Kansas State University

K-State Q&A: Football thoughts, video games, mascots and a NCAA golf snub

James Gilbert says K-State running backs are ready to turn heads

James Gilbert says K-State running backs are ready to turn heads
Up Next
James Gilbert says K-State running backs are ready to turn heads

Before we get to your questions, I would like to take a moment to point out how hard it must have been for the Kansas State men’s golf team to learn it narrowly missed out on a NCAA Regional earlier this week.

The Wildcats were on the bubble and ended up being one of the first few teams left out of the field. Every other Big 12 team got in.

K-State was so close to a tournament berth that its three best players (Roland Massimino, Jeremy Gandon and Jacob Eklund) were all invited to compete in the event as individuals. In case you don’t know how college golf tournaments work, each team is made up of five golfers and the best four scores from each team are used to determine daily results. So the Wildcats will send 60 percent of their team to the NCAA championship, one man short of what it takes to post a team score, but the team will stay home.

Bummer.

As if that weren’t frustrating enough for coach Grant Robbins and his golfers, they also had to learn about their snub while watching the worst selection show I’ve ever encountered. I tuned into Golf Channel on Wednesday to find out if K-State made the field and was dismayed by the format. Instead of revealing the field quickly and saving analysis/interviews for the end of the show, they milked the reveal for a full hour.

The talking heads on Golf Channel had six NCAA Regional sites to unveil, and they did so in the longest and dullest way possible. They started by showing the six No. 1 seeds and then stopped to talk about them. Then they showed the teams at one NCAA Regional site. Then they stopped to talk about them and interview a coach, as if anyone watching was dying to hear from him. Then came a commercial. They repeated this formula until the show came to an end. There were teams still waiting to learn their fate 55 minutes after the show started.

It was borderline torture.

If CBS tried the same format to reveal the NCAA Tournament, college basketball fans would riot in the streets. Come to think of it, the one time CBS took a slow-burn approach to revealing the field of 68, someone got their hands on a leaked copy of the bracket and put it on social media to end the madness. I would have paid a king’s ransom for that to happen on Wednesday.

K-State’s three individuals will head to Athens, Georgia for their regional on May 13. Best of luck to them. They should be motivated.

And now, let’s get to your questions. Thanks, as always, for providing them.

K-State has been that good (at times) in baseball, volleyball and women’s basketball. It is normally one of the better track-and-field schools out there, though probably a step below the top 10.

So it’s possible. Sustaining that success over a long period of time is the hard part.

Money only seems like part of the battle when it comes to competing at the highest levels of non-revenue sports.

If you take a look at baseball, track and golf you realize location is working against the Wildcats. The best high school baseball players want warm locations where they can play the sport they love year round. Same with golf and track. Yes, you can still train inside during the winter and find other creative ways to stay at the top of your game when it’s cold outside, but it’s inherently harder to win at those sports in the middle of Kansas than it is in California, Florida or Texas.

Maybe money could close the gap, but coaching and local talent would be every bit as important.

Weather doesn’t have the same impact on volleyball or women’s basketball, so those are the sports that more money/better facilities could potentially improve. Both K-State programs are capable of big things and have good fan support when those special seasons come along.

K-State is inching toward a new volleyball arena. That will help that sport. Jeff Mittie has some promising young talent.

But the Wildcats are never going to throw money at a sport and just hope that translates to wins. That’s not how they have ever done things. Finding the right coach, supporting him/her and building competitive facilities seems like the formula.

A female mascot could be cool.

Willie and Willa has a nice ring to it.

Bevo reached God status when he charged Uga before the Sugar Bowl a few months ago, so he’s staying.

I’m freaked out by Pistol Pete and his enormous head, so he’s getting disintegrated.

The other eight Big 12 mascots can battle it out for survival.

Kansas State defensive end Wyatt Hubert says the Wildcats need to come back stronger next season following season-ending 42-38 loss to the Iowa State Cyclones.

Let’s see. Wyatt Hubert ranked second on the team with 4 1/2 sacks last season as a redshirt freshman, and he appears to have gotten bigger and better since then.

So 7 1/2 seems like a reasonable over/under.

That was the team lead last season.

I would probably bet the over on that. I am excited to see what Reggie Walker and Hubert can accomplish with more energy and a new coaching staff next season. They should complement each other.

Running back ... By a mile.

The Wildcats went through spring practice with one scholarship running back. One! James Gilbert and walk-on Harry Trotter might turn out to be solid players, but K-State will need more ball-carriers for Courtney Messingham’s power offense to click next season.

North Dakota State spread carries around like candy last year and used lots of different running backs in all of their games.

K-State will try and do the same next season, but it will be relying on freshmen and newcomers along the way. That position will change dramatically when incoming freshmen arrive this summer.

It looks like the type of movie that will rock your socks off in the theater and then become virtually unwatchable after a few viewings at home.

That’s fine by me.

The action scenes in the second trailer make this movie look so far over the top you have no choice but to embrace it as reality.

I would rather see Fast & Furious 9 this summer, but if this spin-off movie is what it takes to keep Vin Diesel and The Rock happy then I’m all for it.

Hopefully it turns out to be another 2 Fast 2 Furious type of movie. The story of Brian O’Conner and Roman Pearce teaming up to take down a criminal kingpin in Miami without any members of the original movie did nothing to advance the series and wasn’t well received at first, but it now stands as a fun origin-type movie that gives you extra perspective on the characters as they become more involved in the sequels.

I will pay money to see Hobbs & Shaw.

Pete Hughes thinks K-State baseball team can reach NCAA Tournament

We may find out this weekend.

If the Bat Cats can win a road series against No. 15 Baylor over the next three days they will be within reach of a NCAA Tournament berth.

If not, they are going to have win a lot of games down the stretch to make that happen.

K-State currently has a RPI of 76. If the Wildcats can improve on that and move their record (22-24) above .500, they could qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2013.

They probably need to win all three of their remaining Big 12 series (at Baylor, West Virginia, at Kansas) for that to happen. But that’s possible the way K-State is playing under first-year coach Pete Hughes.

I’m not into cutting sports, so let’s just step into an alternate dimension and add an extra K-State sport or two.

You could make an argument for quite a few. Wrestling is popular in the Sunflower State, and it would be hard to say no to hockey. But I’m going to go in a different direction.

The main sport I would add: men’s soccer. Every major city in the country has or wants a MLS team, yet there isn’t a single men’s soccer team in the Big 12.

K-State has supported its women’s soccer team well and would do the same for a men’s team. The rest of the Big 12 would need to add teams to give the Wildcats someone to play, but I want that, too.

The other team I would like to see: eSports. It wouldn’t cost much to create a video-game team, and a lot of people (for some reason) like watching other people playing video games. My kids ask me to fire up YouTube and watch video-game tutorials and speed runs all the time.

I will admit to watching Street Fighter battles when they come on late at night.

K-State probably wouldn’t even have to recruit to field a team. Scholarship tryouts for a video-game team would be epic.

Confident Bruce.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle

  Comments