Category Archives: The Royal Sampler

The Royal Sampler: football predictions, twitter highlights and links

FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS
Iowa State at TCU: The Horned Frogs will be without their starting quarterback Casey Pachall while he serves a suspension stemming from an arrest, and that could make this game more interesting. Both squads are strong and defense and struggle at times to move the ball. TCU will have a harder time than normal on offense without its quarterback. Still, I think TCU has the better team and will win at home.

Oklahoma at Texas Tech: I’m going against the grain here and picking the Red Raiders. Sure, the Sooners are 4.5-point favorites and will be out for blood after their fans went into meltdown mode following a home loss to Kansas State two weeks ago. But Oklahoma didn’t look good in its first road game at UTEP and hasn’t won in Lubbock since 2003. Texas Tech also beat Oklahoma in Norman last year. The Red Raiders have a much improved defense now and can still throw the ball. I smell an upset.

West Virginia at Texas: This is easily the most intriguing Big 12 game of the weekend. The Mountaineers looked like an offensive juggernaut last week against Baylor while scoring 70 points. But their defense looked horrendous. The Longhorns needed a little bit of luck to beat Oklahoma State on the road, but David Ash grew up before our eyes in that game. And Texas has a much better defense than Baylor. This game could go down to the wire. If that’s the case, I favor the more complete team. I see Texas winning a close one.

Kansas at Kansas State: This is easily the least intriguing Big 12 game of the weekend. Despite the objections of KU coach Charlie Weis, I think the above illustration in the University Daily Kansan summed up the Sunflower Showdown rather well. K-State has won three straight against Kansas and scored 59 points in each of its last two victories over the Jayhawks. If Dayne Crist plays his best game and Kansas forces multiple turnovers, I could see it covering the 24-point spread and staying within three touchdowns. But that’s a best-case scenario. Bill Snyder takes too much pride in this rivalry for the Wildcats to suffer a letdown, and as long as they play with some motivation they should won handily. My prediction: K-State 45, KU 14.
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The Royal Sampler: Charlie Weis regrets player’s twitter remarks and links

BEST OF TWITTER
One of the main questions Kansas State football players had to answer last week revolved around motivation.

With struggling Kansas next on the schedule, we in the media wanted to know how they kept themselves motivated to play an opponent they have beaten three straight times and humiliated in back-to-back games. After beating the Jayhawks by a combined score of 118-28 the past two years, the Wildcats enter this season’s Sunflower Showdown as 24-point favorites.

Arthur Brown said K-State coach Bill Snyder puts so much emphasis on the rivalry that players are easily motivated.

Jarell Childs said, “There are a lot of great teams in the Big 12 and anyone can be beat on any given day.”

Pretty standard stuff. Kansas coach Charlie Weis wishes all of his players would have taken the same approach.

During his time on the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference on Monday, Weis was asked for his thoughts on defensive tackle Keba Agostinho’s twitter account. Last week, he pointed out that Kansas leads the all-time series with K-State 65-39-5 and described the Sunflower Showdown as “More like an A$$ whoopin than rivalry.”

He followed it up with two more tweets, which Curtis Kitchen archived here.

Once Weis caught wind of the tweets, they were quickly removed.

“He didn’t tweet it out for long,” Weis said. “For any player or coach to get on Twitter and say anything at all disrespectful to another team just makes no sense.”

It should certainly add motivation to K-State players, who were already looking forward to the game. Although it seems like Weis is trying to make up for it with respectful tweets of his own.


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The Royal Sampler: Predictions, links and a reminder not to burn couches

PREDICTIONS
Baylor at West Virginia: Nothing great about Baylor’s resume so far. The Bears have a better-than-advertised victory over Louisiana-Monroe and a worse-than-advertised victory over Sam Houston State. But Nick Florence is looking good at quarterback, and the offense is moving. They should be able to compete with the Mountaineers and maybe cover the 11-point spread. But this is West Virginia’s first Big 12 game. Morgantown is going to be rocking, even though the school is trying to discourage couch burning. West Virginia will win.

Texas at Oklahoma State: Texas is probably ranked (12th) higher than it should be, even though the Longhorns have looked great so far against suspect competition. Oklahoma is probably ranked a little lower (receiving votes) than it should be, even though the Cowboys looked awful losing to Arizona, which looked awful losing to Oregon. So this could be a good game. But I’m going with the Longhorns. There’s no telling who Oklahoma State will play at quarterback, and Texas is ready to make a statement.

TCU at SMU: The Mustangs are the last team that managed to beat the Horned Frogs, upsetting TCU on the road last year. But TCU has won 11 straight games since and SMU is worse this year. I don’t see this game being close. TCU should win easily.

Texas Tech at Iowa State: What a surprisingly good game this could be. A battle of unbeatens. A battle of statistically strong defenses. A battle for a spot in the top 25. The Red Raiders vs. the Cyclones is all that, and possibly more. It should be a close one. Texas Tech looks like the better team, but it has played three cupcakes. Iowa State gets the benefit of playing at home, and the benefit of destroying Texas Tech the last two times they met. But I think the Red Raiders fight back and beat the Cyclones tomorrow. They have more offensive firepower than Iowa State, and that could be the difference.
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The Royal Sampler: Former K-State LB to be next ‘Bachelor,’ Collin Klein gets Heisman love and Tech N9ne raps about Iowa State

LINKS
Kansas State football fans finally have a reason to watch “The Bachelor.”

Sean Lowe, a former Wildcats linebacker/tight end, is set to be the next star of the reality TV show. Lowe played at K-State from 2003-05 and

Lowe currently lives in Dallas and has apparently been on TV before.

From the ABC release: “On the eighth edition of “The Bachelorette,” Lowe confessed his love for Emily Maynard but was eliminated just before the finale.

ABC says Lowe is ready to look for love again and confident he will find his soul mate. The 6-foot-3 Texan was a linebacker for Kansas State and worked in finance and insurance before starting a custom furniture business.”

– The Sporting News showers Bill Snyder with kisses for K-State’s continued success.

– The Wildcats are hoping to get a lot out of their bye week.

– CBSSports.com takes a look at how impressive K-State’s success has been given that its recent recruiting classes have ranked near the bottom of the Big 12.

– Those lame T-shirts K-State made to commemorate winning at Oklahoma aren’t going over so well with everyone.
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The Royal Sampler: Two ways to relive Kansas State’s win over OU and links

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Want to relive Kansas State’s 24-19 victory over Oklahoma? Well, you’re in luck. The game has been archived right here.

You can go buy this shirt, too, if you want. Though it’s kind of a lame one.

LINKS
– Collin Klein remains at No. 5 in the Heisman Trophy race, according to Heisman Pundit’s weekly rankings.

Right now, the website doesn’t consider Klein much more than a threat to reach New York as finalist for the award. But …

He’s on pace to have 2,280 passing yards, 867 rushing yards and 30 total touchdowns when the Heisman votes are due. If Klein leads Kansas State on an unlikely march to the Big 12 title while knocking off teams like West Virginia, Texas and TCU, those numbers may be good enough to merit serious Heisman consideration.

– Bob Lutz thinks Klein deserves an award. Maybe not the Heisman, but definitely an award.

– After some statistical analysis from ESPN.com, K-State’s 4-0 start doesn’t look like a fluke.

– K-State is the new team on top of my weekly Big 12 power rankings. You can find a few other notes around the conference in there, too.

– Pat Forde, of Yahoo! Sports, says Bill Snyder earned his yearly salary more than any other coach over the weekend.

– And here’s a link to another video on the way K-State is winning with old-school tactics.

The Royal Sampler: Weekend predictions, 2003 Big 12 title highlights and links


The Kansas State football team is on its way to Oklahoma for Saturday’s game. It is the Wildcats’ first road game of the season. Curry Sexton is probably taking the approach most fans want him to.

PREDICTIONS
Baylor at UL-Monroe: The Warhawks have been on quite a run so far, winning at Arkansas and taking Auburn to overtime. But I like the Bears here, even on the road. They have too much offense and win in a close one.

Kansas at Northern Illinois: The Jayhawks are double-digit underdogs to Northern Illinois, and most seem to be picking NIU. But remember, this is the same team that lost to Turner Gill a year ago. I’m going with Kansas by the slimmest of margins. I say it wins by a single point.

Virginia at TCU: TCU coach Gary Patterson put out a video this week telling “breakfast is on me” for every student who shows up to this morning kickoff. That doesn’t have anything to do with what happens on the field, but it’s pretty neat. Frogs win easily.

West Virginia at Maryland: I ranked this as the worst Big 12 game of the week in my conference report on Monday. That might seem strange considering Maryland is from a major conference, but the Terps are not very good and enter the game as a huge underdog. Geno Smith will do whatever he wants.

Missouri at South Carolina: The Tigers lost their first game of the SEC era. They will lose their first road game, too.

Clemson at Florida State: This could end up being the game of the week. I’m going with Florida State, because of the home field, but it could go either way.

Kansas State at Oklahoma: The Sooners haven’t looked unbeatable so far, and it wouldn’t be that big of an upset for the Wildcats to beat Oklahoma. But their margin for error is slim. They will need to jump out to an early lead, play strong defense and score 30-plus points. It could happen. The home team pummeled K-State 58-17 a year ago, though, and the quarterback who threw for 505 yards and five touchdowns in that game (Landry Jones) is back. So are three K-State defensive backs who couldn’t do much to slow him down. And there’s also Blake Bell and Damien Williams to worry about on the ground. K-State’s defense will need to play better than it did a year ago and last week to beat Oklahoma. My prediction: Oklahoma 41, Kansas State 24
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The Royal Sampler: Former OU players still hurting over 2003 loss to K-State and links

For Kansas State, a 35-7 victory over Oklahoma in the 2003 Big 12 championship game is remembered as one of the biggest wins in program history.

For Oklahoma, the game is remembered as one of the most disappointing defeats of the Bob Stoops era.

According to Jason Kersey of the Oklahoman, there are plenty of OU players who still curse whenever the loss is mentioned.

“We didn’t go out there and play hard enough,” said Teddy Lehman, then a senior linebacker who won the Bednarik and Butkus awards.

“We didn’t block, didn’t tackle. Didn’t do the things we’d done that whole season. They weren’t even close to the team we were; it’s not even debatable.”

Many who watched the 28-point rout that day would probably take that debate.

During Bob Stoops’ 13 years in Norman, the 2003 Big 12 title game is his only loss in seven meetings with Snyder, who had both Stoops brothers on his Kansas State staff in the early 1990s.

The Oklahoma defense has generally done pretty well against Snyder’s offenses, with this one giant exception.

Oklahoma took a 7-0 lead on its first drive but watched Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson and Sproles, the small, lightning-fast running back, light up the scoreboard for five unanswered touchdowns to win the game and Snyder’s only conference championship.

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The Royal Sampler: Collin Klein to appear on College Gameday, OU players from Kansas ready for K-State and a reminder to smile

BEST OF TWITTER

Looks like Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is going to be featured prominently on ESPN’s “College Gameday” this week with Scott Van Pelt coming to Manhattan today. Klein was also featured on the show leading up to last year’s game against Oklahoma for a story on coach Bill Snyder.

That video piece seemed to received positive feedback from fans, but most of the K-State faithful were still upset about the traveling show heading to LA instead of Kansas.

LINKS
– Seven players on Oklahoma’s roster are from Kansas. All seven of them are eager to go against the Wildcats.

“A lot of people from my hometown are big K-State fans,” (Brannon) Green (an OU tight end from Altamont) said. “It being a farming community and Kansas State being a big agricultural school. They’re excited for the game and so am I. It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a long time.”

If you want to read the opposite side of this story about how the seven Oklahoma-born players on K-State’s roster are looking forward to going against the Sooners, well, you’re in luck. That’s what I’m writing about today. Check it out in tomorrow’s newspaper or our main website later this afternoon.
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The Royal Sampler: Where to eat in Oklahoma, why OU should have recruited Tyler Lockett and links


FOOD RECOMMENDATIONS
If you are making the road trip to Oklahoma this weekend for K-State’s football game against the Sooners, you might enjoy this list of nine tasty restaurants in Norman. The list is provided by Kit Lewis, a K-State grad and loyal reader who gave us some food recommendations last season before the Cotton Bowl.

From Kit: In case you might have forgotten, I gave you a list of restaurants for the Wildcat Nation to try on the trip south to the Cotton Bowl last year. Although the game didn’t turn out as well as hoped, I thought a slightly revised list might be useful when Purple Pride invades Norman this Saturday.

A quick search on the Internet will give addresses and contact numbers for a large number of eating places in Norman. There is a plethora of fast food and chain restaurants all along I-35 … not that their food is bad, but here are some local places I enjoy more.

If staying in OKC, there are lots of places in Bricktown, and Cattleman’s Steak House (1309 South Agnew) is a local legend.

In Norman:
(1) The Diner – 213 E. Main: Good breakfasts and was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
(2) La Baguette – 924 W. Main and 1130 Rambling Oaks: French pastries and breads to die for!
(3) The Mont – 1300 Classen: Close to the OU campus, a Norman landmark.
(4) Tarahumara Mexican Restaurant – 702 N. Porter: Forget the other Mexican places…in my opinion this is THE place for authentic Mexican dishes and the service is excellent! Don’t be deterred by a long line, it is worth the wait, in my opinion.
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The Royal Sampler: Collin Klein gains Heisman attention, Bill Snyder the swimmer and a final thought on North Texas

It’s good to be back after a week away. Thanks to Tony for filling in for me while I was off. Let’s kick things off this week with another edition of The Royal Sampler.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

It’s never a good sign for a ball-carrier when you’ve got one defender hitting you high and another defender hitting you low. Nothing better from a K-State perspective, though.

LINKS
– Collin Klein is starting to gain serious attention as a Heisman candidate.

HeismanPundit, perhaps the most respected website dedicated to analyzing the Heisman Trophy race currently ranks Klein sixth with West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith as the favorite.

HeismanPundit likes the fact that Klein has considerably increased his completion percentage, but says he will need to increase his offensive production in future games if he wants to move up the Heisman list.

A hard-nosed leader on an underdog team, Klein has a chance to become the sentimental favorite for the award as the season wears on.

Klein will get the chance to impress a wide audience with a big game against Oklahoma on Saturday.

Sports Illustrated writer Cory McCartney also currently ranks Klein sixth in the Heisman race. He is looking forward to seeing what Klein can do against the Sooners.
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