There are three FBS teams with 1-8 records and two of them play Saturday as Big 12 foes in Lawrence. Welcome to Iowa State at Kansas in the Basement Bowl (sorry, no corporate sponsor was interested.)
The Cyclones take on the Jayhawks at 11 a.m. CST on FSN – yes, this game will be televised. The teams have combined to lose their last 28 Big 12 games with Kansas on an 18-game losing streak and Iowa State losing 10 in a row.
“They are a lot better than 1-8,” Kansas coach David Beaty said of the Cyclones. “They are the best 1-8 team in the country, maybe one of the best 1-8 teams you ever have seen.”
While that is faint praise indeed, Beaty has a point. Iowa State’s average margin of defeat in Big 12 play is 11 points, compared to 30 points for Kansas.
Beaty is in his second season at Kansas. He took over a train wreck engineered by Charlie Weis. The Jayhawks have shown signs of improvement but the distance to become a competitive program is considerable.
“We have to live in reality,” Beaty said. “Only we know the things that we were facing as we took over this job. All of us are looking for cornerstones in our program. When you get to where you want to go, there are going to be things that you look back on and say, this was a turning point.”
Matt Campbell is in his first season at Iowa State after a successful four-year run at Toledo. A hint of how he and his staff are approaching this season was revealed in the depth chart for the Kansas game. There was no starter listed at quarterback or running back. Starters for those two crucial positions will be determined by practice performance.
“I told our kids and I told our coaches: ‘I’m not playing for next year — I’m playing for right now and playing for today,’ ” Campbell said. “The reality of it for me is we’re not quitting on those seniors. I’m going to do everything in my power to give those guys an opportunity to win each and every one of their remaining football games and give them a chance to do it the right way.”
Residing at the bottom of the standings is a historical given for both programs. Kansas has had 10 seasons with one or zero losses while Iowa State has had eight. Each school has had one winning record in Big 12 play.
The Cyclones have won 44 Big 12 games in 20 seasons while the Jayhawks have won 40. The head-to-head series record sets the perfect stage for Saturday: a 10-10 split.
Two coaches, two perspectives
Oklahoma State overcame a potentially disastrous third quarter to rally to win at Kansas State. On the same day, TCU traveled to Waco and blasted Baylor, 62-22. Cowboys coach Mike Gundy and Frogs coach Gary Patterson offered these insights after the game.
“Really for me, I enjoy watching it and seeing them rally,” Gundy said.
“When we talk about no fear, no fatigue, no frustration in our program, they never showed any frustration, they just kept playing. Obviously, fatigue wasn’t an issue because they played better in the fourth quarter than they did in the third. So, their attitude, their body language, the character of who they are, the substance of this team, I can’t say anything but A-plus.”
Patterson’s team recovered from consecutive losses. In losing at home to Texas Tech before the trip to Baylor, TCU quarterback Kenny Hill was benched during the loss. He had one of his most efficient games against the Bears.
“Everybody wants to know what happens on Saturday,” Patterson said. “To be honest with you, it’s really what happens Monday through Friday. They’re just 18-to-22-year-old kids, and how do you help them manage it?
“Because usually if their life is good off the field and it’s smooth, then they play well on the field. If there are things that are going that aren’t, then it’s hard for them to manage all that.”
Kirk and the earthquake
The past weekend was the five-year anniversary of ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit experiencing an earthquake in Stillwater while he was doing a live report.
Herbstreit had just completed working Oklahoma State’s 52-45 victory over Kansas State. The Cowboys, who came within percentage points of playing the Bowl Championship Series title game, were a big story and Herbstreit was on top of the press box doing postgame report with Chris Fowler, who was then the studio host for College GameDay.
“Chris, just to let you know, dead serious, as I’ve been talking to you, we just had, I think, an earthquake aftershock here,” Herbstreit said on air. “So, I literally thought the stadium was rocking, like people were stepping down off of this platform I’m on … what was your particular question?”
A close up of Herbstreit became and continues to be a popular Internet photo.
“My director says to me, ‘Stay calm, but what you just felt was an earthquake.’ … We were on live TV and he told me that,” he said. “It’s one of those things you wish he would have told you off camera. My eyes were kind of sending a message to him.”
- A group called Bears for Leadership Reform has plans to launch a nonprofit organization with its goal to demand an overhaul of the Baylor board of regents as well as discover the full details of the school’s investigation into numerous sexual assaults. The group is made up of alumni and major donors that includes Drayton McLane, whose name is on the football stadium.
- Baylor senior running back Shock Linwood, the school’s career rushing leader, has been suspended and won’t play against Oklahoma Saturday. In three games against the Sooners, Linwood has averaged 124 yards rushing.
- Over the last four seasons, Kansas State’s secondary has progressively slipped in terms of its national ranking in opponent pass completion percentage. The Wildcats were 75th in 2013, 105th in 2014, 118th in 2015 and currently 126th.
- Texas Tech had won three consecutive 11 a.m. CT kickoffs starting in 2013, but the Red Raiders have four of their last five games where the kickoff has come in late morning.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield on the fact that Baylor and Oklahoma tend to do a lot of trash talking when the teams play:
“It gets chippy. That’s just how it’s been. And that’s just because they’re trying to be an up-and-coming program, and we don’t really want them to take over the Big 12 because we think we’re the top dog. And so, I mean, it’s just a clash of the mindset that we want to win the Big 12 and they do, too.”