports through July 13. If there have been no new positives in the last week, it would appear that while the preseason got off to a rocky start for the Wildcats, they’re at least managing things better now than their eastern brethren.