The Royal Sampler: Travis Tannahill’s lucky shirt, football predictions, K-State’s latest pump-up video and links

Kansas State tight end Travis Tannahill is a superstitious guy.

He grows his beard out every November, he tries to cut his hair as little as possible during the football season and he never changes or washes his gameday shirt when the Wildcats are on a winning streak.

That means the light blue dress shirt Tannahill wore to the season-opener (K-State players wear suits to every game) is the same shirt he will wear to Saturday’s game at TCU. He sported it to K-State’s football news conference this week, and proudly showed off the stains (and good luck) it has picked up since September.

“The only superstition I’ve got going is the shirt. It never gets washed,” Tannahill said. “I wear the same shirt every week … This shirt is the lucky shirt. It’s got some stains on there, but won’t get washed, hopefully, until the end of the year.”

Tannahill says hopefully, because he will reluctantly wash it should K-State lose.

The last time I heard this type of superstition, I was at a rodeo. Bull-riders are also very particular about when their jeans get washed. If they have a few successful rides in a row, they think their jeans are lucky. It piles up on the denim like dirt. No matter how dirty they get, you can’t wash them. That would wash the luck off.

If Tannahill’s shirt is that lucky, he doesn’t want to touch it. No matter how it feels or smells, he doesn’t want to mess with an undefeated season. Even if it means he has to sit by himself on the bus ride to games.

Iowa State at Texas
Paul Rhoads led Iowa State to a shocking victory the last time the Cyclones played in Austin, but I don’t see it happening again. The Longhorns look like they have finally figured things out, and the Cyclones are too offensively challenged to pull another road upset (they already took down TCU). And the Longhorn Network televising the game probably helps Texas, though I’m not sure how, exactly. Anyway, expect Texas to improve to 8-2.

Kansas at Texas Tech
Texas and Kansas State beat up on the Red Raiders the last two weeks, but they will get healthy against the Jayhawks. There’s really not much else to say about this game. Texas Tech is an above-average football team. Kansas is the worst football team in the Big 12.

West Virginia at Oklahoma State
This should be an interesting game. The Mountaineers haven’t won in forever (seriously, it’s been a month since their last victory) and the Cowboys are coming off a 14-point loss at K-State. But both teams have strong offenses and questionable defenses. It should be an even match. I like Oklahoma State, because it will be playing at home and has a better running attack.

Baylor at Oklahoma
The Sooners never lose to the Bears in Norman, especially when they have a terrible defense. Expect Landry Jones to look like a Heisman Trophy candidate in a blowout win.

Kansas State at TCU
All signs point to Collin Klein starting and playing at near full strength. As long as that occurs, K-State should win this game. It might be closer than some of its recent games, because TCU has a solid defense and is always tough at home. I’m expecting it to resemble K-State’s victory at Iowa State. TCU will keep it close, make some good plays on defense and have a chance to steal the game in the fourth quarter. But Klein and K-State’s defense will be the difference late. My prediction: K-State 33, TCU 24.


THE FAMILY……KANSAS STATE FOOTBALL from RockHouse Motion on Vimeo.

– Backup running back Angelo Pease gives K-State another running option, out of the backfield and the wildcat formation.

– In case you missed it, here is my profile on Arthur Brown from yesterday. It’s a look at how much family means to him, and how much Kansas State helped him learn how to value his family while also becoming a future NFL linebacker.

– The Bruce Weber era officially begins in Manhattan tonight. Tony Adame is covering the game for me while I’m in Fort Worth. Follow his coverage tomorrow.

– TCU looks to rise to K-State’s level.

A few questions. A few answers. Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram and myself go back and forth.