Archive for Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jealousy is tough to temper this year

November 14, 2007

We begin with a matter of full disclosure.
I went to Kansas State University.
This fact is pertinent as we discuss next week's showdown between Kansas and Missouri.
This column isn't necessarily a breakdown of the game, but rather about the agony of a K-State fan.
I want to cheer for Kansas. I want to get caught up in the hoopla that is the KU and MU game next week.
You know, the Border Showdown or whatever they are calling it now.
I want to go watch the game with my friends who are KU fans and be happy for them. I want to be happy for the coworkers in the office who love KU.
I want to do all these things, but I can't.
In fact, well, the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. I now know how a bridesmaid feels. KU is winning and my team is mired in a long losing streak.
In my fan's eye, K-State is the program that is supposed to have national title aspirations. The purple nation is the group of people who get to complain about the BCS system being a joke.
Now, K-State is giving up 70 points to Nebraska a week after watching KU dismantle the Cornhuskers.
K-State fans are left watching Missouri and Kansas relegate the Wildcats into the college football background.
KU's success is like watching a millionaire win a million dollars. Kansas already had a top five basketball program, a team that realistically can win a national title any year did they really need a BCS contender in football?
In all candor, need has little to do with it. The turnaround is the result of hard work.
I don't want to write these things. I am just jealous that a Bill Snyder pupil, Mark Mangino, has won the K-State way.
Mangino hasn't recruited the best players on a Rivals100 scale. Rather, he has coached the players who he has signed. He has done a phenomenal job of coaching that program.
People probably don't give him enough credit for his coaching ability. However, they should look at him for coach of the year consideration.
Mangino has built a team of athletes, which they haven't had in a while at Kansas. He won an easy non-conference schedule and all of his Big 12 games.
In building the program, he has owned his closest rivals, K-State and Missouri, in head-to-head competition. These are things Snyder did routinely.
Granted, new K-State coach Ron Prince is doing things differently. He is scheduling tougher teams in the non-conference portion of the schedule. He is holding preseason practices in Olathe and opening practices to the public, things Snyder never cared about.He tries for record crowds at the spring game.
He is a new generation coach at a place where the old school style worked so well for many years.
I am not saying the new system will not work. Prince is in just his second season, but it sure makes it tough to watch the old system work so well 70 miles down the road.
While on some level I am happy for my KU brethren, this is just something that I never wanted to see. I didn't want to see the purple nation fall from its brief run of glory.

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