Saturday, November 8, 2014

Long way from The Bottom Ten

Happy Game Day! Time to black out “The Carter” tonight.

When I was a kid growing up in Dallas, I always looked forward to Fridays in the fall. The Dallas Morning News had a cartoonist named Bill McClanahan, who predicted the outcome of that weekend’s games with his artistry. They were great. I’ve attached one so you can see his fine work.

The Morning News also published the Associated Press’s “Bottom Ten,” ranking the 10 worst college football teams. In the mid-1970’s you could pretty much count on Northwestern, Rice, Miami (Fla.), Washington State, Florida State being there each week ... along with Kansas State and TCU. The rankings would show teams Nos. 1 to 10, with the No. 1 team being honored as the worst in the nation. I used to feel sorry for those teams and I found myself pulling for them each week.

Looking at the list, you can see that many of those teams have changed their football fortunes in the modern day. But none more than TCU and Kansas State. No programs have come farther. Now they’re Nos. 6 and 7 in the College Football Playoff rankings and today’s game in Amon G. Carter is, effectively, the first playoff game of the year. Loser is out. Winner advances and stays alive in the hunt for one of the coveted four playoff spots.

Things to K-now about K-State:
They are the antithesis of the Big 12. On offense, they are in no hurry. The take their time and they execute plays with the precision of a Rolex watch.
They don’t have turnovers. They just don’t.
They’re the best third down team in the nation, mainly because most of their third downs are 3rd and 3 or 3rd and 1.

The Frogs will have to be super-efficient on offense as Kansas State will try to limit possessions by slowing down the game. Both units have to play great on third down and the Frogs defense has to be great on first down while not getting lulled to sleep by the Wildcats ground game. They will take their shots deep. Hello, secondary!

It will be the highest ranked pairing at AGCS since they started ranking teams. A long way from The Bottom Ten.

Kick ‘Em High!

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