Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Breaking Bad relocated

For those of you looking for our totally amazing Breaking Bad recaps, they've migrated to our all TV all the time blog, Watching TV with the Millers.  We recap a variety of shows, but if you're mainly looking for Breaking Bad coverage, you can go here to see them all:

Off you go, now.  Scoot, scoot.   

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Change of address!

Looking for 2013 football information?  I've migrated to a new site that is hopefully easier to use and understand and love and enjoy, etc, etc, etc. 

The new home is called Third and Short and can be found here:  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Big 12 Preseason Ranking Predictions

The Big 12 preseason conference rankings come out tomorrow. This ranking is notoriously awful, mind-numbingly stupid and aggressively frustrating.  It makes all fans simultaneously stabby for a multitude of reasons.  So to prepare ourselves for this day of days, Steven and I have come up with our versions of the rankings.  Wouldn't life be better if we ran the world?  July 18th certainly would be.

My rankings:

1. TCU
2. K-State
3. Oklahoma State
4. Oklahoma
5. Baylor
6. Texas
7. Texas Tech
8. West Virginia
9. Iowa State
10. KU

Yes, I know, I have TCU ahead of K-State.  Yes, I know, that is sacrilegious and wrong.  But... I have a good (bad) feeling about TCU this year and there are a lot of question marks on our team.  Like, a lot a lot.  Like, so many that in August, there will be almost a full month of blog posts breaking down all the new people and positions and units and coaches.  A full month devoted to question marks.  That's a lot of uncertainty, and therefore, a #2 ranking.  I'm sure I'll immediately regret it when Les Miles stomps the horns off the frogs on opening weekend, but for now, this is what I'm sticking with.

What I think the dummies in charge will do:

1. Oklahoma
2. Texas
3. Oklahoma State
4. TCU
5. Baylor
6. K-State
7. West Virginia
8. Texas Tech
9. Iowa State
10. KU

This is what it always is, but I'm comforted this year by the fact that K-State landed 5 players on the preseason all Big 12 team while OU only had 2.  That's a big change from 2 years ago when they had 9.  Realistically though, Texas and OU will always top this list because they'll always have the best recruiting class.  Then in October, we'll realize that they still can't coach worth a lick and the cream (TCU, K-State, OSU, Baylor) will rise to the top.    

Steven's rankings

What they will say:
6-Texas Tech
8-Iowa State
9-West Virginia

What they should say:
4-Iowa State
9-West Virginia

Join us tomorrow to rant and rave and take a walk through the many, many, many years that the preseason rankings have been horribly, offensively, wrong.  Fear not, K-State faithful.  This will all get sorted out on the field.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

K-State vs. Oregon Preview: Fiesta Bowl 2013

Confession: I'm not a big fan of the bowl system.  It used to be a fun way to spend the first day of the year, because the first day of the year used to be stuffed with games, all day long.  This year we were down to one game by 4 in the afternoon.  Bowl season is the only time I really notice how much TV has changed college football.  But I digress.  My beef with the bowl system is that there are so few good games where both teams feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with their draw.  Fans are apathetic, stadiums are empty, games are sloppy and coaches are already looking ahead to the next season and the next job and the next recruiting class.

Fortunately for us, this is one of the good ones.

Oregon Ducks (11-1)

Yep.  I'm putting my bias in the pictures now.  You don't even get a whole picture to yourself, Ducks.  

Players to watch
Marcus Mariota - Mariota is one of the freshmen sensations, joining Johnny Manziel in the year of overrated youngsters.  He's supposedly good, and all the sports guys are just drooling over the possibility of him having a great night and showing up that old man earnest, Collin Klein.  I think Meshak Williams wins this contest, but I might be a teensy bit biased. 

Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas - So. Much. Speed.  Far faster and far more consistent than Miami, these two are the real threats to our happiness, given the recent troubles we've had with speedy running backs against Baylor and Texas.  They're game changers.  I hope this is the last we hear of them. 

Dion Jordan and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - In doing my research for this blog, I was shocked - shocked! to discover that Oregon's defense led the nation with 38 takeaways (24 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries).  Why doesn't anyone talk about that?  Maybe because they can't pronounce Ekpre-Olomu's name.  I get that. 

Keys to Victory
Win third down - Neither team is spectacular at forcing three and outs, which leads me to think that the offense with more first downs at the end of the game will also be the offense with more points at the end of the game.  Call it a hunch.

Win the turnover battle - If it turns into a shoot-out, turnovers will become vital to victory.  K-State has the best turnover margin in the nation, but Oregon has forced more turnovers.  Momentum will be huge in this game, and there's no better spark than a takeaway.  Watch for it.

Stay focused - There's a lot of distractions for Oregon, and the Fiesta Bowl is not the shining achievement that it is for K-State.  If the pep rallies today were any indication, Oregon fans are not exactly invested in this ball game.  An early deficit or offensive frustration could knock Oregon off course early.  A fast start is crucial.   

Fun Facts
This is the first meeting between Oregon and K-State... ever.  That's actually a super uncommon event, so y'know, pay some attention to it.  We were supposed to play Oregon to open this season, but luckily, Coach Snyder came back and reason was restored to our non-conference schedule.  Oregon wanted out too, and no one had any beef about it until Oregon and K-State became a controversial #1 and #2 in the BCS standings.  Then, all of a sudden, it was our fault that Oregon's strength of schedule was so poor.  It only mattered for about a week, because we both lost on that fateful November 17th evening, just 30 minutes apart.  And now, here we are, no excuses left, no schedules to rearrange.  Our roads were destined to cross.  Ron Prince always gets his pound of flesh.

Chip Kelly is supposedly meeting with three NFL teams this weekend in Phoenix to figure out where he wants to live next year.  If I know this, surely his players and coaches know it too.  That + Fiesta Bowl fatigue + fan apathy + chronic under appreciation of K-State and SnyderBall = Perfect Cat Conditions.  No sports writer outside of Kansas has given K-State any shot of winning this game and Vegas has Oregon by 8.  It would be so sweet to send Kelly out on a loss. 

Bowl season always makes me reflect on K-State football history.  This article from 1989 helps me realize how far we've come, and how long people have been telling us we couldn't.  Wouldn't be right if they picked us to win this game.  That's just not the K-State way.

Another fun thing about the K-State way?  It now involves Modern Family.  It's fun to have a famous alum.

Kansas State Wildcats (11-1)

I love seeing Coach smile.

Players to watch

Collin Klein - I was listening to the K-State HDTV call of the Texas game today and Stan Weber mentioned that watching Collin run for a touchdown at BSFS for the last time almost brought a tear to his eye.  Even listening to it made me emotional.  Klein's never played his best in the off-season, but I'll just be happy to see him on our side, one last time. 

Tyler Lockett - I know that Chris Harper is the Oregon transfer and has the story, but did you also remember that this is Baby Lockett's first bowl game?  He was injured during the Cotton Bowl so the healthy receivers decided to drop 90% of what was thrown at them, as a reminder of the talent left behind on the sideline.  This year - he's healthy and ready to go.  We'll need his speed and his smarts and his sticky hands to keep the offense rolling.

Ty Zimmerman - Ty's back!  I am so excited.  Are you so excited?  He also had the funniest line at the pep rally that even made Coach giggle. Oh Ty.  I've missed you so.

Arthur Brown - Last game for big game Arthur in a K-State uniform.  Last year he tried to climb over that Arkansas guy.  This year, I think he'll make it over anyone who dares step to him.  People "in the know" keep dismissing K-State because of Oregon's speed.  Apparently they've all forgotten about #4.  Please tune in for a refresher. 

Keys to Victory 
Defensive swarm - Oregon's offense looks a lot like ours when ours is on fire.  Trouble is, Oregon's offense catches fire a little more often than ours.  The best way to contain that blaze is to win first and second down.  Keep them behind schedule with short gains on first and second down, force them to throw on third down and hope the defense has gotten stronger and faster in the last month.  It will require the defense to get off blocks, tackle as a team, and, in general, swarm like mad.  We did it against West Virginia - no reason why we can't do it again.

Win the hidden yardage - Our kickoff coverage unit has given up some huge plays during the second half of the season.  Against a team with speed and offense to spare, we'd better have those coverage problems corrected.  Winning the hidden yardage makes it that much easier to execute our game plan.

No penalties - Ever notice how off track we get on offense and defense when a penalty call doesn't go our way?  It's the one bit of mental toughness that Snyder teams have never quite mastered.  Teams should really just take a shot after we get a penalty.  I bet the chances of success go up by at least 75%.  The only solution I know of is to eliminate penalties entirely.  I'm looking at you, Mueller.  

Goal of the Week:
#13: Expect to win.  It's been 10 years since we've won a bowl game.  Even so, I'm pretty sure this senior class expects to go out on a win to become the first 12 win team in K-State football history. 

Wouldn't it be fun to win a wild one?  Like all those nailbiters in 2011?  I can't imagine a more fitting ending.  Though I suppose I'd settle for a blow-out.  K-State wins it, 42-40. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Texas recap: Champions

These players love their coach.

 So 11-1 is how the regular season ends.  Back in August I predicted 13-0 or 11-2.  We're still on track toward the second, but I would be perfectly happy to be wrong and end up 12-1.  Senior night was a perfect blend of weird and wonderful and ended with Willie leading the crowd in a KSU chant from the top of the Dev Nelson press box for the very last time.  We rushed the field and looked up at Coach and the Captains and couldn't quite believe it was all over already.  How strange it must feel to Collin, who was recruited by Prince but ended up in the exact right place with the exact right coach and the exact right team at the exact right time in college football and the Big 12.  What a journey. 

Things that were good...

Great defense.  Texas got 1 yard on their first possession, and then threw an interception on the first play of the second possession.  After that, things got a little sloppy, but I was proud of the defense for coming out with fire in the first quarter.  The defense had the most to prove after the disaster in Waco, and they played like it.  There are still a few troubling holes in the line, but all in all, this was a great game for them.  And it should be, considering 10 of the 11 guys starting on defense are seniors. 

Great effort on long runs.  How many times have we been saved by great effort?  In this game it was Dante Barnett who chased down Daje Johnson in the second quarter on the play after the interception.  Then, on the next offensive series, Barnett caught up to Malcolm Brown to save another huge play.  Jarard Milo caught up with DJ Monroe in the third quarter to save a touchdown too.  We've seen it time and time again - if you don't get in the end zone on a big play, chances are you're only getting a field goal.  I was so proud of Barnett for continuing to fight, especially after his much maligned performance against Baylor.  That shows me he's using the Baylor loss as incentive to work even harder. 

Offensive persistence. The big drive in the first quarter that ended in an interception in the end zone was really, really pretty.  Great receptions by Harper, Tannahill and Thompson and solid running by Collin and Pease.  It was the typical up and down drive, with two sacks as well.  Great fight, great drive, unfortunate end.  It took them the rest of the half to shake it off, but they came out running in the second half and finally got back to their style of offense.  They never gave up, and the line executed at a high level all game long.  Very impressive stuff.  

Things that were not as good...

Weak pass rush.  I know this must have something to do with schemes and the loss of Walker and Zimmerman, but the lack of pass rush is so frustrating to me.  Case McCoy is a young quarterback, without much game experience, in a hostile environment, with a weaker arm.  Why couldn't we force him to scramble more?  We did end up with 4 sacks, so it wasn't terrible... there's just some room for improvement there. 

Third down defense.  Oof.  That third down defense killed us in the first half.  We would win first and second down by huge amounts, and then let them convert on a 3rd and 12, 15, 18?  So aggravating.  It was disheartening to the defense as well, because once it happened in a drive, they started winning first and second down easily too.  We've got to get back on track faster, especially against wicked fast Oregon. 

Kick return unit.  This unit has been hurting our illustrious special teams tradition all year long and this game was no exception.  It's like there's no safe guard built in if the runner gets past the first block.  Or maybe we don't get down there in time?  Are the kicks too short?  Whatever it is, it drives me crazy, and I hope we get it fixed by the bowl game.


Things that the seniors did...

I wished for quite a bit for the seniors in their last game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and quite a few of those came true.  Even though Braden Wilson still struggled carrying the ball, and Nigel Malone had his touchdown taken away, and Nick Puetz was injured and had to signal from the sideline, it was about as perfect a senior night as you could ask for.  Here's a few of the guys who stood out to me:

Justin Tuggle - finished with a tackle for loss, a sack and a smile on his face.  I thought he played with a passion and excitement that has been missing since September.  I'm excited to see what he can do against Oregon.  He deserves good things.  
Jarell Childs - ended the game with 7 tackles and was a huge factor in shutting down the Texas running game. 
Vai Lutui - Terrific sack in the second quarter.
Bubba Chapman - Do you know the story of Bubba and Nigel?  They were teammates at City College of San Francisco and when Nigel was recruited by K-State, he convinced his friend Bubba to conquer Kansas with him.  It's fitting that Nigel would get an interception in the first and Bubba in the fourth.  We were so fortunate to have this duo for the past two years.  Thanks for coming to Kansas, guys.
Arthur Brown - burned the running game to the ground and ended the game with a team high 11 tackles.  He was on a mission and I was inspired.
Nigel Malone - great, 2011-style interception and 2 solo tackles.  He was a beast in the open field. 
Chris Harper - this was the return to 2011 form I was looking for.  He caught 3 passes for 59 yards and they were all clutch.  He'll get the send-off he deserves with a game against Oregon and I can't wait to see how he'll avenge the Cotton Bowl disaster.  
Travis Tannahill - Tannahill bailed us out multiple times in this game and didn't even have to land on his head to do it.  On the Coach's show this week, he said that Tannahill has played hurt his entire K-State career.  If that's why we only run 2 tight end plays a game, I guess I can make my peace with it.
Roman Fields - it was a huge day on special teams for Roman and he was ecstatic about the three huge tackles he made.  Way to go out on a win, Roman.
Meshak Williams - sack, tackle for loss, all-around hoss.  I was so happy that his two for one sack in the TCU game made it into the new Stand Up video.  I'm going to miss that Meshak grin more than I realize.

Two lives changed forever.

Last but not least... #7.  Optimus Klein.  BillSnyder Kleinsdale.  Kleinapple Express.  Collin didn't play a perfect game, because no one can.  But he looked great on short drives, long drives, frustrating drives and scoring drives.  That even keel, that constant faith, that ever present leadership, heart, and courage is amazing and dare I say, Heisman worthy.  They may not be standard, but here are Collin's Heisman moments as I saw them.   1. In the first quarter, we got pinned at the one yard line and had to fight our way out.  At one point, Collin had to tight rope at the back of the end zone to make sure he stayed in bounds.  He completed a pass on 3rd and 10 that got called back on a penalty, then completed an even longer pass to Harper on the second chance.  To me, it was a drive that perfectly personified his game management skills.  2. Perfect option pitch to Hubert for the first touchdown of the third quarter.  No one will ever run the option that well.  We should just retire it after the Fiesta Bowl.  3. Beautiful touchdown throw to Lockett on the first play of the 4th quarter.  It was the longest passing play since Trujillo's first (and only) reception back in the Miami game. 4. Running touchdown in the 4th quarter off a beautiful block from Harper to make it 42-14.  He told reporters later that his teammates wanted him to strike a Heisman pose in the end zone but "that night and that game was about K-State and about a Big 12 championship and it needed to stay that way.” If the world continues to be cruel to K-State, good people and Collin Klein, Johnny Manziel will win the Heisman on Saturday night.  Fortunately for everyone, Collin will be successful anyway.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Thing You Never Knew You Needed But Now Can't Live Without - Week 14

It's championship weekend and everything is pretty much set.  The winner of the SEC championship game will face off against Notre Dame for the crystal ball and we all just have to deal with it.  Le sigh.  In light of that, I'm changing up the prediction format this week and giving the people what they really want: snarky commentary.  Enjoy it while you can.  The off-season is darkening our doorstep.

Big 12 Schedule

Heisman winner.  Coach of the Year.  

11:00 a.m. ESPN: OU at TCU
Because rules are stupid, if OU and K-State both win on Saturday, we have to share a Big 12 title with them, even though we beat them earlier in the season.  Does that make any sense?  No sir, it does not.  Hopefully, this bothers Patterson and the Frogs as much as it bothers me since apparently they're the only ones who can do anything about it.  College football is simultaneously the most wonderful and annoying thing in my life.  Prediction: OU doesn't win the Big 12.  At all.  Not even part of it.  No soup for you.     

11:00 a.m. FX: OSU at Baylor
This game has the potential to be an amazing point-splosion of highlight reel proportions.  Doesn't that sound fun?  Congratulations on surviving a whole season without threat of Big 12 conference implosion!  Enjoy the fireworks.  Prediction: Points and happiness for all, but mostly OSU because I like them and Lache Seastrunk ran over our dreams.   

1:30 p.m. FSN: KU at West Virginia
Maybe if this game was happening in Lawrence, in mid-October, KU might have a shot.  But now that the Mountaineers are bowl eligible and their fans are back and Tavon Austin is everywhere all the time and Geno Smith finally stopped pouting... the Jayhawks are going down.  For the 21st conference game in a row.  Thanks for playing, guys.  Better luck next year?  Prediction: Charlie Weis does have a sideline pillow and he will sit down and I am not making this up it did actually happen and I saw it so there.

7:00 p.m. ABC: Texas at K-State (extended preview available)
We're gonna win so hard that your coach will get fired! (What, too soon?) Prediction: 37-24, K-State.  Also, Lane Kiffin.

Best of the Rest

It's the battle of the ugly uniforms: part two!

3:00 p.m. CBS: Alabama vs. Georgia
This game will be unwatchable because the announcers will look for any opportunity to talk about Johnny Manziel.  I repeat, do not watch this game with the sound on.  Regardless of who wins, this game is a not-so-secret Heisman campaign for Johnny Manziel.  Remember that Holiday Bowl in 2009 where Nebraska played Arizona and lost spectacularly?  Probably not, because the game was just background noise to the incessant Ndamukong Suh chatter.  If you'll recall, he didn't win the Heisman either.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  Prediction: Manti Te'o wins the Heisman. 

7:00 p.m. ESPN: Florida State vs. Georgia Tech
Man the ACC is irrelevant.  I'm assuming the winner of this game gets to go to a BCS bowl.  I'm also assuming that no one would notice if they didn't.  If there's ever a time for Florida State to jump to the Big 12, it's now.  Prediction: This game will get accidentally pre-empted by a showing of A Charlie Brown Christmas and no one will complain.   

7:17 p.m. FOX: Nebraska vs. Wisconsin
The only thing weirder than the start time for this game is that Wisconsin is currently 7-5 and unranked.  Bielema is the saddest badger.  Then again, the Nebraska players really, really hate their coach, so maybe they'll throw the game just to see him get fired.  Is there a scenario where Nebraska could end up playing Texas in a bowl game?  Because that would be the perfect finale for Pelini and Brown's coaching careers.  Prediction: Montee Ball deserved better. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

K-State vs. Texas preview

You guys, this stinks.  Football season just started but somehow it's already time for the final weekend of the regular season.  The final College Gameday of 2012.  The final finale for our purple seniors at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.  How are we supposed to say goodbye to Collin?  To Arthur?  To Chris and Braden and Nick Puetz and Ryan Doerr and Bubba and Nigel and Jarell and Angelo and Davis and Cantele and Tuggle and Vai and Tannahill and his sweet, sweet tight end plays?  Oof.  The hits just keep on coming and I am going to flat out weep. 

Texas Longhorns (8-3)

It might be Mack Brown's last game in Bill Snyder Family Stadium too...

Players to Watch

#6, Quarterback Case McCoy: McCoy gets his first start of 2012 due to the fact that David Ash got hit in the ribs last week and didn't tell his coaches.  Why are the Texas QBs always such babies?  Hopefully Case didn't spend too much time talking to his brother about playing against K-State in Manhattan.  Better that he just experience the horror himself and then they can trade war stories after. 

#1, Wide Receiver Mike Davis: Davis is the real superstar of this Texas offense, though he becomes marginally less effective with the quarterback switch.  Still, we tend to be kind to superstar wide receivers, and Davis isn't one to turn down a favor.  I'd feel much more comfortable about this if we had Zimmerman back, but for now, I think we'll just have to hope for a weak offensive line and a renewed pass rush.  We didn't sack Nick Florence one single time.  That has to change.   

#32, Running Back Johnathan Gray: Remember how Texas' running backs were supposed to beat everyone in the league by a million percent?  And how their defense was projected to be an unstoppable force that even Nick Saban would drool over?  Neither of those things happened, further proving that Mack Brown is in his last year as ball coach of the mighty, mighty Longhorns.  Having said all that, Gray is currently their most consistent running back.  So... watch out for him.

Keys to Victory 
Protect your quarterback.  Case McCoy is getting the start this week because David Ash is injured.  They better hope there's someone backing up McCoy because Texas hasn't gotten through a game against us with just one quarterback since the Vince Young days.  That line better be ready to protect him in the pocket, and they better be ready to deal with #4 in the middle linebacker spot.  No Longhorn fan wants to see the end result of Case vs. Arthur.   

Establish a ground game.  Our rush defense is limited without Tre Walker.  I'm sure that fact was on full display in film study this week and I'm sure that's the primary offensive strategy.  Will the supporting linebackers be enough to stop the running game this week?  Can Texas run the ball without turning it over?  Texas is 8-0 when rushing for at least 136 yards and 0-3 when held below that number.  This war, like all important wars, will be won on the ground. 

Build an early lead.  We may have several weapons on offense and the ability to control the game clock, but as we found out against Baylor, we do not play well from behind.  Given how fresh the pain from the Baylor game is, if Texas can get out to an early lead and play smart on defense, the pressure and fear may begin to creep in to our sideline and force us into some uncharacteristic errors.  We've been notoriously slow starters at home, and the defense might still come out tight.  If that happens, it's going to take a monumental amount of leadership and good fortune to get things turned around.

Fun Facts

I love the poetry of this game.  Two years ago, in Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Collin Klein had his first career start against the Texas Longhorns.  Even though it was senior night for Carson Coffman, Klein got the start.  It surprised everyone, including Mack Brown and his defensive coordinator.  On the second play from scrimmage, Daniel Thomas burst free for a 20 yard touchdown.  The rout was on.  I remember, very clearly, two Texas fans in our section.  They didn't seem shocked by their team's 39 point deficit in the fourth quarter. When Texas finally scored a touchdown they started cheering and looking around and caught me glaring at them.  Instead of getting angry he looked at me and said, "Come on.  You gotta let us have something."  That's when I knew what owning Texas meant.  The fans of the richest and most talented team in college football, asked me, a K-State fan, to give them something.  It was a great feeling.  I didn't give it to them.

Stan Weber said this week that he thought some people disrespected the 1998 team a little bit because they weren't able to come back and beat Purdue in the Alamo Bowl after the most depressing football game in CFB history.  This 2012 team has always been about mental toughness, about Snyder's 16 goals, about unity and teamwork and unselfishness and establishing a culture of winning and leadership and responsibility.  In his press conference this week, Collin said that if he had to choose one word to describe this team it would be perseverance.  This is the team that fought through so many single digit victories last year and fought tooth and nail for every part of this season, including the game-that-shall-not-be-named.  I believe this team will come back, just like Oklahoma State did last year, and win these last two games, making them the first team in K-State history to win 12 games in a season.  That 12th win would also make Collin the winningest quarterback in K-State history, which is entirely appropriate.

We're losing 27 seniors this year.  That's a big, big number.  Here's what they look like, all in a row:  Javonta Boyd, Nick Briney, Arthur Brown, Anthony Cantele, Allen Chapman, Jarell Childs, Adam Davis, Ryan Doerr, Ethan Douglas, Thomas Ferguson, Roman Fields, Chris Harper, Ben Kall, Collin Klein, Brandon Klimek, Vai Lutui, Jared Loomis, Nigel Malone, Zach McFall, Jarard Milo, Angelo Pease, Nick Puetz, John Sua, Travis Tannahill, Justin Tuggle, Meshak Williams, Braden Wilson.  There are so many things that I want for these guys in this game.  I want Javonta to bat down a pass.  I want Nick Briney to play a snap or two.  I want Arthur to burn that Texas running game to the ground.  I want Cantele to have a perfect night.  I want Bubba to get another interception.  I want Jarell to get a solo tackle for loss.  I want Adam Davis to get a sack.  I want Ryan Doerr to kick an 80 yard punt.  I want Ethan Douglas to down that punt on the 1 yard line.  I want Thomas Ferguson to start for Ty Zimmerman if he's still hurt.  I want Roman Fields to play a snap or two.  I want Harper to get over 100 yards receiving, and maybe one of those nifty one-handed catches.  I want Ben Kall to play a snap or two.  I want Collin to have a Heisman winning performance.  I want him to have everything he's ever wanted.  I want him to never, ever leave.  I want Brandon Klimek to play a snap or two.  I want Vai Lutui to get a sack.  I want Jared Loomis to decimate someone on a kick return.  I want Nigel to get a pick 6.  I want Zach McFall to play a snap or two.  I want Jarard Milo to finish with the highest number of tackles.  I want Angelo to start in place of Hubert.  I want Puetz to signal a touchdown on a Klein keeper.  I want John Sua to play big.  I want Tannahill to catch a ball and not end up somersaulting over a defender.  I want Tuggle to have his best game since OU.  I want Meshak to end up with 3 sacks and leave Case McCoy with nightmares.  I want Braden to score a touchdown.  It can't all happen that way, of course.  But wouldn't it be magical if it did?

Kansas State Wildcats (10-1)

So much weeping.

Players to Watch
#7, Quarterback Collin Klein: I thought saying goodbye to Jacob Pullen was hard.  This is unfathomable.  Given everything that happened in the death valley of Waco, Klein is the player to watch in college football on Saturday.  He had a poor game last year against Texas, and the offense was only able to scrape together 120 yards in the 17-13 victory in Austin.  This year he's (slightly) healthier and (greatly) improved in his decision-making abilities on the field.  I would love nothing more than to see Klein run up and down the field for 4 quarters, just like he did in 2010.

#4, Linebacker Arthur Brown: You better believe that big game Arthur will be keyed up for this one.  I can't wait to see him on a corner blitz, spying Case McCoy and causing general mayhem for all those speedy, vaunted, Texas recruits.  He sees your Rivals rating and he is not impressed.  No one escapes judgment in his house.

#3, Wide Receiver Chris Harper: Harper has taken some heat from me this season, and I'm sure this is not the senior season he envisioned.  However, he's been a rock for Collin and I will miss seeing those two buddies on the sideline laughing and talking and scheming.  It'd be great to see that old clutch Harper from 2011 return to form on senior night. 

Keys to Victory 

Don't abandon the running game.  The running game is a staple of Bill Snyder football, and I've been missing it these last few weeks.  In order to keep our offense moving and their defense off balance, we need to have more success running than throwing.  Should be a good game for it too, with Angelo, Collin, and Braden plenty motivated on senior night.  Not to mention Hubert, who completely fell on his face during his homecoming visit.   

Win at the line.  Our defensive line has slowly gotten more porous over the past three games, crippled by injuries and the loss of their vocal leader, Tre Walker.  They had a terrible game in Waco and should be highly motivated to return to form.  They'll face a tough challenge with Texas' running game, but it's a line that is comprised mainly of seniors, so let's hope they've got one more in them.  The offensive line has also suffered quite a few injuries, and the sack numbers just keep growing as the season wears on.  They're young, so they'll need to band together to send Collin out injury free and make way for that all important running game.

Mix it up a bit.  Senior night is a good chance for a team to run a few plays that they love in practice, but never got to use in a game.  Mack Brown and Snyder go way back, and there are very few surprises when it comes to game plans.  It might be useful, in a momentum game like this, to take advantage of the friendly home field and try a few new tricks.

Trap Level

Goal of the Week
#1 Commitment: To common goals and to being successful.  Arthur Brown doesn't want to talk about senior night. He wants to focus on building a better program for future K-Staters.  He wants the program to go on, bigger and better every year.  He wants to be a part of the foundation, not the best team in history, but the team that established a winning culture at K-State.  Commitment to success, as a team, for a greater goal.  Senior night done right.

I believe this team has what it takes to bounce back, and I think the time off will help a lot of our injured guys get back in the mix.  I'm not expecting a blowout, and I'm terrified of an early deficit, but I have faith that this group of seniors has the experience and perseverance to go out on a win.  K-State wins the Big 12 championship and secures a BCS bowl berth, 37-24.