If you're looking for information on the Kansas State Wildcats, go no further than the site Bring on the Cats where TB is in charge. Mike came up with some reasonable football questions for him, while I asked him more existential questions about the state of things at Kansas State.
Mike: When did you realize that Kansas State realistically could contend for a Big XII North title this season?
TB: After the Colorado game. The results of the Texas Tech and Texas A&M games were too wild to really predict what was going on, and the win over Iowa State was so close that it wasn't particularly uplifting. But after we shut down Colorado and won even without a very good offensive effort, moving the conference record to 3-1 on the same day Nebraska lost to Iowa State, Mizzou lost to Texas, and KU lost to whomever it was they were playing, it started to click that hey, maybe we actually do have a shot at this thing.
Mike: I only saw some of the Missouri/Kansas State as I flipped from game to game. At the end of the game, Daniel Thomas was on the sideline even on the goal line. What was up with that?
TB: The game was in hand, so Bill Snyder probably wasn't going to risk an injury to his best player. Thomas has had a banged-up shoulder most of the season, and the coaches probably decided it wasn't worth it with Missouri so far ahead. We scored a touchdown on that drive, anyway, even if the officials didn't agree.
Mike: People are calling this K-State season "Miracle 2" as in the sequel to Bill Snyder's Miracle in Manhattan. Has Snyder done just that, pull a division contender out of thin air, or did Ron Prince leave a decent foundation after all?
TB: It can't be argued that Prince didn't recruit some talented players. Daniel Thomas, Brandon Banks, Lamark Brown, and Attrail Snipes on offense are all fairly talented players. On defense, guys like Josh Moore, Jeffrey Fitzgerald and Tysyn Hartman are varying degrees of "solid." Prince never brought in top-of-the-line recruiting classes, and he filled them with way too many two-stars that he hoped would be diamonds in the rough, but he also brought in some athletes.
His biggest problem was that he never had anything resembling a decent coaching staff. The best assistant he ever had was Raheem Morris (Tampa Bay's current head coach), and he ran him off. The assistants we had the last two years had no business coaching on a Big 12 staff, and it showed. The results this year merely show what very good coaching can do.
CB/Jon J: Are most of the issues with KSU's Athletic Department straightened out? If not ,how long do you think the whole "Ron Prince secret contract rogue AD issue" will be haunting the university?
TB: Most of them are straightened out, because Bob Krause and Jon Wefald no longer work for K-State. There was a story in the paper this week noting that the Kansas Board of Regents, upon further investigation into the mess, found no wrongdoing on Bill Snyder's part.
The only thing that's left is how much money we'll end up paying Ron Prince. I'm not a betting man, but my guess is that case will end up settling out of court at some point. We are very happy with the current administration that is in place, with John Currie as athletic director and Kirk Schulz as university president.
CB/Jon J: Don't you miss the hatred we used to have between these teams?
TB: I have a feeling that if K-State manages a win this weekend, we'll see a lot of the hate come rushing back. I say that because I know Nebraska considered this division theirs to win this season, sort of like they do every season. If an old nemesis rises up and denies them that achievement, I foresee the old rivalry resurfacing rapidly.
Now, to answer the question, yes, I do miss it. Not because I necessarily love to hate Nebraska, but because it meant K-State was good. Back when Nebraska fans really hated K-State, it was because we were winning a few division titles and beating the Huskers with some consistency. It's been frustrating (although eerily predictable) watching all that Husker hatred get refocused on Missouri the last few years. We'd love nothing more than to have you hate us, just because we know precisely what it would take for you to hate us again.
CB/Jon J: I miss the hate.... I do. But I guess I don't hate it THAT much! Thanks, TB!