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Football is almost upon us

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The Wildcats will kick off their 2021 campaign tomorrow.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Wildcat nation, there’s just one more sleep (or Keenan Garber days) before Real Live K-State Football happens! That means we can stop talking about the myriad things that have occupied our minds these past weeks and just focus on things that happen on the field.

I went to my first live college football game since 2019 last night, and although the outcome was not to my liking, I reveled in all the rest of the sights and sounds that make college football such a unique experience: the band, the fight song, the weird (sometimes even dumb) game day traditions that each program has, the enthusiasm of the other (possibly inebriated) fans, even the gently falling rain. It was oddly perfect, and if anything, it renewed my love for a version of the sport that may not survive far into the future.

What am I saying? This season is going to be fun, and we should enjoy it as much as we possibly can.

With that, here are all the Stanford game-related linkie thingies I could find.

The All-State Kickoff Classic is scheduled for 11 AM (check out the all-important How To Watch post for all the details). We’ve already groused about the early kickoff, but Stanford isn’t too happy about it either. Indeed, head coach David Shaw is positively livid about what amounts to a 9 AM start time his team and their fans.

Kellis Robinett’s weekly K-State Q&A riffs on various issues including how Kansas State fans will vastly outnumber Stanford fans in Dallas, what to expect from Skylar Thompson and which previously unheralded players might make a name for themselves in this game.

— Thompson has the opportunity to become one of the best quarterbacks in the conference this year, at least in terms of efficiency. But the only stat Thompson actually cares about is the number of wins Kansas State racks up this year.

Stanford has not yet named a starting quarterback for the game, but expect both Tanner McKee and Jake West to take snaps against the Wildcats tomorrow.

— For those of you interested in what Vegas has to say about this game, here’s the line: K-State at -3, over/under 53.

— The Big 12 is dead. Here’s a requiem.

— On the other hand, maybe rumors of the Big 12’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. A new expansion suggestion is making the rounds.

If Kansas State was an MLS team, it would be the Philadelphia Union? Ok, I might be on board with this, especially because Stanford wasn’t even featured as an MLS team here.

— Here’s the 2021 College Football Shame Grid, i.e. an indication of how good or bad you should feel about your program, both on the field and off. Kansas State is an “admirable weakling” which is much worse than Iowa State being an “admirable powerhouse” (WHAT?) but much better than KU’s very appropriate “embarrassing weakling” designation.

There’s plenty of discussion fodder here, so kick back, grab a drink (perhaps some Wabash Reserve) and tell us how you think this game is going to play out.

Happy Friday! As you contemplate/watch/discuss Kansas State football this weekend, keep this in mind. In the immortal words of that famous Kansan, Ted Lasso (who may have gotten it from Walt Whitman), “be curious, not judgmental.”