A lot is going on in the world of K-State sports. I couldn’t pick just one thing to write about this week, so I chose the five hottest topics among K-State fans at the moment and did a quick-hitter on each. Let’s go!
Texas Bowl bound
K-State was invited to play LSU in the Texas Bowl on Tuesday, January 4th. Although former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was recently hired as LSU’s head coach, offensive line coach Brad Davis will serve as interim coach and coach the Tigers in the bowl game. LSU finished the season at 6-6 and became bowl eligible after beating 14th ranked Texas A&M in the last game of the season.
K-State probably has the motivation edge in this one. Even though it was a down year for LSU, it’s STILL LSU, a program two years removed from a national championship. Beating LSU will be a big deal for the players and coaches at K-State. LSU has the talent edge, but if Skylar Thompson plays for the Wildcats I like their chances.
Courtney Messingham Out
Chris Klieman fired offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham on Friday. The move pleased a lot of K-State football fans, myself included. Quarterbacks coach Collin Klien will serve as interim offensive coordinator for the Texas Bowl. I’ve heard ex-Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells is a candidate to replace Mssingham as is Wyoming offensive coordinator Tim Polosek. Polosek was the offensive coordinator for Chris Klieman at North Dakota State from 2014 to 2016. He would not be a popular hire. Wells would be the splash hire, but I’m sure he has other opportunities to weigh right now. I’m not sure that Klieman has discussed the job with him anyway. This is a HUGE hire for Chris Klieman. He has to get it right.
Brent Venables hired at Oklahoma
Oklahoma hired former K-State linebacker and linebackers coach Brent Venables as their head coach. Venables has been Clemson’s defensive coordinator since 2012 after stints at K-State and Oklahoma. Many K-State football fans wanted to see Venables hired as head football coach in Manhattan, but it never happened. I’m not sure if it even came close to happening. Something always seemed odd that Venables has never gotten a head coaching opportunity until now. There are rumors as to why, but nothing substantiated. I wish him luck at Oklahoma. It was never going to be a piece of cake in the SEC with Lincoln Riley as head coach, but it just got a bit tougher for them when they hired Venables, a guy with no head coaching experience. Remember what happened to Nebraska when they moved to the Big 10? I believe that’s the path that Oklahoma is about to go down.
Coaches All-Big 12 Team
The all-Big 12 coaches team was announced last week. Felix Aniduke-Uzomah, (along with being selected co-defensive lineman of the year), was selected to the first team along with offensive lineman Cooper Beebe, kick returner Malik Knowles, and defensive back Russ Yeast. Running back Deuce Vaughn and fullback Jax Dineen were second-team selections. Yeast is the only senior of that group.
K-State has some good players returning next season, but there are a few big questions that remain to be answered. Who will be the new offensive coordinator? Who will be the quarterback? Can Chris Klieman and his crew find success in the transfer portal? The recruiting class isn’t good on paper, so finding some key pieces in the transfer portal is crucial for this team if they are to find success in 2022.
K-State basketball beats Wichita State
There hasn’t been much excitement about the K-State basketball team this season. Picked to finish ninth in the Big 12, the Wildcats showed little signs early in the season that they would be able to surpass that expectation. On Sunday they showed some signs of improvement, beating Wichita State in Wichita, 65-59. The game was in doubt most of the way and was tied with a couple of minutes left, but a 7-0 run by the Wildcats propelled them to victory. The Wildcats played without star Nigel Pack, who was held out due to a concussion suffered in practice. Marquis Nowell started in his place and scored 16 points, including a huge three-pointer that started the key 7-0 run. Nowell has been a shining bright spot for this K-State basketball team so far.
Up next is 7-2 Marquette on Wednesday night. The only way to drum up some excitement among the fan base is to keep winning. I remain skeptical about this team, but there are some nice pieces on the roster and if everyone can gel and come together they can win some games. How’s that for optimism?