Kansas State University

K-State Q&A: Beer sales at football games and a Battle Royale of Year 1 coaches

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

There are lots of great topics to cover this week, so let’s dive right in. Thanks, as always, for your participation.

This is more or less the exact question Gene Taylor and other K-State administrators will try and tackle before they make a firm decision on the future of beer/alcohol sales throughout the main areas of the Wildcats’ football stadium.

At most schools, I would lobby hard for alcohol sales. Kansas and TCU hopped on the bandwagon this summer, which means more Big 12 institutions than not will sell alcohol at football games this season.

Baylor, Iowa State and K-State are the only holdouts.

It’s no longer an extreme thing. Texas and West Virginia have sold beer for years without incident. You could argue selling beer oddly creates a more sober environment, because fewer fans will feel the need to power drink (Bob Bowlsby’s term) before the game and during halftime.

You’re also missing out on revenue if you don’t sell beer.

I’m all for it ... At most places.

But K-State has a unique football setup with so much parking right around the stadium. A fan with a good parking spot can easily leave his seat, spend 20 minutes chilling at his tailgate and still make it back before the start of the third quarter.

That sounds pretty good to me. I would probably rather spend halftime drinking a beverage of my choosing than shelling out eight bucks for a Bud Light on the concourse. There is also a beer garden, which will feature margaritas this season, within the stadium if you get thirsty in the first two quarters. I can see why some might prefer to stay with the current re-entry policy, even though you can only buy soda at the concession stands.

But my answer might be different if my tailgate was located half a mile or more from the stadium. That’s a long trek, even for beer. Maybe it would be more convenient to but beer at concession stands and stay in the stadium for the entire game.

I could go either way on this one. K-State is one of the few places where it’s hard to gripe about either policy.

Interesting question. Well done!

Unless Chris Klieman’s first team in Manhattan proves us wrong, none of them looked like world-beaters coming into the season. Ron Prince was picked to finish last in the old Big 12 North in 2006, Bill Snyder was picked fifth in the same division 2009 and Klieman was picked ninth in the league’s new 10-team format this season.

A bowl game seemed like a nice preseason goal for all three of them.

Let’s break it down.

Ron Prince 2006: With Jordy Nelson and Josh Freeman (even though he wasn’t technically inherited from Snyder) this team had the most top-end talent. Zac Diles, Blake Seiler and Joshua Moore were also on that team.

Bill Snyder 2009: This roster was loaded with young talent like Collin Klein, Tysyn Hartman, Jarell Childs, Travis Tannahill, Emmanual Lamur, David Garrett and others, but it didn’t have much veteran skill. The offense was more or less Daniel Thomas and 10 blockers.

Chris Klieman 2019: Skylar Thompson is the best veteran quarterback of these teams, but there are no other stars on offense. The defense looks good up front with Wyatt Hubert, Reggie Walker and Trey Dishon. But there are question marks elsewhere.

I would probably take Ron Prince’s team in a battle royale between all three, but it’s not hard to see Snyder and Klieman out-coaching him. Here’s guessing they all go 1-1.

You could make that argument.

For K-State to be at its best against the pass, the Wildcats probably want Kevion McGee, Lance Robinson or Darreyl Patterson at cornerback playing opposite A.J. Parker.

But Walter Neil gives the unit a higher floor. He can play both nickel and corner. The coaching staff moved him to the perimeter for a reason. Basically, they think the roster has better depth at nickel than it does at corner.

K-State treats the nickelback position like an extra linebacker, and maybe putting someone bigger there like Johnathan Durham will help in the long run.

In Year 1, I’m thinking Klieman won’t want to call in the reserves unless the Wildcats are up huge in the fourth quarter.

This is his first opportunity to coach this team, and he wants to learn as much as he possibly can about K-State’s starters in game situations.

With a road trip to Mississippi State looming in Week 3, it’s hard for me to see him pulling the first string against Nicholls or Bowling Green with anything less than a 28-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Klieman likes to rotate players at just about every position other than quarterback, so that might eliminate the need to get backups in the game for garbage time. He won’t keep starters in to run up the score, but he won’t pull them at the first sign of a blowout, either.

At least I don’t think he will.

If that’s the hardest decision he has to make in the first two games, things will be going very well for Klieman and K-State.

Three: rush attempts, tackles for loss and coaches who use the phrase “win the dang day.”

The best BLT in the universe is really more of a BLTMC ... That’s bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and cheese.

It’s a no-brainer for me. I always add cheese to a BLT. Makes it taste even better than it already does. The plain old BLT is too traditional.

I wonder if you can add anything else to a BLT. Maybe avocado? A BLTMCA sounds good, too.

We can dream!

Maybe that’s the movie that returns the Broken Lizard gang back to its Super Troopers glory. I hate to say it, but they haven’t made a good movie in a while. Super Troopers 2 was very disappointing.

I could get behind a Big 12 vs. Big Ten bowl game in St. Louis.

The Big 12 has current bowl arrangements with the AAC, ACC, Pac-12 and SEC. It’s a shame the Big Ten isn’t included in there somewhere. Every Big 12 team should get a chance to beat Michigan in a game named after a chain restaurant.

The conference should make that happen, and St. Louis would be a convenient location for fans from both leagues. Call it the Bud Bowl. A pregame entrance video of the old beer bottles playing football would be mandatory.

My only note on this theoretical new bowl: bowl games are best suited for warm-weather cities. K-State fans learned that the hard way when they traveled to New York for the Pinstripe Bowl back in 2010.

St. Louis is not as cold as New York, but it’s not as warm as San Diego.

I would rather see Big 12 and Big Ten teams play in the Holiday Bowl than the Bud Bowl.

You could make an argument either way in this debate.

Basketball School: K-State has experienced more recent success on the hardwood than the gridiron, winning a pair of Big 12 championships and advancing to a pair of Elite Eights in the past decade. The biggest K-State sports party of 2018-19 happened after senior night at Bramlage Coliseum. Bruce Weber has guided his team to three straight NCAA Tournaments and is expected to extend that streak to four.

Football School: The Wildcats aren’t selling out every home game anymore, but they are still attracting good crowds on Saturdays. Much better crowds than show up for most basketball games. Excitement (or at least anticipation) is up for Chris Klieman’s first season as coach. And football still feels like a bigger deal than basketball most of the year.

It’s a close call. So close, that it’s probably not fair to say K-State is a basketball or a football school. Fans support both teams.

Good question. Matthew McCrane did well for himself as a rookie NFL kicker last season. He should absolutely be in training camp somewhere right now.

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