All I have to say is thank god it was a bye week. First the new infant comes down with a sickness which any of you with kids will know means little to no sleep for the parents. The lack of sleep combined with a germy kid quickly turns into a sickness for myself, my wife and chaos ensues. Needless to say not a whole lot got done around here for me last week. Apologies for that and I'll be back on my regular schedule again this week.
First up though a little topic for conversation in the bye week was how Kansas non conference opponents performed. If you were paying attention to football and not getting all your fall chores done while Kansas was off, you'd know that there were some surprises and near surprises amongst the teams we've already played. The question is what can be taken from it.
College kids are a rollercoaster week in and week out so it may be nothing. Teams show up some weeks and flop others. Still though you'd have to think that something could be taken away from the UTEP win and the losses of both Southern Miss. and Duke.
For those that aren't aware, here's a quick recap. UTEP, who we all expected to be a pretty tough game this year, turned in a game much more like what the preseason expectations were. Against Kansas and through much of the early season UTEP had been one of the worst offensive teams in the country. Could it be that Kansas defense was just on par with other teams they played like a Texas? Not sure I'd go that far but when UTEP hung a 58 spot on #15 ranked Houston this weekend winning 58-41, it had to at least make you raise an eyebrow.
Next up was Duke and a near upset of Virginia Tech. Well, maybe it wasn't that near an upset but they certainly competed far better than anyone expected. This is the Virginia Tech team that boasts wins over ranked opponent in Nebraska and also Miami, who has subsequently handled the Sooners. Again, might Duke have been a stronger opponent than anyone gave them credit for being?
Lastly was the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. Here at RCT we were declaring this victory a hard fought win against a tough opponent who would likely be headed to a battle with Houston in terms of Conference USA supremacy. Funny how a week changes things as both Houston and USM are now in the middle of the pack. The Golden Eagles took a tough loss to the then 1-3 UAB Blazers. Again, do we look at this one and say USM wasn't the team or the test we thought they were? Big reason this one is less of an indicator in my mind is both Damion Fletcher and DeAndre Brown were out of this one and going forward the Golden Eagles look to be without quarterback Austin Davis.
Three non conference opponents, three somewhat surprising outcomes. I hate to jump to any conclusions and play the whole comparison game, but it's hard not to wonder a little bit more now as to how well our non conference opponents may have actually prepared us. I guess we're going to find out in the next few weeks, and certainly in three weeks when a Sooner squad that could potentiall be sitting at 3-3 comes to town. Not sure I like the sound of that, seems like that could be an OU team with a point to prove. Oh and In case you were wondering about our 4th opponent in UNoCo, well it looks like they might be on there way to another 1-11 finish sitting at 1-4 to start the year.
Headhunting Kicker Part Deux
I caught the Arvada West v Columbine game on Friday where Justin Castor our future kicker also plays Wide Reciever. While his team didn't come out on the winning side Justin did have one field goal in the game but I also think he might be channeling a little Jacob Branstetter. On one play that saw him downfield with his teammate running the sideline, Justin looped back and threw a decleating block on a columbine player subsequently standing over him in to emphasize the point. I was impressed and think he could potentially carry on the heavy hitting abilities at the kicker spot.
Did anyone get a chance to see this one? Kind of wish I had and while I think both teams clearly have a long way to go, it sounds as if Kansas State might be getting the most out of what little talent they have. I had Iowa State pegged in this one myself but I guess old balls might just still have it in terms of coaching players up. Now it's time to see if he can get the horses back in stable.
Big Game Bob
Stoops and Company look clearly positioned to be out of the National Title hunt and conference play hasn't even started yet. A game against a stingy Baylor team and then the Red River Shootout up next. You have to wonder if Bradford and others are wishing they had moved on. Seems more and more that game in Lawrence might have the potential to be a fun one.