K-State Q&A: NCAA Tournament, Thomas Gipson, Marcus Foster, Shane Southwell, a tricky game at West Virginia and football

It’s time for another K-State Q&A, so let’s jump right into your questions.

Thanks, as always, for asking them.

Kansas State will make the NCAA Tournament. I don’t think there is any doubt about that. The Big 12 is the nation’s top-rated conference, according to most statistical measurements, and simply playing quality teams on a regular basis will keep the Wildcats’ RPI (currently 39) strong. The better question is what seed will K-State receive in the NCAA Tournament. Halfway through conference play, it is looking like an 8 seed in the latest bracket projections. Saturday’s game at West Virginia, and upcoming home games against Texas and Kansas will be important. But so will every game remaining on the schedule. If the Wildcats take care of business and win most of their home games and find a way to win a few road games, they could work themselves into consideration for a 6 or 7 seed. It they slip up against Texas Tech or Baylor and fail to perform well in the Big 12 Tournament, they could be looking at a 10 or 11 seed.
Read More »

How Arkansas locked down Bobby Petrino


“The mirror image buyout provisions included in the terms of the agreement reflect both parties’ serious commitment to each other and the long-term success of Razorback Football.”

-Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long

Dec. 11, 2010

Even in the crazy world of college football, Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino’s contract is unique.

Petrino, just completing his fourth season with the Razorbacks, is signed through 2017 at a clip of $3.56 million/year, plus bonus clauses in tune to $300,000 for winning the BCS, $150,000 for playing in the BCS title game and $125,000 for just getting in a BCS bowl game.

Phenomenal numbers, sure, but for a football nomad like Petrino, it’s the buyout clause that makes you think he might be in Fayetteville for a long time.

Under the parameters of Petrino’s new contract — signed last December after the Florida job came open and Petrino quickly became a candidate to replace Urban Meyer – he owes the school $18 million if leaves this year (it goes down a paltry $25G in 2013), $14.5 million if leaves in 2014, $10.8 million in 2015, $7.4 million in 2016 and $3.9 million in 2017, the final year of the deal. Conversely, the school owes Petrino the same amounts if they were to fire him in any of those years.

So if you want to find Bobby Petrino from now until 2017, just look on the Arkansas sideline. Or in the Razorbacks’ new, $35 million football complex – nicknamed, of course, “Bobby’s Bunker.”

Click here if you’d like to get a look at the contract itself.

I’m out.



Looking ahead to gameday: Iowa State

Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2011 schedule. We start at the end with Iowa State. Next up, at Texas

As fun as Farmageddon was to watch at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas State won two exciting games over Iowa State by close scores of 24-23 and 27-20) the former Big 12 North rivals are moving their annual meeting back to campus.

That’s bad news for anyone hoping for K-State/Iowa State to turn into the next Red River Rivalry. But, hey, at least it won’t become the next Baylor/Texas Tech, where neither fan base seems interested in driving to a neutral site for the game.

Overall, the switch back to Manhattan and Ames should be a positive for the matchup. The move away from a pro stadium will mean full – or at least near full — crowds watching from the stands, and the unusual scheduling date of December 3 gives the game a sense of added importance.

These are two similar teams that were picked to finish in about the same spot of the final Big 12 standings. Paul Rhoads looks like a real up-and-comer. Bill Snyder is the most established coach in the conference. The Cyclones and Wildcats have played each other tough for the past five seasons, and there’s no reason to think this year will be any different.
Read More »

Gameday Preview: UCLA at Kansas State

9-19-09-99 UCLA
It’s been a while since Kansas State opened the season at home against a name opponent. Fourteen years to be exact.

Back then the Wildcats kicked off their first Big 12 season against Texas Tech. They won 21-14 and went on to a strong year that didn’t end until the Cotton Bowl.

K-State is trying to duplicate that kind of success Saturday against UCLA, and Manhattan is buzzing over the chance to watch. The game is officially sold out, and ABC will be in town to broadcast it to a national audience.

UCLA broke open a close game against K-State last year in Los Angeles to win 23-9, and the rematch should be even better. Stakes are high for both teams. In season-openers like this one, they always are. Read More »

Jacob Pullen named to USA Select Team

Jacob Pullen will play for his country later this month.

The Kansas State senior guard is one of 20 college players who will make up the USA Men’s Select Team that will compete against the 2010 USA National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas.

Pullen made the team along with two other familiar faces from the Big 12. Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn and Kansas’ Marcus Morris are also headed to Vegas.
Read More »

Nino Williams may take Sutton’s place

With Kansas State down a scholarship from the departure of Dominique Sutton, the natural assumption was that Omari Lawrence would take his place on the roster.

After all, the St. Johns transfer has visited Manhattan and made an announcement last week that he wanted to sign with the Wildcats.

But it may be Nino Williams, a Leavenworth High School product who long ago verbally committed to K-State, who gets first crack at the open scholarship.

Originally, Williams’ intent was to join K-State in 2011 following a year of prep school. But he has added on muscle, improved his grades and is now seriously considering immediately enrolling in college.

“It’s my choice,” Williams said when reached by phone. “They (the K-State coaching staff) said they would love to have me, but if I still want to go to prep school I can do that, too. They’re with me either way.”
Read More »

Dominique Sutton will transfer

Dominique Sutton, a senior forward who started all but one game last season, has been granted his release from the Kansas State basketball team.

Wildcats basketball coach Frank Martin announced the news through a school release Friday morning.

“Dominique has expressed to me his desire to finish his college career closer to home in North Carolina where he has two small children,” said Martin. “We appreciate his contributions to the program over the past three years and wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

Sutton is from Durham, N.C. He averaged 7.2 points and 5.8 rebounds as a junior, and played an important role during K-State’s run to the Elite Eight.

Many considered him to be the team’s best defender next to guard Jacob Pullen, and he was also well known for his dunking ability. His athleticism and 6-foot-5, 218-pound frame allowed him to defend every inch of the floor.

Mountain West mum on expansion talk

With the Mountain West Conference deciding not to add Boise State to its current nine-team lineup last week, most around the country assume the league is waiting to see if it can make a run at whatever teams are left out in the cold from of a possible Big 12 breakup.

That would make Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State and possibly Missouri and Baylor teams that could hear from the Mountain West in the coming weeks.

K-State president Kirk Schulz and athletic director John Currie insist they haven’t had contact with any league other than the Big 12 to this point.

As for the Mountain West, it isn’t saying much of anything right now. A spokesperson for the league said Thursday afternoon that commissioner Craig Thompson has received more than 40 interview requests, and that he is opting to put out a general statement rather than speaking to so many reporters.

The statement reads: “The Mountain West Conference is fully in tune with the ongoing developments in the intercollegiate athletics landscape, including today’s announcement of a change in other conferences’ memberships. We remain in communication with key parties and are continuing to implement our internal strategies. These deliberations are ongoing and will be remain confidential until the appropriate time.”

Fitzgerald, Banks sign free-agent contracts

Two former Kansas State football players signed free-agent contracts with NFL teams today.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald, a defensive lineman who led the Wildcats with seven sacks last season, signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brandon Banks, a wide receiver/return specialist, landed with the Washington Redskins.

Both were standout players for the Wildcats, but neither heard their name called in last month’s NFL Draft. Nonetheless, they will each now have the chance to make a professional roster.
Read More »

Notes from the K-State basketball banquet

The biggest news to come out of Kansas State’s postseason awards banquet on Wednesday was Jacob Pullen’s announcement that he will likely return to school for his senior season without first testing the NBA waters.

But I have some other interesting factoids to pass along as well.

For starters, the banquet was sold out, and close to 500 people celebrated a great season on the floor of Bramlage Coliseum. Compared to four years ago, when coach Frank Martin was just arriving in Manhattan and 50 people came out to the Alumni Center, it was an enjoyable evening for everyone involved.

“It’s great,” Martin said. “That’s what this is all about. This is a night to honor these kids. It’s great that so many people show up and are excited about the program.”
Read More »