Kansas State University

K-State Q&A: Skylar Thompson, UTSA, football recruiting and Big 12 predictions

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Let’s dive right into your questions this week. There are lots of them.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What should the concern of fans be if the game Saturday ends with a 24-6 type score line?<br><br>What will/would the concern of fans be if the game ends with a 24-6 type score line?</p>&mdash; scottwildcat (@scottwildcat) <a href="https://twitter.com/scottwildcat/status/1040282037888929792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I’m probably in the minority here, but I think the UTSA game will tell us an awful lot about the direction of Kansas State’s football season.

Struggling, but beating, South Dakota wasn’t all that unusual. Getting blasted by Mississippi State was discouraging, but, again, not all that unusual. At 1-1, K-State is honestly exactly where they are supposed to be right now.

If the Wildcats come out and roll against the Roadrunners, K-State fans can start to breathe a little easier. I’m not normally one to call attention to the point spread (K-State is favored by 21), but the Cats really need to cover this weekend. UTSA is bad and coming off a pair of blowout losses against Arizona State and Baylor. With a third straight game upcoming against a Power 5 opponent, the Roadrunners should be in no position to challenge K-State.

UTSA is allowing nearly 500 yards per game and only putting up 237.5 yards of its own.

Simply put: This is K-State’s opportunity to get right (especially on offense) before Big 12 games, and it needs to take advantage.

If this is a game in the fourth quarter, and K-State can’t empty its bench, it will raise major concerns.

So, to answer your question, if the Wildcats win 24-6 the fan base has every right to worry. And it probably will.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Is this attainable for K-State football? <a href="https://t.co/AyvH1kbez6">pic.twitter.com/AyvH1kbez6</a></p>&mdash; Brennan Mense (@BrennanMense) <a href="https://twitter.com/BrennanMense/status/1040269295631122433?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I predicted K-State to go 7-5 (5-4 Big 12) last month, and I haven’t seen anything to make me change that guess ... Yet.

Nothing is written in stone, but let’s say KU and Texas Tech are probable wins and West Virginia, Oklahoma and TCU are probable losses.

Winning toss-up games with Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Iowa State will ultimately decide the Wildcats’ fate. A 3-1 record against those teams would be enough for a 5-4 league record and a fourth-place finish. The Cowboys are the only ranked team in the group, and they have to come to Manhattan.

It’s definitely attainable.

By the way, here are my current Big 12 Rankings:

1. Oklahoma: Just when I started to lean WVU, OU beat the snot out of Florida Atlantic and UCLA. No Rodney Anderson hurts, though.

2. West Virginia: Still love the Mountaineers, just not as much as the Sooners.

3. TCU: So far so good.

4. Oklahoma State: Strong offense. Soft schedule. We’ll see what the Cowboys do against Boise State.

5-9. Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, K-State: Too close to call.

10. Kansas: Can the Jayhawks win two in a row?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Will K- State ever start getting better Jimmys and Joes or will we forever have a 10 win cap?</p>&mdash; Kevin hampton (@Kbhampton13) <a href="https://twitter.com/Kbhampton13/status/1040285703874269184?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

This was a popular topic after Mississippi State’s 31-10 victory over Kansas State last week, when the Bulldogs appeared light years ahead of the Wildcats in terms of overall talent.

That game was won on signing day as much as it was won last Saturday.

Will K-State ever have the Jimmys and Joes to compete with the best teams in college football? Sure. Eternity is a long time. But it’s unlikely to happen while Bill Snyder is coach. I wrote this article on the Wildcats’ lackluster recruiting strategy two years ago, and it still holds true today. Snyder simply doesn’t value recruiting as much as most coaches.

He rarely travels to meet with recruits, he rarely allows assistants to recruit during the season and he rarely signs big-time prospects.

Rivals currently ranks K-State’s 2019 recruiting class ninth in the Big 12 and 92nd in the nation. It’s early, but that’s not good.

Obviously, recruiting rankings aren’t everything. Snyder and K-State have proven they don’t need a stockpile of five-star recruits to finish in the upper half of the Big 12. Snyder does an excellent job developing players, and that’s partially because he devotes more time to his current roster than his future ones.

But look back at K-State’s most recent really good seasons. They had more Jimmys and Joes than they do now. When the Cats won 10 games in 2011 and 11 games in 2012 they had Arthur Brown (5-star linebacker), Collin Klein (Heisman finalist quarterback), John Hubert (second-leading rusher in school history), Tyler Lockett (NFL receiver), Chris Harper (4-star receiver), B.J. Finney (NFL offensive lineman), Cody Whitehair (NFL offensive lineman), Cornelius Lucas (NFL offensive lineman), Justin Tuggle (NFL linebacker), Randall Evans (NFL defensive back), Ty Zimmerman (all-Big 12 safety).

That’s a great collection of talent.

When they won nine games in 2014, they had Jake Waters (formerly the nation’s top junior college QB) throwing to Lockett.

When they won nine games in 2016, they had Jordan Willis (NFL defensive end) wreaking havoc at the line of scrimmage.

It seems like K-State and its young coaching staff realizes the current issue and is trying to fix it. The 2019 commitments they have lined up all seem to have an upside. Other Power 5 teams offered them, which isn’t always the case with K-State commits. But they’ve got a long way to go.

You need incredible Xs and Os to beat talented Jimmys and Joes.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What are Skyler Thompson&#39;s first half and second half stats? I gotta believe it&#39;s two different players.</p>&mdash; Robby Hudson (@RobHud3) <a href="https://twitter.com/RobHud3/status/1040308861616447488?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Yeah, he definitely saves his best for last.

Go back and read my preseason feature on Thompson, and pay close attention to what his high school coach said about this topic.

“He needs to make sure he plays like he is down 100 all the time. If he could do that, he would set the world on fire.”

In time, maybe Captain Comeback will mature into Commissioner Four Quarters.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Is Coleman, Dickey and Klein all still co-coordinators of the offense? With a sputtering start is there any word of changes?</p>&mdash; Jeff Vaughn (@JeffVaughn) <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffVaughn/status/1040317361725698048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

They are co-coordinators in name only. Andre Coleman is the guy, and he will continue to be the guy.

He’s off to a slow start, but he’s also a first-time play-caller. It’s a hard job, and he’s replacing a coordinator who was good enough in Manhattan to land a head-coaching gig elsewhere. We probably should have expected growing pains.

But he should improve over time. We saw some of his style show up against Mississippi State. It will be more effective starting this week.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">As someone who also projects to be bald, any advice on how to live my best life while I still have some of my hair.</p>&mdash; Chase Meisinger (@chasemeisinger) <a href="https://twitter.com/chasemeisinger/status/1040269514502496256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

You’ve come to the right place, my friend.

First off, embrace the baldness. The Rock doesn’t have hair. Neither does Bruce Willis or Michael Jordan or Jason Statham. And they all did OK for themselves.

The worst thing you can do is try and cover it up. A comb-over looks ridiculous. Wearing hats 24/7 gets old. Just cut it short and enjoy the ride.

But if you’ve still got good coverage (George Costanza term), live it up while you can. Grow a mullet or something. Use it to impress the ladies. Because once you lose your hair, you’ve only got one hair style — bald. It’s a sweet look, but it’s permanent.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">How many episodes of Bojack will you watch in a row this weekend when the new season drops?</p>&mdash; John Kurtz (@jlkurtz) <a href="https://twitter.com/jlkurtz/status/1040268792541204480?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

First, let’s pause for one of my all-time favorite GIFs, which explains how awesome I feel about the return of Bojack Horseman.

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/3orieRq61iK7YoRkDC" width="480" height="270" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/netflix-bojack-horseman-3orieRq61iK7YoRkDC">via GIPHY</a></p>

Probably not that many. I love me some Bojack, but I like to savor the episodes. If I stay up all night and watch them all in one sitting, my fun is over before the end of the weekend. If I space the episodes to one a day, I’ve got long-lasting fun.

Also, I would like to save some for next weekend on the flight to West Virginia.

But, seriously, nothing is worse than running out of new episodes on a show you’re really into. The wait for Season 4 of Rick and Morty already feels endless.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Does Alex Barnes hit 1K rushing yards this season? (methinks he does it relatively easily)<br><br>If I set the Over/Under at 6.5 regular season wins for K-State, which side would you take?</p>&mdash; The Short Side Option (@TSSO_Podcast) <a href="https://twitter.com/TSSO_Podcast/status/1040326420210188288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

He’s averaging 89 yards per game and is currently the leading rusher in the Big 12. That’s a good start. That puts him on pace for 1,157 yards if K-State makes a bowl game.

I’m not about to hop off the Alex Barnes Hype Train now. I think he makes it.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-part

ner=”tweetdeck”><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Rivas got some snaps at left guard last week. Will we see a change on the O-line this week or next?</p>&mdash; Nathan Folger (@nathanfolger_11) <a href="https://twitter.com/nathanfolger_11/status/1040267061317050369?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

He will continue to see playing time until the Wildcats figure out a solution at guard. That seems to be the biggest weakness up front right now. Neither Tyler Mitchell, Abdul Beecham nor Rivas looked particularly good against Mississippi State. If things don’t improve, I wonder if we might see a fourth interior lineman enter the mix.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">your thoughts on the best and worst ideas in the new master plan?<br><br>I hate the idea of 400 tailgating spots going away as well as the inevitable &quot;gentrification&quot; of the more feral east side scene.<br><br>All for turning our old indoor practice facility inot indoor T&amp;F</p>&mdash; Wildkat Photography (@wildkatphoto) <a href="https://twitter.com/wildkatphoto/status/1040274309913235456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I’m most excited to see the $85 million renovations K-State has planned for Bramlage Coliseum. But the new volleyball arena is probably the best part. That team deserves an air-conditioned home with convenient parking.

Losing 400 parking spots is less than ideal, I agree. But what’s the alternative? Snyder wants the new indoor training facility to be closer and that’s the best place to put it. K-State has the best parking arrangement in the conference by a mile. Losing 400 spots won’t change that. There are plenty of other areas to park.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What happens again first: KU winning a road game, or K-State beats a ranked team at home?</p>&mdash; scottwildcat (@scottwildcat) <a href="https://twitter.com/scottwildcat/status/1040282275458572288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Tough call.

K-State has amazingly lost 10 straight games against ranked opponents at home, and it might not get another shot at one this season. Texas probably needs to beat both Southern California and TCU to move back into the national polls before Sept. 29. And Oklahoma State needs to hold steady until Oct. 13.

I can definitely see the Wildcats winning one, or both, of those games. But will they count as games against ranked teams?

KU is coming off a road win at Central Michigan, but seems unlikely to get another one this season. It’s remaining chances are at Baylor, Texas Tech, K-State and OU. Maybe the Jayhawks could catch Baylor napping, but I doubt it. The Bears look like an improved team. The Red Raiders have too much offense.

I will take K-State in this scenario. But it’s a good prop bet that could linger on into next season.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">give <a href="https://twitter.com/UTSAFTBL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UTSAFTBL</a> uniforms a letter grade?</p>&mdash; Real MVP of K-State Q&amp;A (@C_nrad) <a href="https://twitter.com/C_nrad/status/1040305930188058624?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Solid B. Nothing flashy, but the colors and design flow well. They look good. Definitely like the all white look on the road.

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/l4tViI3DSdiPJJ4Na" width="480" height="256" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/utsaathletics-football-utsa-l4tViI3DSdiPJJ4Na">via GIPHY</a></p>

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